WorldWideScience

Sample records for modelling habitat selection

  1. Habitat Selection

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These data provide information on the relationship between California red-legged frogs and their habitat in a unique ecosystem to better conserve this threatened...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Ola; Bolin, Arvid

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Anne-Isola Nekaris

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Does learning or instinct shape habitat selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott E Nielsen

    Full Text Available Habitat selection is an important behavioural process widely studied for its population-level effects. Models of habitat selection are, however, often fit without a mechanistic consideration. Here, we investigated whether patterns in habitat selection result from instinct or learning for a population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in Alberta, Canada. We found that habitat selection and relatedness were positively correlated in female bears during the fall season, with a trend in the spring, but not during any season for males. This suggests that habitat selection is a learned behaviour because males do not participate in parental care: a genetically predetermined behaviour (instinct would have resulted in habitat selection and relatedness correlations for both sexes. Geographic distance and home range overlap among animals did not alter correlations indicating that dispersal and spatial autocorrelation had little effect on the observed trends. These results suggest that habitat selection in grizzly bears are partly learned from their mothers, which could have implications for the translocation of wildlife to novel environments.

  9. Does learning or instinct shape habitat selection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Scott E; Shafer, Aaron B A; Boyce, Mark S; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection is an important behavioural process widely studied for its population-level effects. Models of habitat selection are, however, often fit without a mechanistic consideration. Here, we investigated whether patterns in habitat selection result from instinct or learning for a population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alberta, Canada. We found that habitat selection and relatedness were positively correlated in female bears during the fall season, with a trend in the spring, but not during any season for males. This suggests that habitat selection is a learned behaviour because males do not participate in parental care: a genetically predetermined behaviour (instinct) would have resulted in habitat selection and relatedness correlations for both sexes. Geographic distance and home range overlap among animals did not alter correlations indicating that dispersal and spatial autocorrelation had little effect on the observed trends. These results suggest that habitat selection in grizzly bears are partly learned from their mothers, which could have implications for the translocation of wildlife to novel environments.

  10. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats.

  11. Determining habitat quality for species that demonstrate dynamic habitat selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James; Frederick, Peter C; Noonburg, Erik G; Gawlik, Dale E.

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Habitat suitability criteria via parametric distributions: estimation, model selection and uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Nicholas A.; Goodman, Damon H.; Perry, Russell W.; Hardy, Thomas B.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  13. Used-habitat calibration plots: A new procedure for validating species distribution, resource selection, and step-selection models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fieberg, John R.; Forester, James D.; Street, Garrett M.; Johnson, Douglas H.; ArchMiller, Althea A.; Matthiopoulos, Jason

    2017-01-01

    “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.

  14. Grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarniello, Lana M; Boyce, Mark S; Seip, Dale R; Heard, Douglas C

    2007-07-01

    The purpose of our study is to show how ecologists' interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is altered by the scale of observation and also how management questions would be best addressed using predetermined scales of analysis. Using resource selection functions (RSF) we examined how variation in the spatial extent of availability affected our interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears inhabiting mountain and plateau landscapes. We estimated separate models for females and males using three spatial extents: within the study area, within the home range, and within predetermined movement buffers. We employed two methods for evaluating the effects of scale on our RSF designs. First, we chose a priori six candidate models, estimated at each scale, and ranked them using Akaike Information Criteria. Using this method, results changed among scales for males but not for females. For female bears, models that included the full suite of covariates predicted habitat use best at each scale. For male bears that resided in the mountains, models based on forest successional stages ranked highest at the study-wide and home range extents, whereas models containing covariates based on terrain features ranked highest at the buffer extent. For male bears on the plateau, each scale estimated a different highest-ranked model. Second, we examined differences among model coefficients across the three scales for one candidate model. We found that both the magnitude and direction of coefficients were dependent upon the scale examined; results varied between landscapes, scales, and sexes. Greenness, reflecting lush green vegetation, was a strong predictor of the presence of female bears in both landscapes and males that resided in the mountains. Male bears on the plateau were the only animals to select areas that exposed them to a high risk of mortality by humans. Our results show that grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent. Further, the

  15. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John E Steffen

    2009-09-01

    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.

  16. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, J.; Aldridge, C.; Boyce, M.S.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  17. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustaf Samelius

    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.

  18. High-tide habitat choice : insights from modelling roost selection by shorebirds around a tropical bay

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rogers, Danny I.; Battley, Phil F.; Piersma, Theunis; Van Gils, Jan A.; Rogers, Ken G.

    2006-01-01

    High tides force shorebirds from intertidal feeding areas to sites known as roosts. We investigated the roost selection of great knots, Calidris tenuirostris, and red knots, Calidris canutus, on a tropical coastline in northwestern Australia, assessing several roost attributes and recording the freq

  19. Predictive Seagrass Habitat Model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Habitat selection by postbreeding female diving ducks: Influence of habitat attributes and conspecifics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Jane E.; O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.

    2017-01-01

    Habitat selection studies of postbreeding waterfowl have rarely focused on within-wetland attributes such as water depth, escape cover, and food availability. Flightless waterfowl must balance habitat selection between avoiding predation risks and feeding. Reproductively successful female ducks face the greatest challenges because they begin the definitive prebasic molt at or near the end of brood rearing, when their body condition is at a low point. We assessed the relative importance of habitat attributes and group effects in habitat selection by postbreeding female lesser scaup Aythya affinis on a 2332-ha montane wetland complex during the peak flightless period (August) over seven years. Hypothesis-based habitat attributes included percent open water, open water:emergent edge density, water depth, percent flooded bare substrate, fetch (distance wind can travel unobstructed), group size, and several interactions representing functional responses to interannual variation in water levels. Surveys of uniquely marked females were conducted within randomly ordered survey blocks. We fitted two-part generalized linear mixed-effects models to counts of marked females within survey blocks, which allowed us to relate habitat attributes to relative probability of occurrence and, given the presence of a marked female, abundance of marked individuals. Postbreeding female scaup selected areas with water depths > 40 cm, large open areas, and intermediate edge densities but showed no relation to flooded bare substrate, suggesting their habitat preferences were more influenced by avoiding predation risks and disturbances than in meeting foraging needs. Grouping behavior by postbreeding scaup suggests habitat selection is influenced in part by behavioral components and/or social information, conferring energetic and survival benefits (predation and disturbance risks) but potentially also contributing to competition for food resources. This study demonstrates the importance of

  1. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Brian D; Halstead, Brian J.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Peaden, J. Mark; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Nafus, Melia G.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Quantifying spatial habitat loss from hydrocarbon development through assessing habitat selection patterns of mule deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northrup, Joseph M; Anderson, Charles R; Wittemyer, George

    2015-11-01

    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.

  4. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongkyun IM

    2011-12-01

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

  6. The spatial scaling of habitat selection by African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Knegt, Henrik J; van Langevelde, Frank; Skidmore, Andrew K; Delsink, Audrey; Slotow, Rob; Henley, Steve; Bucini, Gabriela; de Boer, Willem F; Coughenour, Michael B; Grant, Cornelia C; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Henley, Michelle; Knox, Nicky M; Kohi, Edward M; Mwakiwa, Emmanuel; Page, Bruce R; Peel, Mike; Pretorius, Yolanda; van Wieren, Sipke E; Prins, Herbert H T

    2011-01-01

    1. Understanding and accurately predicting the spatial patterns of habitat use by organisms is important for ecological research, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. However, this understanding is complicated by the effects of spatial scale, because the scale of analysis affects the quantification of species-environment relationships. 2. We therefore assessed the influence of environmental context (i.e. the characteristics of the landscape surrounding a site), varied over a large range of scales (i.e. ambit radii around focal sites), on the analysis and prediction of habitat selection by African elephants in Kruger National Park, South Africa. 3. We focused on the spatial scaling of the elephants' response to their main resources, forage and water, and found that the quantification of habitat selection strongly depended on the scales at which environmental context was considered. Moreover, the inclusion of environmental context at characteristic scales (i.e. those at which habitat selectivity was maximized) increased the predictive capacity of habitat suitability models. 4. The elephants responded to their environment in a scale-dependent and perhaps hierarchical manner, with forage characteristics driving habitat selection at coarse spatial scales, and surface water at fine spatial scales. 5. Furthermore, the elephants exhibited sexual habitat segregation, mainly in relation to vegetation characteristics. Male elephants preferred areas with high tree cover and low herbaceous biomass, whereas this pattern was reversed for female elephants. 6. We show that the spatial distribution of elephants can be better understood and predicted when scale-dependent species-environment relationships are explicitly considered. This demonstrates the importance of considering the influence of spatial scale on the analysis of spatial patterning in ecological phenomena.

  7. Behavioural cues surpass habitat factors in explaining prebreeding resource selection by a migratory diving duck

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern wild turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1985-01-01

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

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Swamp rabbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1985-01-01

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

  10. Weather conditions drive dynamic habitat selection in a generalist predator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars B.;

    2014-01-01

    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...

  11. Lunar base habitat designs: Characterizing the environment, and selecting habitat designs for future trade-offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganapathi, Gani B.; Ferrall, Joseph; Seshan, P. K.

    1993-01-01

    A survey of distinct conceptual lunar habitat designs covering the pre- and post-Apollo era is presented. The impact of the significant lunar environmental challenges such as temperature, atmosphere, radiation, soil properties, meteorites, and seismic activity on the habitat design parameters are outlined. Over twenty habitat designs were identified and classified according to mission type, crew size; total duration of stay, modularity, environmental protection measures, and emplacement. Simple selection criteria of (1) post-Apollo design, (2) uniqueness of the habitat design, (3) level of thoroughness in design layout, (4) habitat dimensions are provided, and (5) materials of construction for the habitat shell are specified, are used to select five habitats for future trade studies. Habitat emplacement scenarios are created to examine the possible impact of emplacement of the habitat in different locations, such as lunar poles vs. equatorial, above ground vs. below ground, etc.

  12. Using dynamic population simulations to extend resource selection analyses and prioritize habitats for conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrichs, Julie; Aldridge, Cameron; O'Donnell, Michael; Schumaker, Nathan

    2017-01-01

    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

  13. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Teaching animal habitat selection using wildlife tracking equipment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent A.; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red king crab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewett, Stephen C.; Onuf, Christopher P.

    1988-01-01

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

  16. Evaluating habitat selection with radio-telemetry triangulation error

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel, M.D.; Kenow, K.P.

    1992-01-01

    Radio-telemetry triangulation errors result in the mislocation of animals and misclassification of habitat use. We present analytical methods that provide improved estimates of habitat use when misclassification probabilities can be determined. When misclassification probabilities cannot be determined, we use random subsamples from the error distribution of an estimated animal location to improve habitat use estimates. We conducted Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate the effects of this subsampling method, triangulation error, number of animal locations, habitat availability, and habitat complexity on bias and variation in habitat use estimates. Results for the subsampling method are illustrated using habitat selection by redhead ducks (Aythya americana ). We recommend the subsampling method with a minimum of 50 random points to reduce problems associated with habitat misclassification.

  17. Fish habitat selection in a large hydropeaking river: Strong individual and temporal variations revealed by telemetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capra, Hervé; Plichard, Laura; Bergé, Julien; Pella, Hervé; Ovidio, Michaël; McNeil, Eric; Lamouroux, Nicolas

    2017-02-01

    Modeling individual fish habitat selection in highly variable environments such as hydropeaking rivers is required for guiding efficient management decisions. We analyzed fish microhabitat selection in the heterogeneous hydraulic and thermal conditions (modeled in two-dimensions) of a reach of the large hydropeaking Rhône River locally warmed by the cooling system of a nuclear power plant. We used modern fixed acoustic telemetry techniques to survey 18 fish individuals (five barbels, six catfishes, seven chubs) signaling their position every 3s over a three-month period. Fish habitat selection depended on combinations of current microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. velocity, depth), past microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. dewatering risk or maximum velocities during the past 15days) and to a lesser extent substrate and temperature. Mixed-effects habitat selection models indicated that individual effects were often stronger than specific effects. In the Rhône, fish individuals appear to memorize spatial and temporal environmental changes and to adopt a "least constraining" habitat selection. Avoiding fast-flowing midstream habitats, fish generally live along the banks in areas where the dewatering risk is high. When discharge decreases, however, they select higher velocities but avoid both dewatering areas and very fast-flowing midstream habitats. Although consistent with the available knowledge on static fish habitat selection, our quantitative results demonstrate temporal variations in habitat selection, depending on individual behavior and environmental history. Their generality could be further tested using comparative experiments in different environmental configurations.

  18. Giant Panda habitat selection in the Foping Nature Reserve, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Skidmore, A.K.; Shao, X.; Dang, D.; Wang, T.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2005-01-01

    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

  19. Giant Panda habitat selection in the Foping Nature Reserve, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Skidmore, A.K.; Shao, X.; Dang, D.; Wang, T.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2005-01-01

    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 radiotrac

  20. Teaching Animal Habitat Selection Using Wildlife Tracking Equipment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2016-01-01

    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.…

  1. Habitat Heterogeneity Variably Influences Habitat Selection by Wild Herbivores in a Semi-Arid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muposhi, Victor K.; Gandiwa, Edson; Chemura, Abel; Bartels, Paul; Makuza, Stanley M.; Madiri, Tinaapi H.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27680673

  2. Masticophis flagellum selects florida scrub habitat at multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, B.J.; Mushinsky, H.R.; McCoy, E.D.

    2009-01-01

    The use of space by individual animals strongly influences the spatial extent, abundance, and growth rates of their populations. We analyzed the spatial ecology and habitat selection of Masticophis flagellum (the coachwhip) at three different scales to determine which habitats are most important to this species. Home ranges and mean daily displacements of M. flagellum in Florida were large compared to individuals in other populations of this species. Home ranges contained a greater proportion of Florida scrub habitat than did the study site as a whole, and individuals selected Florida scrub habitat within their home ranges. For both selection of the home range within the study site and selection of habitats within the home range, mesic cutthroat and hydric swamp habitats were avoided. Standardized selection ratios of Florida scrub patches were positively correlated with lizard abundance. Several non-mutually exclusive mechanisms, including foraging success (prey abundance, prey vulnerability, and foraging efficiency), abundance of refugia, and thermoregulatory opportunity may underlie the selection of Florida scrub by M. flagellum. Historic rarity and anthropogenic loss and fragmentation of Florida scrub habitat, coupled with the long-distance movements, large home ranges, and selection of Florida scrub by M. flagellum, indicate that large contiguous tracts of land containing Florida scrub will be essential for the persistence of M. flagellum in central Florida. ?? 2009 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  3. Habitat selection by two beluga whale populations in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, Kristin L.; Stern, Harry L.; Moore, Sue E.; Suydam, Robert S.; Richard, Pierre R.

    2017-01-01

    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

  4. Determinants of habitat selection by hatchling Australian freshwater crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somaweera, Ruchira; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    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 (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.

  5. Determinants of habitat selection by hatchling Australian freshwater crocodiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchira Somaweera

    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.

  6. Habitat selection and productivity of least terns on the lower Platte River, Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsch, Eileen M.

    1996-01-01

    Least terns (Sterna antillarum) were studied on the lower Platte River, Nebraska, where this endangered population nests on natural sandbar habitat and on sandpit sites created by gravel dredging adjacent to the river. Theoretically terns should select habitats according to habitat suitability. However, the introduction of sandpits and conversion of tallgrass prairies along the river banks to agriculture, residential, and wooded areas may have affected terns' abilities to distinguish suitable habitat or the suitability of nesting habitats in general. I examined habitat selection and productivity of least terns to determine if terns selected habitat according to suitability (as indicated by productivity), what factors affected habitat selection and productivity, and if estimated productivity could support this population. Available habitats of both types were characterized and quantified using aerial videography (1989-90), and habitat use was assessed from census data (1987-90). Productivity of adults and causes and correlates of egg and chick mortality were estimated (1987-90). Population trend was assessed with a deterministic model using my estimates of productivity and a range of survival estimates for Laridae reported in the literature. Terns tended to use river sites with large midstream sandbars and a wide channel, and large sandpit sites with large surface areas of water relative to unused sites on both habitats. Number of sites and area of sand available were estimated using discriminant function analysis of variables quantified from video scenes of both habitats. Terns apparently did not use all potentially available sandbar and sandpit sites because discriminant function factor scores for used and unused sites overlapped broadly for both habitats. Terns did not prefer 1 habitat over the other. Although proportions of available sites used were greater on sandpits than on the river, proportions of available sand used did not differ between habitats

  7. Influences of human and livestock density on winter habitat selection of Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zhenhua; Liu, Bingwan; Liu, Songtao; Jiang, Zhigang; Halbrook, Richard S

    2014-01-01

    Human and livestock related disturbances of habitat selection by ungulates are topics of global concern, as they have profound impacts on ungulate survival, population density, fitness, and management; however, differences in ungulate habitat use under different human and livestock densities are not fully understood. Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa), an endemic ungulate species on the Asia-European steppe, faces varying intensities of human and livestock disturbances in the area around Dalai Lake, China. To investigate how habitat selection strategies vary as disturbance intensity changes, we randomly set 20 transects containing 1486 plots, on which we conducted repeated surveys of 21 ecological factors during the winters in the period of 2005-2008. We aimed to: 1) determine the critical factors underlying habitat selection of the gazelles; 2) determine the gazelles' habitat preferences in this area; 3) determine how habitat selection varies with disturbance intensity and explore the primary underlying mechanism. We used binary-logistic regressions and information theoretic approaches to build best-fit habitat selection models, and calculated resource selection functions. Sixty-six herds, 522 individuals, and 499 tracks were recorded. Our results indicate that snow depth and aboveground biomass are the main factors affecting habitat selection by Mongolian gazelle throughout the district in winter. Thin snow cover and abundant aboveground biomass are preferred. Avoiding disturbance was the primary factor accounting for habitat selection in low disturbance areas, although with increasing human or live-stock-related disturbance, gazelle maintained a reduced distance to the source of the disturbance. Presumably owing to that shift, movement costs were more important as disturbance increased. In addition, Mongolian gazelle selected habitats based on topographical features promoting greater visibility where disturbance was lower. We suggest several management

  8. Smartphone technologies and Bayesian networks to assess shorebird habitat selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigler, Sara; Thieler, E. Robert; Gutierrez, Ben; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Hines, Megan K.; Fraser, James D.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Karpanty, Sarah M.

    2017-01-01

    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

  9. Weather Conditions Drive Dynamic Habitat Selection in a Generalist Predator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars Bo

    2014-01-01

    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...... 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...

  10. Weather Conditions Drive Dynamic Habitat Selection in a Generalist Predator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars Bo;

    2014-01-01

    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...... 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...

  11. Frugivore-Mediated Selection in A Habitat Transformation Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontúrbel, Francisco E.; Medel, Rodrigo

    2017-01-01

    Plant-animal interactions are strong drivers of phenotypic evolution. However, the extent to which anthropogenic habitat transformation creates new selective scenarios for plant-animal interactions is a little explored subject. We examined the effects of native forest replacement by exotic Eucalyptus trees on the frugivore-mediated phenotypic selection coefficients imposed by the relict marsupial Dromiciops gliroides upon traits involved in frugivore attraction and germination success of the mistletoe Tristerix corymbosus (Loranthaceae). We found significant gradients for seed weight and sugar content along the native - transformed habitat gradient. While selection for larger seed weight was more relevant in native habitats, fruits with intermediate sugar content were promoted in transformed habitats. The spatial habitat structure and microclimate features such as the degree of sunlight received influenced the natural selection processes, as they correlated with the phenotypic traits analysed. The response of this plant-frugivore interaction to human disturbance seemed to be context-dependent, in which extremely transformed habitats would offer new opportunities for natural selection on dispersal-related traits. Even in recent transformation events like this, human disturbance acts as a strong contemporary evolution driver. PMID:28349942

  12. Adaptive breeding habitat selection: Is it for the birds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

    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

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Mink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1983-01-01

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

  14. Weather conditions drive dynamic habitat selection in a generalist predator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Sunde

    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.

  15. Weather conditions drive dynamic habitat selection in a generalist predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars B; Rahbek, Carsten

    2014-01-01

    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.

