WorldWideScience

Sample records for winter habitat suitability

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Osprey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vana-Miller, Sandra L.

    1987-01-01

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

  3. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yu

    Full Text Available We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST, chlorophyll-a (Chl-a concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA and sea surface salinity (SSS. Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch, 2008 (average catch and 2009 (low catch indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially

  4. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Wei; Chen, Xinjun; Yi, Qian; Chen, Yong; Zhang, Yang

    2015-01-01

    We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI) model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) and sea surface salinity (SSS). Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM) were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch), 2008 (average catch) and 2009 (low catch) indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially valuable

  5. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Wei; Chen, Xinjun; Yi, Qian; Chen, Yong; Zhang, Yang

    2015-01-01

    We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI) model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) and sea surface salinity (SSS). Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM) were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch), 2008 (average catch) and 2009 (low catch) indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially valuable

  6. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark 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.

  7. Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, habitat suitability index model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, J. Hardin

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Habitat characteristics of wintering Wood Warbler Phylloscopus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Habitat characteristics of wintering Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix in the Centre Region of Cameroon: conservation implications. Taku Awa II, Tsi A Evaristus, Robin C Whytock, Tsetagho Guilain, John Mallord ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are extensively used to project habitat suitability of species in stream ecological studies. Owing to complex sources of uncertainty, such models may yield projections with varying degrees of uncertainty. To better understand projected spatial distributions and the variability between habitat suitability projections, this study uses five SDMs that are based on the outputs of a two-dimensional hydraulic model to project the suitability of habitats and to eval...

  10. Global habitat suitability models of terrestrial mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-27

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark D. Nelson; Richard R. Buech

    1996-01-01

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

  13. Quantifying suitable habitat of the threatened western prairie fringed orchid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paige M. Wolken; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Stephen E. Williams

    2001-01-01

    Land managers need accurate and quick techniques to identify suitable habitat of species of interest. For species protected by federal or state laws, identification of suitable habitat is critical for developing a conservation strategy that includes reestablishing populations and altering management to address this need. In this research, we quantified vegetative and...

  14. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  15. Deep-Sea Soft Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  16. Suitability of Starch Syrups for Winter Feeding of Honeybee Colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Semkiw Piotr

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Three different starch syrups available on the Polish market for winter feeding of bees were evaluated for two consecutive beekeeping seasons (2012/2013 and 2013/2014. Sugar syrup and inverted sucrose syrup were used as the control. Winter feeding was conducted at two times: earlier and later in the season. After supplementation of winter feeding was stopped, we measured colony strength (number of combs covered by bees and brood area. After overwintering (spring 2013 and 2014, we estimated the influence of these foods on: bee mortality during overwintering (number of dead bees in winter debris, food consumption, colony strength and brood area in spring (two measurements in three-week intervals, development dynamics and honey yield from spring flow. An analysis of the results for the parameters assessed before overwintering, after its end and during spring development did not show significant differences between bee colonies fed with different types of food. No relevant difficulties concerning food crystallisation were encountered. The analysed syrups turned out to be as suitable for winter feeding of bees as sugar and inverted sucrose syrups.

  17. Surviving winter: Food, but not habitat structure, prevents crashes in cyclic vole populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen, Kaja; Boonstra, Rudy; Boutin, Stan; Devineau, Olivier; Krebs, Charles J; Andreassen, Harry P

    2017-01-01

    Vole population cycles are a major force driving boreal ecosystem dynamics in northwestern Eurasia. However, our understanding of the impact of winter on these cycles is increasingly uncertain, especially because climate change is affecting snow predictability, quality, and abundance. We examined the role of winter weather and snow conditions, the lack of suitable habitat structure during freeze-thaw periods, and the lack of sufficient food as potential causes for winter population crashes. We live-trapped bank voles Myodes glareolus on 26 plots (0.36 ha each) at two different elevations (representing different winter conditions) in southeast Norway in the winters 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. We carried out two manipulations: supplementing six plots with food to eliminate food limitation and six plots with straw to improve habitat structure and limit the effect of icing in the subnivean space. In the first winter, all bank voles survived well on all plots, whereas in the second winter voles on almost all plots went extinct except for those receiving supplemental food. Survival was highest on the feeding treatment in both winters, whereas improving habitat structure had no effect. We conclude that food limitation was a key factor in causing winter population crashes.

  18. Suitability of Coastal Marshes as Whooping Crane Foraging Habitat in Southwest Louisiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Sammy L.; Kang, Sung-Ryong

    2014-01-01

    Foraging habitat conditions (i.e., water depth, prey biomass, digestible energy density) can be a significant predictor of foraging habitat selection by wading birds. Potential foraging habitats of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) using marshes include ponds and emergent marsh, but the potential prey and energy availability in these habitat types have rarely been studied. In this study, we estimated daily digestible energy density for Whooping Cranes in different marsh and microhabitat types (i.e., pond, flooded emergent marsh). Also, indicator metrics of foraging habitat suitability for Whooping Cranes were developed based on seasonal water depth, prey biomass, and digestible energy density. Seasonal water depth (cm), prey biomass (g wet weight m-2), and digestible energy density (kcal g-1m-2) ranged from 0.0 to 50.2 ± 2.8, 0.0 to 44.8 ± 22.3, and 0.0 to 31.0 ± 15.3, respectively. With the exception of freshwater emergent marsh in summer, all available habitats were capable of supporting one Whooping Crane per 0.1 ha per day. All habitat types in the marshes had relatively higher suitability in spring and summer than in fall and winter. Our study indicates that based on general energy availability, freshwater marshes in the region can support Whooping Cranes in a relatively small area, particularly in spring and summer. In actuality, the spatial density of ponds, the flood depth of the emergent marsh, and the habitat conditions (e.g., vegetation density) between adjacent suitable habitats will constrain suitable habitat and Whooping Crane numbers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    We developed a spatially-explicit, flexible 3-parameter habitat suitability model that can be used to identify and predict areas at higher risk for non-native dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) invasion. The model uses simple environmental parameters (depth, nearshore slope, and salinity) to quantitatively describe habitat suitable for Z. japonica invasion based on ecology and physiology from the primary literature. Habitat suitability is defined with values ranging from zero to one, where one denotes areas most conducive to Z. japonica and zero denotes areas not likely to support Z. japonica growth. The model was applied to Yaquina Bay, Oregon, USA, an area that has well documented Z. japonica expansion over the last two decades. The highest suitability values for Z. japonica occurred in the mid to upper portions of the intertidal zone, with larger expanses occurring in the lower estuary. While the upper estuary did contain suitable habitat, most areas were not as large as in the lower estuary, due to inappropriate depth, a steeply sloping intertidal zone, and lower salinity. The lowest suitability values occurred below the lower intertidal zone, within the Yaquina River channel. The model was validated by comparison to a multi-year time series of Z. japonica maps, revealing a strong predictive capacity. Sensitivity analysis performed to evaluate the contribution of each parameter to the model prediction revealed that depth was the most important factor. Sh

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Evaluating timber harvesting impacts on wildlife habitat suitability using FOREX

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris B. LeDoux

    1997-01-01

    Precommercial, commercial, and final harvesting operations can impact wildlife habitat suitability by altering the vegetation composition on a given site. Harvesting operations remove trees and many times provide the necessary perturbation to trigger successional conditions different from those that existed prior to the harvest. Although these new successional changes...

  3. Ecological variables governing habitat suitability and the distribution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    governed by soil particle size distribution), in combination with the cover provided by trees, as the two ecological factors that best explained habitat suitability for Juliana's golden mole at the three localities. An IndVal analysis failed to identify ...

  4. Transferability of habitat suitability criteria for fishes in warmwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Mary C.; Bowen, Z.H.; Crance, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    We developed habitat suitability criteria and tested their transferability for nine fishes inhabiting unregulated Piedmont and Coastal Plain streams in Alabama. Cr iteria for optimal habitat were defined as ranges of depth, velocity, substrate type and cover type for which a species' suitability index (proportional abundance divided by proportional habitat availability, scaled from 0 to 1) equalled or exceeded 0.4. We evaluated the transferability of criteria between study sites by testing the null hypothesis that species occurrence in a sample was independent of whether or not the sample was taken in optimal habitat. We also tested criteria transference to a large, flow-regulated river sampled during low flow periods. Depth, velocity and most substrate criteria developed for the bronze darter Percina palmaris successfully transferred between unregulated streams and to the flow-regulated river samples. All criteria developed for a pair of closely related, allopatric darter species, Etheostoma chuckwachattee and E. jordani, transferred sucessfully when applied between species (in the unregulated sites) and to the regulated river samples. In contrast, criteria for the Alabama shiner Cyprinella callistia failed nearly all tests of transferability. Criteria for E. stigmaeum, P. nigrofasciata, an undescribed Percina species, and a pair of related, allopatric Cyprinella species transferred inconsistently. The species with good criteria transference had high suitability indices for shallow depths, fast current velocities and coarse substrates, characteristic of riffle species. We suggest that microhabitat criteria for riffle fishes are more likely to provide a transferable measure of habitat quality than criteria for fishes that, although restricted to fluvial habitats, commonly occupy a variety of pool and riffle habitats.

  5. Winter habitat occurrence patterns of temperate migrant birds in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, D.K.; Robbins, C.S.; Sauer, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    We used mist nets and point counts to sample bird populations in 61 sites in Belize during January-March of 1987-1991. Sites were classified as forest, second growth, woody agricultural crops (citrus, mango, cacao, and cashew), or non-woody agricultural crops (rice and sugar cane). We evaluated patterns of occurence of wintering temperate migrant bird species in these habitats. Mist net captures of 22 of 31 migrant species differed significantly among habitats. Of these, 13 species were captured more frequently in the agricultural habitats. American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) were among the species captured most frequently in woody agricultural habitats; captures of Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Northern (lcterus galbula) and Orchard orioles (I. spur/anus) were highest in the non-woody agricultural sites. We relate these occurrence patterns to trends in breeding populations in North America. While count data provide a wide picture of winter habitat distribution of migrants, more intensive work is necessary to assess temporal and geographic variation of migrant bird use of agricultural habitats.

  6. Winter habitat associations of diurnal raptors in Californias Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandolrno, E.R.; Herzog, M.P.; Hooper, S.L.; Smith, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The wintering raptors of California's Central Valley are abundant and diverse. Despite this, little information exists on the habitats used by these birds in winter. We recorded diurnal raptors along 19 roadside survey routes throughout the Central Valley for three consecutive winters between 2007 and 2010. We obtained data sufficient to determine significant positive and negative habitat associations for the White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), Bald Eagle {Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), and Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus). The Prairie Falcon and Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks showed expected strong positive associations with grasslands. The Bald Eagle and Northern Harrier were positively associated not only with wetlands but also with rice. The strongest positive association for the White-tailed Kite was with wetlands. The Red-tailed Hawk was positively associated with a variety of habitat types but most strongly with wetlands and rice. The American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, and White-tailed Kite were positively associated with alfalfa. Nearly all species were negatively associated with urbanized landscapes, orchards, and other intensive forms of agriculture. The White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Redtailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, and American Kestrel showed significant negative associations with oak savanna. Given the rapid conversion of the Central Valley to urban and intensive agricultural uses over the past few decades, these results have important implications for conservation of these wintering raptors in this region.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Varner

    Full Text Available Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps. We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation and unsuitable (low elevation by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  9. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varner, Johanna; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-01-01

    Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation) and unsuitable (low elevation) by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  10. Subterranean systems provide a suitable overwintering habitat for Salamandra salamandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Balogová

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra has been repeatedly noted to occur in natural and artificial subterranean systems. Despite the obvious connection of this species with underground shelters, their level of dependence and importance to the species is still not fully understood. In this study, we carried out long-term monitoring based on the capture-mark-recapture method in two wintering populations aggregated in extensive underground habitats. Using the POPAN model we found the population size in a natural shelter to be more than twice that of an artificial underground shelter. Survival and recapture probabilities calculated using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model were very constant over time, with higher survival values in males than in females and juveniles, though in terms of recapture probability, the opposite situation was recorded. In addition, survival probability obtained from Cormack-Jolly-Seber model was higher than survival from POPAN model. The observed bigger population size and the lower recapture rate in the natural cave was probably a reflection of habitat complexity. Our study showed that regular visits are needed to detect the true significance of underground shelters for fire salamanders. The presence of larvae was recorded in both wintering sites, especially in bodies of water near the entrance. On the basis of previous and our observations we incline to the view, that karst areas can induce not only laying in underground shelters but also group wintering in this species. Our study highlights the strong connection of the life cycle of fire salamanders with underground shelters and their essential importance for the persistence of some populations during unfavourable conditions and breeding activity. In addition, the study introduces the POPAN and Cormac-Jolly-Seber models for estimating of population size, survival and recapture probability in wintering populations of the species, which could provide important information

  11. Quantitative validation of a habitat suitability index for oyster restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth eTheuerkauf

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models provide spatially explicit information on the capacity of a given habitat to support a species of interest, and their prevalence has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite caution that the reliability of HSIs must be validated using independent, quantitative data, most HSIs intended to inform terrestrial and marine species management remain unvalidated. Furthermore, of the eight HSI models developed for eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica restoration and fishery production, none has been validated. Consequently, we developed, calibrated, and validated an HSI for the eastern oyster to identify optimal habitat for restoration in a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, the Great Wicomico River (GWR. The GWR harbors a high density, restored oyster population, and therefore serves as an excellent model system for assessing the validity of the HSI. The HSI was derived from GIS layers of bottom type, salinity, and water depth (surrogate for dissolved oxygen, and was tested using live adult oyster density data from a survey of high vertical relief reefs (HRR and low vertical relief reefs (LRR in the sanctuary network. Live adult oyster density was a statistically-significant sigmoid function of the HSI, which validates the HSI as a robust predictor of suitable oyster reef habitat for rehabilitation or restoration. In addition, HRR had on average 103-116 more adults m^−2 than LRR at a given level of the HSI. For HRR, HSI values ≥0.3 exceeded the accepted restoration target of 50 live adult oysters m^−2. For LRR, the HSI was generally able to predict live adult oyster densities that meet or exceed the target at HSI values ≥0.3. The HSI indicated that there remain large areas of suitable habitat for restoration in the GWR. This study provides a robust framework for HSI model development and validation, which can be refined and applied to other systems and previously developed HSIs to improve the efficacy of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. Characterizing habitat suitability for a central-place forager in a dynamic marine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe, Dana K; Fossette, Sabrina; Scales, Kylie L; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Maxwell, Sara M; McHuron, Elizabeth A; Robinson, Patrick W; Kuhn, Carey; Costa, Daniel P; Crowder, Larry B; Lewison, Rebecca L

    2018-03-01

    Characterizing habitat suitability for a marine predator requires an understanding of the environmental heterogeneity and variability over the range in which a population moves during a particular life cycle. Female California sea lions ( Zalophus californianus ) are central-place foragers and are particularly constrained while provisioning their young. During this time, habitat selection is a function of prey availability and proximity to the rookery, which has important implications for reproductive and population success. We explore how lactating females may select habitat and respond to environmental variability over broad spatial and temporal scales within the California Current System. We combine near-real-time remotely sensed satellite oceanography, animal tracking data ( n  = 72) from November to February over multiple years (2003-2009) and Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) to determine the probability of sea lion occurrence based on environmental covariates. Results indicate that sea lion presence is associated with cool ( habitat maps generated from these biophysical associations suggest winter foraging areas are spatially consistent in the nearshore and offshore environments, except during the 2004-2005 winter, which coincided with an El Niño event. Here, we show how a species distribution model can provide broadscale information on the distribution of female California sea lions during an important life history stage and its implications for population dynamics and spatial management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1996-01-01

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

  16. Habitat Distribution of Birds Wintering in Central Andros, The Bahamas: Implications for Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    DAVE CURRIE; JOSEPH M. WUNDERLE JR.; DAVID N. EWERT; MATTHEW R. ANDERSON; ANCILLENO DAVIS; JASMINE TURNER

    2005-01-01

    We studied winter avian distribution in three representative pine-dominated habitats and three broadleaf habitats in an area recently designated as a National Park on Andros Island, The Bahamas, 1-23 February 2002. During 180 five-minute point counts, 1731 individuals were detected (1427 permanent residents and 304 winter residents) representing 51 species (29...

  17. Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica habitat suitability and range resource dynamics in the Central Karakorum National Park, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garee Khan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The study investigates Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica and their range resource condition within the preferred habitat in the Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan. We apply ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA using 110 ibex sighting data and 6 key biophysical variables describing the habitat conditions and produce habitat suitability and maps with GIS and statistical tool (BioMapper. The modeling results of specialization factor shows some limitation for ibex over the use of slope, elevation, vegetation types and ruggedness. The habitat area selection for the ibex is adjusted to the ibex friendly habitat available conditions. The model results predicted suitable habitat for ibex in certain places, where field observation was never recorded. The range resource dynamics depict a large area that comes under the alpine meadows has the highest seasonal productivity, assessed by remote sensing based fortnightly vegetation condition data of the last 11 years. These meadows are showing browning trend over the years, attributable to grazing practices or climate conditions. At lower elevation, there are limited areas with suitable dry steppes, which may cause stress on ibex, especially during winter.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Winter Responses of Forest Birds to Habitat Corridors and Gaps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen Cassady St. Clair

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation and habitat loss may disrupt the movement or dispersal of forest-dwelling birds. Despite much interest in the severity of these effects and ways of mitigating them, little is known about actual movement patterns in different habitat types. We studied the movement of wintering resident birds, lured by playbacks of mobbing calls, to compare the willingness of forest birds to travel various distances in continuous forest, along narrow corridors (fencerows, and across gaps in forest cover. We also quantified the willingness of Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus to cross gaps when alternative forested detour routes were available. All species were less likely to respond to the calls as distance increased to 200 m, although White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis and Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus were generally less likely to respond than chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers (P. pubescens. Chickadees were as likely to travel in corridors as in continuous forest, but were less likely to cross gaps as the gap distance increased. The other species were less willing to travel in corridors and gaps relative to forest, and the differences among habitats also increased with distance. For chickadees, gap-crossing decisions in the presence of forested detours varied over the range of distances that we tested, and were primarily influenced by detour efficiency (the length of the shortcut relative to the available detour. Over short distances, birds used forested detours, regardless of their efficiency. As absolute distances increased, birds tended to employ larger shortcuts in the open when detour efficiency was low or initial distance in the open was high, but they limited their distance from the nearest forest edge to 25 m. Thus, chickadees were unwilling to cross gaps of > 50 m when they had forested alternatives, yet they sometimes crossed gaps as large as 200 m when no such choice existed. Our results suggest that

  20. Climate envelope predictions indicate an enlarged suitable wintering distribution for Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii in China for the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunrong Mi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The rapidly changing climate makes humans realize that there is a critical need to incorporate climate change adaptation into conservation planning. Whether the wintering habitats of Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii, a globally endangered migratory subspecies whose population is approximately 1,500–2,200 individuals in China, would be still suitable in a changing climate environment, and where this could be found, is an important protection issue. In this study, we selected the most suitable species distribution model for bustards using climate envelopes from four machine learning models, combining two modelling approaches (TreeNet and Random Forest with two sets of variables (correlated variables removed or not. We used common evaluation methods area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC and the True Skill Statistic (TSS as well as independent test data to identify the most suitable model. As often found elsewhere, we found Random Forest with all environmental variables outperformed in all assessment methods. When we projected the best model to the latest IPCC-CMIP5 climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 in three Global Circulation Models (GCMs, and averaged the project results of the three models, we found that suitable wintering habitats in the current bustard distribution would increase during the 21st century. The Northeast Plain and the south of North China were projected to become two major wintering areas for bustards. However, the models suggest that some currently suitable habitats will experience a reduction, such as Dongting Lake and Poyang Lake in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Basin. Although our results suggested that suitable habitats in China would widen with climate change, greater efforts should be undertaken to assess and mitigate unstudied human disturbance, such as pollution, hunting, agricultural development, infrastructure construction, habitat

  1. Climate envelope predictions indicate an enlarged suitable wintering distribution for Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii) in China for the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Chunrong; Falk, Huettmann; Guo, Yumin

    2016-01-01

    The rapidly changing climate makes humans realize that there is a critical need to incorporate climate change adaptation into conservation planning. Whether the wintering habitats of Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii), a globally endangered migratory subspecies whose population is approximately 1,500-2,200 individuals in China, would be still suitable in a changing climate environment, and where this could be found, is an important protection issue. In this study, we selected the most suitable species distribution model for bustards using climate envelopes from four machine learning models, combining two modelling approaches (TreeNet and Random Forest) with two sets of variables (correlated variables removed or not). We used common evaluation methods area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) and the True Skill Statistic (TSS) as well as independent test data to identify the most suitable model. As often found elsewhere, we found Random Forest with all environmental variables outperformed in all assessment methods. When we projected the best model to the latest IPCC-CMIP5 climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 in three Global Circulation Models (GCMs)), and averaged the project results of the three models, we found that suitable wintering habitats in the current bustard distribution would increase during the 21st century. The Northeast Plain and the south of North China were projected to become two major wintering areas for bustards. However, the models suggest that some currently suitable habitats will experience a reduction, such as Dongting Lake and Poyang Lake in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Basin. Although our results suggested that suitable habitats in China would widen with climate change, greater efforts should be undertaken to assess and mitigate unstudied human disturbance, such as pollution, hunting, agricultural development, infrastructure construction, habitat fragmentation, and oil

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. 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.

  6. Variation in habitat suitability does not always relate to variation in species' plant functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Albert, Cécile H; Dubuis, Anne; Randin, Christophe; Guisan, Antoine

    2010-02-23

    Habitat suitability models, which relate species occurrences to environmental variables, are assumed to predict suitable conditions for a given species. If these models are reliable, they should relate to change in plant growth and function. In this paper, we ask the question whether habitat suitability models are able to predict variation in plant functional traits, often assumed to be a good surrogate for a species' overall health and vigour. Using a thorough sampling design, we show a tight link between variation in plant functional traits and habitat suitability for some species, but not for others. Our contrasting results pave the way towards a better understanding of how species cope with varying habitat conditions and demonstrate that habitat suitability models can provide meaningful descriptions of the functional niche in some cases, but not in others.