  16. Wildlife Habitat Models for Terrestrial Vertebrates

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Modeling habitat dynamics accounting for possible misclassification

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Seasonal variation in microhabitat of salamanders: environmental variation or shift of habitat selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Lunghi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Relationships between species and their habitats are not always constant. Different processes may determine changes in species-habitat association: individuals may prefer different habitat typologies in different periods, or they may be forced to occupy a different habitat in order to follow the changing environment. The aim of our study was to assess whether cave salamanders change their habitat association pattern through the year, and to test whether such changes are determined by environmental changes or by changes in preferences. We monitored multiple caves in Central Italy through one year, and monthly measured biotic and abiotic features of microhabitat and recorded Italian cave salamanders distribution. We used mixed models and niche similarity tests to assess whether species-habitat relationships remain constant through the year. Microhabitat showed strong seasonal variation, with the highest variability in the superficial sectors. Salamanders were associated to relatively cold and humid sectors in summer, but not during winter. Such apparent shift in habitat preferences mostly occurred because the environmental gradient changed through the year, while individuals generally selected similar conditions. Nevertheless, juveniles were more tolerant to dry sectors during late winter, when food demand was highest. This suggests that tolerance for suboptimal abiotic conditions may change through time, depending on the required resources. Differences in habitat use are jointly determined by environmental variation through time, and by changes in the preferred habitat. The trade-offs between tolerance and resources requirement are major determinant of such variation.

  20. Landscape effects on mallard habitat selection at multiple spatial scales during the non-breeding period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, William S.; Webb, Elisabeth B.; Kesler, Dylan C.; Raedeke, Andrew H.; Naylor, Luke W.; Humburg, Dale D.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies that evaluated effects of landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity on migratory waterbird distributions were spatially limited and temporally restricted to one major life-history phase. However, effects of landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity on long-distance migratory waterbirds can be studied across the annual cycle using new technologies, including global positioning system satellite transmitters. We used Bayesian discrete choice models to examine the influence of local habitats and landscape composition on habitat selection by a generalist dabbling duck, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), in the midcontinent of North America during the non-breeding period. Using a previously published empirical movement metric, we separated the non-breeding period into three seasons, including autumn migration, winter, and spring migration. We defined spatial scales based on movement patterns such that movements >0.25 and 30.00 km were classified as relocation scale. Habitat selection at the local scale was generally influenced by local and landscape-level variables across all seasons. Variables in top models at the local scale included proximities to cropland, emergent wetland, open water, and woody wetland. Similarly, variables associated with area of cropland, emergent wetland, open water, and woody wetland were also included at the local scale. At the relocation scale, mallards selected resource units based on more generalized variables, including proximity to wetlands and total wetland area. Our results emphasize the role of landscape composition in waterbird habitat selection and provide further support for local wetland landscapes to be considered functional units of waterbird conservation and management.

  1. Naturally acidified habitat selects for ocean acidification-tolerant mussels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Jörn; Stapp, Laura S; Haynert, Kristin; Schade, Hanna; Danelli, Maria; Lannig, Gisela; Wegner, K Mathias; Melzner, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Ocean acidification severely affects bivalves, especially their larval stages. Consequently, the fate of this ecologically and economically important group depends on the capacity and rate of evolutionary adaptation to altered ocean carbonate chemistry. We document successful settlement of wild mussel larvae (Mytilus edulis) in a periodically CO2-enriched habitat. The larval fitness of the population originating from the CO2-enriched habitat was compared to the response of a population from a nonenriched habitat in a common garden experiment. The high CO2-adapted population showed higher fitness under elevated Pco2 (partial pressure of CO2) than the non-adapted cohort, demonstrating, for the first time, an evolutionary response of a natural mussel population to ocean acidification. To assess the rate of adaptation, we performed a selection experiment over three generations. CO2 tolerance differed substantially between the families within the F1 generation, and survival was drastically decreased in the highest, yet realistic, Pco2 treatment. Selection of CO2-tolerant F1 animals resulted in higher calcification performance of F2 larvae during early shell formation but did not improve overall survival. Our results thus reveal significant short-term selective responses of traits directly affected by ocean acidification and long-term adaptation potential in a key bivalve species. Because immediate response to selection did not directly translate into increased fitness, multigenerational studies need to take into consideration the multivariate nature of selection acting in natural habitats. Combinations of short-term selection with long-term adaptation in populations from CO2-enriched versus nonenriched natural habitats represent promising approaches for estimating adaptive potential of organisms facing global change.

  2. Habitat Selection and Activity Pattern of GPS Collared Sumateran Tigers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dolly Priatna

    2012-12-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Home Range, Habitat Selection, and Foraging Rhythm in Mauritanian Spoonbills (

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    El-Hacen, E.-H.M.; Overdijk, O.; Lok, T.; Olff, H.; Piersma, T.

    2013-01-01

    Mauritanian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia balsaci) only breed at Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, West Africa. Their populations have declined; however, nothing is known about possible ecological factors involved, including their primary food and foraging habits. Home range sizes, habitat selection, and

  5. An obligate beach bird selects sub-, inter- and supra-tidal habitat elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehmke, Glenn; Maguire, Grainne S.; Bird, Tomas; Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Weston, Michael A.

    2016-11-01

    Few habitat models are available for widespread, obligate, high-energy sandy shore vertebrates, such as the Eastern Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus cucullatus. We examined habitat attributes which determined the difference between sites where plovers breed and randomly-selected absence sites (determined from long-term systematic monitoring). A variety of habitat variables were derived from aerial photography and bathymetric and terrestrial Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data. Logistic regression against eight candidate variables, in a model selection framework, revealed considerable support for four variables with respect to explaining the presence of breeding territories. In particular, the amount of unvegetated dune and foredune which was unvegetated, and the amount of intertidal and sub-tidal reef were positively associated with the presence of breeding territories. Thus, plovers apparently select certain habitat in which to breed, involving sub-tidal, intertidal and supra-tidal habitat elements. The model also helps explain the virtual absence of breeding plovers from long sections of superficially suitable habitat, such as the fourth longest continuous beach in the world.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Comparison of seasonal habitat selection between threatened woodland caribou ecotypes in central British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena S. Jones

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in British Columbia have been classified into ecotypes based on differences in use of habitat in winter. Although recovery planning focuses on ecotypes, habitat use and selection varies within ecotypes. Our objectives were to compare habitat use and selection among previously identified woodland caribou herds at the transition zone between northern (Moberly, Quintette, and Kennedy herds and mountain (Parsnip herd ecotypes in central British Columbia. We developed selection models for each herd in spring, calving, summer/fall, early and late winter. Topographic models best predicted selection by most herds in most seasons, but importance of vegetation-cover was highlighted by disproportionate use of specific vegetation-cover types by all caribou herds (e.g., in early winter, 75% of Kennedy locations were in pine-leading stands, 84% of Parsnip locations were in fir and fir-leading stands, and 87 and 96% of locations were in alpine for the Moberly and Quintette herds, respectively. Using a combination of GPS and VHF radio-collar locations, we documented some spatial overlap among herds within the year, but use of vegetation-cover types and selection of elevations, aspects, and vegetation-cover types differed among herds and within ecotypes in all seasons. Habitat use and selection were most similar between the two northern-ecotype herds residing on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. This research indicates that habitat use and selection by caribou herds in all seasons is more variable than ecotype classifications suggest and demonstrates the value of undertaking herd-specific mapping of critical habitat for woodland caribou.

  8. Post-parturition habitat selection by elk calves and adult female elk in New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitman, J.; Cain, James W.; Liley, Stewart; Gould, William R.; Quintana, Nichole T.; Ballard, Warren

    2014-01-01

    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., <2 weeks of age). Older calves (i.e., 3–10 weeks of age) still selected areas in relation to distance to cover, but also preferred areas with higher visibility. At the larger spatial scale of calf-rearing habitat selection by the adult female, concealing cover (e.g., rocks, shrubs, and logs) and other variables important to the hiding calves were still in the most supported models, but selection was also influenced by forage availability and indices of forage quality. Studies that seek to obtain insight into microhabitat selection of ungulate neonates should consider selection by the neonate and selection by the adult female, changes in selection as neonates age, and potential selection differences in areas of differing predation risk. By considering these influences together and at multiple scales, studies can achieve a broader understanding of neonatal ungulate habitat requirements. 

  9. Global habitat suitability models of terrestrial mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. An experimental study of habitat selection by birds in a coffee plantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Angón, Andrea; Sillett, T Scott; Greenberg, Russell

    2008-04-01

    Unique components of tropical habitats, such as abundant vascular epiphytes, influence the distribution of species and can contribute to the high diversity of many animal groups in the tropics. However, the role of such features in habitat selection and demography of individual species has not been established. Understanding the mechanisms of habitat selection requires both experimental manipulation of habitat structure and detailed estimation of the behavioral and demographic response of animals, e.g., changes in movement patterns and survival probabilities. Such studies have not been conducted in natural tropical forest, perhaps because of high habitat heterogeneity, high species diversity, and low abundances of potential target species. Agroforestry systems support a less diverse flora, with greater spatial homogeneity which, in turn, harbors lower overall species diversity with greater numerical dominance of common species, than natural forests. Furthermore, agroforestry systems are already extensively managed and lend themselves easily to larger scale habitat manipulations than protected natural forest. Thus, agroforestry systems provide a good model environment for beginning to understand processes underlying habitat selection in tropical forest animals. Here, we use multistate, capture-recapture models to investigate how the experimental removal of epiphytes affected monthly movement and survival probabilities of two resident bird species (Common Bush-Tanager [Chlorospingus ophthalmicus] and Golden-crowned Warbler [Basileuterus culicivorus]) in a Mexican shade coffee plantation. We established two paired plots of epiphyte removal and control. We found that Bush-Tanagers were at least five times more likely to emigrate from plots where epiphytes were removed compared to control plots. Habitat-specific movement patterns were not detected in the warbler. However, unlike the Golden-crowned Warbler, Common Bush-Tanagers depend upon epiphytes for nest sites and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  12. Landscape-scale habitat selection by fishers translocated to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Jeffrey C.; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Happe, Patricia J.; Manson, David J.; McCalmon, Marc

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Habitat selection by mountain plovers in shortgrass steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Much of the breeding range for the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) occurs in shortgrass steppe and mixed-grass prairie in the western Great Plains of North America. Studies of mountain plovers in shortgrass steppe during the 1970s and 1990s were focused in Weld County, Colorado, which was considered a key breeding area for the species. These studies, however, did not include habitats influenced by black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) or prescribed fire. The role of these 2 rangeland disturbance processes has increased substantially over the past 15 years. During 2008–2009, I used radial distance point count surveys to estimate mountain plover densities early in the nesting season in 4 habitats on public lands in Weld County, Colorado. All 4 habitats were grazed by cattle during the growing season at moderate stocking rates but had different additional disturbances consisting of 1) dormant-season prescribed burns, 2) active black-tailed prairie dog colonies, 3) black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by epizootic plague in the past 1–2 years, and 4) rangeland with no recent history of fire or prairie dogs. Mountain plover densities were similar on active black-tailed prairie dog colonies (x = 6.8 birds/km2, 95% CI = 4.3–10.6) and prescribed burns (x = 5.6 birds/km2, 95% CI = 3.5–9.1). In contrast, no plovers were detected at randomly selected rangeland sites grazed by cattle but lacking recent disturbance by prairie dogs or fire, even though survey effort was highest for this rangeland habitat. Mountain plover densities were intermediate (2.0 birds/km2, 95% CI = 0.8–5.0) on sites where black-tailed prairie dogs had recently been extirpated by plague. These findings suggest that prescribed burns and active black-tailed prairie dog colonies may enhance breeding habitat for mountain plovers in shortgrass steppe and illustrate the potential for suppressed or altered disturbance processes to influence habitat

  14. Linking dynamic habitat selection with wading bird foraging distributions across resource gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James M.; Noonberg, Erik G.; Gawlik, Dale E.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. Linking Dynamic Habitat Selection with Wading Bird Foraging Distributions across Resource Gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James M; Noonburg, Erik G; Gawlik, Dale E

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. Home range dynamics, habitat selection, and survival of Greater Roadrunners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, S.W.; Ransom, D.; Butcher, J.A.; Schulz, G.G.; Surber, B.W.; Pinchak, W.E.; Santamaria, C.A.; Hurtado, L.A.

    2011-01-01

    Greater Roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) are common, poorly studied birds of arid and semi-arid ecosystems in the southwestern United States. Conservation of this avian predator requires a detailed understanding of their movements and spatial requirements that is currently lacking. From 2006 to 2009, we quantified home-range and core area sizes and overlap, habitat selection, and survival of roadrunners (N= 14 males and 20 females) in north-central Texas using radio-telemetry and fixed kernel estimators. Median home-range and core-area sizes were 90.4 ha and 19.2 ha for males and 80.1 ha and 16.7 ha for females, respectively. The size of home range and core areas did not differ significantly by either sex or season. Our home range estimates were twice as large (x??= 108.9 ha) as earlier published estimates based on visual observations (x??= 28-50 ha). Mean percent overlap was 38.4% for home ranges and 13.7% for core areas. Male roadrunners preferred mesquite woodland and mesquite savanna cover types, and avoided the grass-forb cover type. Female roadrunners preferred mesquite savanna and riparian woodland cover types, and avoided grass-forb habitat. Kaplan-Meier annual survival probabilities for females (0.452 ?? 0.118[SE]) were twice that estimated for males (0.210 ?? 0.108), but this difference was not significant. Mortality rates of male roadrunners were higher than those of females during the spring when males call from elevated perches, court females, and chase competing males. Current land use practices that target woody-shrub removal to enhance livestock forage production could be detrimental to roadrunner populations by reducing availability of mesquite woodland and mesquite savanna habitat required for nesting and roosting and increasing the amount of grass-forb habitat that roadrunners avoid. ??2011 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ??2011 Association of Field Ornithologists.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Fill

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

  18. Influence of monsoon-related riparian phenology on yellow-billed cuckoo habitat selection in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Villarreal, Miguel; Van Riper, Charles

    2013-01-01

    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 (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 conservation those landscapes that reliably exhibit highly preferred phenometrics on a consistent basis.

  19. Hibernal habitat selection by Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) in a northern New England montane landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Luke A.; Calhoun, Aram J. K.; Loftin, Cynthia S.

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloern, J.E.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Differential fitness in field and forest explains density-independent habitat selection by gartersnakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliday, William D; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

    2016-07-01

    The ideal free distribution concept predicts that organisms will distribute themselves between habitats in a density-dependent manner so that individuals, on average, achieve the same fitness in each habitat. In ectotherms, environmental temperature has a strong impact on fitness, but temperature is not depletable and thus not density dependent. Can density-dependent habitat selection occur in ectotherms when habitats differ in thermal quality? We used an observational study of habitat selection by small snakes in field and forest, followed by manipulative habitat selection and fitness experiments with common gartersnakes in enclosures in field and forest to test this hypothesis. Snakes were much more abundant in the field, the habitat with superior thermal quality, than in the forest. Gartersnakes in our controlled experiment only used the forest habitat when snake density was highest and when food was more abundant in the forest; habitat selection was largely density independent, although there was weak evidence of density dependence. No female gartersnake gave birth in the forest enclosures, whereas half of the females gave birth in the field enclosures. Growth rates of females were higher in field than in forest enclosures. Overall, our data indicate that temperature appears to be the most important factor driving the habitat selection of gartersnakes, likely because temperature was more limiting than food in our study system. Snakes, or at least temperate snakes, may naturally exist at population densities low enough that they do not exhibit density-dependent habitat selection.

  3. Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chihiro Takahata

    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.

  4. Habitat selection of the sagebrush Brewer’s sparrow Spizella breweri breweri in British Columbia

    OpenAIRE

    Harrison, Megan Louise

    2008-01-01

    When animals cluster their territories within larger patches of seemingly appropriate habitat it could mean that they have additional, finer scale habitat requirements or that non-habitat cues play a role in their selection decisions. Sagebrush Brewer’s Sparrows (Spizella breweri breweri) cluster their territories throughout their breeding range. I examined territory-scale selection by the species using two approaches: observation of individual selection for vegetation characteristics, and an...

  5. Summer habitat selection by Dall’s sheep in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roffler, Gretchen H.; Adams, Layne G.; Hebblewhite, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Sexual segregation occurs frequently in sexually dimorphic species, and it may be influenced by differential habitat requirements between sexes or by social or evolutionary mechanisms that maintain separation of sexes regardless of habitat selection. Understanding the degree of sex-specific habitat specialization is important for management of wildlife populations and the design of monitoring and research programs. Using mid-summer aerial survey data for Dall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) in southern Alaska during 1983–2011, we assessed differences in summer habitat selection by sex and reproductive status at the landscape scale in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (WRST). Males and females were highly segregated socially, as were females with and without young. Resource selection function (RSF) models containing rugged terrain, intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and open landcover types best explained resource selection by each sex, female reproductive classes, and all sheep combined. For male and all female models, most coefficients were similar, suggesting little difference in summer habitat selection between sexes at the landscape scale. A combined RSF model therefore may be used to predict the relative probability of resource selection by Dall’s sheep in WRST regardless of sex or reproductive status.

  6. Habitat selection and movements of Piping Plover broods suggest a tradeoff between breeding stages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Anteau, Michael J.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Pearse, Aaron T.

    2015-01-01

    In precocial birds, adults select breeding areas using cues associated with habitat characteristics that are favorable for nesting success and chick survival, but there may be tradeoffs in habitat selection between these breeding stages. Here we describe habitat selection and intra-territory movements of 53 Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) broods (320 observations) during the 2007–2008 breeding seasons on mainland- and island-shoreline habitats at Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, USA. We used remotely sensed habitat characteristics to separately examine habitat selection and movements at two spatiotemporal scales to account for potential confounding effects of nest-site selection on brood-rearing habitat used. The scales used were (1) the entire brood-rearing period within available brood-rearing areas and (2) 2-day observation intervals within age-specific discrete habitat selection choice sets. Analyses at both scales indicated that broods selected areas which were non-vegetated, moderately level, and nearer to the shoreline. Rate of brood movement increased with age up to 5 days, then stabilized; broods that hatched >50 m away from the shoreline moved toward the shoreline. Brood movements were greater when they were in vegetated areas, when the brood-rearing area was of greater topographic complexity, and when broods aged 6–25 days were further away from the shoreline. Using inferences from our results and those of previously published work, we postulate how a potential tradeoff in habitat selection between nesting and brood-rearing can contribute to an ecological trap in a novel habitat. This work, in the context of published works, suggests that plover breeding habitat is a complex of both nesting and brood-rearing habitats and provides a basis for making remotely sensed abundance estimates of suitable breeding habitat for Piping Plovers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilse Storch

    2002-06-01

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

  8. Quantity, structure, and habitat selection of natural spawning reefs by walleyes in a north temperate lake: A multiscale analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raabe, Joshua K.; Bozek, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    Spawning habitat, the cornerstone of self-sustaining, naturally reproducing walleyeSander vitreus populations, has received limited quantitative research. Our goal was to quantitatively describe the structure and quantity of natural walleye spawning habitat and evaluate potential selection of habitat in Big Crooked Lake, Wisconsin. In 2004 and 2005, we located and delineated walleye egg deposition polygons through visual snorkel and scuba surveys. We also delineated recently deposited, adhesive egg patches daily along one spawning reef in 2005. To determine habitat selection, we quantified and compared spawning and lakewide available habitat at different scales. In both years, walleyes used similar spawning habitat, including three geomorphic types: linear shorelines, a point bar, and an island. Walleyes used only 14% of the entire lake shoreline and 39% of the shoreline comprised of gravel (6.4–76.0 mm), cobble (76.1–149.9 mm), or coarser substrates for spawning in 2005, indicating selection of specific spawning habitat. Lakewide, walleyes spawned close to shore (outer egg deposition polygon boundary mean distance = 2.7 m), in shallow water (outer egg deposition polygon boundary mean depth = 0.3 m), and over gravel substrate (percent coverage mean = 64.3) having low embeddedness (mean = 1.30). Our best nearshore (0–13-m) resource selection function predicted an increase in the relative probability of egg deposition with the increasing abundance of gravel, cobble, and rubble (150.0–303.9-mm) substrates and a decrease with increasing distance from shore and water depth (89.9% overall correct classification). Adhesive egg patches confirmed that walleyes actively chose nearshore, shallow-water, and coarse-substrate spawning habitat. The quantitative habitat information and predictive models will assist biologists in developing walleye spawning reef protection strategies and potentially aid in designing and evaluating artificial spawning reefs.