  7. Hydrographic influence on the spawning habitat suitability of western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hüssy, K.; Hinrichsen, H.-H.; Huwer, B.

    2012-01-01

    are exclusively characterized by ambient water temperatures below the critical survival threshold. Despite the strong influence of water temperature on habitat suitability, the impact of habitat suitability on recruitment was not clearly defined, suggesting that other mechanisms regulate year class strength...... different western Baltic cod spawning grounds for egg survival. Habitat identification was based on environmental threshold levels for egg survival and development and ambient hydrographical conditions at different times during the spawning season. The long-term resolution of environmental conditions...

  8. Sex-related differences in habitat selection in wintering American kestrels, Falco sparverius

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardia; Bildstein

    1997-06-01

    The American kestrel, Falco sparveriushas sex-related differences in habitat use during the non-breeding season, with females occupying more open habitats than males. Two competing hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon: (1) males and females prefer different habitats, and (2) males and females prefer similar habitats, but larger females exclude smaller males from preferred areas. This study experimentally investigated habitat selection in wintering kestrels by temporarily removing kestrels from areas, and then observing the numbers and sex of the kestrels that occupied vacated areas. The home ranges of 20 birds (10 males and 10 females) were mapped and their occupants removed. Areas vacated in early winter (November 1994) were filled more quickly than those vacated in late winter (February 1995). Areas previously held by females were reoccupied more frequently than were those previously occupied by males. Female kestrels reoccupied vacated female areas more than vacated male areas. Male kestrels reoccupied vacated female and male areas equally. The results demonstrate that (1) high-quality kestrel habitat may be limited in the non-breeding season, (2) vacated areas are more likely to be reoccupied in the early winter than in late winter, (3) female kestrels appear at an advantage relative to males in occupying scarce and competed-for areas, and (4) male kestrels will use female areas when female occupants have been removed. It is hypothesized that open habitats are preferred over less open habitats because the former offer reduced risk of predation from bird-eating hawks.

  9. Temporally dynamic habitat suitability predicts genetic relatedness among caribou.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yannic, Glenn; Pellissier, Loïc; Le Corre, Maël; Dussault, Christian; Bernatchez, Louis; Côté, Steeve D

    2014-10-07

    Landscape heterogeneity plays a central role in shaping ecological and evolutionary processes. While species utilization of the landscape is usually viewed as constant within a year, the spatial distribution of individuals is likely to vary in time in relation to particular seasonal needs. Understanding temporal variation in landscape use and genetic connectivity has direct conservation implications. Here, we modelled the daily use of the landscape by caribou in Quebec and Labrador, Canada and tested its ability to explain the genetic relatedness among individuals. We assessed habitat selection using locations of collared individuals in migratory herds and static occurrences from sedentary groups. Connectivity models based on habitat use outperformed a baseline isolation-by-distance model in explaining genetic relatedness, suggesting that variations in landscape features such as snow, vegetation productivity and land use modulate connectivity among populations. Connectivity surfaces derived from habitat use were the best predictors of genetic relatedness. The relationship between connectivity surface and genetic relatedness varied in time and peaked during the rutting period. Landscape permeability in the period of mate searching is especially important to allow gene flow among populations. Our study highlights the importance of considering temporal variations in habitat selection for optimizing connectivity across heterogeneous landscape and counter habitat fragmentation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Climate envelope predictions indicate an enlarged suitable wintering distribution for Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii) in China for the 21st century

    OpenAIRE

    Mi, Chunrong; Falk, Huettmann; Guo, Yumin

    2016-01-01

    The rapidly changing climate makes humans realize that there is a critical need to incorporate climate change adaptation into conservation planning. Whether the wintering habitats of Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii), a globally endangered migratory subspecies whose population is approximately 1,500–2,200 individuals in China, would be still suitable in a changing climate environment, and where this could be found, is an important protection issue. In this study, we selected the most suit...

  11. Variation in habitat suitability does not always relate to variation in species' plant functional traits

    OpenAIRE

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Albert, Cécile H.; Dubuis, Anne; Randin, Christophe; Guisan, Antoine

    2009-01-01

    Habitat suitability models, which relate species occurrences to environmental variables, are assumed to predict suitable conditions for a given species. If these models are reliable, they should relate to change in plant growth and function. In this paper, we ask the question whether habitat suitability models are able to predict variation in plant functional traits, often assumed to be a good surrogate for a species' overall health and vigour. Using a thorough sampling design, we show a tigh...

  12. Evaluation of Limiting Climatic Factors and Simulation of a Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoqing; Du, Sheng; Guo, Ke

    2015-01-01

    Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis) has considerable economic potential and plays an important role in reclamation and soil and water conservation. For scientific cultivation of this species across China, we identified the key climatic factors and explored climatically suitable habitat in order to maximize survival of Chinese sea buckthorn using MaxEnt and GIS tools, based on 98 occurrence records from herbarium and publications and 13 climatic factors from Bioclim, Holdridge life zone and Kria' index variables. Our simulation showed that the MaxEnt model performance was significantly better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.93 with 10-fold cross validation. A jackknife test and the regularized gain change, which were applied to the training algorithm, showed that precipitation of the driest month (PDM), annual precipitation (AP), coldness index (CI) and annual range of temperature (ART) were the most influential climatic factors in limiting the distribution of Chinese sea buckthorn, which explained 70.1% of the variation. The predicted map showed that the core of climatically suitable habitat was distributed from the southwest to northwest of Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, where the most influential climate variables were PDM of 1.0–7.0 mm, AP of 344.0–1089.0 mm, CI of -47.7–0.0°C, and ART of 26.1–45.0°C. We conclude that the distribution patterns of Chinese sea buckthorn are related to the northwest winter monsoon, the southwest summer monsoon and the southeast summer monsoon systems in China. PMID:26177033

  13. Evaluation of Limiting Climatic Factors and Simulation of a Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqing Li

    Full Text Available Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis has considerable economic potential and plays an important role in reclamation and soil and water conservation. For scientific cultivation of this species across China, we identified the key climatic factors and explored climatically suitable habitat in order to maximize survival of Chinese sea buckthorn using MaxEnt and GIS tools, based on 98 occurrence records from herbarium and publications and 13 climatic factors from Bioclim, Holdridge life zone and Kria' index variables. Our simulation showed that the MaxEnt model performance was significantly better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.93 with 10-fold cross validation. A jackknife test and the regularized gain change, which were applied to the training algorithm, showed that precipitation of the driest month (PDM, annual precipitation (AP, coldness index (CI and annual range of temperature (ART were the most influential climatic factors in limiting the distribution of Chinese sea buckthorn, which explained 70.1% of the variation. The predicted map showed that the core of climatically suitable habitat was distributed from the southwest to northwest of Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, where the most influential climate variables were PDM of 1.0-7.0 mm, AP of 344.0-1089.0 mm, CI of -47.7-0.0°C, and ART of 26.1-45.0°C. We conclude that the distribution patterns of Chinese sea buckthorn are related to the northwest winter monsoon, the southwest summer monsoon and the southeast summer monsoon systems in China.

  14. Modeling the Habitat of the Red-Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis Wintering in Cheorwon-Gun to Support Decision Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Gul Kim

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cheorwon-gun is an important wintering area for the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis. Although eco-tourism has been recently proposed as a means to stimulate the local economy, it may have adverse effects on the crane. We believe a science-based conservation plan is needed to mitigate these negative effects. To this end, our study had three objectives: (1 to analyze the red-crowned crane habitat and its suitability in Cheorwon-gun, using field surveys and habitat modeling; (2 to check the feasibility of alternative habitat patches across demilitarized zones (DMZs; and (3 to propose a conceptual diagram that minimizes habitat loss during development activities. We aim to quantify habitat suitability, the farmland area needed to support existing crane populations in wintertime, disturbance caused by human activities, and vehicular spatial patterns. These data could be used in spatial planning. The framework of this study and the process of making a conceptual diagram could be applied to other areas where there is a conflict between development and habitat conservation.

  15. Linking habitat suitability to demography in a pond-breeding amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unglaub, Bianca; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Drechsler, Axel; Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the relationship between habitat characteristics and population parameters is critical for effective conservation. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are often used in wildlife management and conservation practice assuming that they predict species occurrence, abundance and demography. However, the relationship between vital rates such as survival and reproduction and habitat suitability has rarely been evaluated. In this study, we used pond occupancy and mark-recapture data to test whether HSI predicts occupancy, reproduction and survival probabilities. Our model species is the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), a pond-breeding amphibian protected under the European Habitats Directive. Our results show a positive relationship between the HSI and reproduction probability, whereas pond occupancy and survival probabilities were not related to HSI. Mortality was found to be higher during breeding seasons when newts are in ponds than during terrestrial phases of adult newts. Habitat suitability models are increasingly applied to wildlife management and conservation practice. We found that the HSI model predicted reproduction probability, rather than occurrence or survival. If HSI models indicate breeding populations rather than mere species occurrences, they may be used to identify habitats of higher priority for conservation. Future HSI models might be improved through modelling breeding populations vs. non-breeding populations rather than presence/absence data. However, according to our results the most suitable habitat is not necessarily the habitat where demographic performance is best. We recommend that conservation practitioners should use HSI models cautiously because there may be no direct link between habitat suitability, demography and consequently, population viability.

  16. Winter habitat predictions of a key Southern Ocean predator, the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, Benjamin; Hindell, Mark; Bester, Marthan; De Bruyn, P. J. Nico; Trathan, Phil; Goebel, Michael; Lea, Mary-Anne

    2017-06-01

    Quantification of the physical and biological environmental factors that influence the spatial distribution of higher trophic species is central to inform management and develop ecosystem models, particularly in light of ocean changes. We used tracking data from 184 female Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) to develop habitat models for three breeding colonies for the poorly studied Southern Ocean winter period. Models were used to identify and predict the broadly important winter foraging habitat and to elucidate the environmental factors influencing these areas. Model predictions closely matched observations and several core areas of foraging habitat were identified for each colony, with notable areas of inter-colony overlap suggesting shared productive foraging grounds. Seals displayed clear choice of foraging habitat, travelling through areas of presumably poorer quality to access habitats that likely offer an energetic advantage in terms of prey intake. The relationships between environmental predictors and foraging habitat varied between colonies, with the principal predictors being wind speed, sea surface temperature, chlorophyll a concentration, bathymetry and distance to the colony. The availability of core foraging areas was not consistent throughout the winter period. The habitat models developed in this study not only reveal the core foraging habitats of Antarctic fur seals from multiple colonies, but can facilitate the hindcasting of historical foraging habitats as well as novel predictions of important habitat for other major colonies currently lacking information of the at-sea distribution of this major Southern Ocean consumer.

  17. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher C. Swanson; Mark A. Rumble; Nicholas W. Kaczor; Robert W. Klaver; Katie M. Herman-Brunson; Jonathan A. Jenks; Kent C. Jensen

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this...

  18. Disentangling the effects of habitat suitability, dispersal, and fragmentation on the distribution of river fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radinger, Johannes; Wolter, Christian

    2015-06-01

    Habitat suitability, dispersal potential, and fragmentation influence the distribution of stream fishes; however, their relative influence and interacting effects on species distributions are poorly understood, which may result in uncertain outcomes of river rehabilitation and conservation. Using empirical data describing 17 relatively common stream fishes, we combine (1) species habitat suitability models (MaxEnt) with a (2) species dispersal model (FIDIMO) and a (3) worst-case scenario of the influence of river fragmentation on dispersal. Using generalized linear mixed models, we aimed to uncover the role of these factors in explaining the probability of presence. Simulations over nine years allowed for assessing the relative importance of dispersal over time for structuring species occurrences vs. the importance of habitat suitability. Models combining all three structuring factors performed consistently better in predicting the spatial occurrence patterns than models including only single factors. Our results confirmed that distribution patterns of stream fishes are jointly controlled by species dispersal and habitat suitability. An increase of 0.1 habitat suitability probability more than doubled the odds of species occurrence; an increase of 0.1 dispersal probability yielded a 14-fold increase of the odds of species occurrence. Temporal simulations revealed that over short time frames (1-2 years) dispersal from nearby source populations is four times more important than habitat suitability for species presence. However, over longer time periods, the importance of habitat suitability increases relative to the importance of dispersal. Surprisingly, fragmentation by migration barriers did not appear as a significant driver of occurrence patterns. Concluding, these findings demonstrate the importance of the spatial arrangement of suitable habitats and potential source populations, as well as their relative position in relation to barriers. We emphasize

  19. Wintering Ecology of Shrubland Birds: Linking Landscape and Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-09-01

    sagebrush ( Artemisia spp.) in the western United States represent one of the nation’s most imperiled ecosystems due to extensive habitat loss and habitat...hyemalis 6 42 15 63 European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 1 1 17 Table 3: Continued Species

  20. Diet, abundance and distribution as indices of turbot ( Psetta maxima L.) release habitat suitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sparrevohn, Claus Reedtz; Støttrup, Josianne

    2008-01-01

    Selection of a suitable release habitat is critical for stock enhancement. As part of the Danish turbot stock enhancement program, individually tagged, artificially reared juveniles were released into three different habitats. Data from the recaptures in the following year revealed a significant...... was also the habitat with the highest natural abundance of age-0 individuals and the deepest distribution of wild turbot. This was the habitat where released turbot grew more slowly than in the other habitats, which indicate that the diet and depth distribution of wild turbot may provide good indicators...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Evaluation of osprey habitat suitability and interaction with contaminant exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toschik, P.C.; Christman, M.C.; Rattner, B.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) have been the focus of conservation efforts since their dramatic population decline attributed to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and related chemicals in the 1960s. Several recent studies of ospreys nesting in the United States have indicated improved reproduction. However, the density of breeding ospreys varies greatly among locations, with some areas seemingly habitable but not occupied. Because of concerns about pollution in the highly industrialized portions of the Delaware River and Bay, USA, we evaluated contaminant exposure and productivity in ospreys nesting on the Delaware River and Bay in 2002. We characterized habitat in the coastal zone of Delaware, USA, and the area around the river in Pennsylvania, USA, using data we collected as well as extant information provided by state and federal sources. We characterized habitat based on locations of occupied osprey nests in Delaware and Pennsylvania. We evaluated water clarity, water depth, land use and land cover, nest availability, and contaminants in sediment for use in a nest-occupancy model. Our results demonstrated that the presence of occupied nests was associated with water depth, water clarity, distance to an occupied osprey nest, and presence of urban land use, whereas a companion study demonstrated that hatching success was associated with the principal components derived from organochlorine-contaminant concentrations in osprey eggs (total polychlorinated biphenyls, p,p'-dichlorodiphenylethylene, chlordane and metabolites, and heptachlor epoxide). Our study provides guidelines for resource managers and local conservation organizations in management of ospreys and in development of habitat models that are appropriate for other piscivorous and marsh-nesting birds.

  3. Predicted deep-sea coral habitat suitability for the U.S. West coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinotte, John M; Davies, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Regional scale habitat suitability models provide finer scale resolution and more focused predictions of where organisms may occur. Previous modelling approaches have focused primarily on local and/or global scales, while regional scale models have been relatively few. In this study, regional scale predictive habitat models are presented for deep-sea corals for the U.S. West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington). Model results are intended to aid in future research or mapping efforts and to assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)) and identify suitable habitat within U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS). Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modelled at 500 m×500 m spatial resolution using a range of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. Using a spatial partitioning cross-validation approach, maximum entropy models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat were predicted both within and outside of existing bottom trawl closures and NMS boundaries. Predicted habitat suitability over regional scales are not currently able to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably overpredict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. data on distribution of hard substrate) that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological mapping and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled.

  4. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Montipora Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Montipora in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  5. Predicted Habitat Suitability for All Mesophotic Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for all mesophotic corals in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to...

  6. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  7. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  8. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battle, Curtis Scott

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  15. Assessing range-wide habitat suitability for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine S. Jarnevich

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Population declines of many wildlife species have been linked to habitat loss incurred through land-use change. Incorporation of conservation planning into development planning may mitigate these impacts. The threatened Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus is experiencing loss of native habitat and high levels of energy development across its multijurisdictional range. Our goal was to explore relationships of the species occurrence with landscape characteristics and anthropogenic effects influencing its distribution through evaluation of habitat suitability associated with one particular habitat usage, lekking. Lekking has been relatively well-surveyed, though not consistently, in all jurisdictions. All five states in which Lesser Prairie-Chickens occur cooperated in development of a Maxent habitat suitability model. We created two models, one with state as a factor and one without state. When state was included it was the most important predictor, followed by percent of land cover consisting of known or suspected used vegetation classes within a 5000 m area around a lek. Without state, land cover was the most important predictor of relative habitat suitability for leks. Among the anthropogenic predictors, landscape condition, a measure of human impact integrated across several factors, was most important, ranking third in importance without state. These results quantify the relative suitability of the landscape within the current occupied range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. These models, combined with other landscape information, form the basis of a habitat assessment tool that can be used to guide siting of development projects and targeting of areas for conservation.

  16. Assessing range-wide habitat suitability for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Timmer, Jennifer M.; Boal, Clint W.; Butler, Matthew; Pitman, James C.; Kyle, Sean; Klute, David; Beauprez, Grant M.; Janus, Allan; Van Pelt, William E.

    2016-01-01

    Population declines of many wildlife species have been linked to habitat loss incurred through land-use change. Incorporation of conservation planning into development planning may mitigate these impacts. The threatened Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is experiencing loss of native habitat and high levels of energy development across its multijurisdictional range. Our goal was to explore relationships of the species occurrence with landscape characteristics and anthropogenic effects influencing its distribution through evaluation of habitat suitability associated with one particular habitat usage, lekking. Lekking has been relatively well-surveyed, though not consistently, in all jurisdictions. All five states in which Lesser Prairie-Chickens occur cooperated in development of a Maxent habitat suitability model. We created two models, one with state as a factor and one without state. When state was included it was the most important predictor, followed by percent of land cover consisting of known or suspected used vegetation classes within a 5000 m area around a lek. Without state, land cover was the most important predictor of relative habitat suitability for leks. Among the anthropogenic predictors, landscape condition, a measure of human impact integrated across several factors, was most important, ranking third in importance without state. These results quantify the relative suitability of the landscape within the current occupied range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. These models, combined with other landscape information, form the basis of a habitat assessment tool that can be used to guide siting of development projects and targeting of areas for conservation.

  17. From Points to Forecasts: Predicting Invasive Species Habitat Suitability in the Near Term

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy R. Holcombe

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available We used near-term climate scenarios for the continental United States, to model 12 invasive plants species. We created three potential habitat suitability models for each species using maximum entropy modeling: (1 current; (2 2020; and (3 2035. Area under the curve values for the models ranged from 0.92 to 0.70, with 10 of the 12 being above 0.83 suggesting strong and predictable species-environment matching. Change in area between the current potential habitat and 2035 ranged from a potential habitat loss of about 217,000 km2, to a potential habitat gain of about 133,000 km2.

  18. Landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California, USA, as assessed through carnivore habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Richard D.; Fisher, Robert N.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2003-01-01

    Although the fragmentation of the natural landscape of coastal southern California, USA, is accelerating, large-scale assessments of regional connectivity are lacking. Because of their large area requirements and long dispersal movements, mammalian carnivores can be effective focal species to use when evaluating landscape-level connectivity. Our goal was to make an initial assessment of the extent of landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California using mountain lions (Felis concolor [Linnaeus]) and bobcats (Felis rufus [Shreber]) as focal species. We first characterized habitat preferences for mountain lions and bobcats from previously derived habitat relationship models for these species; the resulting maps provided a coarse view of habitat preferences for use at regional scales. We then constructed GIS models to evaluate the disturbance impact of roadways and development, major determinants of carnivore distribution and abundance in the south coast region. Finally, we combined the habitat relationship models with the disturbance impact models to characterize habitat connectivity for mountain lions and bobcats in the ecoregion. Habitat connectivity in the ecoregion appeared higher for bobcats than for mountain lions due in part to higher habitat suitability for bobcats in coastal lowland areas. Our models suggest that much of the key carnivore habitat in the coastal southern California is at risk; over 80% of high suitability habitat and over 90% of medium suitability habitat for carnivores is found in the least protected land management classes. Overall, these models allow for (1) identification of core habitat blocks for carnivores and key landscape connections between core areas, (2) evaluation of the level of protection of these areas, and (3) a regional framework within which to develop and coordinate local management and conservation plans.

  19. Maize stubble as foraging habitat for wintering geese and swans in northern Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Madsen, Jesper; Nolet, Bart, A.

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural crops have become increasingly important foraging habitats to geese and swans in northern Europe, and a recent climate-driven expansion in the area of maize fields has led to a rapid increase in the exploitation of this habitat. However, due to the novelty of maize foraging...... in this region, little is known about the abundance and energetic value of this resource to foraging birds. In this study we quantify food availability, intake rates and energetic profitability of the maize stubble habitat, and describe the value of this increasingly cultivated crop to wintering geese and swans...... the area of cultivated maize fields and the importance of this habitat to foraging birds are expected to increase in years to come. This may alleviate conflicts with other more vulnerable crops such as winter cereals, and have the potential to affect migratory decisions, site use and population dynamics...

  20. 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.

  1. Assessing the effects of management alternatives on habitat suitability in a forested landscape of northeastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longru, Jin; He, Hong S; Yufei, Zhou; Rencang, Bu; Keping, Sun

    2010-05-01

    Forest management often has cumulative, long-lasting effects on wildlife habitat suitability and the effects may be impractical to evaluate using landscape-scale field experiments. To understand such effects, we linked a spatially explicit landscape disturbance and succession model (LANDIS) with habitat suitability index (HSI) models to assess the effects of management alternatives on habitat suitability in a forested landscape of northeastern China. LANDIS was applied to simulate future forest landscape changes under four management alternatives (no cutting, clearcutting, selective cutting I and II) over a 200-year horizon. The simulation outputs were linked with HSI models for three wildlife species, the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), the red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the hazel grouse (Bonasa bonasia). These species are chosen because they represent numerous species that have distinct habitat requirements in our study area. We assessed their habitat suitability based on the mean HSI values, which is a measure of the average habitat quality. Our simulation results showed that no one management scenario was the best for all species and various forest management scenarios would lead to conflicting wildlife habitat outcomes. How to choose a scenario is dependent on the trade-off of economical, ecological and social goals. Our modeling effort could provide decision makers with relative comparisons among management scenarios from the perspective of biodiversity conservation. The general simulation results were expected based on our knowledge of forest management and habitat relationships of the species, which confirmed that the coupled modeling approach correctly simulated the assumed relationships between the wildlife, forest composition, age structure, and spatial configuration of habitat. However, several emergent results revealed the unexpected outcomes that a management scenario may lead to.