  9. Quantification of fish habitat in selected reaches of the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes Rivers, Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimann, David C.; Richards, Joseph M.; Brewer, Shannon K.; Norman, Richard D.

    2005-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, undertook a study to quantify fish habitat by using relations between streamflow and the spatial and temporal distributions of fish habitat at five sites in the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes Rivers in western Missouri. Twenty-six fish habitat categories were selected for nine species under varying seasonal (spring, summer, and fall), diel (summer day and night), and life-stage (spawning, juvenile, and adult) conditions. Physical habitat characteristics were determined for each category using depth, velocity, and channel substrate criteria. Continuous streamflow data were then combined with the habitat-streamflow relations to compile a habitat time series for each habitat category at each site. Fish habitat categories were assessed as to their vulnerability to habitat alteration based on critical life stages (spawning and juvenile rearing periods) and susceptibility to habitat limitations from dewatering or high flows. Species categories representing critical life stages with physical habitat limitations represent likely bottlenecks in fish populations. Categories with potential bottlenecks can serve as indicator categories and aid managers when determining the flows necessary for maintaining these habitats under altered flow regimes. The relation between the area of each habitat category and streamflow differed greatly between category, season, and stream reach. No single flow maximized selected habitat area for all categories or even for all species/category within a particular season at a site. However, some similarities were noted among habitat characteristics, including the streamflow range for which habitat availability is maximized and the range of streamflows for which a habitat category area is available at the Marmaton River sites. A monthly habitat time series was created for all 26 habitat categories at two Marmaton River sites. A daily habitat time series was

  10. The influence of mitigation on sage-grouse habitat selection within an energy development field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  11. The influence of mitigation on sage-grouse habitat selection within an energy development field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedy, Bradley C; Kirol, Christopher P; Sutphin, Andrew L; Maechtle, Thomas L

    2015-01-01

    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 implemented may

  12. Daytime habitat selection for juvenile parr brown trout (Salmo trutta) in small lowland streams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, J.; Boegh, E.; Olsen, M.;

    2014-01-01

    was determined for the four variables; water velocity, water depth, substrate and cover, and the preferences for physical habitat selection were expressed in terms of habitat suitability indices (HSI's). The statistical confidence of HSI's was evaluated using power analysis. It was found that a minimum of 22......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...... fish observations was needed to have statistical confidence in the HSIs for water depth, and a minimum of 92 fish observations for water velocity during daytime summer conditions. Generally parr were utilising the deeper habitats, indicating preference for deeper water. Cover was also being selected...

  13. Comparation of logistic regression methods and discrete choice model in the selection of habitats Comparação dos métodos regressão logística e modelo de escolha discreta na seleção de habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Vergara Cardozo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on a review of most recent data analyses on resource selection by animals as well as on recent suggestions that indicate the lack of an unified statistical theory that shows how resource selection can be detected and measured, the authors suggest that the concept of resource selection function (RSF can be the base for the development of a theory. The revision of discrete choice models (DCM is suggested as an approximation to estimate the RSF when the choice of animal or groups of animals involves different sets of available resource units. The definition of RSF requires that the resource which is being studied consists of discrete units. The statistical method often used to estimate the RSF is the logistic regression but DCM can also be used. The theory of DCM has been well developed for the analysis of data sets involving choices of products by humans, but it can also be applicable to the choice of habitat by animals, with some modifications. The comparison of the logistic regression with the DCM for one choice is made because the coefficient estimates of the logistic regression model include an intercept, which are not presented by the DCM. The objective of this work was to compare the estimates of the RSF obtained by applying the logistic regression and the DCM to the data set on habitat selection of the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis in the north west of the United States.Baseado em revisão mais recente de análises de dados em seleção de recurso pelos animais e com as mais recentes sugestões, que indicam a falta de uma teoria estatística unificada que mostre como a seleção do recurso pode ser detectada e medida, os autores sugerem que o conceito da função da seleção do recurso (RSF pode ser a base do desenvolvimento da teoria. A revisão de modelos de escolha discreta (DCM é sugerida como uma aproximação para estimar a RSF quando a escolha do animal os grupos de animais envolvem diferentes conjuntos de unidades de

  14. Group-size-mediated habitat selection and group fusion-fission dynamics of bison under predation risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortin, Daniel; Fortin, Marie-Eve; Beyer, Hawthorne L; Duchesne, Thierry; Courant, Sabrina; Dancose, Karine

    2009-09-01

    For gregarious animals the cost-benefit trade-offs that drive habitat selection may vary dynamically with group size, which plays an important role in foraging and predator avoidance strategies. We examined how habitat selection by bison (Bison bison) varied as a function of group size and interpreted these patterns by testing whether habitat selection was more strongly driven by the competing demands of forage intake vs. predator avoidance behavior. We developed an analytical framework that integrated group size into resource selection functions (RSFs). These group-size-dependent RSFs were based on a matched case-control design and were estimated using conditional logistic regression (mixed and population-averaged models). Fitting RSF models to bison revealed that bison groups responded to multiple aspects of landscape heterogeneity and that selection varied seasonally and as a function of group size. For example, roads were selected in summer, but not in winter. Bison groups avoided areas of high snow water equivalent in winter. They selected areas composed of a large proportion of meadow area within a 700-m radius, and within those areas, bison selected meadows. Importantly, the strength of selection for meadows varied as a function of group size, with stronger selection being observed in larger groups. Hence the bison-habitat relationship depended in part on the dynamics of group formation and division. Group formation was most likely in meadows. In contrast, risk of group fission increased when bison moved into the forest and was higher during the time of day when movements are generally longer and more variable among individuals. We also found that stronger selection for meadows by large rather than small bison groups was caused by longer residence time in individual meadows by larger groups and that departure from meadows appears unlikely to result from a depression in food intake rate. These group-size-dependent patterns were consistent with the hypothesis

  15. Glacial Refugia and Future Habitat Coverage of Selected Dactylorhiza Representatives (Orchidaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    The intensively discussed taxonomic complexity of the Dactylorhiza genus is probably correlated with its migration history during glaciations and interglacial periods. Previous studies on past processes affecting the current distribution of Dactylorhiza species as well as the history of the polyploid complex formation were based only on molecular data. In the present study the ecological niche modeling (ENM) technique was applied in order to describe the distribution of potential refugia for the selected Dactylorhiza representatives during the Last Glacial Maximum. Additionally, future changes in their potential habitat coverage were measured with regard to three various climatic change scenarios. The maximum entropy method was used to create models of suitable niche distribution. A database of Dactylorhiza localities was prepared on the grounds of information collected from literature and data gathered during field works. Our research indicated that the habitats of majority of the studied taxa will decrease by 2080, except for D. incarnata var. incarnata, for which suitable habitats will increase almost two-fold in the global scale. Moreover, the potential habitats of some taxa are located outside their currently known geographical ranges, e.g. the Aleutian Islands, the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Newfoundland, southern Greenland and Iceland. ENM analysis did not confirm that the Balkans, central Europe or central Russia served as the most important refugia for individual representatives of the Dactylorhiza incarnata/maculata complex. Our study rather indicated that the Black Sea coast, southern Apennines and Corsica were the main areas characterized by habitats suitable for most of the taxa. PMID:26599630

  16. Modeling Impacts of Climate Change on Giant Panda Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Songer

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Scale dependence in habitat selection: The case of the endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Cantabrian Range (NW Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo Sanchez; Samuel A. Cushman; Santiago Saura

    2013-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Pin Lin

    2015-07-01

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

  20. The influence of food abundance, food dispersion and habitat structure on territory selection and size of an Afrotropical terrestrial insectivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Thomas R.; Newmark, William D.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  1. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus) using reservoir shoreline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T

    2012-01-01

    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.

  2. Selection Indicates Preference in Diverse Habitats: A Ground-Nesting Bird (Charadrius melodus) Using Reservoir Shoreline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    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 m2) 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. PMID:22299037

  3. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus using reservoir shoreline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Habitat selection for parasite-free space by hosts of parasitic cowbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsman, J.T.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  5. Do Invasive Fire Ants Affect Habitat Selection within a Small Mammal Community?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendee N. Holtcamp

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Animals must balance foraging with the need to avoid predators and risky habitats that decrease their fitness, and at the same time they must cope with competitors vying for habitat and resources. We examined how habitat selection and population density of four native small mammals were altered by the presence of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta. When population size was low, hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus and pigmy mice (Baiomys taylori as well as white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus used the “safe”, low fire ant habitat, as predicted by theories of density-dependent habitat selection. However, as fire ant population sizes expanded, cotton rats appeared to displace pigmy mice into the fire ant-dense grassland drainage while white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus displaced all the other small mammals from low fire ant forest/brushland habitat.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

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

  7. Wetland habitat selection by woodland caribou as characterized using the Alberta Wetland Inventory

    OpenAIRE

    W. Kent Brown; W. James Rettie; Bob Wynes; Kim Morton

    2011-01-01

    We examined habitat selection by woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in northwestern Alberta based on a wetland classification system developed for the Alberta Vegetation Inventory. Our two objectives were to describe caribou habitat use, and to assess the utility of the wetland classification system in land-use planning on caribou range. We used a geographical information system to overlay the locations of radio-collared caribou on the habitat map. Using a "moving-window" analysis o...

  8. Sensitivity of resource selection and connectivity models to landscape definition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katherine A. Zeller; Kevin McGarigal; Samuel A. Cushman; Paul Beier; T. Winston Vickers; Walter M. Boyce

    2017-01-01

    Context: The definition of the geospatial landscape is the underlying basis for species-habitat models, yet sensitivity of habitat use inference, predicted probability surfaces, and connectivity models to landscape definition has received little attention. Objectives: We evaluated the sensitivity of resource selection and connectivity models to four landscape...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Modelling climate change impacts on stream habitat conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  12. Insect avoidance may override human disturbances in reindeer habitat selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Skarin

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Habitat selection of semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus was investigated through faecal pellet- group counts and by direct observations of reindeer from helicopter in the Långfjället area in Idre reindeer herding district (62˚10’N and in Mittådalen reindeer herding district (62˚50’N, aerial observations only. Reindeer pellets were found to be most abundant in habitats at high altitudes, and in some vegetation types. Pellet-group densities tended to be higher near the tourist trails, which often follow higher altitudes in the terrain. The aerial surveys showed that the reindeer moved towards higher altitudes when the wind speed was low and the temperature was high both in June and July. In June they moved towards lower regions when temperature was low and the wind speed was strong. The conclusion is that the reindeer use Långfjället to escape insect harassment and warm weather, even though disturbance by tourism sometimes is high.Abstract in Swedish / Sammanfattning:Habitatval hos tamren (Rangifer tarandus tarandus undersöktes genom att göra en spillningsinventering och genom att göra flygobservationer från helikopter. Studien gjordes på Långfjället (62˚10’N i Idre nya sameby och i Mittådalens samebys sommarbetesområde (62˚50’N, endast flygobservationer. På Långfjället finns det vandringsleder som är frekventerade av vandrare från juni månad fram till september. Spillningen visade att renarna föredrog höjderna i området samt en del av vegetationstyperna. Det var också mer spillning närmare vandringslederna. Detta kan förklaras av att vandringslederna följer höjderna i terrängen. Flyginventeringarna under både juni och juli visade att renarna rörde sig mot högre terräng när det var varmt och lugnt väder. I juni rörde dom sig också i lägre terräng när det var stark vind och kallt väder. Slutsatsen är att renarna väljer att vistas i högre terräng för att undvika st

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Habitat selection is unaltered after severe insect infestation: Concerns for forest-dependent species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire A. Zugmeyer; John L. Koprowski

    2009-01-01

    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...

  15. Space and Habitat Selection by Female European Wild Cats (Felis silvestris silvestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarroso, P.

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Studies on the use of space and habitat selection of threatened species are useful for identifying factors that influence fitness of individuals and population viability. However, there is a considerable lack of published information regarding these factors for the European wildcat (Felis silvestris. Serra da Malcata Nature Reserve (SMNR, a mountainous area in the eastern centre of Portugal, hosts a stable wildcat population which constitutes a priority in terms of conservation. We studied space use and habitat selection of female wildcats in SMNR with the following objectives: 1 to describe seasonal space use and habitat selection and 2 to obtain information on priority habitats for wildcats in order to develop a proper conservation strategy. We used radio-telemetry as the basic tool for our study and we analysed habitat selection using an Euclidean distance-based approach to investigate seasonal and annual habitat selection by wildcats. We detected that during spring females exhibit smaller home ranges and core areas. Females exhibited habitat selection for establishing home ranges from the available habitats within the study area. In fact, females selected Quercus pyrenaica forests and Quercus rotundifolia and Arbutus unedo forests positively and avoided Erica spp. and Cistus ladanifer scrubland and other habitats. Quercus pyrenaica forests and Quercus rotundifolia and Arbutus unedo forests are important habitats for female wildcats because they provide shelter and food resources, such as small mammals. They also contain elevated tree cavities which can be use as dens. In contrast, Erica spp. and Cistus ladanifer scrubland is an extremely dense habitat with low associated biodiversity and so wildcats avoid it. We believe that this habitat, as well as pine stands, do not provide food and cover resources for wildcats. Home ranges with higher percentage of these habitat types tend to be larger, since females are required to use larger areas to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalisa Falace

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmoos, Michael; Henle, Klaus

    2010-11-01

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

  19. Distinct Habitats Select Particular Bacterial Communities in Mangrove Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidianne L. Rocha

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. Habitat selection by chironomid larvae: fast growth requires fast food

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haas, de E.M.; Wagner, C.; Koelmans, A.A.; Kraak, M.H.S.; Admiraal, W.

    2006-01-01

    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

  1. Daytime habitat selection for juvenile parr brown trout (Salmo trutta in small lowland streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conallin J.

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Physical habitat is important in determining the carrying capacity of juvenile brown trout, and within freshwater management. Summer daytime physical habitat selection for the parr lifestage (7–20 cm juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta was assessed in 6 small lowland streams. Habitat preference was determined for the four variables; water velocity, water depth, substrate and cover, and the preferences for physical habitat selection were expressed in terms of habitat suitability indices (HSI’s. The statistical confidence of HSI’s was evaluated using power analysis. It was found that a minimum of 22 fish observations was needed to have statistical confidence in the HSIs for water depth, and a minimum of 92 fish observations for water velocity during daytime summer conditions. Generally parr were utilising the deeper habitats, indicating preference for deeper water. Cover was also being selected for at all sites, but selection was inconsistent among sites for the variables substrate and velocity. The results indicate that during daytime summer conditions water depth is a significant variable for parr habitat selection in these small lowland streams, with cover also being important. Therefore, daytime refugia may be a critical limiting factor for parr in small lowland streams, and important for stream management actions under the Water Framework Directive.

  2. Habitat selection and behaviour of a reintroduced passerine: linking experimental restoration, behaviour and habitat ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria A Bennett

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration can play an important role in recovering functioning ecosystems and improving biodiversity. Restoration may be particularly important in improving habitat prior to species reintroductions. We reintroduced seven brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus social groups into two nature reserves in the Australian Capital Territory in south-eastern Australia. This study provided a unique opportunity to understand the interactions between restoration ecology, behavioural ecology and habitat ecology. We examined how experimental restoration treatments (addition of coarse woody debris, variations in ground vegetation cover and nest box installation influenced the behaviour and microhabitat use of radio-tracked individuals to evaluate the success of restoration treatments. The addition of coarse woody debris benefited the brown treecreeper through increasing the probability of foraging on a log or on the ground. This demonstrated the value of using behaviour as a bio-indicator for restoration success. Based on previous research, we predicted that variations in levels of ground vegetation cover would influence behaviour and substrate use, particularly that brown treecreepers would choose sites with sparse ground cover because this allows better access to food and better vigilance for predators. However, there was little effect of this treatment, which was likely influenced by the limited overall use of the ground layer. There was also little effect of nest boxes on behaviour or substrate use. These results somewhat confound our understanding of the species based on research from extant populations. Our results also have a significant impact regarding using existing knowledge on a species to inform how it will respond to reintroduction and habitat restoration. This study also places great emphasis on the value of applying an experimental framework to ecological restoration, particularly when reintroductions produce unexpected outcomes.

  3. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Modeling predator habitat to enhance reintroduction planning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Thermoregulation and habitat selection in wood turtles Glyptemys insculpta: chasing the sun slowly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubois, Y; Blouin-Demers, G; Shipley, B; Thomas, D

    2009-09-01

    1. It is widely accepted that reptiles are able to regulate behaviourally their body temperature (T(b)), but this generalization is primarily based on studies of lizards and snakes in the temperate zone. Because the precision of T(b) regulation may vary considerably between taxa and over geographical ranges, studies of semi-terrestrial turtles in climatic extremes are relevant to the understanding of reptilian thermoregulation. 2. We studied thermoregulation in 21 free-ranging wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) at the northern limit of their range in Québec, using miniature data loggers to measure their internal T(b) and external temperature (T(ext)) continuously. We simultaneously recorded the available operative environmental temperature (T(e)) using 23 physical models randomly moved within each habitat type, and we located turtles using radiotelemetry. 3. The habitat used by wood turtles was thermally constraining and the target temperature (T(set)) was only achievable by basking during a short 5-h time window on sunny days. Wood turtles did show thermoregulatory abilities, as determined by the difference between turtle T(b) distribution and the null distribution of T(e) that resulted in T(b) closer to T(set). Although most individuals regulated their T(b) between 09.00 h and 16.00 h on sunny days, regulation was imprecise, as indicated by an index of thermoregulation precision (| T(b) - T(set) |). 4. The comparison of habitat use to availability indicated selection of open habitats. The hourly mean shuttling index (| T(ext) - T(b) |) suggested that turtles used sun/shade shuttling from 09.00 to 16.00 h to elevate their T(b) above mean T(e). 5. Based on laboratory respirometry data, turtles increased their metabolic rate by 20-26% over thermoconformity, and thus likely increased their energy gain which is assumed to be constrained by processing rate at climatic extremes.

  6. Multiscale habitat selection of wetland birds in the northern Gulf Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickens, Bradley A.; King, Sammy L.

    2014-01-01

    The spatial scale of habitat selection has become a prominent concept in ecology, but has received less attention in coastal ecology. In coastal marshes, broad-scale marsh types are defined by vegetation composition over thousands of hectares, water-level management is applied over hundreds of hectares, and fine-scale habitat is depicted by tens of meters. Individually, these scales are known to affect wetland fauna, but studies have not examined all three spatial scales simultaneously. We investigated wetland bird habitat selection at the three scales and compared single- and multiscale models. From 2009 to 2011, we surveyed marsh birds (i.e., Rallidae, bitterns, grebes), shorebirds, and wading birds in fresh and intermediate (oligohaline) coastal marsh in Louisiana and Texas, USA. Within each year, six repeated surveys of wintering, resident, and migratory breeding birds were conducted at > 100 points (n = 304). The results revealed fine-scale factors, primarily water depth, were consistently better predictors than marsh type or management. However, 10 of 11 species had improved models with the three scales combined. Birds with a linear association with water depth were, correspondingly, most abundant with deeper fresh marsh and permanently impounded water. Conversely, intermediate marsh had a greater abundance of shallow water species, such as king rail Rallus elegans, least bittern Ixobrychus exilis, and sora Porzana carolina. These birds had quadratic relationships with water depth or no relationship. Overall, coastal birds were influenced by multiple scales corresponding with hydrological characteristics. The effects suggest the timing of drawdowns and interannual variability in spring water levels can greatly affect wetland bird abundance.

  7. Model Selection for Geostatistical Models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeting, Jennifer A.; Davis, Richard A.; Merton, Andrew A.; Thompson, Sandra E.

    2006-02-01

    We consider the problem of model selection for geospatial data. Spatial correlation is typically ignored in the selection of explanatory variables and this can influence model selection results. For example, the inclusion or exclusion of particular explanatory variables may not be apparent when spatial correlation is ignored. To address this problem, we consider the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) as applied to a geostatistical model. We offer a heuristic derivation of the AIC in this context and provide simulation results that show that using AIC for a geostatistical model is superior to the often used approach of ignoring spatial correlation in the selection of explanatory variables. These ideas are further demonstrated via a model for lizard abundance. We also employ the principle of minimum description length (MDL) to variable selection for the geostatistical model. The effect of sampling design on the selection of explanatory covariates is also explored.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  9. Roosting habitat use and selection by northern spotted owls during natal dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sovern, Stan G.; Forsman, Eric D.; Dugger, Catherine M.; Taylor, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    We studied habitat selection by northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) during natal dispersal in Washington State, USA, at both the roost site and landscape scales. We used logistic regression to obtain parameters for an exponential resource selection function based on vegetation attributes in roost and random plots in 76 forest stands that were used for roosting. We used a similar analysis to evaluate selection of landscape habitat attributes based on 301 radio-telemetry relocations and random points within our study area. We found no evidence of within-stand selection for any of the variables examined, but 78% of roosts were in stands with at least some large (>50 cm dbh) trees. At the landscape scale, owls selected for stands with high canopy cover (>70%). Dispersing owls selected vegetation types that were more similar to habitat selected by adult owls than habitat that would result from following guidelines previously proposed to maintain dispersal habitat. Our analysis indicates that juvenile owls select stands for roosting that have greater canopy cover than is recommended in current agency guidelines.

  10. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Rode, Karyn D; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-08-17

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffery L. Larkin

    2004-12-01

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

  12. Habitat selection by three littoral zone fishes: effects of predation pressure, plant density and macrophyte type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chick, J.H.; McIvor, C.C.

    1997-01-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments which demonstrated that three littoral zone fishes differentially selected among three macrophytes when seeking refuge from predation. In the presence of a predator (a juvenile Micropterus salmoides), mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna). and dollar sunfish (Lepomis marginatus) displayed ferential use of four tank areas containing patches of either Hydrilla verticillata, Potamogeton illinoensis, Panicum hemitomon, or no plants. Patterns habitat selection, and the consistency of these patterns among replicates, differed among the three fishes and among three plant-density treatments - natural (each macrophyte presented at its mean field density), equal (all three macrophytes at the same density), and control (no plants). Selection for H. verticillata by mosquitofish was significant for both the equal and natural treatments, and thus was not caused by differences in plant density alone. Sailfin mollies displayed significant selection for H. verticillata only in the natural plant-density treatments. Dollar sunfish showed less consistent habitat selection than either mosquitofish or sailfin mollies. Significant habitat selection was not found in the absence of a predator, and there was no evidence for lection among the tank areas in control treatments. Patterns of habitat selection by the three fishes in our laboratory study corresponded to observed habitat use in Lake Okeechobee.

  13. Space Use and Habitat Selection by Resident and Transient Red Wolves (Canis rufus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinton, Joseph W; Proctor, Christine; Kelly, Marcella J; van Manen, Frank T; Vaughan, Michael R; Chamberlain, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Selecting habitat to survive: the impact of road density on survival in a large carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Basille

    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.

  15. Maladaptive habitat selection of a migratory passerine bird in a human-modified landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. Resampling method for applying density-dependent habitat selection theory to wildlife surveys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Tardy

    Full Text Available 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

  17. Correlated percolation models of structured habitat in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Combining information from range use and habitat selection: sex-specific spatial responses to habitat fragmentation in tawny owls Strix aluco

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sunde, Peter; Redpath, Stephen M.

    2006-01-01

    by measuring the spatial responses of tawny owls to habitat fragmentation. These owls inhabited woodland of various sizes, representing a fragmentation gradient from open farmland with small, isolated woodland patches, to continuous woodland within their home ranges. In 17 territories within open farmland......How individuals respond to habitat heterogeneity is usually measured as variation in range size and by ranking the relative importance of habitat types (habitat selection). The combined effect of how individuals incorporate different habitat types in their home ranges and allocate their time budget...... between them is rarely derived. Additionally, when home range size varies between individuals, habitat selection analyses might be flawed if foraging decisions are based on variation in absolute rather than proportional availability. We investigated the suitability of standard analytical approaches...

  19. Monitoring and mapping selected riparian habitat along the lower Snake River

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    1996-01-01

    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.

  20. Habitat selection of stone and starry flounders in an estuary in relation to feeding and survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomiyama, Takeshi; Omori, Michio

    2008-09-01

    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 (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.

  1. Wetland habitat selection by woodland caribou as characterized using the Alberta Wetland Inventory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Kent Brown

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available We examined habitat selection by woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in northwestern Alberta based on a wetland classification system developed for the Alberta Vegetation Inventory. Our two objectives were to describe caribou habitat use, and to assess the utility of the wetland classification system in land-use planning on caribou range. We used a geographical information system to overlay the locations of radio-collared caribou on the habitat map. Using a "moving-window" analysis of habitat availability, we examined patterns of habitat selection by 16 individual female caribou during five seasons annually over two years. We did not detect significant differences in habitat selection patterns among seasons. Caribou showed significant preferences for both bogs and fens with low to moderate tree cover relative to marshes, uplands, heavily forested wetlands, water, and areas of human use. The wetland classification system appears to have value for broad-scale planning of industrial activity on caribou range. More-detailed descriptions of vegetation, especially understory species, are required to refine this system for operational-level forest harvest planning.

  2. Effects of interspecific interaction-linked habitat factors on moose resource selection and environmental stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Heng; Fryxell, John M; Liu, Hui; Dou, Hongliang; Ma, Yingjie; Jiang, Guangshun

    2017-01-27

    Resource selection of herbivores is a complex ecological process that operates in relation to biological or non-biological factors, which may affect the feeding and movement, and subsequently their spatial distribution and environmental stress. Here, we estimated moose (Alces alces cameloides) resource selection for habitat variables and the effect of interspecific interactions related to roe deer (Capreolus pygargus bedfordi) on its population distribution and environmental stress in the Khingan Mountain region of northeast China at local and regional scales. Different response patterns of moose resource selection, spatial distribution, and environmental stress to interspecific interaction-linked habitat factors were shown at the two scales. A general ecological chain, response of moose to interspecific interaction-linked habitat factors, was exhibited at the regional scale, and at the local scale, heterogeneous responses, linkages of habitat selection and environmental stress of moose population might be driven by different interspecific interaction patterns. Our study firstly suggested that moose resource selection, food availability, diet quality, population density and environmental stress indicators were impacted by interactions with the distribution of other sympatric herbivore species and showed differences in ecological response chains at various spatial scales. These findings are useful for sympatric herbivore assembly conservation, habitat quality monitoring and management.

  3. Habitat utilization and prey selection of the kestrel Falco tinnunculus in relation to small mammal abundance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Casagrande, S.; Nieder, L.; Di Minin, E.; La Fata, I.; Csermely, D.

    2008-01-01

    The study examined habitat utilization and prey selection by the kestrel Falco tinnunculus in an area of cultivated farmland in Italy, along with field estimates of small mammal abundance. Kestrel males were radiotagged and ranging behaviour and diet were recorded. Kestrels actively selected

  4. Movement reveals scale dependence in habitat selection of a large ungulate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northrup, Joseph M; Anderson, Charles R; Hooten, Mevin B; Wittemyer, George

    2016-12-01

    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 habitat

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. LiDAR Remote Sensing of Forest Structure and GPS Telemetry Data Provide Insights on Winter Habitat Selection of European Roe Deer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ewald

    2014-06-01

    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.

  7. Recruiter Selection Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-05-01

    interests include feature selection, statistical learning, multivariate statistics, market research, and classification. He may be contacted at...current youth market , and reducing barriers to Army enlistment. Part of the Army Recruiting Initiatives was the creation of a recruiter selection...Selection Model DevelPed by the Openuier Reseach Crate of E...lneSstm Erapseeeng Depce-teo, WViitd Ntt. siliec Academy, NW..t Point, 271 Weau/’itt 21M

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ruoh Juang

    2017-02-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andreas; EISNER; Silke; WIEPRECHT; Matthias; SCHNEIDER

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Feedbacks between community assembly and habitat selection shape variation in local colonization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, J.M.; Vonesh, J.R.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  12. Dynamic habitat selection by two wading bird species with divergent foraging strategies in a seasonally fluctuating wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, J.M.; Gawlik, D.E.; Herring, G.; Cook, Mark I.

    2011-01-01

    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. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2011.

  13. Space Use and Habitat Selection by Resident and Transient Coyotes (Canis latrans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph W Hinton

    Full Text Available Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2. Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009-2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as "biding" areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.

  14. Space Use and Habitat Selection by Resident and Transient Coyotes (Canis latrans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinton, Joseph W; van Manen, Frank T; Chamberlain, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009-2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as "biding" areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.

  15. Spatial variation in breeding habitat selection by Cerulean Warblers (Setophaga cerulea) throughout the Appalachian Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boves, Than J.; Buehler, David A.; Sheehan, James; Wood, Petra Bohall; Rodewald, Amanda D.; Larkin, Jeffrey L.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Newell, Felicity L.; Evans, Andrea; George, Gregory A.; Wigley, T.B.

    2013-01-01

    Studies of habitat selection are often of limited utility because they focus on small geographic areas, fail to examine behavior at multiple scales, or lack an assessment of the fitness consequences of habitat decisions. These limitations can hamper the identification of successful site-specific management strategies, which are urgently needed for severely declining species like Cerulean Warblers (Setophaga cerulea). We assessed how breeding habitat decisions made by Cerulean Warblers at multiple scales, and the subsequent effects of these decisions on nest survival, varied across the Appalachian Mountains. Selection for structural habitat features varied substantially among areas, particularly at the territory scale. Males within the least-forested landscapes selected microhabitat features that reflected more closed-canopy forest conditions, whereas males in highly forested landscapes favored features associated with canopy disturbance. Selection of nest-patch and nest-site attributes by females was more consistent across areas, with females selecting for increased tree size and understory cover and decreased basal area and midstory cover. Floristic preferences were similar across study areas: White Oak (Quercus alba), Cucumber-tree (Magnolia acuminata), and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) were preferred as nest trees, whereas red oak species (subgenus Erythrobalanus) and Red Maple (A. rubrum) were avoided. The habitat features that were related to nest survival also varied among study areas, and preferred features were negatively associated with nest survival at one area. Thus, our results indicate that large-scale spatial heterogeneity may influence local habitat-selection behavior and that it may be necessary to articulate site-specific management strategies for Cerulean Warblers.

  16. Space use and habitat selection by resident and transient coyotes (Canis latrans)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinton, Joseph W; van Manen, Frank T.; Chamberlain, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009–2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as “biding” areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Vanderwel

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Habitat selection of endemic birds in temperate forests in a biodiversity "Hotspot"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto A. Moreno-García

    2014-08-01

    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.

  20. Habitat Selectivity and Reliance on Live Corals for Indo-Pacific Hawkfishes (Family: Cirrhitidae)

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2015-11-03

    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.

  1. An appraisal of the fitness consequences of forest disturbance for wildlife using habitat selection theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodson, James; Fortin, Daniel; Leblanc, Mélanie-Louise; Bélanger, Louis

    2010-09-01

    Isodar theory can help to unveil the fitness consequences of habitat disturbance for wildlife through an evaluation of adaptive habitat selection using patterns of animal abundance in adjacent habitats. By incorporating measures of disturbance intensity or variations in resource availability into fitness-density functions, we can evaluate the functional form of isodars expected under different disturbance-fitness relationships. Using this framework, we investigated how a gradient of forest harvesting disturbance and differences in resource availability influenced habitat quality for snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) using pairs of logged and uncut boreal forest. Isodars for both species had positive intercepts, indicating reductions to maximum potential fitness in logged stands. Habitat selection by hares depended on both conspecific density and differences in canopy cover between harvested and uncut stands. Fitness-density curves for hares in logged stands were predicted to shift from diverging to converging with those in uncut forest across a gradient of high to low disturbance intensity. Selection for uncut forests thus became less pronounced with increasing population size at low levels of logging disturbance. Voles responded to differences in moss cover between habitats which reflected moisture availability. Lower moss cover in harvested stands either reduced maximum potential fitness or increased the relative rate of decline in fitness with density. Differences in vole densities between harvested and uncut stands were predicted, however, to diminish as populations increased. Our findings underscore the importance of accounting for density-dependent behaviors when evaluating how changing habitat conditions influence animal distribution.

  2. Raccoon spatial requirements and multi-scale habitat selection within an intensively managed central Appalachian forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Sheldon F.; Berl, Jacob L.; Edwards, John W.; Ford, W. Mark; Wood, Petra Bohall

    2015-01-01

    We studied a raccoon (Procyon lotor) population within a managed central Appalachian hardwood forest in West Virginia to investigate the effects of intensive forest management on raccoon spatial requirements and habitat selection. Raccoon home-range (95% utilization distribution) and core-area (50% utilization distribution) size differed between sexes with males maintaining larger (2×) home ranges and core areas than females. Home-range and core-area size did not differ between seasons for either sex. We used compositional analysis to quantify raccoon selection of six different habitat types at multiple spatial scales. Raccoons selected riparian corridors (riparian management zones [RMZ]) and intact forests (> 70 y old) at the core-area spatial scale. RMZs likely were used by raccoons because they provided abundant denning resources (i.e., large-diameter trees) as well as access to water. Habitat composition associated with raccoon foraging locations indicated selection for intact forests, riparian areas, and regenerating harvest (stands raccoons were able to utilize multiple habitat types for foraging resources, a selection of intact forest and RMZs at multiple spatial scales indicates the need of mature forest (with large-diameter trees) for this species in managed forests in the central Appalachians.

  3. The effect of adult aggression on habitat selection by settlers of two coral-dwelling damselfishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ofer Ben-Tzvi

    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.

  4. Evaluation of habitat quality for selected wildlife species associated with back channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, James T.; Zadnik, Andrew K.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Bledsoe, Kerry

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. Cleaner wrasse influence habitat selection of young damselfish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, D.; Cheney, K. L.; Werminghausen, J.; McClure, E. C.; Meekan, M. G.; McCormick, M. I.; Cribb, T. H.; Grutter, A. S.

    2016-06-01

    The presence of bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, on coral reefs increases total abundance and biodiversity of reef fishes. The mechanism(s) that cause such shifts in population structure are unclear, but it is possible that young fish preferentially settle into microhabitats where cleaner wrasse are present. As a first step to investigate this possibility, we conducted aquarium experiments to examine whether settlement-stage and young juveniles of ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, selected a microhabitat near a cleaner wrasse (adult or juvenile). Both settlement-stage (0 d post-settlement) and juvenile (~5 weeks post-settlement) fish spent a greater proportion of time in a microhabitat adjacent to L. dimidiatus than in one next to a control fish (a non-cleaner wrasse, Halichoeres melanurus) or one where no fish was present. This suggests that cleaner wrasse may serve as a positive cue during microhabitat selection. We also conducted focal observations of cleaner wrasse and counts of nearby damselfishes (1 m radius) to examine whether newly settled fish obtained direct benefits, in the form of cleaning services, from being near a cleaner wrasse. Although abundant, newly settled recruits (reinforces the potentially important role of mutualism during the processes of settlement and recruitment of young reef fishes.

  6. Seasonal habitat use and selection by grizzly bears in Northern British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    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

  7. Habitat selection of two island-associated dolphin species from the south-west Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condet, Manon; Dulau-Drouot, Violaine

    2016-08-01

    Identifying suitable habitats of protected species is an essential question in ecology and conservation planning. Modelling approaches have been widely used to identify environmental features that contribute to a species' ecological requirements and distribution. On Reunion Island, a fast-growing French territory located in the south-western Indian Ocean, anthropogenic impacts are mainly concentrated along the coast, representing a potential threat for Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner (Stenella longirostris) dolphins, two resident coastal species. Beside coastal development, commercial and recreational dolphin-watching are growing, particularly along the west coast. To promote effective local management, habitat modelling was applied using presence-only data collected from 2008 to 2012 on the west coast of the island. Ecological Niche Factor Analyses were used to investigate the effect of physiographic variables on the distribution of these two dolphin species and delineate suitable habitats. It was found that the core habitat of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins was mainly restricted by depth and confined to coastal waters ranging from 4.7 to 75.8 m deep. The species preferentially used soft substrates (sand and mud) and tended to be ubiquitous in terms of substrate type/color used. Foraging activities were significantly related to soft substrates. The diurnal core habitat of spinner dolphins was confined to one discrete area, on the flat portion of the insular shelf, between 45.1 m and 70.7 m of depth. Suitable habitat was mainly related to soft and light-colored substrates, with a clear avoidance of dark-colored substrates. The core habitats of both species were very restrained spatially and therefore vulnerable to human activities. The fine scale habitat mapping achieved in this study represents baseline data to conduct ad hoc impact assessment and support conservation actions.

  8. Selection of habitat by the jaguar, Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae, in the upper Paraná River, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laury Cullen Junior

    2013-08-01

    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.

  9. Habitat Selection by the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Microhabitat selection by marine mesoconsumers in a thermally heterogeneous habitat: behavioral thermoregulation or avoiding predation risk?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Mynnet, Arthur

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Ramey, R. Clay

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Redd Site Selection and Spawning Habitat Use by Fall Chinook Salmon, Hanford Reach, Columbia River : Final Report 1995 - 1998.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geist, David R.

    1999-05-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezza, Paolo; Comoglio, Claudio; Rosso, Maurizio

    2010-05-01

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

  18. Selective harvesting and habitat loss produce long-term life history changes in a mouflon population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garel, Mathieu; Cugnasse, Jean-Marc; Maillard, Daniel; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Hewison, A J Mark; Dubray, Dominique

    2007-09-01

    We examined the long-term effects (28 years) of habitat loss and phenotype-based selective harvest on body mass, horn size, and horn shape of mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon) in southern France. This population has experienced habitat deterioration (loss of 50.8% of open area) since its introduction in 1956 and unrestricted selective hunting of the largest horned males since 1973. Both processes are predicted to lead to a decrease in phenotype quality by decreasing habitat quality and by reducing the reproductive contribution of individuals carrying traits that are targeted by hunters. Body mass and body size of both sexes and horn measurements of males markedly decreased (by 3.4-38.3%) in all age classes from the 1970s. Lamb body mass varied in relation to the spatiotemporal variation of habitat closure within the hunting-free reserve, suggesting that habitat closure explains part of these changes. However, the fact that there was no significant spatial variation in body mass in the early part of the study, when a decline in phenotypic quality already had occurred, provided support for the influence of selective harvesting. We also found that the allometric relationship between horn breadth and horn length changed over the study period. For a given horn length, horn breadth was lower during the second part of the study. This result, as well as changes in horn curve diameter, supports the interpretation that selective harvesting of males based on their horn configuration had evolutionary consequences for horn shape, since this phenotypic trait is less likely to be affected by changes in habitat characteristics. Moreover, males required more time (approximately four years) to develop a desirable trophy, suggesting that trophy hunting favors the reproductive contribution of animals with slow-growing horns. Managers should exploit hunters' desire for trophy males to finance management strategies which ensure a balance between the population and its environment. However

  19. Phenology and cover of plant growth forms predict herbivore habitat selection in a high latitude ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Marianne; Fauchald, Per; Langeland, Knut; Ims, Rolf A; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Waterfowl habitat use and selection during the remigial moult period in the northern hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Anthony D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hohman, William L.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  2. Habitat manipulation influences northern bobwhite resource selection on a reclaimed surface mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, Jarred M.; Peters, David C.; Unger, Ashley M.; Tanner, Evan P.; Harper, Craig A.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Clark, Joseph D.; Morgan, John J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Landscape selection by piping plovers has implications for measuring habitat and population size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Sherfy, Mark H.

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Bed site selection by neonate deer in grassland habitats on the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    Bed site selection is an important behavioral trait influencing neonate survival. Vegetation characteristics of bed sites influence thermal protection of neonates and concealment from predators. Although previous studies describe bed site selection of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in regions of forested cover, none determined microhabitat effects on neonate bed site selection in the Northern Great Plains, an area of limited forest cover. During summers 2007–2009, we investigated bed site selection (n  =  152) by 81 radiocollared neonate white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota, USA. We documented 80 (52.6%) bed sites in tallgrass–Conservation Reserve Program lands, 35 (23.0%) bed sites in forested cover, and 37 (24.3%) in other habitats (e.g., pasture, alfalfa, wheat). Bed site selection varied with age and sex of neonate. Tree canopy cover (P ratio  =  1.035, 95% CI  =  1.008–1.062) for every 1-cm increase in vertical height of understory vegetation. Management for habitat throughout the grasslands of South Dakota that maximizes vertical height of understory vegetation would enhance cover characteristics selected by neonates.