  2. Assessing the Effects of Management Alternatives on Habitat Suitability in a Forested Landscape of Northeastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longru, Jin; He, Hong S.; Yufei, Zhou; Rencang, Bu; Keping, Sun

    2010-05-01

    Forest management often has cumulative, long-lasting effects on wildlife habitat suitability and the effects may be impractical to evaluate using landscape-scale field experiments. To understand such effects, we linked a spatially explicit landscape disturbance and succession model (LANDIS) with habitat suitability index (HSI) models to assess the effects of management alternatives on habitat suitability in a forested landscape of northeastern China. LANDIS was applied to simulate future forest landscape changes under four management alternatives (no cutting, clearcutting, selective cutting I and II) over a 200-year horizon. The simulation outputs were linked with HSI models for three wildlife species, the red squirrel ( Sciurus vulgaris), the red deer ( Cervus elaphus) and the hazel grouse ( Bonasa bonasia). These species are chosen because they represent numerous species that have distinct habitat requirements in our study area. We assessed their habitat suitability based on the mean HSI values, which is a measure of the average habitat quality. Our simulation results showed that no one management scenario was the best for all species and various forest management scenarios would lead to conflicting wildlife habitat outcomes. How to choose a scenario is dependent on the trade-off of economical, ecological and social goals. Our modeling effort could provide decision makers with relative comparisons among management scenarios from the perspective of biodiversity conservation. The general simulation results were expected based on our knowledge of forest management and habitat relationships of the species, which confirmed that the coupled modeling approach correctly simulated the assumed relationships between the wildlife, forest composition, age structure, and spatial configuration of habitat. However, several emergent results revealed the unexpected outcomes that a management scenario may lead to.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  4. Habitat suitability and conservation of the Giant Gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) in the Sacramento Valley of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, B.J.; Wylie, G.D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    Resource managers often have little information regarding the habitat requirements and distribution of rare species. Factor analysis-based habitat suitability models describe the ecological niche of a species and identify locations where these conditions occur on the landscape using existing occurrence data. We used factor analyses to assess the suitability of habitats for Thamnophis gigas (Giant Gartersnake), a rare, threatened species endemic to the Central Valley of California, USA, and to map the locations of habitat suitable for T. gigas in the Sacramento Valley. Factor analyses indicated that the niche of T. gigas is composed of sites near rice agriculture with low stream densities. Sites with high canal densities and near wetlands also appeared suitable, but results for these variables were sensitive to potential sampling bias. In the Sacramento Valley, suitable habitats occur primarily in the central portion of the valley floor. Based upon the results of the factor analyses, recovery planning for T. gigas will require an on-the-ground assessment of the current distribution and abundance of T. gigas, maintaining the few remaining natural wetlands and the practice of rice agriculture in the Sacramento Valley, and studying the effects of agricultural practices and land use changes on populations of T. gigas. ?? 2010 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  5. Increased sediment loads cause non-linear decreases in seagrass suitable habitat extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Scott; Klein, Carissa Joy; Weber, Tony; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2017-01-01

    Land-based activities, including deforestation, agriculture, and urbanisation, cause increased erosion, reduced inland and coastal water quality, and subsequent loss or degradation of downstream coastal marine ecosystems. Quantitative approaches to link sediment loads from catchments to metrics of downstream marine ecosystem state are required to calculate the cost effectiveness of taking conservation actions on land to benefits accrued in the ocean. Here we quantify the relationship between sediment loads derived from landscapes to habitat suitability of seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. We use the following approach: (1) a catchment hydrological model generates sediment loads; (2) a statistical model links sediment loads to water clarity at monthly time-steps; (3) a species distribution model (SDM) factors in water clarity, bathymetry, wave height, and substrate suitability to predict seagrass habitat suitability at monthly time-steps; and (4) a statistical model quantifies the effect of sediment loads on area of seagrass suitable habitat in a given year. The relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat is non-linear: large increases in sediment have a disproportionately large negative impact on availability of seagrass suitable habitat. Varying the temporal scale of analysis (monthly vs. yearly), or varying the threshold value used to delineate predicted seagrass presence vs. absence, both affect the magnitude, but not the overall shape, of the relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat area. Quantifying the link between sediment produced from catchments and extent of downstream marine ecosystems allows assessment of the relative costs and benefits of taking conservation actions on land or in the ocean, respectively, to marine ecosystems. PMID:29125843

  6. Increased sediment loads cause non-linear decreases in seagrass suitable habitat extent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Irene Saunders

    Full Text Available Land-based activities, including deforestation, agriculture, and urbanisation, cause increased erosion, reduced inland and coastal water quality, and subsequent loss or degradation of downstream coastal marine ecosystems. Quantitative approaches to link sediment loads from catchments to metrics of downstream marine ecosystem state are required to calculate the cost effectiveness of taking conservation actions on land to benefits accrued in the ocean. Here we quantify the relationship between sediment loads derived from landscapes to habitat suitability of seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. We use the following approach: (1 a catchment hydrological model generates sediment loads; (2 a statistical model links sediment loads to water clarity at monthly time-steps; (3 a species distribution model (SDM factors in water clarity, bathymetry, wave height, and substrate suitability to predict seagrass habitat suitability at monthly time-steps; and (4 a statistical model quantifies the effect of sediment loads on area of seagrass suitable habitat in a given year. The relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat is non-linear: large increases in sediment have a disproportionately large negative impact on availability of seagrass suitable habitat. Varying the temporal scale of analysis (monthly vs. yearly, or varying the threshold value used to delineate predicted seagrass presence vs. absence, both affect the magnitude, but not the overall shape, of the relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat area. Quantifying the link between sediment produced from catchments and extent of downstream marine ecosystems allows assessment of the relative costs and benefits of taking conservation actions on land or in the ocean, respectively, to marine ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  8. Winter Avian Distribution and Relative Abundance in Six Terrestrial Habitats on Southern Eleuthera, The Bahamas

    Science.gov (United States)

    DAVE CURRIE; JOSEPH M. WUNDERLE JR.; DAVID N. EWERT; ANCILLENO DAVIS; ZEKO MCKENZIE

    2005-01-01

    We studied winter avian distribution and relative abundance in six common terrestrial broadleaf habitats, selected on a continuum of disturbance from recently disturbed (abandoned plantation) to mature vegetation (tall coppice), on the island of Eleuthera, The Bahamas. During 158-point counts conducted 22 January—10 March 2003, 1357 individuals were detected,...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U Mamat Rahmat

    2012-08-01

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

  10. Application of GIS to predict malaria hotspots based on Anopheles arabiensis habitat suitability in Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwitira, Isaiah; Murwira, Amon; Zengeya, Fadzai M.; Shekede, Munyaradzi Davis

    2018-02-01

    Malaria remains a major public health problem and a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in most developing countries. Although malaria still presents health problems, significant successes have been recorded in reducing deaths resulting from the disease. As malaria transmission continues to decline, control interventions will increasingly depend on the ability to define high-risk areas known as malaria hotspots. Therefore, there is urgent need to use geospatial tools such as geographic information system to detect spatial patterns of malaria and delineate disease hot spots for better planning and management. Thus, accurate mapping and prediction of seasonality of malaria hotspots is an important step towards developing strategies for effective malaria control. In this study, we modelled seasonal malaria hotspots as a function of habitat suitability of Anopheles arabiensis (A. Arabiensis) as a first step towards predicting likely seasonal malaria hotspots that could provide guidance in targeted malaria control. We used Geographical information system (GIS) and spatial statistic methods to identify seasonal hotspots of malaria cases at the country level. In order to achieve this, we first determined the spatial distribution of seasonal malaria hotspots using the Getis Ord Gi* statistic based on confirmed positive malaria cases recorded at health facilities in Zimbabwe over four years (1996-1999). We then used MAXENT technique to model habitat suitability of A. arabiensis from presence data collected from 1990 to 2002 based on bioclimatic variables and altitude. Finally, we used autologistic regression to test the extent to which malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability. Our results show that A. arabiensis habitat suitability consistently and significantly (p < 0.05) predicts malaria hotspots from 1996 to 1999. Overall, our results show that malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability, suggesting

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-02-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of drought and prolonged winter on Townsend's ground squirrel demography in shrubsteppe habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horne, Beatrice; Olson, Gail S.; Schooley, Robert L.; Corn, Janelle G.; Burnham, Kenneth P.

    1997-01-01

    During a mark–recapture study of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) on 20 sites in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Idaho, in 1991 through 1994, 4407 animals were marked in 17639 capture events. This study of differences in population dynamics of Townsend's ground squirrels among habitats spanned a drought near the extreme of the 130-yr record, followed by prolonged winter conditions.Townsend's ground squirrels have a short active season (≈4 mo) in which to reproduce and store fat for overwintering. Their food consists largely of succulent grasses and forbs in this dry shrubsteppe and grassland habitat. The drought in the latter half of the 1992 active season produced early drying of Sandberg's bluegrass (Poa secunda) and was associated with low adult and juvenile body masses prior to immergence into estivation/hibernation. The following prolonged winter was associated with late emergence of females in 1993. Early-season body masses of adults were low in 1993 relative to 1992, whereas percentage of body fat in males was relatively high. These weather patterns in spring 1992 and winter 1993 also resulted in reduced adult persistence through the ≈7-mo inactive period, especially for adult females, and near-zero persistence of >1200 juveniles. Consequently, densities of Townsend's ground squirrels across the 20 livetrap sites declined.The demographic effects of drought and prolonged winter lasted at least through the subsequent breeding season. Adult females that survived these weather extremes produced fewer emergent young per female than did adult females prior to the event. Prior to the drought/prolonged winter, yearling female body masses were higher than, or indistinguishable from, those of adults. Females produced in 1993 had lower body masses as yearlings than did adult females.Demographic response to the drought and prolonged winter varied with habitat; ground squirrels in sagebrush habitat showed less decline

  15. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  16. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Dirnböck

    Full Text Available Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+ together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  17. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P.; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G. W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered. PMID:28898262

  18. Sex-related differences in habitat associations of wintering American Kestrels in California's Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandolfino, E.R.; Herzog, M.P.; Smith, Z.

    2011-01-01

    We used roadside survey data collected from 19 routes over three consecutive winters from 200708 to 200910 to compare habitat associations of male and female American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) in the Central Valley of California to determine if segregation by sex was evident across this region. As a species, American Kestrels showed positive associations with alfalfa and other forage crops like hay and winter wheat, as well as grassland, irrigated pasture, and rice. Habitat associations of females were similar, with female densities in all these habitats except rice significantly higher than average. Male American Kestrels showed a positive association only with grassland and were present at densities well below those of females in alfalfa, other forage crops, and grassland. Males were present in higher densities than females in most habitats with negative associations for the species, such as orchards, urbanized areas, and oak savannah. The ratio of females to males for each route was positively correlated with the overall density of American Kestrels on that route. Our findings that females seem to occupy higher quality habitats in winter are consistent with observations from elsewhere in North America. ?? 2011 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  19. Hydrologic and water-quality rehabilitation of environments for suitable fish habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Xiang, H.; Liu, C. M.; Zhang, H. T.; Yang, Z. L.; Zhang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-11-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is attracting increasing public and research attention, but without knowledge of the responses of aquatic species to their habitats the success of habitat restoration is uncertain. Thus efficient study of species response to habitat, through which to prioritize the habitat factors influencing aquatic ecosystems, is highly important. However many current models have too high requirement for assemblage information and have great bias in results due to consideration of only the species' attribute of presence/absence, abundance or biomass, thus hindering the wider utility of these models. This paper, using fish as a case, presents a framework for identification of high-priority habitat factors based on the responses of aquatic species to their habitats, using presence/absence, abundance and biomass data. This framework consists of four newly developed sub-models aiming to determine weightings for the evaluation of species' contributions to their communities, to quantitatively calculate an integrated habitat suitability index for multi-species based on habitat factors, to assess the suitable probability of habitat factors and to assess the rehabilitation priority of habitat factors. The framework closely links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. Breakpoint identification techniques based on curvature in cumulated dominance along with a newly developed weighting calculation model based on theory of mass systems were used to help identify the dominant fish, based on which the presence and abundance of multiple fish were normalized to estimate the integrated habitat suitability index along gradients of various factors, based on their variation with principal habitat factors. Then, the appropriate probability of every principal habitat factor was

  20. Winter habitat preferences for Florida manatees and vulnerability to cold.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David W Laist

    Full Text Available To survive cold winter periods most, if not all, Florida manatees rely on warm-water refuges in the southern two-thirds of the Florida peninsula. Most refuges are either warm-water discharges from power plant and natural springs, or passive thermal basins that temporarily trap relatively warm water for a week or more. Strong fidelity to one or more refuges has created four relatively discrete Florida manatee subpopulations. Using statewide winter counts of manatees from 1999 to 2011, we provide the first attempt to quantify the proportion of animals using the three principal refuge types (power plants, springs, and passive thermal basins statewide and for each subpopulation. Statewide across all years, 48.5% of all manatees were counted at power plant outfalls, 17.5% at natural springs, and 34.9 % at passive thermal basins or sites with no known warm-water features. Atlantic Coast and Southwest Florida subpopulations comprised 82.2% of all manatees counted (45.6% and 36.6%, respectively with each subpopulation relying principally on power plants (66.6% and 47.4%, respectively. The upper St. Johns River and Northwest Florida subpopulations comprised 17.8% of all manatees counted with almost all animals relying entirely on springs (99.2% and 88.6% of those subpopulations, respectively. A record high count of 5,076 manatees in January 2010 revealed minimum sizes for the four subpopulations of: 230 manatees in the upper St. Johns River; 2,548 on the Atlantic Coast; 645 in Northwest Florida; and 1,774 in Southwest Florida. Based on a comparison of carcass recovery locations for 713 manatees killed by cold stress between 1999 and 2011 and the distribution of known refuges, it appears that springs offer manatees the best protection against cold stress. Long-term survival of Florida manatees will require improved efforts to enhance and protect manatee access to and use of warm-water springs as power plant outfalls are shut down.

  1. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Davies

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2 global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts, which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine

  2. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Andrew J; Guinotte, John M

    2011-04-15

    Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2)) global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts), which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine ecosystems for

  3. Can incidental sighting data be used to elucidate habitat preferences and areas of suitable habitat for a cryptic species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Wesley R; Heise-Pavlov, Sigrid R

    2017-05-01

    The involvement of communities in ecological studies has been shown to augment conservation efforts, especially for cryptic species. However, there is a lack of studies addressing the utility of incidental sighting records from community members in gaining knowledge on habitat preferences and distribution of suitable habitat for these organisms. This study compares preferences of the Lumholtz's tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi; LTK), a cryptic rainforest folivore in northeastern Australia, for various habitat and climatic variables derived from data collected during scientific projects to those derived from incidental sighting records using ArcGIS and Maxent. Incidental sighting records suggest that the species uses a wider range of altitudes, annual rainfalls, annual mean temperatures and vegetation types than predicted by scientific studies. Incidental records also show that the species can persist in areas of lower rainfall during the wettest month and lower minimum temperature during the coldest month. Both data place the species within a comparable range of rainfalls during the driest month, maximum temperatures of the warmest month and soil types. When using identified preferences to assess the extent and distribution of suitable habitat, incidental records predicted more areas of suitable habitat than scientific records with an overlap of up to 91% between them. The present study proves that incidental sighting records can be a valuable part of the study of cryptic species and should be considered complementarily alongside scientific studies to obtain comprehensive ecological information of a species that can assist in its conservation. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  4. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chunjing; Liu, Chengzhu; Wan, Jizhong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves.

  5. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves. PMID:27326373

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Distribution and habitat use of the Bluenose caribou herd in mid-winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. R. Carruthers

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available The mid-winter distribution and densities of the Bluenose caribou herd were compared with previous surveys over six years and were similar in all years except 1981 when exceptionally mild weather prevailed. Differences in group size, distribution and habitat use between sexes were noted in 1983. Caribou were distributed disproportionately to availability of vegetation types and used lakes significantly more than expected based on their occurrence. Male groups used conifer cover more than did female-calf groups which used open areas (lakes, fens, bogs more than males. Cow-calf groups chose areas with a higher small lake density compared to lake density generally available. Generally caribou preferred habitat between 200 and 300 m in elevation with high densities of lakes less than 1 km2 in size. Snow depths and hardness were greater in most unoccupied habitats than in occupied habitats. Wolves were associated with high densities of cow/calf groups.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez-Espino, Luis A

    2006-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy A Gowan

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Guidelines for using the Delphi Technique to develop habitat suitability index curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crance, Johnie H.

    1987-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (SI) curves are one method of presenting species habitat suitability criteria. The curves are often used with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and are necessary components of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) (Armour et al. 1984). Bovee (1986) described three categories of SI curves or habitat suitability criteria based on the procedures and data used to develop the criteria. Category I curves are based on professional judgment, with 1ittle or no empirical data. Both Category II (utilization criteria) and Category III (preference criteria) curves have as their source data collected at locations where target species are observed or collected. Having Category II and Category III curves for all species of concern would be ideal. In reality, no SI curves are available for many species, and SI curves that require intensive field sampling often cannot be developed under prevailing constraints on time and costs. One alternative under these circumstances is the development and interim use of SI curves based on expert opinion. The Delphi technique (Pill 1971; Delbecq et al. 1975; Linstone and Turoff 1975) is one method used for combining the knowledge and opinions of a group of experts. The purpose of this report is to describe how the Delphi technique may be used to develop expert-opinion-based SI curves.

  1. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couce, Elena; Ridgwell, Andy; Hendy, Erica J

    2013-12-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world's tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches (Maximum Entropy and Boosted Regression Trees) with two levels of complexity (one a simplified and reduced environmental variable version of the other). Our models project a marked temperature-driven decline in habitat suitability for many of the most significant and bio-diverse tropical coral regions, particularly in the central Indo-Pacific. This is accompanied by a temperature-driven poleward range expansion of favorable conditions accelerating up to 40-70 km per decade by 2070. We find that ocean acidification is less influential for determining future habitat suitability than warming, and its deleterious effects are centered evenly in both hemispheres between 5° and 20° latitude. Contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered 'marginal' for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific. These results are consistent with fossil evidence of range expansions during past warm periods. In addition, the simplified models are particularly sensitive to short-term temperature variations and their projections correlate well with reported locations of bleaching events. Our approach offers new insights into the relative impact of two global environmental pressures associated with rising atmospheric CO2 on potential future habitats, but greater understanding of past and current controls on coral

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couce, Elena; Ridgwell, Andy; Hendy, Erica J

    2013-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world's tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches (Maximum Entropy and Boosted Regression Trees) with two levels of complexity (one a simplified and reduced environmental variable version of the other). Our models project a marked temperature-driven decline in habitat suitability for many of the most significant and bio-diverse tropical coral regions, particularly in the central Indo-Pacific. This is accompanied by a temperature-driven poleward range expansion of favorable conditions accelerating up to 40–70 km per decade by 2070. We find that ocean acidification is less influential for determining future habitat suitability than warming, and its deleterious effects are centered evenly in both hemispheres between 5° and 20° latitude. Contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered ‘marginal’ for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific. These results are consistent with fossil evidence of range expansions during past warm periods. In addition, the simplified models are particularly sensitive to short-term temperature variations and their projections correlate well with reported locations of bleaching events. Our approach offers new insights into the relative impact of two global environmental pressures associated with rising atmospheric CO2 on potential future habitats, but greater understanding of past and current controls on

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Predicting habitat suitability for wildlife in southeastern Arizona using Geographic Information Systems: scaled quail, a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby D. Bristow; Susan R. Boe; Richard A. Ockenfels

    2005-01-01

    Studies have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to evaluate habitat suitability for wildlife on a landscape scale, yet few have established the accuracy of these models. Based on documented habitat selection patterns of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata pallida), we produced GIS covers for several habitat parameters to create a map of...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Untoro

    2017-09-01

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

  9. Comparison of neotropical migrant landbird populations wintering in tropical forest, isolated forest fragments, and agricultural habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, C.S.; Dowell, B.A.; Dawson, D.K.; Colon, J.A.; Estrada, R.; Sutton, A.; Sutton, R.; Weyer, D.; Hagan, John M.; Johnston, David W.

    1992-01-01

    Neotropical migrant bird populations were sampled at 76 sites in seven countries by using mist nets and point counts during a six-winter study. Populations in major agricultural habitats were compared with those in extensive forest and isolated forest fragments. Certain Neotropical migrants, such as the Northern Parula, American Redstart, and the Black-throated Blue, Magnolia, Black-and-white, and Hooded warblers, were present in arboreal agricultural habitats such as pine, cacao, citrus, and shade coffee plantations in relatively large numbers. Many north temperate zone shrub-nesting species, such as the Gray Catbird, White-eyed Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Indigo Bunting, also used agricultural habitats in winter, as did resident hummingbirds and migrant orioles. Ground-foraging migrants, such as thrushes and Kentucky Warblers, were rarely found in the agricultural habitats sampled. Although many Neotropical migrants use some croplands, this use might be severely limited by overgrazing by cattle, by intensive management (such as removal of ground cover in an orchard), or by heavy use of insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

  10. Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability: Impact and Effectiveness of Environmental Flow Prescriptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Galeati, G.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Ventura, M.; Montanari, A.

    2017-12-01

    The anthropogenic alteration of the natural flow regime of a river for hydropower production can significantly modify the processes and functions associated with fluvial ecosystems. In order to preserve the fluvial habitat downstream of dams and diversion structures, environmental flows are commonly defined. Such environmental flows are generally computed from empirical methodologies, which are seldom based on site-specific studies, and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. Here we present the results of a quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of two alternative environmental flow scenarios prescribed in Central Italy (time-invariant experimental and empirically-based flow release versus time-variant hydrogeomorphologically-based flow release) and their impact on hydropower production and fish habitat suitability. The latter is examined by means of several models of habitat suitability curve, which is a well-known approach capable of analysing fluvial species preferences as a function of key eco-hydraulic features, such as water depth, flow velocity and river substrate. The results show an evident loss of hydropower production moving from the time-invariant experimental flow release to the hydrogeomorphological one (nearly 20% at the annual scale). Concerning the effects in terms of fish habitat suitability, our outcomes are less obvious, since they are species- and life stage-specific. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the derivation of optimal water resource management strategies in order to ensure both hydropower production and fluvial ecosystem protection.

  11. Influence of discharge on fish habitat suitability curves in mountain watercourses in IFIM methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Macura Viliam

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the quality of the aquatic habitats of mountain and piedmont streams was evaluated using the ‘Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM’ decision-making tool. The quality of habitats was interpreted from the behaviour of bioindicators in the form of habitat suitability curves (HSCs. From 1995 until the present, 59 different reaches of 43 mountain streams in Slovakia and 3 validation reaches were evaluated, and the results analysed. The aim of this study was to generalize the parameters of the HSCs for the brown trout. The generalized curves will be useful for water management planning. It is difficult and time-consuming to take hydrometrical and ichthyological measurements at different water levels. Therefore, we developed a methodology for modifying suitability curves based on an ichthyological survey during a low flow and a flow at which fish lose the ability to resist the flow velocity. The study provides the information how such curves can be modified for a wider flow range. In summary, this study shows that generalized HSCs provide representative data that can be used to support both the design of river restoration and the assessment of the impacts of the water use or of climate change on stream habitat quality.

  12. Estimation of suitable flow needs for maintaining fish habitat conditions using water quantity and quality simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Kyu-Ho [Korea Institute of Construction Technology, Koyang (Korea); Cho, Won-cheol [Yonsei University, Seoul (Korea); Jun, Byong-Ho [Korea Military Academy, Seoul (Korea)

    2000-02-29

    The primary objective of this study is to estimate the suitable flow in need for conservation and restoration of the fish habitat in running water ecosystem, which has very important status in the instream flow for stream environment. Year, monthly low flows are estimated to properly maintain the fish habitat. Water depth and velocity are simulated, and also water temperature and Dissolved Oxygen(DO) are predicted at gradually varied flow using estimated low flows. These simulated conditions for each low flow are graphically compared with the requirements to maintain fish habitat at each life stage. These processes were applied to 3 riffle transect located at Dalcheon(Dal stream) in the South Han river. Pirami (Zacco platypus) was selected as a representative fish species in Dalcheon. It was shown that the suitable flow for maintaining the representative fish habitat at each life stage depends on hydraulic conditions rather than water quality conditions, and the flow ranges from the 10-year minimum low flow to consecutive 7-day 2.33-year low flow. (author). 17 refs., 6 tabs., 4 figs.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of winter flounder otoliths assess connectivity between juvenile and adult habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter flounder populations (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) have significantly declined in recent years along the Rhode Island, USA coastline. The reasons for this decline are not completely clear; however, habitat loss may be a factor. Therefore, knowledge of connectivity betwee...

  15. Habitat evaluation using suitability index and habitat type diversity: a case study involving a shallow forest stream in central Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Wen-Chieh; Chuang, Ming-De

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, the Taiwanese government has strongly promoted the concept of ecological engineering in the hope that doing so will encourage the maintenance of the ecosystem and its integrity. As a result, the riprap spur dike is one of the most commonly used measures for protecting stream banks. Traditionally, a spur dike is used at concave banks to prevent their scouring and/or to increase their stabilization. An additional benefit of deflector structures, like spur dikes, may be to increase the weighted usable area (WUA) for aquatic life survival during periods of increased flow (examples include typhoon, flood, etc.). A two-dimensional river habitat simulation program (River2D) coupled with a developed shallow water habitat type diversity module was used for the case study at a headwater stream in central Taiwan. The habitat suitability index for this study was established using substrate, depth, and velocity from field surveys for the fish family Cyprinidae by prepositioned area electrofisher. The ungauged flood conditions were calculated using digital elevation models within a watershed delineation and hydrological modeling system in accordance with local regulations. Simulated results indicate that the spur dikes currently in use on the stream in this study need be improved from a WUA point of view more effectively handle a flood event.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-12

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

  17. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  18. Assessing the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic breeding bird guilds using landscape metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Friederike; Glemnitz, Michael; Schultz, Alfred; Stachow, Ulrich

    2017-04-01

    Many of the processes behind the decline of farmland birds can be related to modifications in landscape structure (composition and configuration), which can partly be expressed quantitatively with measurable or computable indices, i.e. landscape metrics. This paper aims to identify statistical relationships between the occurrence of birds and the landscape structure. We present a method that combines two comprehensive procedures: the "landscape-centred approach" and "guild classification". Our study is based on more than 20,000 individual bird observations based on a 4-year bird monitoring approach in a typical agricultural area in the north-eastern German lowlands. Five characteristic bird guilds, each with three characteristic species, are defined for the typical habitat types of that area: farmland, grassland, hedgerow, forest and settlement. The suitability of each sample plot for each guild is indicated by the level of persistence (LOP) of occurrence of three respective species. Thus, the sample plots can be classified as "preferred" or "less preferred" depending on the lower and upper quartiles of the LOP values. The landscape structure is characterized by 16 different landscape metrics expressing various aspects of landscape composition and configuration. For each guild, the three landscape metrics with the strongest rank correlation with the LOP values and that are not mutually dependent were identified. For four of the bird guilds, the classification success was better than 80%, compared with only 66% for the grassland bird guild. A subset of six landscape metrics proved to be the most meaningful and sufficiently classified the sample areas with respect to bird guild suitability. In addition, derived logistic functions allowed the production of guild-specific habitat suitability maps for the whole landscape. The analytical results show that the proposed approach is appropriate to assess the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  20. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

    Full Text Available The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  1. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paknia, Omid; Schierwater, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  2. Quantifying Florida Bay habitat suitability for fishes and invertebrates under climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, Kelly A; Butler, Mark; Glazer, Robert; Kelble, Christopher R; Serafy, Joseph E; Stabenau, Erik

    2015-04-01

    The Florida Bay ecosystem supports a number of economically important ecosystem services, including several recreational fisheries, which may be affected by changing salinity and temperature due to climate change. In this paper, we use a combination of physical models and habitat suitability index models to quantify the effects of potential climate change scenarios on a variety of juvenile fish and lobster species in Florida Bay. The climate scenarios include alterations in sea level, evaporation and precipitation rates, coastal runoff, and water temperature. We find that the changes in habitat suitability vary in both magnitude and direction across the scenarios and species, but are on average small. Only one of the seven species we investigate (Lagodon rhomboides, i.e., pinfish) sees a sizable decrease in optimal habitat under any of the scenarios. This suggests that the estuarine fauna of Florida Bay may not be as vulnerable to climate change as other components of the ecosystem, such as those in the marine/terrestrial ecotone. However, these models are relatively simplistic, looking only at single species effects of physical drivers without considering the many interspecific interactions that may play a key role in the adjustment of the ecosystem as a whole. More complex models that capture the mechanistic links between physics and biology, as well as the complex dynamics of the estuarine food web, may be necessary to further understand the potential effects of climate change on the Florida Bay ecosystem.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M. Olsen

    2015-09-01

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

  4. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaida Ortega

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9–29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1–34.5 °C. In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87 than I. galani (0.80. Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards.

  5. Development of habitat suitability indices for the Candy Darter, with cross-scale validation across representative populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Corey G.; Angermeier, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Understanding relationships between habitat associations for individuals and habitat factors that limit populations is a primary challenge for managers of stream fishes. Although habitat use by individuals can provide insight into the adaptive significance of selected microhabitats, not all habitat parameters will be significant at the population level, particularly when distributional patterns partially result from habitat degradation. We used underwater observation to quantify microhabitat selection by an imperiled stream fish, the Candy Darter Etheostoma osburni, in two streams with robust populations. We developed multiple-variable and multiple-life-stage habitat suitability indices (HSIs) from microhabitat selection patterns and used them to assess the suitability of available habitat in streams where Candy Darter populations were extirpated, localized, or robust. Next, we used a comparative framework to examine relationships among (1) habitat availability across streams, (2) projected habitat suitability of each stream, and (3) a rank for the likely long-term viability (robustness) of the population inhabiting each stream. Habitat selection was characterized by ontogenetic shifts from the low-velocity, slightly embedded areas used by age-0 Candy Darters to the swift, shallow areas with little fine sediment and complex substrate, which were used by adults. Overall, HSIs were strongly correlated with population rank. However, we observed weak or inverse relationships between predicted individual habitat suitability and population robustness for multiple life stages and variables. The results demonstrated that microhabitat selection by individuals does not always reflect population robustness, particularly when based on a single life stage or season, which highlights the risk of generalizing habitat selection that is observed during nonstressful periods or for noncritical resources. These findings suggest that stream fish managers may need to be cautious when

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Assessment of suitable habitat for Phragmites australis (common reed) in the Great Lakes coastal zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson Mazur, Martha L.; Kowalski, Kurt P.; Galbraith, David

    2014-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes, the invasive form of Phragmites australis (common reed) poses a threat to highly productive coastal wetlands and shorelines by forming impenetrable stands that outcompete native plants. Large, dominant stands can derail efforts to restore wetland ecosystems degraded by other stressors. To be proactive, landscape-level management of Phragmites requires information on the current spatial distribution of the species and a characterization of areas suitable for future colonization. Using a recent basin-scale map of this invasive plant’s distribution in the U.S. coastal zone of the Great Lakes, environmental data (e.g., soils, nutrients, disturbance, climate, topography), and climate predictions, we performed analyses of current and predicted suitable coastal habitat using boosted regression trees, a type of species distribution modeling. We also investigated differential influences of environmental variables in the upper lakes (Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron) and lower lakes (Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario). Basin-wide results showed that the coastal areas most vulnerable to Phragmites expansion were in close proximity to developed lands and had minimal topographic relief, poorly drained soils, and dense road networks. Elevated nutrients and proximity to agriculture also influenced the distribution of Phragmites. Climate predictions indicated an increase in suitable habitat in coastal Lakes Huron and Michigan in particular. The results of this study, combined with a publicly available online decision support tool, will enable resource managers and restoration practitioners to target and prioritize Phragmites control efforts in the Great Lakes coastal zone.

  8. Smartphone-based distributed data collection enables rapid assessment of shorebird habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieler, E. Robert; Zeigler, Sara; Winslow, Luke; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species requires biological and geological data across the range of relevant environments and habitats. It is difficult to acquire such information; data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. We developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover that addresses these difficulties in collecting biogeomorphic information at piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites on coastal beaches. This paper describes iPlover development and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection (n = 1799 data points over 1500 km of coast between Maine and North Carolina, USA). We found strong agreement between field user and expert assessments and high model skill when data were used for habitat suitability prediction. Methods used here to develop and deploy a distributed data collection system have broad applicability to interdisciplinary environmental monitoring and modeling.

  9. Estimating habitat carrying capacity for migrating and wintering waterfowl: Considerations, pitfalls and improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Christopher; Dugger, Bruce D.; Brasher, Michael G.; Coluccy, John M.; Cramer, Dane M.; Eadie, John M.; Gray, Matthew J.; Hagy, Heath M.; Livolsi, Mark; McWilliams, Scott R.; Petrie, Matthew; Soulliere, Gregory J.; Tirpak, John M.; Webb, Elisabeth B.

    2014-01-01

    Population-based habitat conservation planning for migrating and wintering waterfowl in North America is carried out by habitat Joint Venture (JV) initiatives and is based on the premise that food can limit demography (i.e. food limitation hypothesis). Consequently, planners use bioenergetic models to estimate food (energy) availability and population-level energy demands at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, and translate these values into regional habitat objectives. While simple in principle, there are both empirical and theoretical challenges associated with calculating energy supply and demand including: 1) estimating food availability, 2) estimating the energy content of specific foods, 3) extrapolating site-specific estimates of food availability to landscapes for focal species, 4) applicability of estimates from a single species to other species, 5) estimating resting metabolic rate, 6) estimating cost of daily behaviours, and 7) estimating costs of thermoregulation or tissue synthesis. Most models being used are daily ration models (DRMs) whose set of simplifying assumptions are well established and whose use is widely accepted and feasible given the empirical data available to populate such models. However, DRMs do not link habitat objectives to metrics of ultimate ecological importance such as individual body condition or survival, and largely only consider food-producing habitats. Agent-based models (ABMs) provide a possible alternative for creating more biologically realistic models under some conditions; however, ABMs require different types of empirical inputs, many of which have yet to be estimated for key North American waterfowl. Decisions about how JVs can best proceed with habitat conservation would benefit from the use of sensitivity analyses that could identify the empirical and theoretical uncertainties that have the greatest influence on efforts to estimate habitat carrying capacity. Development of ABMs at

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. A checklist of the winter bird community in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ahmed

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This study was aimed at preparing an inventory of the avifauna and to document the species composition of birds during winter in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Cachar District of Assam. Four habitat types, viz., tea plantation, ecotone zone, secondary growth forest and water bodies were selected within the tea estate and surveyed from mid-December 2010 (early winter to mid-April 2011 (late winter covering four months of survey. A total of 88 species were recorded during the survey period with the highest number of species in ecotone zone (n=63, followed by secondary forest (n=60, tea plantation (n=48 and water bodies (n=17. The species were further categorized into different feeding and habitat guilds to study the distribution of bird species in different habitat types according to various guilds.

  13. An Improved Neural Network for Regional Giant Panda Habitat Suitability Mapping: A Case Study in Ya’an Prefecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingwei Song

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Expert knowledge is a combination of prior information and subjective opinions based on long-experience; as such it is often not sufficiently objective to produce convincing results in animal habitat suitability index mapping. In this study, an animal habitat assessment method based on a learning neural network is proposed to reduce the level of subjectivity in animal habitat assessments. Based on two hypotheses, this method substitutes habitat suitability index with apparent density and has advantages over conventional ones such as those based on analytical hierarchy process or multivariate regression approaches. Besides, this method is integrated with a learning neural network and is suitable for building non-linear transferring functions to fit complex relationships between multiple factors influencing habitat suitability. Once the neural network is properly trained, new earth observation data can be integrated for rapid habitat suitability monitoring which could save time and resources needed for traditional data collecting approaches through extensive field surveys. Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca natural habitat in Ya’an prefecture and corresponding landsat images, DEM and ground observations are tested for validity of using the methodology reported. Results show that the method scores well in key efficiency and performance indicators and could be extended for habitat assessments, particularly of other large, rare and widely distributed animal species.

  14. Prevalence and genotypes of Anaplasma species and habitat suitability for ticks in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torina, Alessandra; Alongi, Angelina; Naranjo, Victoria; Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Vicente, Joaquín; Scimeca, Salvatore; Marino, Anna M F; Salina, Felice; Caracappa, Santo; de la Fuente, José

    2008-12-01

    Anaplasma species are tick-transmitted pathogens that impact veterinary and human health. Sicily is one of the locations where these pathogens are endemic. Sicily represents a typical Mediterranean ecosystem to study Anaplasma infection and tick habitat suitability. The aims of this study were (i) to characterize by 16S rRNA and species-specific msp4 gene PCR the prevalence and genotypes of A. marginale, A. phagocytophilum, and A. ovis in the most abundant host species in Sicilian provinces and (ii) to correlate differences between hosts and between western and eastern Sicily with the habitat suitability for ticks in these regions. Differences were found in the prevalence of Anaplasma spp. between different hosts and between western and eastern provinces. The differences in Anaplasma prevalence between different hosts may be explained by pathogen host tropism. The differences between western and eastern provinces correlated with the tick habitat suitability in these regions. The analysis of Anaplasma genotypes suggested a higher host and regional specificity for A. phagocytophilum than for A. marginale and A. ovis strains, a finding probably associated with the broader host range of A. phagocytophilum. The presence of identical A. marginale genotypes in the two regions may reflect cattle movement. The results for A. ovis suggested the possibility of some genotypes being host specific. These results provide information potentially useful for the management of tick-borne diseases caused by Anaplasma spp. in Sicily and other Mediterranean regions and may contribute to the development of models to predict the risks for these tick-borne pathogens.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Yu; Ran, Jianghong

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Emily M; Butler, Christopher J; Lord, Wayne D

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50%) declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total geographic area of

  17. Projecting the Range Shifts in Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn under Climate Change Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinghua Huang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the impact of climate change on range shifts in climatically suitable habitats of tree species is important for national afforestation planning, which can enhance the adaptation of tree plantation to climate change through movement of tree to follow suitable climatic conditions. Here, we overlap the current and future climate-related ranges of Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis, an important tree used for afforestation in China, to estimate the range shift in three geographic dimensions (latitude, longitude and elevation between 2000 and 2070, which are projected by the maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt under current climate conditions and four climate change scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5. Our results show that the performance of the MaxEnt is highly accurate, with test AUC (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve value of 0.91, Kappa value of 0.83 and predicted accuracy of 92%. About 10.7% area of land in China is climatically suitable for Chinese sea buckthorn plantation. Low representative concentration paths will have more effect on loss of climatic range and less effect on expansion of climatic range for Chinese sea buckthorn, while the impacts of high representative concentration path is the opposite. The centroids of climatic ranges will shift westward or northwestward at the rate of 10.4–22 km per decade, and the centroids of altitude will shift upward at the rate of 43–128 m per decade. The expansion area of climatically suitable habitat, covering 2.6–5.2 × 105 km2, is expected to be mainly located in parts of Qinghai, Ningxia, Gansu, Sichuan, Liaoning, and Jilin provinces; these areas should be monitored for planting of Chinese sea buckthorn in the future.

  18. Using population viability analysis, genomics, and habitat suitability to forecast future population patterns of Little Owl Athene noctua across Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Line Holm; Sunde, Peter; Pellegrino, Irene

    2017-01-01

    fragmentation, turning once continuous populations into metapopulations. It is thus increasingly important to estimate both the number of individuals it takes to create a genetically viable population and the population trend. Here, population viability analysis and habitat suitability modeling were used...... temperatures and urban areas, whereas an increased tree cover, an increasing annual rainfall, grassland, and sparsely vegetated areas affect the presence of the owl negatively. However, the low predictive power of the habitat suitability model suggests that habitat suitability might be better explained......,000 individuals, management actions resulting in exchange of individuals between populations or even countries are probably necessary to prevent losing habitat suitability analysis suggested Little Owl to be affected positively by increasing...

  19. Habitat quality affects stress responses and survival in a bird wintering under extremely low ambient temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cīrule, Dina; Krama, Tatjana; Krams, Ronalds; Elferts, Didzis; Kaasik, Ants; Rantala, Markus J.; Mierauskas, Pranas; Luoto, Severi; Krams, Indrikis A.

    2017-12-01

    Animals normally respond to stressful environmental stimuli by releasing glucocorticoid hormones. We investigated whether baseline corticosterone (CORT), handling-induced corticosterone concentration(s), and body condition indices of members of willow tit ( Poecile montanus) groups differed while wintering in old growth forests and managed young forests in mild weather conditions and during cold spells. Willow tits spend the winter season in non-kin groups in which dominant individuals typically claim their priority to access resources, while subordinate individuals may experience greater levels of stress and higher mortality, especially during cold spells. We captured birds to measure baseline CORT and levels of handling-induced CORT secretion after 20 min of capture. Willow tits in the young forests had higher baseline CORT and a smaller increase in CORT in response to capture than individuals in the old forests. Baseline CORT was higher in females and juvenile birds compared to adult males, whereas handling-induced CORT secretion did not differ between birds of different ages. During cold spells, baseline CORT of willow tits increased and handling-induced CORT secretion decreased, especially in birds in young forests. Willow tits' survival was higher in the old forests, with dominant individuals surviving better than subordinates. Our results show that changes in CORT secretion reflect responses to habitat quality and climate harshness, indicating young managed coniferous forests as a suboptimal habitat for the willow tit.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Linking habitat suitability and seed dispersal models in order to analyse the effectiveness of hydrological fen restoration strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, A.H. van; Soomers, H.; Schot, P.P.; Bierkens, M.F.P.; Griffioen, J.; Wassen, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    The effectiveness of measures targeted at the restoration of populations of endangered species in anthropogenically dominated regions is often limited by a combination of insufficient restoration of habitat quality and dispersal failure. Therefore, the joint prediction of suitable habitat and seed

  2. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (−21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (−11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  3. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D; Brinkman, Todd J; Lindgren, Michael A; Schmidt, Jennifer I; Rupp, T Scott; Adams, Layne G

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  4. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David D Gustine

    Full Text Available Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs, and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21% than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%. Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  5. 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

  6. Kootenai River Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project : Long-term Bighorn Sheep/Mule Deer Winter and Spring Habitat Improvement Project : Wildlife Mitigation Project, Libby Dam, Montana : Management Plan.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yde, Chis

    1990-06-01

    The Libby hydroelectric project, located on the Kootenai River in northwestern Montana, resulted in several impacts to the wildlife communities which occupied the habitats inundated by Lake Koocanusa. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, in cooperation with the other management agencies, developed an impact assessment and a wildlife and wildlife habitat mitigation plan for the Libby hydroelectric facility. In response to the mitigation plan, Bonneville Power Administration funded a cooperative project between the Kootenai National Forest and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to develop a long-term habitat enhancement plan for the bighorn sheep and mule deer winter and spring ranges adjacent to Lake Koocanusa. The project goal is to rehabilitate 3372 acres of bighorn sheep and 16,321 acres of mule deer winter and spring ranges on Kootenai National Forest lands adjacent to Lake Koocanusa and to monitor and evaluate the effects of implementing this habitat enhancement work. 2 refs.