  7. Using seabird habitat modeling to inform marine spatial planning in central California's National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Jennifer; Hines, Ellen; Elliott, Meredith; Howar, Julie; Dransfield, Andrea; Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime

    2013-01-01

    Understanding seabird habitat preferences is critical to future wildlife conservation and threat mitigation in California. The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of seabird habitat selection within the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries to identify areas for targeted conservation planning. We used seabird abundance data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies Program (ACCESS) from 2004-2011. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression to model species abundance and distribution as a function of near surface ocean water properties, distances to geographic features and oceanographic climate indices to identify patterns in foraging habitat selection. We evaluated seasonal, inter-annual and species-specific variability of at-sea distributions for the five most abundant seabirds nesting on the Farallon Islands: western gull (Larus occidentalis), common murre (Uria aalge), Cassin's auklet (Ptychorampus aleuticus), rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) and Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus). The waters in the vicinity of Cordell Bank and the continental shelf east of the Farallon Islands emerged as persistent and highly selected foraging areas across all species. Further, we conducted a spatial prioritization exercise to optimize seabird conservation areas with and without considering impacts of current human activities. We explored three conservation scenarios where 10, 30 and 50 percent of highly selected, species-specific foraging areas would be conserved. We compared and contrasted results in relation to existing marine protected areas (MPAs) and the future alternative energy footprint identified by the California Ocean Uses Atlas. Our results show that the majority of highly selected seabird habitat lies outside of state MPAs where threats from shipping, oil spills, and offshore energy development remain. This analysis accentuates the need for innovative marine spatial

  8. Using seabird habitat modeling to inform marine spatial planning in central California's National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer McGowan

    Full Text Available Understanding seabird habitat preferences is critical to future wildlife conservation and threat mitigation in California. The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of seabird habitat selection within the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries to identify areas for targeted conservation planning. We used seabird abundance data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies Program (ACCESS from 2004-2011. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression to model species abundance and distribution as a function of near surface ocean water properties, distances to geographic features and oceanographic climate indices to identify patterns in foraging habitat selection. We evaluated seasonal, inter-annual and species-specific variability of at-sea distributions for the five most abundant seabirds nesting on the Farallon Islands: western gull (Larus occidentalis, common murre (Uria aalge, Cassin's auklet (Ptychorampus aleuticus, rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata and Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus. The waters in the vicinity of Cordell Bank and the continental shelf east of the Farallon Islands emerged as persistent and highly selected foraging areas across all species. Further, we conducted a spatial prioritization exercise to optimize seabird conservation areas with and without considering impacts of current human activities. We explored three conservation scenarios where 10, 30 and 50 percent of highly selected, species-specific foraging areas would be conserved. We compared and contrasted results in relation to existing marine protected areas (MPAs and the future alternative energy footprint identified by the California Ocean Uses Atlas. Our results show that the majority of highly selected seabird habitat lies outside of state MPAs where threats from shipping, oil spills, and offshore energy development remain. This analysis accentuates the need for innovative marine

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Habitat selection by Eld's deer following relocation to a patchy landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duo Pan

    Full Text Available An emerging issue in wildlife conservation is the re-establishment of viable populations of endangered species in suitable habitats. Here, we studied habitat selection by a population of Hainan Eld's deer (Cervus eldi relocated to a patchy landscape of farmland and forest. Hainan Eld's deer were pushed to the brink of extinction in the 1970s, but their population expanded rapidly from 26 to more than 1000 individuals by 2003 through effective reserve protection. As part of a wider relocation and population management strategy, 131 deer were removed from the reserve and reintroduced into a farmland-forest landscape in 2005. Habitat use under a context of human disturbance was surveyed by monitoring 19 radio-collared animals. The majority of deer locations (77% were within 0.6-2 km of villages. Annual home ranges of these collared deer averaged 725 ha (SD 436, which was 55% of the size of the reserve from which they had originated. The annual home ranges contained 54% shrub-grassland, 26% forest and 15% farmland. The relocated deer population selected landscape comprising slash-and-burn agriculture and forest, and avoided both intensively farmed areas and areas containing only forest. Within the selected landscape, deer preferred swiddens and shrub-grasslands. Forests above 300 m in elevation were avoided, whereas forests below 300 m in elevation were overrepresented during the dry season and randomly used during the wet season. Our findings show that reintroduced deer can utilize disturbed habitats, and further demonstrate that subsistence agroforest ecosystems have the capacity to sustain endangered ungulates.

  12. Breeding habitat selection by houbara bustard (Chlamydotis[undulata] macqueenii) in Mori, Xinjiang, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Weikang(杨维康); QIAO Jianfang(乔建芳); Olivier Combreau; YAO Jun(姚军); GAO Xingyi(高行宜); ZHONG Wenqin(钟文勤)

    2002-01-01

    The breeding habitat selection by houbara bustards in Mori, Xinjiang, China duringthe breeding seasons from April to June 1998-2000 was studied. Most of habitats chosen forbreeding were short sub-shrubby and open areas close to high bushy patches. The nesting re-males clearly prefer Iow covered areas and avoid densely covered and high vegetation sites. Thenumber of herb species was significantly smaller at nest sites than at randomly selected sites.Only the distance to the closest fox den contributed the most to discrimination between successfuland predated nests. The average distance to the closest fox den was significantly longer at suc-cessful nests than at depredated nests. Vegetative density, plant species richness, topography anddistance to the closest fox den are possibly the most important factors that determined the nestsites selection of houbara bustard. The displaying males clearly prefer Iow covered areas andavoid densely covered and high vegetation sites. The vegetation density and number of plant spe-cies at display sites was significantly lower than that at randomly selected sites. The average dis-tance to the closest bushy patch was significantly shorter at display sites than at random sites.Plant species richness, vegetative density, vegetative cover and distance to the bushy patches arepossibly the most important factors for the display sites selection of houbara bustard.

  13. Using multilevel models to quantify heterogeneity in resource selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, T.; Diefenbach, D.R.; Christensen, S.A.; Norton, A.S.

    2011-01-01

    Models of resource selection are being used increasingly to predict or model the effects of management actions rather than simply quantifying habitat selection. Multilevel, or hierarchical, models are an increasingly popular method to analyze animal resource selection because they impose a relatively weak stochastic constraint to model heterogeneity in habitat use and also account for unequal sample sizes among individuals. However, few studies have used multilevel models to model coefficients as a function of predictors that may influence habitat use at different scales or quantify differences in resource selection among groups. We used an example with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to illustrate how to model resource use as a function of distance to road that varies among deer by road density at the home range scale. We found that deer avoidance of roads decreased as road density increased. Also, we used multilevel models with sika deer (Cervus nippon) and white-tailed deer to examine whether resource selection differed between species. We failed to detect differences in resource use between these two species and showed how information-theoretic and graphical measures can be used to assess how resource use may have differed. Multilevel models can improve our understanding of how resource selection varies among individuals and provides an objective, quantifiable approach to assess differences or changes in resource selection. ?? The Wildlife Society, 2011.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley H Thorne

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

  16. Temporal variability of spawning site selection in the frog Rana dalmatina: consequences for habitat management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ficetola, G. F.

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated whether R. dalmatina females laid their eggs randomly within a pond or preferred particular microhabitats. The same measures were performed in the same area in two consecutive years to determine whether the pattern remained constant over time. In 2003, we observed a significant selection for areas with more submerged deadwood and vegetation, presence of emergent ground and low water depth. However, these results were not confirmed in the subsequent year when none of the microhabitat features measured had a significant effect. Although microhabitat features can strongly influence tadpoles, the temporal variability of habitat at this spatial scale suggests that habitat management could be more effective if focused on a a wider spatial scale.

  17. Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in southwest Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Westover

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. 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?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westover, Matthew; Baxter, Jared; Baxter, Rick; Day, Casey; Jensen, Ryan; Petersen, Steve; Larsen, Randy

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. Thermal ecology and habitat selection of two cryptic skinks (Scincidae: Emoia cyanura, E. impar) on Mo'orea, French Polynesia

    OpenAIRE

    McElroy, Matt T

    2007-01-01

    I studied the habitat selection and thermal biology of two cryptic South Pacific skinks (Emoia cyanura and Emoia impar) in order to determine whether or not differences in thermal preference affect habitat partitioning. I measured sun exposure and thermal characteristics of microhabitats selected by each skink, and then quantified preferred substrate temperatures and preferred body temperatures in a laboratory thermal gradient. Compared to E. impar, E. cyanura inhabited areas with open canopy...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Geospatial interface and model for predicting potential seagrass habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. Complexity regularized hydrological model selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pande, S.; Arkesteijn, L.; Bastidas, L.A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper uses a recently proposed measure of hydrological model complexity in a model selection exercise. It demonstrates that a robust hydrological model is selected by penalizing model complexity while maximizing a model performance measure. This especially holds when limited data is available.

  6. Complexity regularized hydrological model selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pande, S.; Arkesteijn, L.; Bastidas, L.A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper uses a recently proposed measure of hydrological model complexity in a model selection exercise. It demonstrates that a robust hydrological model is selected by penalizing model complexity while maximizing a model performance measure. This especially holds when limited data is available.

  7. Individual Influence on Model Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterba, Sonya K.; Pek, Jolynn

    2012-01-01

    Researchers in psychology are increasingly using model selection strategies to decide among competing models, rather than evaluating the fit of a given model in isolation. However, such interest in model selection outpaces an awareness that one or a few cases can have disproportionate impact on the model ranking. Though case influence on the fit…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-23

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

  10. Scale-dependent mechanisms of habitat selection for a migratory passerine: an experimental approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Therese M.; Cornell, Kerri L.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  11. Habitat selection of Guizhou golden monkey (Phinopithecus roxellanae brelichi)in Fanjing Mountain Biosphere Reserve, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WUGang; WANGHong-chang; FUHai-wei; ZHAOJing-zhu; YANGYe-qin

    2004-01-01

    Guizhou golden monkey (Phinopithecus roxellanae brelichi) is a peculiar, rare and endangered species. It is distributed most narrowly and requires a rigorous habitat. In this study the habitats of Guizhou Golden Monkey were divided into three habitats: most suitable habitats, suitable habitats and marginally suitable habitats. The characteristics of the vegetation community, environmental factors and extreme environmental factors in the three habitats were systematically analyzed. The seasonal activity rule, activity area and the food characteristic of Guizhou golden monkey were also study at the same time. The results indicate that the evergreen and deciduous broadleaf mixed forest is the optimal living vegetation community for Guizhoug olden Monkey, and the suitable annual temperature is 8-15℃, the extremely lowest temperature is -2.5℃, the extremely highest temperature is 25℃, and the optimal living altitude is 1500-1700 m. In the same area, the higher the vegetation diversitythe more suitable it is for the life of Guizhou golden monkey. Temperature and food are the main habitat factors in determining the activity scope of the guizhou golden monkey community. The Altitude, temperature and the characteristics of the vegetation community are the main limitina factors for habitat selection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Home Range Characteristics and Habitat Selection by Daurian Hedgehogs ( Mesechinus dauuricus in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirka Zapletal

    2012-12-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina R Hammond

    Full Text Available We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA, M. sodalis roosts are scattered across a heavily forested landscape, which makes protecting individual roosts impractical during large-scale management activities. We created a predictive spatial model of summer roosting habitat to identify important predictors using the presence-only modeling program MaxEnt and an information theoretic approach for model comparison. Two of 26 candidate models together accounted for >0.93 of AICc weights. Elevation and forest type were top predictors of presence; aspect north/south and distance-to-ridge were also important. The final average best model indicated that 5% of the study area was suitable habitat and 0.5% was optimal. This model matched our field observations that, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, optimal roosting habitat for M. sodalis is near the ridge top in south-facing mixed pine-hardwood forests at elevations from 260-575 m. Our findings, coupled with data from other studies, suggest M. sodalis is flexible in roost habitat selection across different ecoregions with varying topography and land use patterns. We caution that, while mature pine-hardwood forests are important now, specific areas of suitable and optimal habitat will change over time. Combining the information theoretic approach with presence-only models makes it possible to develop landscape-scale habitat suitability maps for forest bats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Heat, safety or solitude? Using habitat selection experiments to identify a lizard's priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downes; Shine

    1998-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Seasonal distribution, aggregation, and habitat selection of common carp in Clear Lake, Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penne, C.R.; Pierce, C.L.

    2008-01-01

    The common carp Cyprinus carpio is widely distributed and frequently considered a nuisance species outside its native range. Common carp are abundant in Clear Lake, Iowa, where their presence is both a symptom of degradation and an impediment to improving water quality and the sport fishery. We used radiotelemetry to quantify seasonal distribution, aggregation, and habitat selection of adult and subadult common carp in Clear Lake during 2005-2006 in an effort to guide future control strategies. Over a 22-month period, we recorded 1,951 locations of 54 adults and 60 subadults implanted with radio transmitters. Adults demonstrated a clear tendency to aggregate in an offshore area during the late fall and winter and in shallow, vegetated areas before and during spring spawning. Late-fall and winter aggregations were estimated to include a larger percentage of the tracked adults than spring aggregations. Subadults aggregated in shallow, vegetated areas during the spring and early summer. Our study, when considered in combination with previous research, suggests repeatable patterns of distribution, aggregation, and habitat selection that should facilitate common carp reduction programs in Clear Lake and similar systems. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. To kill, stay or flee: the effects of lions and landscape factors on habitat and kill site selection of cheetahs in South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Rostro-García

    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.

  4. To Kill, Stay or Flee: The Effects of Lions and Landscape Factors on Habitat and Kill Site Selection of Cheetahs in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. To kill, stay or flee: the effects of lions and landscape factors on habitat and kill site selection of cheetahs in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F; Hunter, Luke T B

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. Habitat diversity in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico: Selected video clips from the Gulfstream Natural Gas Pipeline digital archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raabe, Ellen A.; D'Anjou, Robert; Pope, Domonique K.; Robbins, Lisa L.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  7. Importance of native grassland habitat for den-site selection of Indian foxes in a fragmented landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Roberto Fonseca

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Favaro L.

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Habitat selection of two gobies (Microgobius gulosus, Gobiosoma robustum): influence of structural complexity, competitive interactions and presence of a predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, P.J.

    2003-01-01

    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

  17. Habitat selection, facilitation, and biotic settlement cues affect distribution and performance of coral recruits in French Polynesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Nichole

    2010-07-01

    Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the "preferred" CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartels, Duane G.

    1999-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanette Bragin

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  2. A spatial model of potential jaguar habitat in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  3. Habitat characteristic of two selected locations for sea cucumber ranching purposes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartati, Retno; Trianto, Agus; Widianingsih

    2017-02-01

    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.

  4. Selected System Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Using stochastic gradient boosting to infer stopover habitat selection and distribution of Hooded Cranes Grus monacha during spring migration in Lindian, Northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianlong Cai

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Molly E

    2004-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Habitat and food selection by herbivorous amphipods associated with macroalgal beds on the southeast coast of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Describing Anopheles arabiensis aquatic habitats in two riceland agro-ecosystems in Mwea, Kenya using a negative binomial regression model with a non-homogenous mean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Benjamin G; Griffith, Daniel; Muturi, Ephantus; Caamano, Erick X; Shililu, Josephat; Githure, John I; Novak, Robert J

    2009-01-01

    This research illustrates a geostatistical approach for modeling the spatial distribution patterns of Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Patton) aquatic habitats in two riceland environments. QuickBird 0.61 m data, encompassing the visible bands and the near-infra-red (NIR) band, were selected to synthesize images of An. arabiensis aquatic habitats. These bands and field sampled data were used to determine ecological parameters associated with riceland larval habitat development. SAS was used to calculate univariate statistics, correlations and Poisson regression models. Global autocorrelation statistics were generated in ArcGISfrom georeferenced Anopheles aquatic habitats in the study sites. The geographic distribution of Anopheles gambiae s.l. aquatic habitats in the study sites exhibited weak positive autocorrelation; similar numbers of log-larval count habitats tend to clustered in space. Individual rice land habitat data were further evaluated in terms of their covariations with spatial autocorrelation, by regressing them on candidate spatial filter eigenvectors. Each eigenvector generated from a geographically weighted matrix, for both study sites, revealed a distinctive spatial pattern. The spatial autocorrelation components suggest the presence of roughly 14-30% redundant information in the aquatic habitat larval count samples. Synthetic map pattern variables furnish a method of capturing spatial dependency effects in the mean response term in regression analyses of rice land An. arabiensis aquatic habitat data.

  10. Long-term habitat selection and chronic root herbivory: explaining the relationship between periodical cicada density and tree growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Louie H; Karban, Richard

    2009-01-01

    Periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) are insect herbivores that feed on host tree roots, but their distribution among hosts is determined largely by the oviposition of female cicadas in the previous generation. A pattern of decreasing tree growth rates with increasing cicada densities is predicted when considering the costs of chronic root herbivory, but the opposite pattern is expected when considering adaptive habitat selection. Here, we report observations indicating that the relationship between periodical cicada densities and host tree growth rates is hump shaped. We suggest that both herbivory and habitat selection are likely to be key processes explaining this pattern, resulting in regions of positive and negative correlation. These results suggest that the effects of cicada herbivory are most apparent at relatively high cicada densities, while habitat selection tends to distribute cicada herbivory on host trees that are able to compensate for cicada root herbivory up to threshold cicada densities.

  11. A management-oriented framework for selecting metrics used to assess habitat- and path-specific quality in spatially structured populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sam Nicol,; Ruscena Wiederholt,; Diffendorfer, James E.; Brady Mattsson,; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Laura Lopez-Hoffman,; Ryan Norris,

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark B. Bain

    2012-01-01

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

  14. New evidence for habitat-specific selection in Wadden Sea Zostera marina populations revealed by genome scanning using SNP and microsatellite markers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oetjen, Katharina; Ferber, Steven; Dankert, Ilka; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2010-01-01

    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

  15. Launch vehicle selection model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Alex J.

    1990-01-01

    Over the next 50 years, humans will be heading for the Moon and Mars to build scientific bases to gain further knowledge about the universe and to develop rewarding space activities. These large scale projects will last many years and will require large amounts of mass to be delivered to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). It will take a great deal of planning to complete these missions in an efficient manner. The planning of a future Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) will significantly impact the overall multi-year launching cost for the vehicle fleet depending upon when the HLLV will be ready for use. It is desirable to develop a model in which many trade studies can be performed. In one sample multi-year space program analysis, the total launch vehicle cost of implementing the program reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent. This indicates how critical it is to reduce space logistics costs. A linear programming model has been developed to answer such questions. The model is now in its second phase of development, and this paper will address the capabilities of the model and its intended uses. The main emphasis over the past year was to make the model user friendly and to incorporate additional realistic constraints that are difficult to represent mathematically. We have developed a methodology in which the user has to be knowledgeable about the mission model and the requirements of the payloads. We have found a representation that will cut down the solution space of the problem by inserting some preliminary tests to eliminate some infeasible vehicle solutions. The paper will address the handling of these additional constraints and the methodology for incorporating new costing information utilizing learning curve theory. The paper will review several test cases that will explore the preferred vehicle characteristics and the preferred period of construction, i.e., within the next decade, or in the first decade of the next century. Finally, the paper will explore the interaction

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochem Kail

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

  17. No Habitat Selection during Spring Migration at a Meso-Scale Range across Mosaic Landscapes: A Case Study with the Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Ariñe; Rodrigues, Marcos; Telletxea, Ibon; Ibáñez, Rubén; Díez, Felipe; Tobar, Joseba F; Arizaga, Juan

    2016-01-01

    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.