  7. Upward Altitudinal Shifts in Habitat Suitability of Mountain Vipers since the Last Glacial Maximum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi, Masoud; Ahmadi, Mohsen; Nourani, Elham; Behrooz, Roozbeh; Rajabizadeh, Mehdi; Geniez, Philippe; Kaboli, Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    We determined the effects of past and future climate changes on the distribution of the Montivipera raddei species complex (MRC) that contains rare and endangered viper species limited to Iran, Turkey and Armenia. We also investigated the current distribution of MRC to locate unidentified isolated populations as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the current network of protected areas for their conservation. Present distribution of MRC was modeled based on ecological variables and model performance was evaluated by field visits. Some individuals at the newly identified populations showed uncommon morphological characteristics. The distribution map of MRC derived through modeling was then compared with the distribution of protected areas in the region. We estimated the effectiveness of the current protected area network to be 10%, which would be sufficient for conserving this group of species, provided adequate management policies and practices are employed. We further modeled the distribution of MRC in the past (21,000 years ago) and under two scenarios in the future (to 2070). These models indicated that climatic changes probably have been responsible for an upward shift in suitable habitats of MRC since the Last Glacial Maximum, leading to isolation of allopatric populations. Distribution will probably become much more restricted in the future as a result of the current rate of global warming. We conclude that climate change most likely played a major role in determining the distribution pattern of MRC, restricting allopatric populations to mountaintops due to habitat alterations. This long-term isolation has facilitated unique local adaptations among MRC populations, which requires further investigation. The suitable habitat patches identified through modeling constitute optimized solutions for inclusion in the network of protected areas in the region.

  8. Upward Altitudinal Shifts in Habitat Suitability of Mountain Vipers since the Last Glacial Maximum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Yousefi

    Full Text Available We determined the effects of past and future climate changes on the distribution of the Montivipera raddei species complex (MRC that contains rare and endangered viper species limited to Iran, Turkey and Armenia. We also investigated the current distribution of MRC to locate unidentified isolated populations as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the current network of protected areas for their conservation. Present distribution of MRC was modeled based on ecological variables and model performance was evaluated by field visits. Some individuals at the newly identified populations showed uncommon morphological characteristics. The distribution map of MRC derived through modeling was then compared with the distribution of protected areas in the region. We estimated the effectiveness of the current protected area network to be 10%, which would be sufficient for conserving this group of species, provided adequate management policies and practices are employed. We further modeled the distribution of MRC in the past (21,000 years ago and under two scenarios in the future (to 2070. These models indicated that climatic changes probably have been responsible for an upward shift in suitable habitats of MRC since the Last Glacial Maximum, leading to isolation of allopatric populations. Distribution will probably become much more restricted in the future as a result of the current rate of global warming. We conclude that climate change most likely played a major role in determining the distribution pattern of MRC, restricting allopatric populations to mountaintops due to habitat alterations. This long-term isolation has facilitated unique local adaptations among MRC populations, which requires further investigation. The suitable habitat patches identified through modeling constitute optimized solutions for inclusion in the network of protected areas in the region.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A Vélez-Espino

    2006-06-01

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

  10. Habitat suitability-density relationship in an endangered woodland species: the case of the Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla polatzeki).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrascal, Luis M; Moreno, Ángel C; Delgado, Alejandro; Suárez, Víctor; Trujillo, Domingo

    2017-01-01

    Understanding constraints to the distribution of threatened species may help to ascertain whether there are other suitable sectors for reducing the risks associated with species that are recorded in only one protected locality, and to inform about the suitability of other areas for reintroduction or translocation programs. We studied the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch ( Fringilla polatzeki ), a habitat specialist endemic of the Canary Islands restricted to the pine forest of Inagua, the only area where the species has been naturally present as a regular breeder in the last 25 years. A suitability distribution model using occurrences with demographic relevance (i.e., nest locations of successful breeding attempts analysed using boosted classification trees) was built considering orographic, climatic and habitat structure predictors. By means of a standardized survey program we monitored the yearly abundance of the species in 100 sectors since the declaration of Inagua as a Strict Nature Reserve in 1994. The variables with the highest relative importance in blue chaffinch habitat preferences were pine height, tree cover, altitude, and rainfall during the driest trimester (July-September). The observed local abundance of the blue chaffinch in Inagua (survey data) was significantly correlated with habitat suitability derived from modelling the location of successful nesting attempts (using linear and quantile regressions). The outcomes of the habitat suitability model were used to quantify the suitability of other natural, historic, pine forests of Gran Canaria. Tamadaba is the forest with most suitable woodland patches for the species. We estimated a population size of 195-430 blue chaffinches in Inagua since 2011 (95% CI), the smallest population size of a woodland passerine in the Western Palearctic. Habitat suitability obtained from modelling the location of successful breeding attempts is a good surrogate of the observed local abundance during the reproductive season

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    -borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from...... Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail...... species, indicating a large potential for disease transmission. The lack of parasitological data still makes it difficult to determine the magnitude of actual disease transmission, but the predicted snail distributions might be used as indicators of potential present and future risk areas. Some...

  14. Habitat suitability 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.

  15. Integrating Larval Dispersal, Permitting, and Logistical Factors Within a Validated Habitat Suitability Index for Oyster Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Puckett

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models are increasingly used to guide ecological restoration. Successful restoration is a byproduct of several factors, including physical and biological processes, as well as permitting and logistical considerations. Rarely are factors from all of these categories included in HSI models, despite their combined relevance to common restoration goals such as population persistence. We developed a Geographic Information System (GIS-based HSI for restoring persistent high-relief subtidal oyster (Crassostrea virginica reefs protected from harvest (i.e., sanctuaries in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA. Expert stakeholder input identified 17 factors to include in the HSI. Factors primarily represented physical (e.g., salinity and biological (e.g., larval dispersal processes relevant to oyster restoration, but also included several relevant permitting (e.g., presence of seagrasses and logistical (e.g., distance to restoration material stockpile sites considerations. We validated the model with multiple years of oyster density data from existing sanctuaries, and compared HSI output with distributions of oyster reefs from the late 1800's. Of the 17 factors included in the model, stakeholders identified four factors—salinity, larval export from existing oyster sanctuaries, larval import to existing sanctuaries, and dissolved oxygen—most critical to oyster sanctuary site selection. The HSI model provided a quantitative scale over which a vast water body (~6,000 km2 was narrowed down by 95% to a much smaller suite of optimal (top 1% HSI and suitable (top 5% HSI locations for oyster restoration. Optimal and suitable restoration locations were clustered in northeast and southwest Pamlico Sound. Oyster density in existing sanctuaries, normalized for time since reef restoration, was a positive exponential function of HSI, providing validation for the model. Only a small portion (10–20% of historical reef locations

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Habitat suitability of the Atlantic bluefin tuna by size class: An ecological niche approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druon, Jean-Noël; Fromentin, Jean-Marc; Hanke, Alex R.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Damalas, Dimitrios; Tičina, Vjekoslav; Quílez-Badia, Gemma; Ramirez, Karina; Arregui, Igor; Tserpes, George; Reglero, Patricia; Deflorio, Michele; Oray, Isik; Saadet Karakulak, F.; Megalofonou, Persefoni; Ceyhan, Tevfik; Grubišić, Leon; MacKenzie, Brian R.; Lamkin, John; Afonso, Pedro; Addis, Piero

    2016-03-01

    An ecological niche modelling (ENM) approach was used to predict the potential feeding and spawning habitats of small (5-25 kg, only feeding) and large (>25 kg) Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABFT), Thunnus thynnus, in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The ENM was built bridging knowledge on ecological traits of ABFT (e.g. temperature tolerance, mobility, feeding and spawning strategy) with patterns of selected environmental variables (chlorophyll-a fronts and concentration, sea surface current and temperature, sea surface height anomaly) that were identified using an extensive set of precisely geo-located presence data. The results highlight a wider temperature tolerance for larger fish allowing them to feed in the northern - high chlorophyll levels - latitudes up to the Norwegian Sea in the eastern Atlantic and to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the western basin. Permanent suitable feeding habitat for small ABFT was predicted to be mostly located in temperate latitudes in the North Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as in subtropical waters off north-west Africa, while summer potential habitat in the Gulf of Mexico was found to be unsuitable for both small and large ABFTs. Potential spawning grounds were found to occur in the Gulf of Mexico from March-April in the south-east to April-May in the north, while favourable conditions evolve in the Mediterranean Sea from mid-May in the eastern to mid-July in the western basin. Other secondary potential spawning grounds not supported by observations were predicted in the Azores area and off Morocco to Senegal during July and August when extrapolating the model settings from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic. The presence of large ABFT off Florida and the Bahamas in spring was not explained by the model as is, however the environmental variables other than the sea surface height anomaly appeared to be favourable for spawning in part of this area. Defining key spatial and

  20. [Waterbird habitat-selection during winter and spring in reclaimed coastal wetlands in Nanhui Dongtan, Shanghai].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Jun-Ying; Heng, Nan-Nan; Zhang, Bin; Yuan, Xiao; Wang, Tian-Hou

    2011-12-01

    From December 2009 to May 2010 goose and duck (Anatidae) community censuses in winter and shorebird (Charadriiforms) community censuses in spring were conducted across three types artificial wetlands (urban lake wetland, restorative wetland, abandoned wetland) along the coast of Nanhui, Shanghai. Correlation analyses were undertaken between community indices and habitat factors. The results showed there were significant differences in the density of geese and ducks among the wetlands, but no difference in the number of species. The density of geese and ducks in the restorative wetland was 3.77 times that of abandoned wetland and 6.03 times that of urban lake wetlands. The number of species and density of shorebirds in restorative wetlands was 2.88 and 5.70 times that of abandoned wetlands. We found significant differences in the number and density of shorebird species between restorative and abandoned wetlands. The number of species density of geese and ducks and the Shannon-Wiener (H') index were positively correlated with water area. The number of species and H' were negatively correlated with vegetation area. The number of species, species density and H' and evenness were negatively correlated with vegetation coverage. H' was positively correlated with mean water level. The results showed that the number and density of shorebird species were positively correlated with bare muddy areas. Aquaculture ponds and paddy fields in reclaimed area is efficient sufficient compensation mechanism to maintain more water areas for waterbirds and to control vegetation expansion and maintain shorebird habitat after coastal reclamation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Coral Reef Habitat Suitability in Future Climate Scenarios from NCAR CESM1 considering a Suite of Biogeochemical Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, L. A.; Kleypas, J. A.; Miller, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    A maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) is used to describe coral reef habitat in current climate conditions and to predict changes to that habitat during the 21st century. Two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) from the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) were used with Maxent to determine environmental suitability for the family of corals Scleractina in 1° by 1° cells. Input environmental variables most suitable for representing coral habitat limitation are isolated using a principal component analysis and include cumulative thermal stress, salinity, light availability, current speed, phosphate levels and aragonite saturation state. Considering a suite of environmental variables allows for a more synergistic view of future habitat suitability, although individual variables are found to be limiting in certain areas- for example, aragonite saturation state is limiting at higher latitudes. Climate-driven coral reef habitat changes depend strongly on the oceanic region of interest and the region of corals used to train the niche model. Increased global coral habitat loss occurred in both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate projections as time progressed through the 21th century. Maximum suitable habitat loss was 82% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When only Caribbean/Atlantic coral reef environmental data is applied globally, 88% of global habitat was lost by 2100 for RCP8.5. The global runs utilizing only Pacific Ocean reefs' ability to survive showed the most significant worldwide loss, 90% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When Maxent was trained with Indian Ocean reefs, an increase in suitable habitat worldwide was estimated. Habitat suitability was found to increase by 38% in RCP4.5 by 2100 and 28% in RCP8.5 by 2050. This suggests that shallow tropical sites in the Indian Ocean basin experience conditions today that are most similar to future worldwide climate projections. Indian Ocean reefs may be ideal candidate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Impact of Alternative Environmental Flow Prescriptions on Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Galeati, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers are increasingly recognized to be a major concern for fluvial ecosystems. The management of water resources, by means of e.g. flow diversions and dams, for industrial, agricultural, water-supply, hydropower production and flood protection purposes induces significant changes to the natural streamflow regime of a river. Indeed, the river flow regime is known to be a major abiotic factor influencing fluvial ecosystems. An established approach aimed at preserving the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of minimum streamflow requirements (i.e., environmental flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. Such environmental flows are normally identified through methodologies that have an empirical nature and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. While the effect of imposing a minimum discharge release is easily predictable in terms of e.g. loss of hydropower production, the advantages in terms of species preferences are often poorly understood and seldom assessed. To analyze the interactions between flow releases and the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species (i.e., from periphyton, to benthic invertebrate and fish), one may use a habitat suitability curve, which is a fundamental tool capable of describing species preferences influenced by any generic environmental variable. The outcomes of a real case study applied to several Italian rivers, located in the Marche administrative district in Central Italy (∽10000km2), in which we quantitatively assess the effects of alternative environmental flow scenarios on the existing hydropower network and on two fish species that are quite abundant in the study area (i.e., Leuciscus cephalus cabeda and Barbus barbus plebejus), will be presented and discussed. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Komac

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  9. Climate change, northern birds of conservation concern and matching the hotspots of habitat suitability with the reserve network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051-2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species' probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares ("hotspots") in the four bird species groups in the period 1971-2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051-2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-19

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Anticipating knowledge to inform species management: predicting spatially explicit habitat suitability of a colonial vulture spreading its range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P

    2010-08-25

    The knowledge of both potential distribution and habitat suitability is fundamental in spreading species to inform in advance management and conservation planning. After a severe decline in the past decades, the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) is now spreading its breeding range towards the northwest in Spain and Europe. Because of its key ecological function, anticipated spatial knowledge is required to inform appropriately both vulture and ecosystem management. Here we used maximum entropy (Maxent) models to determine the habitat suitability of potential and current breeding distribution of the griffon vulture using presence-only data (N = 124 colonies) in north-western Spain. The most relevant ecological factors shaping this habitat suitability were also identified. The resulting model had a high predictive performance and was able to predict species' historical distribution. 7.5% (approximately 1,850 km(2)) of the study area resulted to be suitable breeding habitat, most of which (approximately 70%) is already occupied by the species. Cliff availability and livestock density, especially of sheep and goats, around 10 km of the colonies were the fundamental factors determining breeding habitat suitability for this species. Griffon vultures could still spread 50-60 km towards the west, increasing their breeding range in 1,782 km(2). According to our results, 7.22% of the area suitable for griffon vulture will be affected by wind farms, so our results could help to better plan wind farm locations. The approach here developed could be useful to inform management of reintroductions and recovery programmes currently being implemented for both the griffon vulture and other threatened vulture species.

  14. Relative effects of road risk, habitat suitability, and connectivity on wildlife roadkills: the case of tawny owls (Strix aluco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Sara M; Lourenço, Rui; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Despite its importance for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, there is still incomplete understanding of factors responsible for high road mortality. In particular, few empirical studies examined the idea that spatial variation in roadkills is influenced by a complex interplay between road-related factors, and species-specific habitat quality and landscape connectivity. In this study we addressed this issue, using a 7-year dataset of tawny owl (Strix aluco) roadkills recorded along 37 km of road in southern Portugal. We used a multi-species roadkill index as a surrogate of intrinsic road risk, and we used a Maxent distribution model to estimate habitat suitability. Landscape connectivity was estimated from least-cost paths between tawny owl territories, using habitat suitability as a resistance surface. We defined 10 alternative scenarios to compute connectivity, based on variation in potential movement patterns according to territory quality and dispersal distance thresholds. Hierarchical partitioning of a regression model indicated that independent variation in tawny owl roadkills was explained primarily by the roadkill index (70.5%) and, to a much lesser extent, by landscape connectivity (26.2%), while habitat suitability had minor effects (3.3%). Analysis of connectivity scenarios suggested that owl roadkills were primarily related to short range movements (habitat quality and landscape connectivity are globally high for the study species. Nevertheless, the study supported the view that functional connectivity should be incorporated whenever possible in roadkill models, as it may greatly increase their power to predict the location of roadkill hotspots.

  15. Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to investigate habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, D.; Estes, M. G., Jr.; Griffin, R.; Estes, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    As the global urban population rapidly increases, many wild species lose habitat to human development. The Western Cape of South Africa contains one of Earth's 35 biodiversity hotspots, with remarkably high levels of species richness and endemism. Understanding the relationship between anthropogenic changes and key species in this region is crucial for conservation of its threatened ecosystems. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect that climate change and urbanization each have on habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture. This research utilized NASA satellite data and crowdsourced species sightings to model past, current, and future habitat suitability for this key species in the Western Cape. Data used from NASA Earth Observations included: Landsat 8- derived Land Cover, Modis Land Surface Temperature, Digital Elevation Models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and precipitation data which integrated in-situ stations with Infrared data. Species observations were sourced from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility online database. A geospatial modelling framework was used to generate maps of present, past and future suitable habitats for analysis and comparison. Changes in precipitation and temperature may be a factor in the extreme loss of habitat since 1995, and predict even more drastic loss in the future. This research provides insights on anthropogenic effects on a species' range which may be used to inform discussions of conservation as an element of environmentally sustainable development.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeff R. Troy

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shauna-Lee Chai

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-10

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Tree colonization by the Asian longhorn beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): effect of habitat and tree suitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faccoli, Massimo; Favaro, Riccardo; Concheri, Giuseppe; Squartini, Andrea; Battisti, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    Tree colonization and feeding activity of the invasive wood-borer Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), an Asian pest introduced into North America and Europe, was studied in a newly invaded area in Italy. The hypothesis being tested was that the reproductive success of the insect depend on habitat type and tree suitability. Adult beetles were caged on branches of host and nonhost species, in both urban and forest habitats. Two months later, number and size of feeding patches on plant tissues, eggs laid, and surviving larvae were assessed. Bark concentration of C and N was also measured from the same trees. Results indicated that the mean area of plant tissues consumed by adult feeding was significantly larger on trees growing in forest than in urban habitat, although within the same habitat there were no differences between susceptible and nonsusceptible trees. ALB tree colonization, in terms of number of eggs laid and young larvae survival, was not affected by habitat while it was higher on susceptible trees. Although trees growing in forests had a lower nitrogen concentration, they allowed colonization rates similar to those of trees growing in the urban habitat. Hence, the amount of carbon and nitrogen did not fully explain tree suitability or habitat selection. We suggest compensatory feeding as a potential mechanism that might explain this peculiar situation, as supported by a more intensive feeding activity recorded on trees in the forest. Suitability of different trees may be due to other factors, such as secondary chemical compounds. © 2014 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Prediction of suitable habitats in Zostera noltii meadows by Ecological Niche Factor Analysis A tool for environmental management of coastal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Silvina Fernandez Diaz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses are present in the entire coastal habitats around the world. These coastal habitats provide many goods and services which maintain the integrity of coastal ecosystems and consequently the quality of human life of the communities involved. In recent years, interest in these environments has resulted in its incorporation into European legislation to protect the natural heritage. However, seagrasses show a global reduction as a result of the development process and pollution, eutrophication and habitat degradation. The Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA was used to predict habitat suitability of Zostera noltii, a dominant species of intertidal meadows of Galicia. Within the ecological variables used in analysis Phi and redox potential mainly explain the presence of Zostera noltii in the study area with an adjustment of 90%. The predictive ability of ENFA analysis is presented as a useful tool for environmental public managers to manage the coastal spaces and for those who must design strategies for future adaptation.

  8. Microcomputer software for calculating an elk habitat effectiveness index on Blue Mountain winter ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Hitchcock; Alan. Ager

    1992-01-01

    National Forests in the Pacific Northwest Region have incorporated elk habitat standards into Forest plans to ensure that elk habitat objectives are met on multiple use land allocations. Many Forests have employed versions of the habitat effectiveness index (HEI) as a standard method to evaluate habitat. Field application of the HEI model unfortunately is a formidable...

  9. 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.

  10. Mapping the climatic suitable habitat of oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis) for introduction and cultivation at a global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoqing; Du, Sheng; Wen, Zhongming

    2016-01-01

    Oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis) is an important afforestation and ornamental tree species, which is native in eastern Asian. Therefore, a global suitable habitat map for oriental arborvitae is urgently needed for global promotion and cultivation. Here, the potential habitat and climatic requirements of oriental arborvitae at global scale were simulated using herbariums data and 13 thermal-moisture variables as input data for maximum entropy model (MaxEnt). The simulation performance of MaxEnt is evaluated by ten-fold cross-validation and a jackknife procedure. Results show that the potential habitat and climate envelop of oriental arborvitae can be successfully simulated by MaxEnt at global scale, with a mean test AUC value of 0.93 and mean training AUC value of 0.95. Thermal factors play more important roles than moisture factors in controlling the distribution boundary of oriental arborvitae’s potential ranges. There are about 50 countries suitable for introduction and cultivation of oriental arborvitae with an area of 2.0 × 107 km2, which occupied 13.8% of land area on the earth. This unique study will provide valuable information and insights needed to identify new regions with climatically suitable habitats for cultivation and introduction of oriental arborvitae around the world. PMID:27443221

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  13. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol, Janet; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G.W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  14. Habitat Suitability analysis of Koklass (Pucrasia macrolopha) Pheasant in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh, India using Geospatial Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliza, K.; Sarma, K.

    2014-12-01

    Pheasants are at the brink of destruction due to degradation of forests, environmental pollution, climatic changes and extensive hunting of wild floras and faunas.The problem is more acute in the developing countries where wildlife and biodiversity conservation are often less prioritized due to more pressing demands of food security and poverty alleviation. Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) species is distributed from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east along the Himalayas to southeastern Tibet, western China and southeastern Mongolia.This species is grouped under endangered species in Red Data Book of Zoological Survey of India and also classified as least concern species according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.Conservation biologists and managers need a range of both classical analyses and specific modern tools to face the increasing threats to biodiversity. Among these tools, habitat-suitability modeling has recently emerged as a relevant technique to assess global impacts to define wide conservation priorities.The present study is carried out using remote sensing satellite imagery and GIS modeling technique for assessing habitat suitability of Koklass Pheasants and finding out the habitat factors influencing the Koklass distribution in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Effective management and conservation of wildlife populations and their habitats largely depend on our ability to understand and predict species-habitat interactions. Different thematic maps viz., land use/cover, forest types, drainage buffer, multiple ring buffers of sighting locations and multiple ring buffers of roads have been prepared to support the objective of the study. The Weighted Overlay Analysis model is used for identifying different potential areas of habitat for this endangered species. The most suitable area for Koklass Pheasant within the Wildlife Sanctuary is found to be about 23.8 percent of the total area which is due to favourable habitat conditions for the

  15. Bioclimatic predictions of habitat suitability for the biofuel switchgrass in North America under current and future climate scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, Jacob N.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Dedicated biofuel crops, while providing economic and other benefits, may adversely impact biodiversity directly via land use conversion, or indirectly via creation of novel invasive species. To mitigate negative impacts bioclimatic envelope models (BEM) can be used to estimate the potential distribution and suitable habitat based on the climate and distribution in the native range. We used CLIMEX to evaluate the regions of North America suitable for agronomic production, as well as regions potentially susceptible to an invasion of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) under both current and future climate scenarios. Model results show that >8.7 million km 2 of North America has suitable to very favorable habitat, most of which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. The non-native range of western North America is largely unsuitable to switchgrass as a crop or potential weed unless irrigation or permanent water is available. Under both the CGCM2 and HadCM3 climate models and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios, an overall increase in suitable habitat is predicted over the coming century, although the western US remains unsuitable. Our results suggest that much of North America is suitable for switchgrass cultivation, although this is likely to shift north in the coming century. Our results also agree with field collections of switchgrass outside its native range, which indicate that switchgrass is unlikely to establish unless it has access to water throughout the year (e.g., along a stream). Thus, it is the potential invasion of switchgrass into riparian habitats in the West that requires further investigation. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  17. Shifts in the suitable habitat available for brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) under short-term climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Mas, R; Lopez-Nicolas, A; Martínez-Capel, F; Pulido-Velazquez, M

    2016-02-15

    The impact of climate change on the habitat suitability for large brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) was studied in a segment of the Cabriel River (Iberian Peninsula). The future flow and water temperature patterns were simulated at a daily time step with M5 models' trees (NSE of 0.78 and 0.97 respectively) for two short-term scenarios (2011-2040) under the representative concentration pathways (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). An ensemble of five strongly regularized machine learning techniques (generalized additive models, multilayer perceptron ensembles, random forests, support vector machines and fuzzy rule base systems) was used to model the microhabitat suitability (depth, velocity and substrate) during summertime and to evaluate several flows simulated with River2D©. The simulated flow rate and water temperature were combined with the microhabitat assessment to infer bivariate habitat duration curves (BHDCs) under historical conditions and climate change scenarios using either the weighted usable area (WUA) or the Boolean-based suitable area (SA). The forecasts for both scenarios jointly predicted a significant reduction in the flow rate and an increase in water temperature (mean rate of change of ca. -25% and +4% respectively). The five techniques converged on the modelled suitability and habitat preferences; large brown trout selected relatively high flow velocity, large depth and coarse substrate. However, the model developed with support vector machines presented a significantly trimmed output range (max.: 0.38), and thus its predictions were banned from the WUA-based analyses. The BHDCs based on the WUA and the SA broadly matched, indicating an increase in the number of days with less suitable habitat available (WUA and SA) and/or with higher water temperature (trout will endure impoverished environmental conditions ca. 82% of the days). Finally, our results suggested the potential extirpation of the species from the study site during short time spans. Copyright © 2015

  18. Diet and body mass of wintering ducks in adjacent brackish and freshwater habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M.R.; Burns, E.G.; Wickland, B.E.; Eadie, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Field-collected and hunter-donated ducks obtained during September-January of 1997-98 and 1998-99 were used to determine if food habits and body mass of Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) and Mallards (A. platyrhynchos) wintering in Suisun Marsh (Suisun), California, a managed estuarine brackish marsh, differed from values in the adjacent Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (the Delta), a freshwater region of grain fields flooded after harvest. Ducks in Suisun fed primarily on seeds of Sea Purslane (Sesuvium verrucosum), followed by Alkali Bulrush (Schoenoplectus maritimus) and Wild Millet (Echinochloa crusgalli), together forming 73-90% (aggregate % dry mass) of the diets. Ducks in the Delta fed primarily on seeds of Smartweed (Polygonum spp.), followed by corn (Zea mays) and tomato seeds (Lycopersicon esculentum), together forming 62-88% of the diets. Pintails and Mallards collected in Suisun each had similar (5 of 11 seasonal comparisons) or greater (6 of the 11 comparisons) body mass compared to their conspecifics collected from the Delta (90% confidence interval analyses), despite a composite diet in the Delta having about 39% greater metabolizable energy content (ME) and 24% greater protein content than in Suisun. Therefore, diet quality alone was not a predictor of body mass in these two areas. Other factors must have been involved, such as greater food abundance and density, lower waterfowl abundance and density, or lower daily energy costs in Suisun. Direct measurement of these factors should explain the apparent inconsistencies in body mass relative to food quality in these brackish and freshwater habitats.

  19. Habitat use and survival rates of wintering American woodcocks in coastal South Carolina and Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krementz, D.G.; Seginak, J.T.; Longcore, Jerry R.; Sepik, Greg F.

    1993-01-01

    Habitat use and survival rates of radio-marked American woodcocks (Scolopax minor) were studied during the winter in coastal South Carolina (1988-89) and Georgia (1989-90). Soon after they arrived, woodcocks were captured in mist nets or in modified shorebird traps or by nightlighting. Each bird was weighed, aged, sexed, and fitted with a 4-g radio transmitter and monitored daily until it died or could not be located or until its radio failed. During the day, the woodcocks in South Carolina frequented seasonally flooded stands of gum-oak-willow (Liquidambar-Quercus-Salix) > 75% of the time and Pinus spp.) plantations during the remaining time. The predominantly used understory vegetation was switch cane (Arundinaria gigantica). In Georgia, woodcocks used bottomland hardwoods, young pine plantations (cuttings that had regenerated naturally. Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) dominated the used understory species at these sites. The woodcocks in South Carolina rarely made daily moves between daytime and nighttime cover, whereas the birds in Georgia made regular flights. At both sites, the daily survival rates of females were low, especially in the absence of losses from hunting. Daily survival rates of females ranged from 0.992 in adults to 0.994 in young. Daily survival rates of males ranged from 1.0 in adults to 0.996 in young. We determined no significant differences in the daily survival rates of woodcocks by age or sex in either South Carolina or Georgia. Probable predators of radio-marked woodcocks included bobcats (Lynx rufus), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and barred owls (Strix varia).

  20. Testing Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses in a habitat suitability gradient for roe deer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribano-Avila, Gema; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Virgós, Emilio; Lara-Romero, Carlos; Lozano, Jorge; Barja, Isabel; Cuadra, Felipe S.; Puerta, Marisa

    2013-11-01

    According to the Cort-Fitness Hypothesis, higher stress levels (glucocorticoids) in vertebrates are correlated to lower fitness. However, recent studies have failed to validate this hypothesis. A proposed wider framework suggests that reproduction can be perceived as an overload adds up to other environmental challenges that individuals must adjust to. In this case, elevated glucocorticoids could help individuals to allocate resources to reproduction without comprising other functions, leading to the expectation of a positive cort-fitness relationship. This has been proposed as the Cort-Adaptation Hypothesis. Stress levels result from a complex interaction between the environment and the neuroendocrine system of animals. Accounting for physiological functions involved in how animals cope with their environment would help to clarify the relationship between glucocorticoids and animal performance. We used roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) inhabiting diverse habitats in the Iberian Peninsula to: i) test the Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses by indexing fitness using a comprehensive physiological approach which takes into account fundamental physiological functions and their trade-offs; and ii) evaluate the link between primary productivity and individuals' condition in a seasonal environment. We evaluated spatial and temporal variation in stress levels, reproductive hormone levels, nutritional status and immune function from fecal samples collected in 2010. Lower stress levels were related to better condition in non-reproductive seasons but not to higher primary productivity. In contrast, stress levels were always positively related to reproductive condition, which was better in most productive habitats. Summer and winter were the less productive seasons and the more challenging for the species in the habitat gradient studied. In winter, reproductive condition traded off against immune function being biased toward immune function in less productive habitats. In

  1. Evaluating methods to establish habitat suitability criteria: A case study in the upper Delaware River Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.; Talbert, Colin; Maloney, Kelly O.

    2016-01-01

    Defining habitat suitability criteria (HSC) of aquatic biota can be a key component to environmental flow science. HSC can be developed through numerous methods; however, few studies have evaluated the consistency of HSC developed by different methodologies. We directly compared HSC for depth and velocity developed by the Delphi method (expert opinion) and by two primary literature meta-analyses (literature-derived range and interquartile range) to assess whether these independent methods produce analogous criteria for multiple species (rainbow trout, brown trout, American shad, and shallow fast guild) and life stages. We further evaluated how these two independently developed HSC affect calculations of habitat availability under three alternative reservoir management scenarios in the upper Delaware River at a mesohabitat (main channel, stream margins, and flood plain), reach, and basin scale. In general, literature-derived HSC fell within the range of the Delphi HSC, with highest congruence for velocity habitat. Habitat area predicted using the Delphi HSC fell between the habitat area predicted using two literature-derived HSC, both at the basin and the site scale. Predicted habitat increased in shallow regions (stream margins and flood plain) using literature-derived HSC while Delphi-derived HSC predicted increased channel habitat. HSC generally favoured the same reservoir management scenario; however, no favoured reservoir management scenario was the most common outcome when applying the literature range HSC. The differences found in this study lend insight into how different methodologies can shape HSC and their consequences for predicted habitat and water management decisions. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Predicting habitat suitability and geographic distribution of anchovy (Engraulis ringens) due to climate change in the coastal areas off Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Claudio; Andrade, Isabel; Yáñez, Eleuterio; Hormazabal, Samuel; Barbieri, María Ángela; Aranis, Antonio; Böhm, Gabriela

    2016-08-01

    The effects of climate change on ocean conditions will have impacts on fish stocks, primarily through physiological and behavioural effects, such as changes in growth, reproduction, mortality and distribution. Habitat and distribution predictions for marine fishery species under climate change scenarios are important for understanding the overall impacts of such global changes on the human society and on the ecosystem. In this study, we examine the impacts of climate change on anchovy fisheries off Chile using predicted changes in global models according to the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate System Model 3.0 (CCSM3) and IPCC high future CO2 emission scenario A2, habitat suitability index (HSI) models and satellite-based sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) estimates from high-resolution regional models for the simulation period 2015-2065. Predictions of SST from global climate models were regionalised using the Delta statistical downscaling technique. Predictions of chlorophyll-a were developed using historical Chl-a and SST (2003-2013) satellite data and applying a harmonic model. The results show an increase in SST of up to 2.5 °C by 2055 in the north and central-south area for an A2 scenario. The habitat suitability index model was developed using historical (2001-2011) monthly fisheries and environmental data. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) was used as an abundance index in developing the HSI models and was calculated as the total catch (ton) by hold capacity (m3) in a 10‧ × 10‧ fishing grid square of anchovy, integrated over one month of fishing activity. The environmental data included the distance to coast (DC), thermal (SST) and food availability (Chl-a) conditions. The HSI modelling consists of estimating SI curves based on available evidence regarding the optimum range of environmental conditions for anchovy and estimating an integrated HSI using the Arithmetic Mean Model (AMM) method. The

  4. Relative effects of road risk, habitat suitability, and connectivity on wildlife roadkills: the case of tawny owls (Strix aluco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara M Santos

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Despite its importance for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, there is still incomplete understanding of factors responsible for high road mortality. In particular, few empirical studies examined the idea that spatial variation in roadkills is influenced by a complex interplay between road-related factors, and species-specific habitat quality and landscape connectivity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we addressed this issue, using a 7-year dataset of tawny owl (Strix aluco roadkills recorded along 37 km of road in southern Portugal. We used a multi-species roadkill index as a surrogate of intrinsic road risk, and we used a Maxent distribution model to estimate habitat suitability. Landscape connectivity was estimated from least-cost paths between tawny owl territories, using habitat suitability as a resistance surface. We defined 10 alternative scenarios to compute connectivity, based on variation in potential movement patterns according to territory quality and dispersal distance thresholds. Hierarchical partitioning of a regression model indicated that independent variation in tawny owl roadkills was explained primarily by the roadkill index (70.5% and, to a much lesser extent, by landscape connectivity (26.2%, while habitat suitability had minor effects (3.3%. Analysis of connectivity scenarios suggested that owl roadkills were primarily related to short range movements (<5 km between high quality territories. Tawny owl roadkills were spatially autocorrelated, but the introduction of spatial filters in the regression model did not change the type and relative contribution of environmental variables. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, results suggest that road-related factors may have a dominant influence on roadkill patterns, particularly in areas like ours where habitat quality and landscape connectivity are globally high for the study species. Nevertheless, the study supported the view that functional connectivity should be

  5. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

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

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity.The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species’ key resource requirements (die...

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Stable Isotope Analysis Provides New Information on Winter Habitat Use of Declining Avian Migrants That Is Relevant to Their Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Karl L.; Newton, Jason; Mallord, John W.; Markman, Shai

    2012-01-01

    Winter habitat use and the magnitude of migratory connectivity are important parameters when assessing drivers of the marked declines in avian migrants. Such information is unavailable for most species. We use a stable isotope approach to assess these factors for three declining African-Eurasian migrants whose winter ecology is poorly known: wood warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix, house martin Delichon urbicum and common swift Apus apus. Spatially segregated breeding wood warbler populations (sampled across a 800 km transect), house martins and common swifts (sampled across a 3,500 km transect) exhibited statistically identical intra-specific carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in winter grown feathers. Such patterns are compatible with a high degree of migratory connectivity, but could arise if species use isotopically similar resources at different locations. Wood warbler carbon isotope ratios are more depleted than typical for African-Eurasian migrants and are compatible with use of moist lowland forest. The very limited variance in these ratios indicates specialisation on isotopically restricted resources, which may drive the similarity in wood warbler populations' stable isotope ratios and increase susceptibility to environmental change within its wintering grounds. House martins were previously considered to primarily use moist montane forest during the winter, but this seems unlikely given the enriched nature of their carbon isotope ratios. House martins use a narrower isotopic range of resources than the common swift, indicative of increased specialisation or a relatively limited wintering range; both factors could increase house martins' vulnerability to environmental change. The marked variance in isotope ratios within each common swift population contributes to the lack of population specific signatures and indicates that the species is less vulnerable to environmental change in sub-Saharan Africa than our other focal species. Our findings demonstrate how

  10. Habitat suitability for the otter (Lutra lutra of some rivers of Abruzzo Region (Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Ottino

    1995-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract During the period 1990-93 the presence of the otter (Lutra lutra in Abruzzo region (central Italy has been regularly recorded on the Orta river; some signs were also found on the Vella river only in 1993. Eight rivers were investigated in order to evaluate the habitat suitability for the otter; an index of suitability was calculated considering the following parameters: riparian vegetation cover, water quality and antropic pressure. About 1/3 of 355 km of river was considered suitable for the species. The reinforcing of the native otter population should be considered in combination with the restoration of otter habitats. Riassunto Idoneità ambientale per la lontra (Lutra lutra di alcuni fiumi dell'Abruzzo - Nel 1990-93 la presenza della Lontra (Lutra lutra in Abruzzo è stata accertata con regolarità per il fiume Orta e sporadicamente per il fiume Vella. Per 8 fiumi è stata valutata l'idoneità ambientale per la specie calcolando un indice ottenuto dai dati raccolti sulla copertura vegetale riparia, qualità delle acque e pressione antropica. Su un totale di 355 km di fiume, solo 1/3 è risultato idoneo alla specie. Un programma di ripopolamento della specie potrebbe essere considerato solo dopo interventi di riqualificazione ambientale finalizzati a ristabilire una buona continuità di habitat favorevoli alla specie.

  11. Modeling suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in North and South America’s coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelista, Paul H.; Young, Nicholas E.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    We used two common correlative species-distribution models to predict suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. The Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model were applied using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling. We compared models developed using native occurrences, using non-native occurrences, and using both native and non-native occurrences. Models were trained using occurrence data collected before 2010 and evaluated with occurrence data collected from the invaded range during or after 2010. We considered a total of 22 marine environmental variables. Models built with non-native only or both native and non-native occurrence data outperformed those that used only native occurrences. Evaluation metrics based on the independent test data were highest for models that used both native and non-native occurrences. Bathymetry was the strongest environmental predictor for all models and showed increasing suitability as ocean floor depth decreased, with salinity ranking the second strongest predictor for models that used native and both native and non-native occurrences, indicating low habitat suitability for salinities model results also suggest that red lionfish could continue to invade southern latitudes in the western Atlantic Ocean and may establish localized populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We reiterate the importance in the choice of the training data source (native, non-native, or native/non-native) used to develop correlative species distribution models for invasive species.

  12. Assessing shoreline exposure and oyster habitat suitability maximizes potential success for sustainable shoreline protection using restored oyster reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Peyre, Megan K; Serra, Kayla; Joyner, T Andrew; Humphries, Austin

    2015-01-01

    Oyster reefs provide valuable ecosystem services that contribute to coastal resilience. Unfortunately, many reefs have been degraded or removed completely, and there are increased efforts to restore oysters in many coastal areas. In particular, much attention has recently been given to the restoration of shellfish reefs along eroding shorelines to reduce erosion. Such fringing reef approaches, however, often lack empirical data to identify locations where reefs are most effective in reducing marsh erosion, or fully take into account habitat suitability. Using monitoring data from 5 separate fringing reef projects across coastal Louisiana, we quantify shoreline exposure (fetch + wind direction + wind speed) and reef impacts on shoreline retreat. Our results indicate that fringing oyster reefs have a higher impact on shoreline retreat at higher exposure shorelines. At higher exposures, fringing reefs reduced marsh edge erosion an average of 1.0 m y(-1). Using these data, we identify ranges of shoreline exposure values where oyster reefs are most effective at reducing marsh edge erosion and apply this knowledge to a case study within one Louisiana estuary. In Breton Sound estuary, we calculate shoreline exposure at 500 random points and then overlay a habitat suitability index for oysters. This method and the resulting visualization show areas most likely to support sustainable oyster populations as well as significantly reduce shoreline erosion. Our results demonstrate how site selection criteria, which include shoreline exposure and habitat suitability, are critical to ensuring greater positive impacts and longevity of oyster reef restoration projects.

  13. Assessing shoreline exposure and oyster habitat suitability maximizes potential success for sustainable shoreline protection using restored oyster reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan K. La Peyre

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Oyster reefs provide valuable ecosystem services that contribute to coastal resilience. Unfortunately, many reefs have been degraded or removed completely, and there are increased efforts to restore oysters in many coastal areas. In particular, much attention has recently been given to the restoration of shellfish reefs along eroding shorelines to reduce erosion. Such fringing reef approaches, however, often lack empirical data to identify locations where reefs are most effective in reducing marsh erosion, or fully take into account habitat suitability. Using monitoring data from 5 separate fringing reef projects across coastal Louisiana, we quantify shoreline exposure (fetch + wind direction + wind speed and reef impacts on shoreline retreat. Our results indicate that fringing oyster reefs have a higher impact on shoreline retreat at higher exposure shorelines. At higher exposures, fringing reefs reduced marsh edge erosion an average of 1.0 m y−1. Using these data, we identify ranges of shoreline exposure values where oyster reefs are most effective at reducing marsh edge erosion and apply this knowledge to a case study within one Louisiana estuary. In Breton Sound estuary, we calculate shoreline exposure at 500 random points and then overlay a habitat suitability index for oysters. This method and the resulting visualization show areas most likely to support sustainable oyster populations as well as significantly reduce shoreline erosion. Our results demonstrate how site selection criteria, which include shoreline exposure and habitat suitability, are critical to ensuring greater positive impacts and longevity of oyster reef restoration projects.

  14. Mule deer and elk winter diet as an indicator of habitat competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. Frisina; Carl L. Wambolt; W. Wyatt Fraas; Glen Guenther

    2008-01-01

    Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations have gradually declined in recent decades, while elk (Cervus elaphus) have often increased throughout their common ranges. The cause is uncertain and a source of debate. Increasing elk numbers on these ungulate winter ranges may be causing competition for resources. We contrast winter...

  15. Wintering White-tailed Eagles Haliaeetus albicilla in The Netherlands : aspects of habitat scale and quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rijn, Stef; Zijlstra, Menno; Bijlsma, Rob G.

    2010-01-01

    The coastal wetlands of The Netherlands have always served as winter haunts for juvenile and immature White-tailed Eagles from breeding populations further north and east. Even as these populations were at their lowest ebb by the 1960s and 1970s, each winter a few individuals showed up, invariably

  16. Surviving winter: Food, but not habitat structure, prevents crashes in cyclic vole populations

    OpenAIRE

    Johnsen, Kaja; Boonstra, Rudy; Boutin, Stan; Devineau, Olivier; Krebs, Charles J.; Andreassen, Harry Peter

    2016-01-01

    Vole population cycles are a major force driving boreal ecosystem dynamics in north - western Eurasia. However, our understanding of the impact of winter on these cycles is increasingly uncertain, especially because climate change is affecting snow predict - ability, quality, and abundance. We examined the role of winter weathe...