  18. A framework for habitat monitoring and climate change modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Model Selection Principles in Misspecified Models

    CERN Document Server

    Lv, Jinchi

    2010-01-01

    Model selection is of fundamental importance to high dimensional modeling featured in many contemporary applications. Classical principles of model selection include the Kullback-Leibler divergence principle and the Bayesian principle, which lead to the Akaike information criterion and Bayesian information criterion when models are correctly specified. Yet model misspecification is unavoidable when we have no knowledge of the true model or when we have the correct family of distributions but miss some true predictor. In this paper, we propose a family of semi-Bayesian principles for model selection in misspecified models, which combine the strengths of the two well-known principles. We derive asymptotic expansions of the semi-Bayesian principles in misspecified generalized linear models, which give the new semi-Bayesian information criteria (SIC). A specific form of SIC admits a natural decomposition into the negative maximum quasi-log-likelihood, a penalty on model dimensionality, and a penalty on model miss...

  2. Bayesian Model Selection and Statistical Modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Ando, Tomohiro

    2010-01-01

    Bayesian model selection is a fundamental part of the Bayesian statistical modeling process. The quality of these solutions usually depends on the goodness of the constructed Bayesian model. Realizing how crucial this issue is, many researchers and practitioners have been extensively investigating the Bayesian model selection problem. This book provides comprehensive explanations of the concepts and derivations of the Bayesian approach for model selection and related criteria, including the Bayes factor, the Bayesian information criterion (BIC), the generalized BIC, and the pseudo marginal lik

  3. A Heckman Selection- t Model

    KAUST Repository

    Marchenko, Yulia V.

    2012-03-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. How predictability of feeding patches affects home range and foraging habitat selection in avian social scavengers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Monsarrat

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Summer habitat selection by striped bass, Morone Saxatilis, in Cherokee Reservoir, Tennessee, 1977

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waddle, H.R.; Coutant, C.C.; Wilson, J.L.

    1980-02-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  12. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    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. 

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. Home range, habitat selection, and foraging rhythm in Mauritanian spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia balsaci) : A satellite tracking study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    El-Hacen, El-Hacen Mohamed; Overdijk, Otto; Lok, Tamar; Olff, Han; Piersma, Theunis

    2013-01-01

    Mauritanian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia balsaci) only breed at Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, West Africa. Their populations have declined; however, nothing is known about possible ecological factors involved, including their primary food and foraging habits. Home range sizes, habitat selection, and

  16. Staying cool in a changing landscape: the influence of maximum daily ambient temperature on grizzly bear habitat selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeon, Karine E; Cardinal, Etienne; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Côté, Steeve D

    2016-08-01

    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.

  17. Introduction. Modelling natural action selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescott, Tony J; Bryson, Joanna J; Seth, Anil K

    2007-09-29

    Action selection is the task of resolving conflicts between competing behavioural alternatives. This theme issue is dedicated to advancing our understanding of the behavioural patterns and neural substrates supporting action selection in animals, including humans. The scope of problems investigated includes: (i) whether biological action selection is optimal (and, if so, what is optimized), (ii) the neural substrates for action selection in the vertebrate brain, (iii) the role of perceptual selection in decision-making, and (iv) the interaction of group and individual action selection. A second aim of this issue is to advance methodological practice with respect to modelling natural action section. A wide variety of computational modelling techniques are therefore employed ranging from formal mathematical approaches through to computational neuroscience, connectionism and agent-based modelling. The research described has broad implications for both natural and artificial sciences. One example, highlighted here, is its application to medical science where models of the neural substrates for action selection are contributing to the understanding of brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Marcin Węsławski

    2013-02-01

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

  2. Line transects, environmental data and GIS: Cetacean distribution, habitat and prey selection along the Barents Sea shelf edge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mette Skern-Mauritzen

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Cetacean observations obtained during sighting surveys for abundance estimation can also be used to investigate cetacean habitat and prey selection, the principal processes underlying cetacean distributions. In this paper, we investigate habitat and prey selection of minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata, fin (B. physalus and sperm (Physeter macrocephalus whales and Lagenorhynchus (Atlantic white-sided L. acutus and white-beaked L. albirostris dolphins observed along predetermined cruise tracks along the Barents Sea shelf edge in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The observations were combined with simultaneously collected data on habitat (depth, sea surface temperature, and temperature gradients and prey (plankton, 0-group fish, capelin and herring distributions in a GeographicInformation System (GIS to investigate habitat and prey selection. Minke whales were associated with cold waters and herring, and capelin in years with low herring abundance. Fin whales were mainly associated with northern cold and deep waters, as well as capelin, 0-group fish and plankton. Lagenorhynchus dolphins were associated with capelin. Finally, sperm whales were associated with deep waters and 0-group fish. Sperm whales were probably indirectly attracted to 0-group fish through preying on predatory fish such as Sebastes spp. and the squid Gonatus spp. The cetacean species responded differently to annual variation in habitat and prey distributions. Minke and fin whale distributions and abundances remained similar between years within the study area, suggestingthat these species are generalists responding to environmental changes by switching between prey species. Conversely, Lagenorhynchus dolphins shifted northwards, likely due to tracking the shifting capelin distributions. The results are discussed in light of how such cetacean habitat and cetacean prey relationships can be valuable for the proper assessment of population sizes and trends, both through guiding the design of

  3. Habitat selection, facilitation, and biotic settlement cues affect distribution and performance of coral recruits in French Polynesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the “preferred” CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator. PMID:20169452

  4. Hydrologic habitat preferences of select southeastern USA fishes resilient to river ecosystem fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew L. Rypel; David R. Bayne

    2009-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meseck, Kristin April

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Lance Jay, Jr.

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

  7. Spatial transferability of habitat suitability models of Nephrops norvegicus among fished areas in the Northeast Atlantic: sufficiently stable for marine resource conservation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Lauria

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogol-Prokurat, Melanie

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Haghi Vayghan

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Daytime habitat selection by introduced eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus and native european hare Lepus europaeus in Northern Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolino, Sandro; Montezemolo, Nicola Cordero di; Perrone, Aurelio

    2011-06-01

    We used radiotelemetry to investigate resting sites habitat selection by introduced eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and native European hare (Lepus europaeus) under sympatric conditions. We tracked 24 hares and 34 cottontails in a protected area of northwestern Italy. Hares were found in different sites every week, while cottontails used the same site for two weeks, and occasionally for longer. It is supposed that this periodic nest switching reduces the risk of predation and parasitism. Hares and cottontails forms were located in different habitats and characterized by dense vegetation cover near the ground. This cover increased from winter to summer in both species, while in autumn it continued to increase in cottontails only, and decreased in hares. Cottontails selected shrubby habitats near the river, and avoided crop fields in all seasons. Hares were more adaptive in their search, using high herbs and shrubs all year round, wheat fields in spring, maize in spring and summer, and stubbles in winter. Arguably, partial niche differentiation is necessary to allow the coexistence of similar species. In our study area, hares and cottontails differentiated in the use of resting sites habitats, presumably so as not to compete in this part of their ecological niche.

  16. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

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

  17. The role of habitat-selection in restricting invasive blue mussel advancement to protect native populations in San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittal, N.; Saarman, N. P.; Pogson, G.

    2013-12-01

    Introduced species contribute to decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Introduced species threaten native species by increasing competition for space and resources, changing their habitat, and disrupting species interactions. Protecting native species is crucial to preserving ecosystem services (i.e. medicinal, agricultural, ecological, and cultural benefits) for future generations. In marine communities, the number of invasive species is dramatically increasing every year, further magnifying the negative impact on native species. This research determines if habitat-specific selection can protect native species from their invasive relatives, and could allow targeted habitat restoration for native species to maintain high levels of biodiversity. Blue mussels provide an ideal system for studying the impact of an invasive species (Mytilus galloprovincialis) on native mussels (M. trossulus), because M. galloprovincialis is marked as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. Hybridization between M. galloprovincialis and M. trossulus occurs wherever their distributions overlap (i.e. Japan, Puget Sound, and central California). In central California, hybrids form in a broad variety of habitats ever since M. galloprovincialis was introduced about 100 years ago. The current level of threat posed to native mussels in central California is unknown. When population growth rate of an invasive species is higher than the native within a hybrid zone, the invader's genes become more prominent in the hybrids than the native species' genes. This uneven mix of genes and decrease of pure native mussels threatens to drive M. trossulus to extinction. Therefore, it is important to research which environment fosters highest success of pure native species. We conducted a field experiment in San Francisco Bay where mussels were reared in different habitats. We then collected samples and extracted DNA from each treatment, and genotyped them by a next-generation sequencing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Matthews

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Poor

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica N. Iglecia

    2012-12-01

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

  3. EVALUATION OF SHOREBIRD USE OF SELECTED REFUGE HABITATS IN THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this study were as follows:(1) Document fall shorebird migration chronology.(2) Document species use of habitat available in the Lower...

  4. Habitat selection of a parasitoid mediated by volatiles informing on host and intraguild predator densities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cotes, Belén; Rännbäck, Linda Marie; Björkman, Maria;

    2015-01-01

    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...

  5. Bayesian Evidence and Model Selection

    CERN Document Server

    Knuth, Kevin H; Malakar, Nabin K; Mubeen, Asim M; Placek, Ben

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we review the concept of the Bayesian evidence and its application to model selection. The theory is presented along with a discussion of analytic, approximate and numerical techniques. Application to several practical examples within the context of signal processing are discussed.

  6. Attractiveness of food and avoidance from contamination as conflicting stimuli to habitat selection by fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Cristiano V M; Rodríguez, Elizabeth N V; Salvatierra, David; Cedeño-Macias, Luis A; Vera-Vera, Victoria C; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui

    2016-11-01

    Habitat selection by fish is the outcome of a choice between different stimuli. Typically, the presence of food tends to attract organisms, while contamination triggers an avoidance response to prevent toxic effects. Given that both food and contaminants are not homogeneously distributed in the environment and that food can be available in contaminated zones, a key question has been put forward in the present study: does a higher availability of food in contaminated areas interfere in the avoidance response to contaminants regardless of the contamination level? Tilapia fry (Oreochromis sp.; 2.5-3.0 cm and 0.5-0.8 g) were exposed to two different effluent samples, diluted along a free-choice, non-forced exposure system simulating a contamination gradient. Initially, avoidance to the effluents was checked during a one hour exposure. Afterwards, food was added to the system so that the availability of food increased with the increase in the level of contamination, and the avoidance response to contamination was checked during another hour. Results clearly showed a concentration-dependent avoidance response for both effluents during the first hour (i.e., with no food). However, in presence of the food, the avoidance pattern was altered: organisms were propelled to intermittently move towards contaminated areas where food availability was higher. The incursions were taken regardless of the potential risk linked to the toxic effects. In conclusion, even when the risk of toxicity was imminent, tilapia fry were more intensively stimulated by the attractiveness of the food than by repulsion to the contamination. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Linking trade-offs in habitat selection with the occurrence of functional responses for moose living in two nearby study areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabille, Géraldine; Dussault, Christian; Ouellet, Jean-Pierre; Laurian, Catherine

    2012-12-01

    A species may modify its relative habitat use with changing availability, generating functional responses in habitat selection. Functional responses in habitat selection are expected to occur when animals experience trade-offs influencing their habitat selection, but only a few studies to date have explicitly linked functional responses to the underlying trade-offs faced by the animals. We used data from 39 female moose fitted with GPS telemetry collars in two nearby study areas in Canada to investigate if moose (1) were faced with a food/cover trade-off in habitat selection, as typically acknowledged in the literature, and (2) showed a functional response in their use of food/cover-rich habitats. We also examined how habitat selection patterns varied seasonally, and between study areas. The occurrence of functional responses varied strongly between study areas, and could not always be related to a measurable food/cover trade-off. Functional responses were observed more often in the study area where the environmental conditions were more severe (colder temperatures, higher precipitations, and lower food availability). Selection coefficients were also less variable among individuals in that study area, suggesting that severe environmental conditions may constrain individuals to a few selection tactics and promote the development of functional responses. Moose reacted to the availability of different habitat types in different seasons, reflecting the changing trade-offs faced by the animals. We found considerable behavioral differences between individuals from two adjacent study areas, and therefore recommend caution when extrapolating habitat selection results. We advocate for the wider use of functional responses to identify critical habitats for a species from a management or conservation perspective.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Habitat selection of breeding brown eared-pheasants (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) in Xiaowutaishan National Nature Reserve,Hebei Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dongming LI; Shiping GAO; Yuefeng WU; Lihan SUN; Shubin GUO; Jili LI

    2009-01-01

    From April to July of 2003-2005,we investigated habitat selection of breeding brown eared-pheasants (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) in the Xiaowutaishan National Nature Reserve,Hebei Province.Our results show that brown eared-pheasants preferred deciduousconiferous mixed or deciduous forests with altitudes ranging from 1600 to 2200 m,steep gradients of slopes and medium or high positions on slopes.Moreover,they preferred habitats with more tree species,larger diameters at the breast height,more density and cover of trees and habitats with more types of grasses,high density and cover of grasses,but with fewer types of shrubs and lower density and cover of shrubs.They had larger territories in the early breeding stage than in the late breeding stage.There were significant differences in diameters at the breast height of trees,average height of trees,cover of trees,density of shrubs,cover of shrubs,aspect,distance to path,distance to water,distance to forest edge (P < 0.01,respectively),density of trees,type of shrubs,height of shrubs,type of grasses,density of grasses and proportion of bareness (P < 0.05,respectively).The result of the principal component analysis suggested that the principal components among the 23 habitat factors were the average height of trees,density of trees,diameters at the breast height of trees,density of shrubs,cover of shrubs and density of grasses.The differences in habitat selection of brown eared-pheasants between early breeding and late breeding stages may correlate with the dynamics of ambient environmental conditions,the reproductive behavior and energy requirements in their sub-stages of breeding.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Vegetation biomass and habitat selection by a newly introduced population of muskoxen in northern Quebec

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    René Nault

    1993-12-01

    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.

  13. Oligotyping reveals community level habitat selection within the genus Vibrio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Thomas Schmidt

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The genus Vibrio is a metabolically and genetically diverse group of facultative anaerobic Bacteria, common in aquatic environments and marine hosts. The genus contains several species of importance to human health and aquaculture, including the causative agents of human cholera and fish vibriosis. Vibrios display a wide variety of known life histories, from opportunistic pathogens to long-standing symbioses with individual host species. Studying Vibrio ecology has been challenging as individual species often display a wide range of habitat preferences, and groups of vibrios can act as socially cohesive groups. Although strong associations with salinity, temperature and other environmental variables have been established, the degree of habitat or host specificity at both the individual and community levels is unknown. Here we use oligotyping analyses in combination with a large collection of existing Vibrio 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA gene sequence data to reveal patterns of Vibrio ecology across a wide range of environmental, host, and abiotic substrate associated habitats. Our data show that individual taxa often display a wide range of habitat preferences yet tend to be highly abundant in either substrate-associated or free-living environments. Our analyses show that Vibrio communities share considerable overlap between two distinct hosts (i.e., sponge and fish yet are distinct from the abiotic plastic substrates. Lastly, evidence for habitat specificity at the community level exists in some habitats, despite considerable stochasticity in others. In addition to providing insights into Vibrio ecology across a broad range of habitats, our study shows the utility of oligotyping as a facile, high-throughput and unbiased method for large scale analyses of publicly available sequence data repositories and suggests its wide application could greatly extend the range of possibilities to explore microbial ecology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. L. Silveira

    Full Text Available Abstract This study aimed to model the habitat suitability for an invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a coastal shallow lagoon in the southern Neotropical region (–30.22, –50.55. The lagoon (19km2, maximum deep 2.5m was sampled with an Ekman dredge in an orthogonal matrix comprising 84 points. At each sampling point, were obtained environmental descriptors as depth, organic matter content (OMC, average granulometry (Avgran, and the percentage of sand (Pcsand. Prediction performance of Generalized Linear Models (GLM, Generalized Additive Models (GAM and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT were compared. Also, niche overlapping with other native clam species (Castalia martensi, Neocorbicula limosa and Anodontites trapesialis was examined. A BRT model with 1400 trees was selected as the best model, with cross-validated correlation of 0.82. The relative contributions of predictors were Pcsand-42.6%, OMC-35.8%, Avgran-10.9% and Depth-10.8%. Were identified that C. fluminea occur mainly in sandy sediments with few organic matter, in shallow areas nor by the shore. The PCA showed a wide niche overlap with the native clam species C. martensi, N. limosa and A. trapesialis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Identifying optimal sites for natural recovery and restoration of impacted biogenic habitats in a special area of conservation using hydrodynamic and habitat suitability modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsäßer, Björn; Fariñas-Franco, Jose M.; Wilson, Conor David; Kregting, Louise; Roberts, Dai

    2013-03-01

    Selection of sites for successful restoration of impacted shellfish populations depends on understanding the dispersion capability and habitat requirements of the species involved. In Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, the horse mussel (Modiolus modiolus) biogenic reefs cover only a fraction of their historical range with the remaining reefs badly damaged and requiring restoration. Previous experimental trials suggest that translocation of horse mussels accelerates reef recovery and has therefore been proposed as a suitable restoration technique. We used a series of coupled hydrodynamic and particle dispersal models to assess larval dispersion from remnant and translocated populations to identify suitable areas for adult live M. modiolus translocation in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. A maximum entropy model (MAXENT) was used to identify if dispersing larvae could reach habitat suitable for adult M. modiolus. From these we predicted if translocated mussels will reseed themselves or be able to act as larval sources for nearby reefs. The dispersal models showed that the remnant M. modiolus populations are largely self-recruiting with little connectivity between them. The majority of larvae settled near the sources and movement was largely dependent on the tides and not influenced by wind or waves. Higher reef elevation resulted in larvae being able to disperse further away from the release point. However, larval numbers away from the source population are likely to be too low for successful recruitment. There was also little connectivity between the Irish Sea and Strangford Lough as any larvae entering the Lough remained predominantly in the Strangford Narrows. The areas covered by these self-seeding populations are suitable for M. modiolus translocation according to the MAXENT model. As a result of this work and in conjunction with other field work we propose a combination of total protection of all remaining larval sources and small scale translocations onto

  17. Model Selection for Pion Photoproduction

    CERN Document Server

    Landay, J; Fernández-Ramírez, C; Hu, B; Molina, R

    2016-01-01

    Partial-wave analysis of meson and photon-induced reactions is needed to enable the comparison of many theoretical approaches to data. In both energy-dependent and independent parametrizations of partial waves, the selection of the model amplitude is crucial. Principles of the $S$-matrix are implemented to different degree in different approaches, but a many times overlooked aspect concerns the selection of undetermined coefficients and functional forms for fitting, leading to a minimal yet sufficient parametrization. We present an analysis of low-energy neutral pion photoproduction using the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) in combination with criteria from information theory and $K$-fold cross validation. These methods are not yet widely known in the analysis of excited hadrons but will become relevant in the era of precision spectroscopy. The principle is first illustrated with synthetic data, then, its feasibility for real data is demonstrated by analyzing the latest available measu...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laith Yakob

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Drever

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

  1. Entropic criterion for model selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Chih-Yuan

    2006-10-01

    Model or variable selection is usually achieved through ranking models according to the increasing order of preference. One of methods is applying Kullback-Leibler distance or relative entropy as a selection criterion. Yet that will raise two questions, why use this criterion and are there any other criteria. Besides, conventional approaches require a reference prior, which is usually difficult to get. Following the logic of inductive inference proposed by Caticha [Relative entropy and inductive inference, in: G. Erickson, Y. Zhai (Eds.), Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering, AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 707, 2004 (available from arXiv.org/abs/physics/0311093)], we show relative entropy to be a unique criterion, which requires no prior information and can be applied to different fields. We examine this criterion by considering a physical problem, simple fluids, and results are promising.

  2. A Selective Review of Group Selection in High Dimensional Models

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, Jian; Ma, Shuangge

    2012-01-01

    Grouping structures arise naturally in many statistical modeling problems. Several methods have been proposed for variable selection that respect grouping structure in variables. Examples include the group LASSO and several concave group selection methods. In this article, we give a selective review of group selection concerning methodological developments, theoretical properties, and computational algorithms. We pay particular attention to group selection methods involving concave penalties. We address both group selection and bi-level selection methods. We describe several applications of these methods in nonparametric additive models, semiparametric regression, seemingly unrelated regressions, genomic data analysis and genome wide association studies. We also highlight some issues that require further study.