  17. Comparing habitat preferences of a set of waterbird species wintering in coastal wetlands of North Africa: implication for management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elafri Ali

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Every year, the Coastal wetlands of North Africa support an important wintering waterbird population of many Palearctic and sub-Saharan species of various contrasting habitat requirements. In this study, we describe the habitat use by24 water-obligate species wintering in a coastal wetland of the Northeastern Algeria (the wetland of Lake Tonga, highlighting thereby the ecological mechanisms that support their coexistence and their resources partitioning. The analysis of resource exploitation (Relative frequency, Feinsinger niche breadth, Pianka niche overlap and Ivlev’s electivity indexes showed that waterbird species inhabiting the lake wetland have several similarities in using the different habitat categories, which lead us to cluster them into 5 guilds (G1: one rails, two grebes and eight ducks; G2: five wading species and one gull; G3: three herons; G4: cormorants, mallards, and on gull; finally, G5: only one species Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis.Almost all the species were specialists in resource utilization patterns (narrow niche breadths, both under 0.3 and therefore, vulnerable to fluctuations in resources, particularly the feeding habitats. Mean niche overlaps for all the pairs of species ranged from 0.05 to 0.68. The overall pattern in the community was higher niche overlaps between the species of a particular guild than those between other species. According to Ivlev’s electivity index, we found that only three microhabitats from seven were the most important for the discussed species, open water body was the most attractive, followed by meadows, muddy areas and floating- leafed vegetation. Similarities on habitat requirements derived from our region can provide important and optimal wetland management at multi-species assemblage level for this wetland and similar area around the African coast.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Mapping snags and understory shrubs for LiDAR based assessment of wildlife habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian Martinuzzi; Lee A. Vierling; William A. Gould; Michael J. Falkowski; Jeffrey S. Evans; Andrew T. Hudak; Kerri T. Vierling

    2009-01-01

    The lack of maps depicting forest three-dimensional structure, particularly as pertaining to snags and understory shrub species distribution, is a major limitation for managing wildlife habitat in forests. Developing new techniques to remotely map snags and understory shrubs is therefore an important need. To address this, we first evaluated the use of LiDAR data for...

  20. MAPPING THE DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED ESTUARINE BIVALVES WITH NATURAL HISTORY-BASED HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maps of harvested bivalve populations are invaluable for the management of fisheries species, yet the cost to produce them typically limits their availability. Here, we demonstrate a relatively low-cost approach to generate habitat maps for five species of bivalves found in many ...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhang

    Full Text Available We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure

  3. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Dong, Lu; Lin, Liu; Feng, Limin; Yan, Fan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Luo, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er) carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe) carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure their natural

  4. Present habitat suitability for Anopheles atroparvus (Diptera, Culicidae) and its coincidence with former malaria areas in mainland Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capinha, César; Gomes, Eduardo; Reis, Eusébio; Rocha, Jorge; Sousa, Carla A; do Rosário, V E; Almeida, A Paulo

    2009-05-01

    Malaria was a major health problem in the first half of the 20th Century in mainland Portugal. Nowadays, although the disease is no longer endemic, there is still the risk of future endemic infections due to the continuous occurrence of imported cases and the possibility of transmission in the country by Anopheles atroparvus Van Thiel, 1927. Since vector abundance constitute one of the foremost factors in malaria transmission, we have created several habitat suitability models to describe this vector species' current distribution. Three different correlative models; namely (i) a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network (MLP-ANN); (ii) binary logistic regression (BLR); and (iii) Mahalanobis distance were used to combine the species records with a set of five environmental predictors. Kappa coefficient values from k-fold cross-validation records showed that binary logistic regression produced the best predictions, while the other two models also produced acceptable results. Therefore, in order to reduce uncertainty, the three suitability models were combined. The resulting model identified high suitability for An. atroparvus in the majority of the country with exception of the northern and central coastal areas. Malaria distribution during the last endemic period in the country was also compared with the combined suitability model, and a high degree of spatial agreement was obtained (kappa = 0.62). It was concluded that habitat suitability for malaria vectors can constitute valuable information on the assessment of several spatial attributes of the disease. In addition, the results suggest that the spatial distribution of An. atroparvus in the country remains very similar to the one known about seven decades ago.

  5. Present habitat suitability for Anopheles atroparvus (Diptera, Culicidae and its coincidence with former malaria areas in mainland Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Capinha

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Malaria was a major health problem in the first half of the 20th Century in mainland Portugal. Nowadays, although the disease is no longer endemic, there is still the risk of future endemic infections due to the continuous occurrence of imported cases and the possibility of transmission in the country by Anopheles atroparvus Van Thiel, 1927. Since vector abundance constitute one of the foremost factors in malaria transmission, we have created several habitat suitability models to describe this vector species’ current distribution. Three different correlative models; namely (i a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network (MLP-ANN; (ii binary logistic regression (BLR; and (iii Mahalanobis distance were used to combine the species records with a set of five environmental predictors. Kappa coefficient values from k-fold cross-validation records showed that binary logistic regression produced the best predictions, while the other two models also produced acceptable results. Therefore, in order to reduce uncertainty, the three suitability models were combined. The resulting model identified high suitability for An. atroparvus in the majority of the country with exception of the northern and central coastal areas. Malaria distribution during the last endemic period in the country was also compared with the combined suitability model, and a high degree of spatial agreement was obtained (kappa = 0.62. It was concluded that habitat suitability for malaria vectors can constitute valuable information on the assessment of several spatial attributes of the disease. In addition, the results suggest that the spatial distribution of An. atroparvus in the country remains very similar to the one known about seven decades ago.

  6. Habitat suitability mapping of Anopheles darlingi in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant reservoir, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyazaki Rosina D

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hydropower plants provide more than 78 % of Brazil's electricity generation, but the country's reservoirs are potential new habitats for main vectors of malaria. In a case study in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant in Mato Grosso state, Central Brazil, habitat suitability of Anopheles darlingi was studied. Habitat profile was characterized by collecting environmental data. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were applied to extract additional spatial layers of land use, distance maps, and relief characteristics for spatial model building. Results Logistic regression analysis and ROC curves indicate significant relationships between the environment and presence of An. darlingi. Probabilities of presence strongly vary as a function of land cover and distance from the lake shoreline. Vector presence was associated with spatial proximity to reservoir and semi-deciduous forests followed by Cerrado woodland. Vector absence was associated with open vegetation formations such as grasslands and agricultural areas. We suppose that non-significant differences of vector incidences between rainy and dry seasons are associated with the availability of anthropogenic breeding habitat of the reservoir throughout the year. Conclusion Satellite image classification and multitemporal shoreline simulations through DEM-based GIS-analyses consist in a valuable tool for spatial modeling of A. darlingi habitats in the studied hydropower reservoir area. Vector presence is significantly increased in forested areas near reservoirs in bays protected from wind and wave action. Construction of new reservoirs under the tropical, sub-humid climatic conditions should therefore be accompanied by entomologic studies to predict the risk of malaria epidemics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Yi; Hohn, Sönke; Merico, Agostino

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Marine Benthic Habitats and Seabed Suitability Mapping for Potential Ocean Current Energy Siting Offshore Southeast Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Mulcan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the legal framework for ocean current energy policy and regulation to develop a metric for assessing the biological and geological characteristics of a seabed area with respect to the siting of OCE devices, a framework of criteria by which to assess seabed suitability (seabed suitability framework that can facilitate the siting, and implementation of ocean current energy (OCE projects. Seafloor geology and benthic biological data were analyzed in conjunction with seafloor core sample geostatistical interpolation to locate suitable substrates for OCE anchoring. Existing submarine cable pathways were considered to determine pathways for power transmission cables that circumvent biologically sensitive areas. Suitability analysis indicates that areas east of the Miami Terrace and north of recently identified deep-sea coral mounds are the most appropriate for OCE siting due to abundance of sand/sediment substrate, existing underwater cable route access, and minimal biological presence (i.e., little to no benthic communities. Further reconnaissance requires higher resolution maps of geological substrate and benthic community locations to identify specific OCE development locations, classify benthic conditions, and minimize potentially negative OCE environmental impacts.

  9. The chemical and genetic characteristics of Szechuan pepper (Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Z. armatum cultivars and their suitable habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li eXiang

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Szechuan peppers, famous for their unique sensation and flavor, are widely used as a food additive and traditional herbal medicine. Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Z. armatum are both commonly recognized as Szechuan peppers, but they have different tastes and effects. The chemical components, genetic characteristics, and suitable habitat of six cultivars were analyzed in this study. The results indicated that Z. armatum contained a larger proportion of volatile oil, whereas Z. bungeanum produced a more non-volatile ether extraction. The average content of volatile oil and non-volatile ether extract of Z. armatum were 11.84% and 11.63%, respectively, and the average content of volatile oil and non-volatile ether extract of Z. bungeanum were 6.46% and 14.23%, respectively. Combined with an internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2 sequence characters and chemical PCA results, six cultivars were classified into their own groups, for the two species in particular. The temperature in January and July were the most significant ecological factors influencing the contents of the Z. armatum volatile oil. However, annual precipitation, temperature in January and relevant humidity had a significant positive correlation with the content of non-volatile ether extract in Z. bungeanum. Thus, the most suitable areas for producing Z. bungeanum cultivars ranged from the Hengduan Mountains to the Ta-pa Mountains, and the regions suitable for Z. armatum cultivars were found to be in the Sichuan Basin and Dalou-Wu mountains. The predicted suitable habitat could be used as a preliminary test area for Szechuan pepper cultivar production.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Habitat suitability for juvenile common sole (Solea solea, L.) in the Bay of Biscay (France): A quantitative description using indicators based on epibenthic fauna

    OpenAIRE

    Le Pape, Olivier; Baulier, Loic; Cloarec, Aurélie; Martin, Jocelyne; Le Loch, Francois; Desaunay, Yves

    2007-01-01

    This study describes the spatial distribution of young-of-the-year common sole based on beam trawl surveys conducted in late summer in the coastal and estuarine parts of the Bay of Biscay (France). Previous studies showed that habitat suitability for juvenile common sole varies according to physical factors and notably bathymetry and sediment structure. Nevertheless, the use of these descriptors alone to model habitat suitability led to considerable unexplained variability in juvenile common ...

  13. Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Ratios of Otoliths Differentiate Winter Flounder (Pseudopleuonectes americanus) Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stable carbon (13C) and oxygen (18O) isotope ratios were measured in otoliths of juvenile winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) collected from 18 nursery areas along the coast of Rhode Island, USA. Samples were obtained during June and July of 2002 from locations tha...

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youhua

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C.

    2003-01-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination

  17. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C

    2003-03-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Evaluation of habitat suitability index models by global sensitivity and uncertainty analyses: a case study for submerged aquatic vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajac, Zuzanna; Stith, Bradley M.; Bowling, Andrea C.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Swain, Eric D.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are commonly used to predict habitat quality and species distributions and are used to develop biological surveys, assess reserve and management priorities, and anticipate possible change under different management or climate change scenarios. Important management decisions may be based on model results, often without a clear understanding of the level of uncertainty associated with model outputs. We present an integrated methodology to assess the propagation of uncertainty from both inputs and structure of the HSI models on model outputs (uncertainty analysis: UA) and relative importance of uncertain model inputs and their interactions on the model output uncertainty (global sensitivity analysis: GSA). We illustrate the GSA/UA framework using simulated hydrology input data from a hydrodynamic model representing sea level changes and HSI models for two species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in southwest Everglades National Park: Vallisneria americana (tape grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). We found considerable spatial variation in uncertainty for both species, but distributions of HSI scores still allowed discrimination of sites with good versus poor conditions. Ranking of input parameter sensitivities also varied spatially for both species, with high habitat quality sites showing higher sensitivity to different parameters than low-quality sites. HSI models may be especially useful when species distribution data are unavailable, providing means of exploiting widely available environmental datasets to model past, current, and future habitat conditions. The GSA/UA approach provides a general method for better understanding HSI model dynamics, the spatial and temporal variation in uncertainties, and the parameters that contribute most to model uncertainty. Including an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in modeling efforts as part of the decision-making framework will result in better-informed, more robust

  20. Evaluation of habitat suitability index models by global sensitivity and uncertainty analyses: a case study for submerged aquatic vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajac, Zuzanna; Stith, Bradley; Bowling, Andrea C; Langtimm, Catherine A; Swain, Eric D

    2015-07-01

    Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are commonly used to predict habitat quality and species distributions and are used to develop biological surveys, assess reserve and management priorities, and anticipate possible change under different management or climate change scenarios. Important management decisions may be based on model results, often without a clear understanding of the level of uncertainty associated with model outputs. We present an integrated methodology to assess the propagation of uncertainty from both inputs and structure of the HSI models on model outputs (uncertainty analysis: UA) and relative importance of uncertain model inputs and their interactions on the model output uncertainty (global sensitivity analysis: GSA). We illustrate the GSA/UA framework using simulated hydrology input data from a hydrodynamic model representing sea level changes and HSI models for two species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in southwest Everglades National Park: Vallisneria americana (tape grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). We found considerable spatial variation in uncertainty for both species, but distributions of HSI scores still allowed discrimination of sites with good versus poor conditions. Ranking of input parameter sensitivities also varied spatially for both species, with high habitat quality sites showing higher sensitivity to different parameters than low-quality sites. HSI models may be especially useful when species distribution data are unavailable, providing means of exploiting widely available environmental datasets to model past, current, and future habitat conditions. The GSA/UA approach provides a general method for better understanding HSI model dynamics, the spatial and temporal variation in uncertainties, and the parameters that contribute most to model uncertainty. Including an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in modeling efforts as part of the decision-making framework will result in better-informed, more robust

  1. An application of geographic information systems to model the habitat suitability of Pan troglodytes ellioti in Mount Cameroon National Park in the context of a changing global climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francis Molua Mwambo

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available As scientists continue to discover convincing evidence that the earth’s climate is adversely changing, and that these changes could impact the habitat suitability of some wildlife species; wildlife conservationists are increasingly worried of what may become the fate of most species on earth. In the light of such uncertainty, geographic information systems (GIS can be used as a tool to model for the habitat suitability of a species. Such modeling provides reliable information upon which decision making could be based for planning conservation management aimed at protecting areas that are currently suitable as well as those that may become suitable in future if the global climate changes according to the scenarios as described; and the changes impact the species’ habitat suitability. GIS in combination to Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt distribution model were used to model the habitat suitability for Pan troglodytes ellioti on Mount Fako (Cameroon as a case study area. The results show that the predicted habitat suitability may shift from lower altitudes to higher altitudes as the global climate may change from the current climatic conditions to warmer climatic conditions in the future as proposed in the climate scenario that assumes the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases may double by 2050. The accuracy assessment measured in terms of the Area Under the Curve (AUC was 0.699.

  2. Controlling cheatgrass in winter range to restore habitat and endemic fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennifer L. Vollmer; Joseph G. Vollmer

    2008-01-01

    Habitat managers can better prepare a program for prescribed burns, wildfire management, and maximum forage biomass by understanding the response of key shrubs to the tools utilized to reduce cheatgrass (Bromus spp.) competition. Application of Plateau® herbicide, prior to annual brome germination, at rates up to 8 oz/acre with or without surfactant...

  3. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis-Soto, Diego; Blake, Stephen; Soultan, Alaaeldin; Guézou, Anne; Cabrera, Fredy; Lötters, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava) and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.). Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  4. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Ellis-Soto

    Full Text Available Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.. Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  5. Using population viability analysis, genomics, and habitat suitability to forecast future population patterns of Little Owl Athene noctua across Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Line Holm; Sunde, Peter; Pellegrino, Irene

    2017-01-01

    The agricultural scene has changed over the past decades, resulting in a declining population trend in many species. It is therefore important to determine the factors that the individual species depend on in order to understand their decline. The landscape changes have also resulted in habitat...... fragmentation, turning once continuous populations into metapopulations. It is thus increasingly important to estimate both the number of individuals it takes to create a genetically viable population and the population trend. Here, population viability analysis and habitat suitability modeling were used...... temperatures and urban areas, whereas an increased tree cover, an increasing annual rainfall, grassland, and sparsely vegetated areas affect the presence of the owl negatively. However, the low predictive power of the habitat suitability model suggests that habitat suitability might be better explained...

  6. Habitat Suitability Model for the Distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Minnesota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T L; Bjork, J K H; Neitzel, D F; Dorr, F M; Schiffman, E K; Eisen, R J

    2016-05-01

    Ixodes scapularis Say, the black-legged tick, is the primary vector in the eastern United States of several pathogens causing human diseases including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Over the past two decades, I. scapularis-borne diseases have increased in incidence as well as geographic distribution. Lyme disease exists in two major foci in the United States, one encompassing northeastern states and the other in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota represents a state with an appreciable increase in counties reporting I. scapularis-borne illnesses, suggesting geographic expansion of vector populations in recent years. Recent tick distribution records support this assumption. Here, we used those records to create a fine resolution, subcounty-level distribution model for I. scapularis using variable response curves in addition to tests of variable importance. The model identified 19% of Minnesota as potentially suitable for establishment of the tick and indicated with high accuracy (AUC = 0.863) that the distribution is driven by land cover type, summer precipitation, maximum summer temperatures, and annual temperature variation. We provide updated records of established populations near the northwestern species range limit and present a model that increases our understanding of the potential distribution of I. scapularis in Minnesota. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  7. Defining winter trophic habitat of juvenile Gulf Sturgeon in the Suwannee and Apalachicola rivermouth estuaries, acoustic telemetry investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulak, K.J.; Randall, M.T.; Edwards, R.E.; Summers, T.M.; Luke, K.E.; Smith, W.T.; Norem, A.D.; Harden, William M.; Lukens, R.H.; Parauka, F.; Bolden, S.; Lehnert, R.

    2009-01-01

    Three automated listening post-telemetry studies were undertaken in the Suwannee and Apalachicola estuaries to gain knowledge of habitats use by juvenile Gulf Sturgeons (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) on winter feeding grounds. A simple and reliable method for external attachment of small acoustic tags to the dorsal fin base was developed using shrink-tubing. Suspending receivers on masts below anchored buoys improved reception and facilitated downloading; a detection range of 500–2500 m was realized. In the Apalachicola estuary, juvenile GS stayed in shallow water (< 2 m) within the estuarine transition zone all winter in the vicinity of the Apalachicola River mouth. Juvenile GS high-use areas did not coincide with high density benthic macrofauna areas from the most recent (1999) benthos survey. In the Suwannee estuary, juveniles ranged widely and individually throughout oligohaline to mesohaline subareas of the estuary, preferentially using mesohaline subareas seaward of Suwannee Reef (52% of acoustic detections). The river mouth subarea was important only in early and late winter, during the times of adult Gulf Sturgeon migrations (41% of detections). Preferred winter feeding subareas coincided spatially with known areas of dense macrofaunal benthos concentrations. Following a dramatic drop in air and water temperatures, juvenile GS left the river mouth and estuary, subsequently being detected 8 km offshore in polyhaline open Gulf of Mexico waters, before returning to the estuary. Cold-event offshore excursions demonstrate that they can tolerate full-salinity polyhaline waters in the open Gulf of Mexico, for at least several days at a time. For juvenile sturgeons, the stress and metabolic cost of enduring high salinity (Jarvis et al., 2001; McKenzie et al., 2001; Singer and Ballantyne, 2002) for short periods in deep offshore waters seems adaptively advantageous relative to the risk of cold-event mortality in shallow inshore waters of lower salinity. Thus

  8. Coupling habitat suitability and ecosystem health with AEHRA to estimate E-flows under intensive human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Zhang, H. T.; Liu, C. M.; Sun, Y.; Yang, Z. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Dong, B. E.; Lim, R. P.

    2017-08-01

    Sustaining adequate environmental flows (e-flows) is a key principle for maintaining river biodiversity and ecosystem health, and for supporting sustainable water resource management in basins under intensive human activities. But few methods could correctly relate river health to e-flows assessment at the catchment scale when they are applied to rivers highly impacted by human activities. An effective method is presented in this study to closely link river health to e-flows assessment for rivers at the catchment scale. Key fish species, as indicators of ecosystem health, were selected by using the foodweb model. A multi-species-based habitat suitability model (MHSI) was improved, and coupled with dominance of the key fish species as well as the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) to enhance its accuracy in determining the fish-preferred key hydrologic habitat variables related to ecosystem health. Taking 5964 fish samples and concurrent hydrological habitat variables as the basis, the combination of key variables of flow-velocity and water-depth were determined and used to drive the Adapted Ecological Hydraulic Radius Approach (AEHRA) to study e-flows in a Chinese urban river impacted by intensive human activities. Results showed that upstream urbanization resulted in abnormal river-course geomorphology and consequently abnormal e-flows under intensive human activities. Selection of key species based on the foodweb and trophic levels of aquatic ecosystems can reflect a comprehensive requirement on e-flows of the whole aquatic ecosystem, which greatly increases its potential to be used as a guidance tool for rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems at large spatial scales. These findings have significant ramifications for catchment e-flows assessment under intensive human activities and for river ecohealth restoration in such rivers globally.