  3. Selected soil thermal conductivity models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rerak Monika

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents collected from the literature models of soil thermal conductivity. This is a very important parameter, which allows one to assess how much heat can be transferred from the underground power cables through the soil. The models are presented in table form, thus when the properties of the soil are given, it is possible to select the most accurate method of calculating its thermal conductivity. Precise determination of this parameter results in designing the cable line in such a way that it does not occur the process of cable overheating.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. Evaluation of Macroinvertebrate Communities and Habitat for Selected Stream Reaches at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.J. Henne; K.J. Buckley

    2005-08-12

    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.

  6. Among-habitat algal selectivity by browsing herbivores on an inshore coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loffler, Zoe; Bellwood, David R.; Hoey, Andrew S.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding how the impact of different herbivores varies spatially on coral reefs is important in qualifying the resistance of coral reefs to disturbance events and identifying the processes that structure algal communities. We used assays of six common macroalgae ( Acanthophora spicifera, Caulerpa taxifolia, Galaxaura rugosa, Laurencia sp. Sargassum sp., and Turbinaria ornata) and remote underwater video cameras to quantify herbivory in two habitats (reef crest and slope) across multiple sites on Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef. Rates of herbivory varied among macroalgal taxa, habitats, and sites. Reductions in algal biomass were greatest for Sargassum sp. (36 % 4 h-1), intermediate for A. spicifera, Laurencia sp., C. taxifolia, and T. ornata (17-33 % 4 h-1) and lowest for G. rugosa (6 % 4 h-1). Overall, rates of herbivory were generally greater on the reef crest (30 % 4 h-1) than the reef slope (21 % 4 h-1). This difference in rates of herbivory coincided with a marked shift in the dominant herbivores between habitats. Kyphosus vaigiensis, despite only feeding on three species of macroalgae ( Sargassum sp., T. ornata, and A. spicifera), was responsible for 34 % of all bites recorded on the reef crest yet did not take a single bite from algae on the reef slope. In contrast, Siganus doliatus took bites on every species of algae in both habitats, accounting for 40 % of bites on the reef crest and 74 % of all bites recorded on the reef slope. This difference in the number of macroalgal species targeted by herbivores and the habitat/s in which they feed adds another dimension of complexity to our understanding of coral reef herbivore dynamics.

  7. Spatially explicit habitat models for 28 fishes from the Upper Mississippi River System (AHAG 2.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ickes, Brian S.; Sauer, J.S.; Richards, N.; Bowler, M.; Schlifer, B.

    2014-01-01

    species; occurrences at sampling sites as observed in day electrofishing samples) using multiple logistic regression with presence/absence responses. Each species’ probability of occurrence, at each sample site, was modeled as a function of 17 environmental variables observed at each sample site by LTRMP standardized protocols. The modeling methods used (1) a forward-selection process to identify the most important predictors and their relative contributions to predictions; (2) partial methods on the predictor set to control variance inflation; and (3) diagnostics for LTRMP design elements that may influence model fits. Models were fit for 28 species, representing 3 habitat guilds (Lentic, Lotic, and Generalist). We intended to develop “systemic models” using data from all six LTRMP study reaches simultaneously; however, this proved impossible. Thus, we “regionalized” the models, creating two models for each species: “Upper Reach” models, using data from Pools 4, 8, and 13; and “Lower Reach” models, using data from Pool 26, the Open River Reach of the Mississippi River, and the La Grange reach of the Illinois River. A total of 56 models were attempted. For any given site-scale prediction, each model used data from the three LTRMP study reaches comprising the regional model to make predictions. For example, a site-scale prediction in Pool 8 was made using data from Pools 4, 8, and 13. This is the fundamental nature and trade-off of regionalizing these models for broad management application. Model fits were deemed “certifiably good” using the Hosmer and Lemeshow Goodness-of-Fit statistic (Hosmer and Lemeshow, 2000). This test post-partitions model predictions into 10 groups and conducts inferential tests on correspondences between observed and expected probability of occurrence across all partitions, under Chi-square distributional assumptions. This permits an inferential test of how well the models fit and a tool for reporting when they did not (and

  8. Habitat selection by anurofauna community at rocky seashore in coastal Atlantic Forest, Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RC. Pontes

    Full Text Available Rocky seashores are low granitic hills distributed along the southeastern Brazilian coast with xeric-like vegetation due to the shallow soil. Knowledge on amphibian communities and their reproductive patterns is especially reduced on this kind of environment. Herein, we present a framework of two years monitoring an amphibian community at a rocky seashore environment located at the protected area of Parque Estadual da Serra da Tiririca, municipality of Niterói, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We conducted diurnal and nocturnal searches for frogs in tank bromeliads, rocky surface and shrubby vegetation. Annual pattern of breeding activity of anurans was also estimated. Individuals of the most abundant tank-bromeliad, Alcantarea glaziouana were collected and measured according to several variables to understanding the selection of bromeliads by frogs. We checked the influence of the environmental conditions on amphibian abundance, association between the bromeliads measures, and the water storage in the tank. We recorded the species: Scinax aff. x-signatus; S. cuspidatus; S. littoreus; Thoropa miliaris and Gastrotheca sp. Bromeliads were the preferential habitat used by anurans. The nocturnal habit was predominant for all species and during diurnal searches, the specimens were found sheltered in bromeliads axils. The number of calling males as well as amphibian abundance was associated with the rainiest and warmest period of the year. The species S. littoreus was observed in breeding activity in the majority of sample period. Adult calling males of T. miliaris were observed especially in the rainy season. Rainfall and temperature combined are positively correlated to the total number of captured amphibians. However, individually, rainfall was not significantly correlated, while temperature was positively correlated with the amphibian abundance. Water storage capacity by bromeliads was correlated to characteristics and size of the plant. In the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  10. Optimising Habitat-Based Models for Wide-Ranging Marine Predators: Scale Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scales, K. L.; Hazen, E. L.; Jacox, M.; Edwards, C. A.; Bograd, S. J.

    2016-12-01

    Predicting the responses of marine top predators to dynamic oceanographic conditions requires habitat-based models that sufficiently capture environmental preferences. Spatial resolution and temporal averaging of environmental data layers is a key aspect of model construction. The utility of surfaces contemporaneous to animal movement (e.g. daily, weekly), versus synoptic products (monthly, seasonal, climatological) is currently under debate, as is the optimal spatial resolution for predictive products. Using movement simulations with built-in environmental preferences (correlated random walks, multi-state hidden Markov-type models) together with modeled (Regional Oceanographic Modeling System, ROMS) and remotely-sensed (MODIS-Aqua) datasets, we explored the effects of degrading environmental surfaces (3km - 1 degree, daily - climatological) on model inference. We simulated the movements of a hypothetical wide-ranging marine predator through the California Current system over a three month period (May-June-July), based on metrics derived from previously published blue whale Balaenoptera musculus tracking studies. Results indicate that models using seasonal or climatological data fields can overfit true environmental preferences, in both presence-absence and behaviour-based model formulations. Moreover, the effects of a degradation in spatial resolution are more pronounced when using temporally averaged fields than when using daily, weekly or monthly datasets. In addition, we observed a notable divergence between the `best' models selected using common methods (e.g. AUC, AICc) and those that most accurately reproduced built-in environmental preferences. These findings have important implications for conservation and management of marine mammals, seabirds, sharks, sea turtles and large teleost fish, particularly in implementing dynamic ocean management initiatives and in forecasting responses to future climate-mediated ecosystem change.

  11. Habitat selection of two sympatric species of Ameiva in East Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Sebastián-González

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the differences in habitat use for sympatric species is important for understanding the species preferences and the limits of population distribution. We studied the differences in the habitat use of two understudied sympatric species of Ameiva (A. festiva and A. quadrilineata in a natural reserve of the Caribbean coast of Coast Rica. Ameiva quadrilineata showed a more restrictive habitat use pattern than A. festiva. A. quadrilineata’s smaller body size may be one of the factors limiting its habitat range. Both species showed higher density in regenerated forests, while A. quadrilineata was never found in swamp forests. The air temperature and the meteorological condition at the moment of the survey also influenced the occurrence of the A. quadrilineata, while the juveniles of A. festiva were only affected by the meteorological condition. None of the studied variables seemed to affect the occurrence of A. festiva adults. The results of this study can be useful to evaluate possible changes in the species distribution patterns as a consequence of direct (i.e., deforestation or indirect (i.e., climate change human activities in the distribution area of these species.

  12. Habitat selection of juvenile sole (Solea solea L.): Consequences for shoreface nourishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Marjolein H. M.; Blom, Ewout; Chen, Chun; Bolle, Loes J.; Baptist, Martin J.

    2017-04-01

    The shallow coastal zone is an essential nursery habitat for juvenile flatfish species such as sole (Solea solea L.). The increased frequency of shoreface nourishments along the coast is likely to affect this nursery function by altering important habitat conditions, including sediment grain size. Sediment preference of juvenile sole (41-91 mm) was studied in a circular preference chamber in order to understand the relationship between grain size and sole distribution. The preference tests were carried out at 11 °C and 20 °C to reflect seasonal influences. The juveniles showed a significant preference for finer sediments. This preference was not length dependent (within the length range tested) nor affected by either temperatures. Juvenile sole have a small home range and are not expected to move in response to unfavourable conditions. As a result, habitat alterations may have consequences for juvenile survival and subsequently for recruitment to adult populations. It is therefore important to carefully consider nourishment grain size characteristics to safeguard suitable nursery habitats for juvenile sole.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Small mammal communities and habitat selection in Northern Rocky Mountain bunchgrass: Implications for exotic plant invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Yvette K. Ortega; Kevin S. McKelvey; Leonard F. Ruggiero

    2001-01-01

    Agriculture and development have dramatically reduced the range of native bunchgrass habitats in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and the invasion of exotic plants threatens to greatly alter the remaining pristine prairie. Small mammals play many important roles in ecosystem functions, but little is known about small mammal community composition and structure in native...

  15. A freshwater species wintering in a brackish environment: Habitat selection and diet of Slavonian grebes in the southern Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonntag, Nicole; Garthe, Stefan; Adler, Sven

    2009-09-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  17. Small mammal associations with habitat structure, and their influence on selected species interactions at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal : comprehensive examination proposal

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document proposes an applied project at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal intended to address habitat relationships and selection, and interspecific competition, in...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard B. Standiford; Douglas McCreary; William Frost

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Sound settlement: noise surpasses land cover in explaining breeding habitat selection of secondary cavity-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleist, Nathan J; Guralnick, Robert P; Cruz, Alexander; Francis, Clinton D

    2017-01-01

    Birds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes select nest sites by cueing in on a variety of factors from landscape features and social information to the presence of natural enemies. We focus on determining the relative impact of anthropogenic noise on nest site occupancy, compared to amount of forest cover, which is known to strongly influence the selection process. We examine chronic, industrial noise from natural gas wells directly measured at the nest box as well as site-averaged noise, using a well-established field experimental system in northwestern New Mexico. We hypothesized that high levels of noise, both at the nest site and in the environment, would decrease nest box occupancy. We set up nest boxes using a geospatially paired control and experimental site design and analyzed four years of occupancy data from four secondary cavity-nesting birds common to the Colorado Plateau. We found different effects of noise and landscape features depending on species, with strong effects of noise observed in breeding habitat selection of Myiarchus cinerascens, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Sialia currucoides, the Mountain Bluebird. In contrast, the amount of forest cover less frequently explained habitat selection for those species or had a smaller standardized effect than the acoustic environment. Although forest cover characterization and management is commonly employed by natural resource managers, our results show that characterizing and managing the acoustic environment should be an important tool in protected area management. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Model selection for pion photoproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landay, J.; Döring, M.; Fernández-Ramírez, C.; Hu, B.; Molina, R.

    2017-01-01

    Partial-wave analysis of meson and photon-induced reactions is needed to enable the comparison of many theoretical approaches to data. In both energy-dependent and independent parametrizations of partial waves, the selection of the model amplitude is crucial. Principles of the S matrix are implemented to a different degree in different approaches; but a many times overlooked aspect concerns the selection of undetermined coefficients and functional forms for fitting, leading to a minimal yet sufficient parametrization. We present an analysis of low-energy neutral pion photoproduction using the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) in combination with criteria from information theory and K -fold cross validation. These methods are not yet widely known in the analysis of excited hadrons but will become relevant in the era of precision spectroscopy. The principle is first illustrated with synthetic data; then, its feasibility for real data is demonstrated by analyzing the latest available measurements of differential cross sections (d σ /d Ω ), photon-beam asymmetries (Σ ), and target asymmetry differential cross sections (d σT/d ≡T d σ /d Ω ) in the low-energy regime.

  2. Habitat selection of a parasitoid mediated by volatiles informing on host and intraguild predator densities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cotes, Belén; Rännbäck, Linda Marie; Björkman, Maria

    2015-01-01

    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...... volatile compounds to locate high densities of prey, but also compounds related to fungal presence to reduce the risk of IGP towards themselves and their offspring....

  3. Habitat selection by female swift foxes (Vulpes velox) during the pup-rearing season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasmal, Indrani; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Datta, Shubham; Schroeder, Greg M.; Klaver, Robert W.; Honness, Kevin M.

    2011-01-01

    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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Zhang

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Habitat selection by green turtles in a spatially heterogeneous benthic landscape in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. Modelling the Influence of Long-Term Hydraulic Conditions on Juvenile Salmon Habitats in AN Upland Scotish River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabris, L.; Malcolm, I.; Millidine, K. J.; Buddendorf, B.; Tetzlaff, D.; Soulsby, C.

    2015-12-01

    Wild Atlantic salmon populations in Scottish rivers constitute an important economic and recreational resource, as well as being a key component of biodiversity. Salmon have very specific habitat requirements at different life stages and their distribution is therefore strongly influenced by a complex suite of biological and physical controls. Previous research has shown that stream hydrodynamics and channel morphology have a strong influence on the distribution and density of juvenile salmon. Here, we utilise a unique 20 year data set of spatially distributed juvenile salmon densities derived from annual electro-fishing surveys in an upland Scottish river. We examine to what extent the spatial and temporal variability of in-stream hydraulics regulates the spatial and temporal variability in the performance and density of juvenile salmon. A 2-D hydraulic model (River2D) is used to simulate water velocity and water depth under different flow conditions for seven different electro-fishing sites. The selected sites represent different hydromorphological environments including plane-bed, step-pool and pool riffle reaches. The bathymetry of each site was characterised using a total station providing an accurate DTM of the bed, and hydraulic simulations were driven by 20 year stream flow records. Habitat suitability curves, based on direct observations during electro-fishing surveys, were produced for a range of hydraulic indices for juvenile salmon. The hydraulic simulations showed marked spatial differences in juvenile habitat quality both within and between reaches. They also showed marked differences both within and between years. This is most evident in extreme years with wet summers when salmon feeding opportunities may be constrained. Integration of hydraulic habitat models, with fish preference curves and the long term hydrological data allows us to assess whether long-term changes in hydroclimate may be affecting juvenile salmonid populations in the study stream

  7. Habitat selection in a rocky landscape: experimentally decoupling the influence of retreat site attributes from that of landscape features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croak, Benjamin M; Pike, David A; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2012-01-01

    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.

  8. Evaluation of biochemical and haematological parameters and prevalence of selected pathogens in feral cats from urban and rural habitats in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Jusun; Gottdenker, Nicole; Min, Mi-Sook; Lee, Hang; Chun, Myung-Sun

    2016-06-01

    In this study, we evaluated the potential association between the habitat types of feral cats and the prevalence of selected infectious pathogens and health status based on a set of blood parameters. We live-trapped 72 feral cats from two different habitat types: an urban area (n = 48) and a rural agricultural area (n = 24). We compared blood values and the prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and haemotropic Mycoplasma infection in feral cats from the two contrasting habitats. Significant differences were observed in several blood values (haematocrit, red blood cells, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine) depending on the habitat type and/or sex of the cat. Two individuals from the urban area were seropositive for FIV (3.0%), and eight (12.1%) were positive for FeLV infection (five from an urban habitat and three from a rural habitat). Haemoplasma infection was more common. Based on molecular analysis, 38 cats (54.3%) were positive for haemoplasma, with a significantly higher infection rate in cats from rural habitats (70.8%) compared with urban cats (47.8%). Our study recorded haematological and serum biochemical values, and prevalence of selected pathogens in feral cat populations from two different habitat types. A subset of important laboratory parameters from rural cats showed values under or above the corresponding reference intervals for healthy domestic cats, suggesting potential differences in the health status of feral cats depending on the habitat type. Our findings provide information about the association between 1) blood values (haematological and serum biochemistry parameters) and 2) prevalence of selected pathogen infections and different habitat types; this may be important for veterinarians who work with feral and/or stray cats and for overall cat welfare management. © ISFM and AAFP 2015.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A. Brown

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polit-Casillas, Raul; Howe, A. Scott

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polit-Casillas, Raul; Howe, A. Scott

    2013-01-01

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

  14. New insights on the rarity of the vulnerable Cinereous Warbling-finch (Aves, Emberizidae based on density, home range, and habitat selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Marques-Santos

    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.

  15. Applying the basin model: Assessing habitat suitability of young-of-the-year demersal fishes on the New York Bight continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Mark C.; Cowen, Robert K.; Able, Kenneth W.; Fahay, Michael P.

    2006-09-01

    The extent to which young-of-the-year (YOY) fish habitats become saturated with new recruits has remained relatively unevaluated for temperate, demersal, continental shelf fishes. MacCall's [1990. Dynamic Geography of Marine Fish Populations. Washington Sea Grant Program, University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington] basin model was used as a framework for examining the dynamics of an assemblage of recently settled fishes in relation to available microhabitat on the New York Bight continental shelf (USA). For four abundant species (three flatfish, one merlucciid hake), density-specific patterns of microhabitat selection, spatial dispersion and overall cross-shelf habitat use were investigated using a research submersible over three cross-shelf transects during the late summer settlement season. Typically, recruits that saturated YOY habitats (>1 ind/m 2) were randomly distributed within underwater transects and formed weak associations with specific microhabitats. At lower densities (ecologically important substrates (i.e. Limanda ferruginea, sand wave crests/low shell hash). For Citharichthys arctifrons, clumping appeared to increase with complexity of the habitat. Several less-abundant species (i.e. Urophycis chuss, Tautogolabrus adspersus) formed tight associations with rare habitat features and may consequently encounter the greatest bottleneck for space during the benthic/pelagic transition. Although restricted by the scale of observation, these results begin to elucidate the mechanisms by which habitat quality and quantity moderate recruitment on the continental shelf.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene D. Alabia

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Multi-scale habitat selection in highly territorial bird species: Exploring the contribution of nest, territory and landscape levels to site choice in breeding rallids (Aves: Rallidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlikowski, Jan; Chibowski, Piotr; Karasek, Tomasz; Brambilla, Mattia

    2016-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. Larval Fish of Selected Aquatic Habitats on the Lower Mississippi River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-02-01

    high stages, with an 18.7-m difference in vater level. The aver- age water velocity within the main channel is from 0.9 to 1.9 a/sec with a maximum...flowmeter readings . In the case of the habitat comparisons, stations representing the locations (e.g., main channel or Carolina Revetment) were pooled...34Larval Suckers (Pisces- Catostomidae ) from the Lower Mississippi River," Association of Southeastern Biologists Bulletin, Vol 25, No. 2, p 56. ! ! 1979a

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

    2001-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ulbrich, K.; Seidelmann, K.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Feeding ecology of dunlins Calidris alpina staging in the southern Baltic Sea, 1. Habitat use and food selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierschke, Volker; Kube, Jan; Probst, Sandra; Brenning, Ulrich

    1999-08-01

    The feeding habits of migrating dunlins Calidris alpina staging in different non-tidal coastal habitats in the southern Baltic Sea are described. The study also focuses on the structure of the benthic macrofauna of these habitats and the diet choice of dunlins. All investigations were carried out on Langenwerder Island (Wismar Bay), where different types of flats and beaches harbour a total of 30 to 40 species of marine macrofauna. The composition of the macrobenthos differed considerably between the eulittoral sandbank, the eulittoral mudflat, the pebble beach, and the sublittoral surroundings. Most dunlins were observed foraging in flocks of up to several hundred individuals on the eulittoral flats. Densities of up to 20 to 30 foraging dunlins ha -1 occurred annually during peak migration in September and October. Macrobenthos biomass in these habitats fluctuated between 20 and 40 g AFDM m -2. The mean total food consumption of dunlins during autumn migration was estimated at 0.01 g AFDM m -2 d -1. The predation pressure could be estimated at 3 to 6% of the suitable food supply. Dunlins staging on Langenwerder were able to attain a pre-migratory mass gain of 0.2 to 0.5% of their body weight per day within an 8 to 12-h daily feeding period. The birds fed predominantly on the polychaete Hediste diversicolor by probing. They selected small 7 to 31-mm-long individuals. When water levels were high, and the eulittoral flats inundated, many dunlins switched to foraging along the shorelines where a variety of small prey were taken from spilled macrophytes. Dunlins sometimes obviously ignored their most important food H. diversicolor, although available, by feeding on other prey such as juvenile fishes and shrimps, dipteran larvae or spilled amphipods. When feeding on amphipods, dunlins selected the smallest individuals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-05-01

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

  12. Assessment of Brown Bear\\'s (Ursus arctos syriacus Winter Habitat Using Geographically Weighted Regression and Generalized Linear Model in South of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Zarei

    2016-03-01

    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.

  13. Selective Maintenance Model Considering Time Uncertainty

    OpenAIRE

    Le Chen; Zhengping Shu; Yuan Li; Xuezhi Lv

    2012-01-01

    This study proposes a selective maintenance model for weapon system during mission interval. First, it gives relevant definitions and operational process of material support system. Then, it introduces current research on selective maintenance modeling. Finally, it establishes numerical model for selecting corrective and preventive maintenance tasks, considering time uncertainty brought by unpredictability of maintenance procedure, indetermination of downtime for spares and difference of skil...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  15. Evolution of sexual systems, dispersal strategies and habitat selection in the liverwort genus Radula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devos, Nicolas; Renner, Matt A M; Gradstein, Robbert; Shaw, A Jonathan; Laenen, Benjamin; Vanderpoorten, Alain

    2011-10-01

    • 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.

  16. Individual consistency in flight initiation distances in burrowing owls: a new hypothesis on disturbance-induced habitat selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrete, Martina; Tella, José L

    2010-04-23

    Individuals often consistently differ in personalities and behaviours that allow them to cope with environmental variation. Flight initiation distance (FID) has been measured in a variety of taxa as an estimate of the risk that an individual is willing to take when facing a predator. FID has been used to test life-history trade-offs related to anti-predatory behaviour and for conservation purposes such as to establish buffer zones to minimize human disturbance, given its species-specific consistency. Individual consistency in FID, however, has been largely overlooked. Here we show that, even after controlling for several confounding effects, this behaviour has a strong individual component (repeatability = 0.84-0.92) in a bird species, leaving a small margin for behavioural flexibility. We hypothesize that individuals may distribute themselves among breeding sites depending on their individual susceptibility to human disturbance. This habitat selection hypothesis merits further research, given its implications on both evolutionary and applied ecology research. For example, selection of human-tolerant phenotypes may be promoted through the humanization of habitats occurring worldwide, and when population means instead of individual variability in FID are considered for designing buffer zones to reduce human impacts on wildlife.

  17. Biotelemetry study of spring and summer habitat selection by striped bass in Cherokee Reservoir, Tennessee, 1978. [Morone saxatilis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaich, B.A.; Coutant, C.C.

    1980-08-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, James E.; Johnson, James H.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Ulbrich

    2001-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

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

  3. Summer resource selection and identification of important habitat prior to industrial development for the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd in northern Alaska.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan R Wilson

    Full Text Available Many caribou (Rangifer tarandus populations are declining worldwide in part due to disturbance from human development. Prior to human development, important areas of habitat should be identified to help managers minimize adverse effects. Resource selection functions can help identify these areas by providing a link between space use and landscape attributes. We estimated resource selection during five summer periods at two spatial scales for the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd in northern Alaska prior to industrial development to identify areas of high predicted use for the herd. Additionally, given the strong influence parturition and insect harassment have on space use, we determined how selection differed between parturient and non-parturient females, and between periods with and without insect harassment. We used location data acquired between 2004-2010 for 41 female caribou to estimate resource selection functions. Patterns of selection varied through summer but caribou consistently avoided patches of flooded vegetation and selected areas with a high density of sedge-grass meadow. Predicted use by parturient females during calving was almost entirely restricted to the area surrounding Teshekpuk Lake presumably due to high concentration of sedge-grass meadows, whereas selection for this area by non-parturient females was less strong. When insect harassment was low, caribou primarily selected the areas around Teshekpuk Lake but when it was high, caribou used areas having climates where insect abundance would be lower (i.e., coastal margins, gravel bars. Areas with a high probability of use were predominately restricted to the area surrounding Teshekpuk Lake except during late summer when high use areas were less aggregated because of more general patterns of resource selection. Planning is currently underway for establishing where oil and gas development can occur in the herd's range, so our results provide land managers with information that can help

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Roger Tankersley, Jr.; Kenneth Orvis

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Signatures of natural selection among lineages and habitats in Oncorhynchus mykiss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Limborg, Morten; Blankenship, S.; Young, S.

    2012-01-01

    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...

  10. Aquatic biological communities and associated habitats at selected sites in the Big Wood River Watershed, south-central Idaho, 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCoy, Dorene E.; Short, Terry M.

    2016-09-28

    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

  11. Aquatic biological communities and associated habitats at selected sites in the Big Wood River Watershed, south-central Idaho, 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCoy, Dorene E.; Short, Terry M.

    2016-09-28

    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

  12. Assessing the Habitat Suitability of Dam Reservoirs: A Quantitative Model and Case Study of the Hantan River Dam, South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeongsik Kang

    2016-11-01

    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.

  13. Seasonal variation in soil seed bank size and species composition of selected habitat types in Maputaland, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. S. Kellerman

    2007-12-01

    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.

  14. Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M.K.

    2005-01-01

    We assessed the relation between abundance of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius, and selected biological and physicochemical variables in natural and manmade habitats within the Salton Sea Basin. Field sampling in a natural tributary, Salt Creek, and three agricultural drains captured eight species including pupfish (1.1% of the total catch), the only native species encountered. According to Bray-Curtis resemblance functions, fish species assemblages differed mostly between Salt Creek and the drains (i.e., the three drains had relatively similar species assemblages). Pupfish numbers and environmental variables varied among sites and sample periods. Canonical correlation showed that pupfish abundance was positively correlated with abundance of western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, and negatively correlated with abundance of porthole livebearers, Poeciliopsis gracilis, tilapias (Sarotherodon mossambica and Tilapia zillii), longjaw mudsuckers, Gillichthys mirabilis, and mollies (Poecilia latipinnaandPoecilia mexicana). In addition, pupfish abundance was positively correlated with cover, pH, and salinity, and negatively correlated with sediment factor (a measure of sediment grain size) and dissolved oxygen. Pupfish abundance was generally highest in habitats where water quality extremes (especially high pH and salinity, and low dissolved oxygen) seemingly limited the occurrence of nonnative fishes. This study also documented evidence of predation by mudsuckers on pupfish. These findings support the contention of many resource managers that pupfish populations are adversely influenced by ecological interactions with nonnative fishes. ?? Springer 2005.

  15. Seasonal habitat selection by African buffalo Syncerus caffer in the Savuti–Mababe–Linyanti ecosystem of northern Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keoikantse Sianga

    2017-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Saki

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  19. Bayesian Constrained-Model Selection for Factor Analytic Modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Peeters, Carel F.W.

    2016-01-01

    My dissertation revolves around Bayesian approaches towards constrained statistical inference in the factor analysis (FA) model. Two interconnected types of restricted-model selection are considered. These types have a natural connection to selection problems in the exploratory FA (EFA) and confirmatory FA (CFA) model and are termed Type I and Type II model selection. Type I constrained-model selection is taken to mean the determination of the appropriate dimensionality of a model. This type ...

  20. Habitat selection of the pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus paulensis and the blue crab Callinectes sapidus in an estuary in southern Brazil: influence of salinity and submerged seagrass meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinicius Mendes Ruas

    Full Text Available This study was conducted in two estuarine inlets (Saco da Mangueira and Saco do Arraial at the Patos Lagoon estuary, southern Brazil. The changes in relative abundance and size of post-larvae and juvenile shrimp Farfantepenaeus paulensis and juvenile blue crab Callinectes sapidus were compared, considering the influence of salinity and the presence of submerged seagrass meadows. The analyses were performed using generalized linear models (GLM for abundance variations and ANOVA for variations on the size of individuals. The pink shrimp was more abundant at Saco da Mangueira, in seagrass meadows and areas of higher salinity. The blue crab was more abundant at Saco do Arraial and in lower levels of salinity. The importance of submerged vegetation for the blue crab lies in a preference of smaller crabs of the species for the seagrass meadows. It has been shown that these species choose different habitats in the estuary, and both the salinity and the presence of submerged seagrass meadows influence the selection of habitat.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Xinjun; TIAN Siquan; LIU Bilin; CHEN Yong

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael A. Magris

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samson S Kiware

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger Tankersley, Jr.

    2003-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Abecassis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  12. Model selection bias and Freedman's paradox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukacs, P.M.; Burnham, K.P.; Anderson, D.R.

    2010-01-01

    In situations where limited knowledge of a system exists and the ratio of data points to variables is small, variable selection methods can often be misleading. Freedman (Am Stat 37:152-155, 1983) demonstrated how common it is to select completely unrelated variables as highly "significant" when the number of data points is similar in magnitude to the number of variables. A new type of model averaging estimator based on model selection with Akaike's AIC is used with linear regression to investigate the problems of likely inclusion of spurious effects and model selection bias, the bias introduced while using the data to select a single seemingly "best" model from a (often large) set of models employing many predictor variables. The new model averaging estimator helps reduce these problems and provides confidence interval coverage at the nominal level while traditional stepwise selection has poor inferential properties. ?? The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo 2009.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cardador

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

  14. Selected Logistics Models and Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-09-01

    ACCESS PROCEDURE: On-Line System (OLS), UNINET . RCA maintains proprietary control of this model, and the model is available only through a lease...System (OLS), UNINET . RCA maintains proprietary control of this model, and the model is available only through a lease arrangement. • SPONSOR: ASD/ACCC

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batzli, George O

    2016-11-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Qamar J A; Jaju, R P

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holcombe, Tracy

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  1. Vertebrate extracellular calcium-sensing receptor evolution: selection in relation to life history and habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herberger, Amanda L; Loretz, Christopher A

    2013-03-01

    Ionic calcium (Ca(2+)) supports essential functions within physiological systems, and consequently its concentration is homeostatically regulated within narrow bounds in the body fluids of animals through endocrine effects at ion-transporting osmoregulatory tissues. In vertebrates, extracellular Ca(2+) is detected at the cell surface by the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR), a member of the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily. Interestingly, the taxonomic distribution of CaSRs is restricted to vertebrates, with some CaSR-like receptors apparently present in non-vertebrate chordates. Since bone is a known Ca(2+) storage site and is characteristically restricted to the vertebrate lineage, we hypothesized a functional association of CaSR with vertebrate skeleton that may have an ancient origin. Protein sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate CaSRs and related GPCRs of the glutamate receptor-like family expose similarities and indel differences among these receptors, and reveal the evolutionary history of CaSRs. Evolutionary selection was tested statistically by evaluating the relationship between non-synonymous (replacement, dN) versus synonymous (silent, dS) amino acid substitution rates (as dN/dS) of protein-coding DNA sequences among branches of the estimated protein phylogeny. On a background of strong purifying selection (dN/dS1) was detected on some branches to major clades in the CaSR phylogeny, especially to the tetrapod vertebrate CaSRs and chordate CaSR-like branches. Testing also revealed overall purifying selection at the codon level. At some sites relaxation from strong purifying selection was seen, but evidence for adaptive evolution was not detected for individual sites. The results suggest purifying selection of CaSRs, and of adaptive evolution among some major vertebrate clades, reflecting clade specific differences in natural history and organismal biology, including skeletal involvement in calcium homeostasis

  2. Foraging habits in a generalist predator: sex and age influence habitat selection and resource use among bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sam Rossman,; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Nelio B. Barros,; Hasand Gandhi,; Peggy H. Ostrom,; Stricker, Craig A.; Randall S. Wells,

    2015-01-01

    This study examines resource use (diet, habitat use, and trophic level) within and among demographic groups (males, females, and juveniles) of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We analyzed the δ13C and δ15N values of 15 prey species constituting 84% of the species found in stomach contents. We used these data to establish a trophic enrichment factor (TEF) to inform dietary analysis using a Bayesian isotope mixing model. We document a TEF of 0‰ and 2.0‰ for δ13C and δ15N, respectively. The dietary results showed that all demographic groups relied heavily on low trophic level seagrass-associated prey. Bayesian standard ellipse areas (SEAb) were calculated to assess diversity in resource use. The SEAb of females was nearly four times larger than that of males indicating varied resource use, likely a consequence of small home ranges and habitat specialization. Juveniles possessed an intermediate SEAb, generally feeding at a lower trophic level compared to females, potentially an effect of natal philopatry and immature foraging skills. The small SEAb of males reflects a high degree of specialization on seagrass associated prey. Patterns in resource use by the demographic groups are likely linked to differences in the relative importance of social and ecological factors.

  3. Habitat Loss, Not Fragmentation, Drives Occurrence Patterns of Canada Lynx at the Southern Range Periphery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornseth, Megan L.; Walpole, Aaron A.; Walton, Lyle R.; Bowman, Jeff; Ray, Justina C.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Murray, Dennis L.

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The ‘threshold hypothesis’ predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., less than 30%) than when habitat is abundant, implying that habitat fragmentation may compound habitat loss through changes in patch size and configuration. Alternatively, the ‘flexibility hypothesis’ predicts that individuals may respond to increased habitat disturbance by altering their selection patterns and thereby reducing sensitivity to habitat loss and fragmentation. While the range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) has contracted during recent decades, the relative importance of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on this phenomenon is poorly understood. We used a habitat suitability model for lynx to identify suitable land cover in Ontario, and contrasted occupancy patterns across landscapes differing in cover, to test the ‘threshold hypothesis’ and ‘flexibility hypothesis’. When suitable land cover was widely available, lynx avoided areas with less than 30% habitat and were unaffected by habitat fragmentation. However, on landscapes with minimal suitable land cover, lynx occurrence was not related to either habitat loss or habitat fragmentation, indicating support for the ‘flexibility hypothesis’. We conclude that lynx are broadly affected by habitat loss, and not specifically by habitat fragmentation, although occurrence patterns are flexible and dependent on landscape condition. We suggest that lynx may alter their habitat selection patterns depending on local conditions, thereby reducing their sensitivity to anthropogenically-driven habitat

  4. Habitat loss, not fragmentation, drives occurrence patterns of Canada lynx at the southern range periphery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan L Hornseth

    Full Text Available Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The 'threshold hypothesis' predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., less than 30% than when habitat is abundant, implying that habitat fragmentation may compound habitat loss through changes in patch size and configuration. Alternatively, the 'flexibility hypothesis' predicts that individuals may respond to increased habitat disturbance by altering their selection patterns and thereby reducing sensitivity to habitat loss and fragmentation. While the range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis has contracted during recent decades, the relative importance of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on this phenomenon is poorly understood. We used a habitat suitability model for lynx to identify suitable land cover in Ontario, and contrasted occupancy patterns across landscapes differing in cover, to test the 'threshold hypothesis' and 'flexibility hypothesis'. When suitable land cover was widely available, lynx avoided areas with less than 30% habitat and were unaffected by habitat fragmentation. However, on landscapes with minimal suitable land cover, lynx occurrence was not related to either habitat loss or habitat fragmentation, indicating support for the 'flexibility hypothesis'. We conclude that lynx are broadly affected by habitat loss, and not specifically by habitat fragmentation, although occurrence patterns are flexible and dependent on landscape condition. We suggest that lynx may alter their habitat selection patterns depending on local conditions, thereby reducing their sensitivity to anthropogenically-driven habitat

  5. Habitat loss, not fragmentation, drives occurrence patterns of Canada lynx at the southern range periphery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornseth, Megan L; Walpole, Aaron A; Walton, Lyle R; Bowman, Jeff; Ray, Justina C; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Murray, Dennis L

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The 'threshold hypothesis' predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., less than 30%) than when habitat is abundant, implying that habitat fragmentation may compound habitat loss through changes in patch size and configuration. Alternatively, the 'flexibility hypothesis' predicts that individuals may respond to increased habitat disturbance by altering their selection patterns and thereby reducing sensitivity to habitat loss and fragmentation. While the range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) has contracted during recent decades, the relative importance of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on this phenomenon is poorly understood. We used a habitat suitability model for lynx to identify suitable land cover in Ontario, and contrasted occupancy patterns across landscapes differing in cover, to test the 'threshold hypothesis' and 'flexibility hypothesis'. When suitable land cover was widely available, lynx avoided areas with less than 30% habitat and were unaffected by habitat fragmentation. However, on landscapes with minimal suitable land cover, lynx occurrence was not related to either habitat loss or habitat fragmentation, indicating support for the 'flexibility hypothesis'. We conclude that lynx are broadly affected by habitat loss, and not specifically by habitat fragmentation, although occurrence patterns are flexible and dependent on landscape condition. We suggest that lynx may alter their habitat selection patterns depending on local conditions, thereby reducing their sensitivity to anthropogenically-driven habitat alteration.

  6. MODEL SELECTION FOR SPECTROPOLARIMETRIC INVERSIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asensio Ramos, A.; Manso Sainz, R.; Martinez Gonzalez, M. J.; Socas-Navarro, H. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, E-38205, La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Viticchie, B. [ESA/ESTEC RSSD, Keplerlaan 1, 2200 AG Noordwijk (Netherlands); Orozco Suarez, D., E-mail: aasensio@iac.es [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)

    2012-04-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-11-15

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

  8. Habitat selection by grey mullets (Osteichthyes: Mugilidae) in Mediterranean estuaries: the role of salinity.

    OpenAIRE

    Cardona Pascual, Luis

    2006-01-01

    A stratified study of microhabitat use by grey mullet on the island of Minorca (Balearic archipelago, western Mediterranean) showed that the distribution of all the species was dramatically affected by salinity. Sites with a salinity level under 15 were positively selected in spring and summer by those species whose growth performance was the best in oligomesohaline water (Liza ramado and Mugil cephalus) but also by a species whose growth was not affected by salinity (Chelon labrosus). Liza a...

  9. Between a rock and a hard place: habitat selection in female-calf humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Pairs on the Hawaiian breeding grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Rachel; Gillespie, Blake; Labonte, Kristen; Mangold, Terence; Venema, Amy; Eden, Kevin; Sullivan, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    The Au'au Channel between the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii comprises critical breeding habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) of the Central North Pacific stock. However, like many regions where marine mega-fauna gather, these waters are also the focus of a flourishing local eco-tourism and whale watching industry. Our aim was to establish current trends in habitat preference in female-calf humpback whale pairs within this region, focusing specifically on the busy, eastern portions of the channel. We used an equally-spaced zigzag transect survey design, compiled our results in a GIS model to identify spatial trends and calculated Neu's Indices to quantify levels of habitat use. Our study revealed that while mysticete female-calf pairs on breeding grounds typically favor shallow, inshore waters, female-calf pairs in the Au'au Channel avoided shallow waters (whale breeding grounds, there was only minimal evidence of typical patterns of stratification or segregation according to group composition. A review of habitat use by maternal females across Hawaiian waters indicates that maternal habitat choice varies between localities within the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that maternal females alter their use of habitat according to locally varying pressures. This ability to respond to varying environments may be the key that allows wildlife species to persist in regions where human activity and critical habitat overlap.

  10. Genetic search feature selection for affective modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martínez, Héctor P.; Yannakakis, Georgios N.

    2010-01-01

    Automatic feature selection is a critical step towards the generation of successful computational models of affect. This paper presents a genetic search-based feature selection method which is developed as a global-search algorithm for improving the accuracy of the affective models built...

  11. Conservation of Endangered Lupinus mariae-josephae in Its Natural Habitat by Inoculation with Selected, Native Bradyrhizobium Strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Albert; Fos, Simón; Laguna, Emilio; Durán, David; Rey, Luis; Rubio-Sanz, Laura; Imperial, Juan; Ruiz-Argüeso, Tomás

    2014-01-01

    Lupinus mariae-jose