  9. Distribution of the Habitat Suitability of the Main Malaria Vector in French Guiana Using Maximum Entropy Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moua, Yi; Roux, Emmanuel; Girod, Romain; Dusfour, Isabelle; de Thoisy, Benoit; Seyler, Frédérique; Briolant, Sébastien

    2017-05-01

    Malaria is an important health issue in French Guiana. Its principal mosquito vector in this region is Anopheles darlingi Root. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of this species is still very incomplete due to the extent of French Guiana and the difficulty to access most of the territory. Species distribution modeling based on the maximal entropy procedure was used to predict the spatial distribution of An. darlingi using 39 presence sites. The resulting model provided significantly high prediction performances (mean 10-fold cross-validated partial area under the curve and continuous Boyce index equal to, respectively, 1.11-with a level of omission error of 20%-and 0.42). The model also provided a habitat suitability map and environmental response curves in accordance with the known entomological situation. Several environmental characteristics that had a positive correlation with the presence of An. darlingi were highlighted: nonpermanent anthropogenic changes of the natural environment, the presence of roads and tracks, and opening of the forest. Some geomorphological landforms and high altitude landscapes appear to be unsuitable for An. darlingi. The species distribution modeling was able to reliably predict the distribution of suitable habitats for An. darlingi in French Guiana. Results allowed completion of the knowledge of the spatial distribution of the principal malaria vector in this Amazonian region, and identification of the main factors that favor its presence. They should contribute to the definition of a necessary targeted vector control strategy in a malaria pre-elimination stage, and allow extrapolation of the acquired knowledge to other Amazonian or malaria-endemic contexts. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley A. Rowden

    2017-10-01

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

  12. Winter density and habitat preferences of three declining granivorous farmland birds: The importance of the keeping of poultry and dairy farms

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Havlíček, J.; Riegert, J.; Nešpor, M.; Fuchs, R.; Kipson, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 1 (2015), s. 10-16 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Central Europe * Dairy farms * Granivorous birds * Habitat preferences * Poultry keeping * Winter period Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.220, year: 2015

  13. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris) population in central India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh; Johnson, Jeyaraj A; Sen, Subharanjan; Saha, Goutam Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals' ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger ( Panthera tigris ), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly's selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D 2 method and the Boyce index. There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods. Based on threshold limits

  14. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris population in central India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mriganka Shekhar Sarkar

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris, which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory

  15. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris) population in central India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Johnson, Jeyaraj A.; Sen, Subharanjan

    2017-01-01

    Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods

  16. Wildlife Habitats Suitability Modelling using Fuzzy Inference System: A Case Study of Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor in Shimbar Protected Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Several modelling techniques have been developed for habitat suitability modelling. In the meantime, the Fuzzy Inference System (FIS with ability to model uncertainty of input variables is an effective method to model wildlife species habitat suitability. So, Persian Leopard habitat suitability was predicted in Shimbar Protected Area using FIS. Therefore, the effective environmental variables were determined. We also defined and determined the linguistic variables, linguistic values, and range of them. Then, we designed the membership functions of the fuzzy sets of the input and output variables. Also, the definition of the fuzzy rules in the system was performed. Finally, the defuzzification of output was carried out. The accuracy of the predictive model was tested using AUC. Also, 11 FISs were developed to determine sensitivity of the models and important variables in modelling. The results showed that the predictive model was more efficient than the random model (AUC=0.960. In addition, the ‘distance to capra’ was the most important predictor. According to the success of FIS in Persian Leopard habitat suitability modelling, we suggest this method to improve and complete the existing spatial information of wildlife habitats in Iran, especially about regions and species that have been less studied.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, Valentina; Power, Anne Marie; Lordan, Colm; Weetman, Adrian; Johnson, Mark P

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the spatial distribution and habitat associations of species in relation to the environment is essential for their management and conservation. Habitat suitability models are useful in quantifying species-environment relationships and predicting species distribution patterns. Little is known, however, about the stability and performance of habitat suitability models when projected into new areas (spatial transferability) and how this can inform resource management. The aims of this study were to model habitat suitability of Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) in five fished areas of the Northeast Atlantic (Aran ground, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Scotland Inshore and Fladen ground), and to test for spatial transferability of habitat models among multiple regions. Nephrops burrow density was modelled using generalised additive models (GAMs) with predictors selected from four environmental variables (depth, slope, sediment and rugosity). Models were evaluated and tested for spatial transferability among areas. The optimum models (lowest AICc) for different areas always included depth and sediment as predictors. Burrow densities were generally greater at depth and in finer sediments, but relationships for individual areas were sometimes more complex. Aside from an inclusion of depth and sediment, the optimum models differed between fished areas. When it came to tests of spatial transferability, however, most of the models were able to predict Nephrops density in other areas. Furthermore, transferability was not dependent on use of the optimum models since competing models were also able to achieve a similar level of transferability to new areas. A degree of decoupling between model 'fitting' performance and spatial transferability supports the use of simpler models when extrapolating habitat suitability maps to different areas. Differences in the form and performance of models from different areas may supply further information on the processes shaping

  19. 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

  20. Habitat suitability of Anopheles vector species and association with human malaria in the Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Zorello Laporta

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Every year, autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria occur in low-endemicity areas of Vale do Ribeira in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, where Anopheles cruzii and Anopheles bellator are considered the primary vectors. However, other species in the subgenus Nyssorhynchus of Anopheles (e.g., Anopheles marajoara are abundant and may participate in the dynamics of malarial transmission in that region. The objectives of the present study were to assess the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to associate the presence of these species with malaria cases in the municipalities of the Vale do Ribeira. Potential habitat suitability modelling was applied to determine both the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to establish the density of each species. Poisson regression was utilized to associate malaria cases with estimated vector densities. As a result, An. cruzii was correlated with the forested slopes of the Serra do Mar, An. bellator with the coastal plain and An. marajoara with the deforested areas. Moreover, both An. marajoara and An. cruzii were positively associated with malaria cases. Considering that An. marajoara was demonstrated to be a primary vector of human Plasmodium in the rural areas of the state of Amapá, more attention should be given to the species in the deforested areas of the Atlantic Forest, where it might be a secondary vector.

  1. Habitat suitability of Anopheles vector species and association with human malaria in the Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laporta, Gabriel Zorello; Ramos, Daniel Garkauskas; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    2011-08-01

    Every year, autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria occur in low-endemicity areas of Vale do Ribeira in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, where Anopheles cruzii and Anopheles bellator are considered the primary vectors. However, other species in the subgenus Nyssorhynchus of Anopheles (e.g., Anopheles marajoara) are abundant and may participate in the dynamics of malarial transmission in that region. The objectives of the present study were to assess the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to associate the presence of these species with malaria cases in the municipalities of the Vale do Ribeira. Potential habitat suitability modelling was applied to determine both the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to establish the density of each species. Poisson regression was utilized to associate malaria cases with estimated vector densities. As a result, An. cruzii was correlated with the forested slopes of the Serra do Mar, An. bellator with the coastal plain and An. marajoara with the deforested areas. Moreover, both An. marajoara and An. cruzii were positively associated with malaria cases. Considering that An. marajoara was demonstrated to be a primary vector of human Plasmodium in the rural areas of the state of Amapá, more attention should be given to the species in the deforested areas of the Atlantic Forest, where it might be a secondary vector.

  2. Integrating Open Access Geospatial Data to Map the Habitat Suitability of the Declining Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulhakim M. Abdi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of integrating open access geospatial data to produce habitat suitability maps for the corn bunting (Miliaria calandra was investigated. Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM and Corine (Coordination of Information on the Environment land cover data for the year 2000 (CLC2000 were processed to extract explanatory variables and divided into three sets; Satellite (ETM+, SRTM, CLC2000 and Combined (CLC2000 + Satellite. Presence-absence data for M. calandra, collected during structured surveys for the Catalan Breeding Bird Atlas, were provided by the Catalan Ornithological Institute. The dataset was partitioned into an equal number of presence and absence points by dividing it into five groups, each composed of 88 randomly selected presence points to match the number of absences. A logistic regression model was then built for each group. Models were evaluated using area under the curve (AUC of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC. Results of the five groups were averaged to produce mean Satellite, CLC2000 and Combined models. The mean AUC values were 0.69, 0.81 and 0.90 for the CLC2000, Satellite and the Combined model, respectively. The probability of M. calandra presence had the strongest positive correlation with land surface temperature, modified soil adjusted vegetation index, coefficient of variation for ETM+ band 5 and the fraction of non-irrigated arable land.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-17

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

  4. The effects of human land use on the winter habitat of the recovering Carcross woodland caribou herd in suburban Yukon Territory, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Florkiewicz

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Carcross woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou numbers are increasing as a result of an intensive management and recovery program initiated in 1993. In the last 13 years, three overlapping First Nation land claim agreements were settled resulting in a complicated array of private and public land management authorities on this winter range, situated in the Whitehorse periphery. Twelve years of VHF radio-collar data (1994-2005 and 5 years of GPS radio-collar data (2000-2005 for female caribou were assessed to determine winter concentration areas and important winter habitats. We contrasted locations from 11 GPS radio-collared caribou with land cover classes, derived from classified Landsat 7 imagery, to evaluate the distribution and abundance of preferred habitats within this winter range. We found significant use of Open Needle Leaf lichen vegetation classes and avoidance of the relatively more abundant Closed Needle Leaf class. Our resource selection function model validated the preference for Open Needle Leaf Lichen and determined that caribou were spaced significantly further from an estimate of the human Zone of Influence (ZOI than was expected from random locations. While our assessment determined that 64% of the winter range was located outside of either private lands or land influenced by human activity, key winter vegetation classes were under-represented within this area. If caribou are to successfully recover on this landscape and persist through time it is essential to manage, through meaningful participation among land management authorities, the remaining caribou habitat for environmental rather than human consumptive values.

  5. Silvicolous on a small scale: possibilities and limitations of habitat suitability models for small, elusive mammals in conservation management and landscape planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Nina I; Encarnação, Jorge A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution and endangerment can be assessed by habitat-suitability modelling. This study addresses methodical aspects of habitat suitability modelling and includes an application example in actual species conservation and landscape planning. Models using species presence-absence data are preferable to presence-only models. In contrast to species presence data, absences are rarely recorded. Therefore, many studies generate pseudo-absence data for modelling. However, in this study model quality was higher with null samples collected in the field. Next to species data the choice of landscape data is crucial for suitability modelling. Landscape data with high resolution and ecological relevance for the study species improve model reliability and quality for small elusive mammals like Muscardinus avellanarius. For large scale assessment of species distribution, models with low-detailed data are sufficient. For regional site-specific conservation issues like a conflict-free site for new wind turbines, high-detailed regional models are needed. Even though the overlap with optimally suitable habitat for M. avellanarius was low, the installation of wind plants can pose a threat due to habitat loss and fragmentation. To conclude, modellers should clearly state the purpose of their models and choose the according level of detail for species and environmental data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren J Kriticos

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Predicting future thermal habitat suitability of competing native and invasive fish species: from metabolic scope to oceanographic modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marras, Stefano; Cucco, Andrea; Antognarelli, Fabio; Azzurro, Ernesto; Milazzo, Marco; Bariche, Michel; Butenschön, Momme; Kay, Susan; Di Bitetto, Massimiliano; Quattrocchi, Giovanni; Sinerchia, Matteo; Domenici, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Global increase in sea temperatures has been suggested to facilitate the incoming and spread of tropical invaders. The increasing success of these species may be related to their higher physiological performance compared with indigenous ones. Here, we determined the effect of temperature on the aerobic metabolic scope (MS) of two herbivorous fish species that occupy a similar ecological niche in the Mediterranean Sea: the native salema (Sarpa salpa) and the invasive marbled spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus). Our results demonstrate a large difference in the optimal temperature for aerobic scope between the salema (21.8°C) and the marbled spinefoot (29.1°C), highlighting the importance of temperature in determining the energy availability and, potentially, the distribution patterns of the two species. A modelling approach based on a present-day projection and a future scenario for oceanographic conditions was used to make predictions about the thermal habitat suitability (THS, an index based on the relationship between MS and temperature) of the two species, both at the basin level (the whole Mediterranean Sea) and at the regional level (the Sicilian Channel, a key area for the inflow of invasive species from the Eastern to the Western Mediterranean Sea). For the present-day projection, our basin-scale model shows higher THS of the marbled spinefoot than the salema in the Eastern compared with the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, by 2050, the THS of the marbled spinefoot is predicted to increase throughout the whole Mediterranean Sea, causing its westward expansion. Nevertheless, the regional-scale model suggests that the future thermal conditions of Western Sicily will remain relatively unsuitable for the invasive species and could act as a barrier for its spread westward. We suggest that metabolic scope can be used as a tool to evaluate the potential invasiveness of alien species and the resilience to global warming of native species.

  11. Predicting future thermal habitat suitability of competing native and invasive fish species: from metabolic scope to oceanographic modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marras, Stefano; Cucco, Andrea; Antognarelli, Fabio; Azzurro, Ernesto; Milazzo, Marco; Bariche, Michel; Butenschön, Momme; Kay, Susan; Di Bitetto, Massimiliano; Quattrocchi, Giovanni; Sinerchia, Matteo; Domenici, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Global increase in sea temperatures has been suggested to facilitate the incoming and spread of tropical invaders. The increasing success of these species may be related to their higher physiological performance compared with indigenous ones. Here, we determined the effect of temperature on the aerobic metabolic scope (MS) of two herbivorous fish species that occupy a similar ecological niche in the Mediterranean Sea: the native salema (Sarpa salpa) and the invasive marbled spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus). Our results demonstrate a large difference in the optimal temperature for aerobic scope between the salema (21.8°C) and the marbled spinefoot (29.1°C), highlighting the importance of temperature in determining the energy availability and, potentially, the distribution patterns of the two species. A modelling approach based on a present-day projection and a future scenario for oceanographic conditions was used to make predictions about the thermal habitat suitability (THS, an index based on the relationship between MS and temperature) of the two species, both at the basin level (the whole Mediterranean Sea) and at the regional level (the Sicilian Channel, a key area for the inflow of invasive species from the Eastern to the Western Mediterranean Sea). For the present-day projection, our basin-scale model shows higher THS of the marbled spinefoot than the salema in the Eastern compared with the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, by 2050, the THS of the marbled spinefoot is predicted to increase throughout the whole Mediterranean Sea, causing its westward expansion. Nevertheless, the regional-scale model suggests that the future thermal conditions of Western Sicily will remain relatively unsuitable for the invasive species and could act as a barrier for its spread westward. We suggest that metabolic scope can be used as a tool to evaluate the potential invasiveness of alien species and the resilience to global warming of native species. PMID:27293680

  12. Abundance and energy requirements of eiders (Somateria spp.) suggest high predation pressure on macrobenthic fauna in a key wintering habitat in SW Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blicher, Martin Emil; Rasmussen, Lars Maltha; Sejr, Mikael Kristian

    2011-01-01

    , remains unstudied. In this study, we describe prey availability and assess the trophic coupling between eiders and their macrobenthic prey in a shallow inlet, Nipisat Sound; a key wintering habitat in the southwest Greenland Open Water Area. Macrobenthic species abundance and biomass were studied...... was estimated at 13.9 g AFDM m-2 year-1 (317 kJ m-2 year-1). During the winters of 2008–2010, we monitored the number of common eiders (S. mollissima realis) and king eiders (Somateria spectabilis) and observed a distinct peak in abundance during winter with up to 15.000 birds in Nipisat Sound. Based...... that eider predation affects macrobenthic species composition and biomass and demonstrates the potential importance of variations in prey availability for the population dynamics of eiders in Greenland....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Ah Koo

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Y Ofori

    Full Text Available The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070 and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  16. Phylogeography, historical demography and habitat suitability modelling of freshwater fishes inhabiting seasonally fluctuating Mediterranean river systems: a case study using the Iberian cyprinid Squalius valentinus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea, S; Doadrio, I

    2015-07-01

    The Mediterranean freshwater fish fauna has evolved under constraints imposed by the seasonal weather/hydrological patterns that define the Mediterranean climate. These conditions have influenced the genetic and demographic structure of aquatic communities since their origins in the Mid-Pliocene. Freshwater species in Mediterranean-type climates will likely constitute genetically well-differentiated populations, to varying extents depending on basin size, as a consequence of fragmentation resulting from drought/flood cycles. We developed an integrative framework to study the spatial patterns in genetic diversity, demographic trends, habitat suitability modelling and landscape genetics, to evaluate the evolutionary response of Mediterranean-type freshwater fish to seasonal fluctuations in weather. To test this evolutionary response, the model species used was Squalius valentinus, an endemic cyprinid of the Spanish Levantine area, where seasonal weather fluctuations are extreme, although our findings may be extrapolated to other Mediterranean-type species. Our results underscore the significant role of the Mediterranean climate, along with Pleistocene glaciations, in diversification of S. valentinus. We found higher nuclear diversity in larger drainage basins, but higher mitochondrial diversity correlated to habitat suitability rather than basin size. We also found strong correlation between genetic structure and climatic factors associated with Mediterranean seasonality. Demographic and migration analyses suggested population expansion during glacial periods that also contributed to the current genetic structure of S. valentinus populations. The inferred models support the significant contribution of precipitation and temperature to S. valentinus habitat suitability and allow recognizing areas of habitat stability. We highlight the importance of stable habitat conditions, fostered by typical karstic springs found on the Mediterranean littoral coasts, for the

  17. Invasion establishment and habitat suitability of Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson over time and space in the western Himalayan forests of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gautam Mandal

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability assessment of the invasive species Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson from Himalayan forests reveals some interesting findings and conclusions. At different study sites, 29 of 72 species were exotic and invasive and comprised 21 genera and eight families. Indigenous species accounted for 59% of the total species and comprised 26 genera and 11 families. Perennials outnumbered the annuals in all study sites. Chromolaena odorata and Lantana camara L. were the only invasive species that were common to all sites with high importance value index values. The present work reveals that sites with high biotic pressure, maximum temperature variation, open forest canopy, and free from herbivory are the most suitable habitat for the growth of C. odorata. An elevated level of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, soil organic matter, and nitrogen and acidic soil in all invaded sites are possible reasons for further invasion of C. odorata.

  18. Present and Future Projections of Habitat Suitability of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, a Vector of Viral Pathogens, from Global Climate Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proestos, Y.; Christophides, G.; Erguler, K.; Tanarhte, M.; Waldock, J.; Lelieveld, J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can influence the transmission of vector borne diseases (VBDs) through altering the habitat suitability of insect vectors. Here we present global climate model simulations and evaluate the associated uncertainties in view of the main meteorological factors that may affect the distribution of the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which can transmit pathogens that cause Chikungunya, Dengue fever, yellow fever and various encephalitides. Using a general circulation model (GCM) at 50 km horizontal resolution to simulate mosquito survival variables including temperature, precipitation and relative humidity, we present both global and regional projections of the habitat suitability up to the middle of the 21st century. The model resolution of 50 km allows evaluation against previous projections for Europe and provides a basis for comparative analyses with other regions. Model uncertainties and performance are addressed in light of the recent CMIP5 ensemble climate model simulations for the RCP8.5 concentration pathway and using meteorological re-analysis data (ERA-Interim/ECMWF) for the recent past. Uncertainty ranges associated with the thresholds of meteorological variables that may affect the distribution of Ae. albopictus are diagnosed using fuzzy-logic methodology, notably to assess the influence of selected meteorological criteria and combinations of criteria that influence mosquito habitat suitability. From the climate projections for 2050, and adopting a habitat suitability index larger than 70%, we estimate that about 2.4 billion individuals in a land area of nearly 20 million square kilometres will potentially be exposed to Ae. albopictus. The synthesis of fuzzy-logic based on mosquito biology and climate change analysis provides new insights into the regional and global spreading of VBDs to support disease control and policy making.

  19. Present and future projections of habitat suitability of the Asian tiger mosquito, a vector of viral pathogens, from global climate simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proestos, Y; Christophides, G K; Ergüler, K; Tanarhte, M; Waldock, J; Lelieveld, J

    2015-04-05

    Climate change can influence the transmission of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) through altering the habitat suitability of insect vectors. Here we present global climate model simulations and evaluate the associated uncertainties in view of the main meteorological factors that may affect the distribution of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which can transmit pathogens that cause chikungunya, dengue fever, yellow fever and various encephalitides. Using a general circulation model at 50 km horizontal resolution to simulate mosquito survival variables including temperature, precipitation and relative humidity, we present both global and regional projections of the habitat suitability up to the middle of the twenty-first century. The model resolution of 50 km allows evaluation against previous projections for Europe and provides a basis for comparative analyses with other regions. Model uncertainties and performance are addressed in light of the recent CMIP5 ensemble climate model simulations for the RCP8.5 concentration pathway and using meteorological re-analysis data (ERA-Interim/ECMWF) for the recent past. Uncertainty ranges associated with the thresholds of meteorological variables that may affect the distribution of Ae. albopictus are diagnosed using fuzzy-logic methodology, notably to assess the influence of selected meteorological criteria and combinations of criteria that influence mosquito habitat suitability. From the climate projections for 2050, and adopting a habitat suitability index larger than 70%, we estimate that approximately 2.4 billion individuals in a land area of nearly 20 million km(2) will potentially be exposed to Ae. albopictus. The synthesis of fuzzy-logic based on mosquito biology and climate change analysis provides new insights into the regional and global spreading of VBDs to support disease control and policy making.

  20. Modelling the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails using Maxent in Ndumo area, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanda Manyangadze

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schistosomiasis is a snail-borne disease endemic in sub-Saharan Africa transmitted by freshwater snails. The distribution of schistosomiasis coincides with that of the intermediate hosts as determined by climatic and environmental factors. The aim of this paper was to model the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats for Bulinus globosus and Biomphalaria pfeifferi snail species (intermediate hosts for Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni, respectively in the Ndumo area of uMkhanyakude district, South Africa. Methods Maximum Entropy (Maxent modelling technique was used to predict the distribution of suitable habitats for B. globosus and B. pfeifferi using presence-only datasets with ≥ 5 and ≤ 12 sampling points in different seasons. Precipitation, maximum and minimum temperatures, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI, pH, slope and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI were the background variables in the Maxent models. The models were validated using the area under the curve (AUC and omission rate. Results The predicted suitable habitats for intermediate snail hosts varied with seasons. The AUC for models in all seasons ranged from 0.71 to 1 and the prediction rates were between 0.8 and 0.9. Although B. globosus was found at more localities in the Ndumo area, there was also evidence of cohabiting with B. pfiefferi at some of the locations. NDWI had significant contribution to the models in all seasons. Conclusion The Maxent model is robust in snail habitat suitability modelling even with small dataset of presence-only sampling sites. Application of the methods and design used in this study may be useful in developing a control and management programme for schistosomiasis in the Ndumo area.

  1. Predicted effects of future climate warming on thermal habitat suitability for Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) in rivers in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, John D.; Stewart, Jana S.

    2015-01-01

    The Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) may be threatened by future climate warming. The purpose of this study was to identify river reaches in Wisconsin, USA, where they might be vulnerable to warming water temperatures. In Wisconsin, A. fulvescens is known from 2291 km of large-river habitat that has been fragmented into 48 discrete river-lake networks isolated by impassable dams. Although the exact temperature tolerances are uncertain, water temperatures above 28–30°C are potentially less suitable for this coolwater species. Predictions from 13 downscaled global climate models were input to a lotic water temperature model to estimate amounts of potential thermally less-suitable habitat at present and for 2046–2065. Currently, 341 km (14.9%) of the known habitat are estimated to regularly exceed 28°C for an entire day, but only 6 km (0.3%) to exceed 30°C. In 2046–2065, 685–2164 km (29.9–94.5%) are projected to exceed 28°C and 33–1056 km (1.4–46.1%) to exceed 30°C. Most river-lake networks have cooler segments, large tributaries, or lakes that might provide temporary escape from potentially less suitable temperatures, but 12 short networks in the Lower Fox and Middle Wisconsin rivers totaling 93.6 km are projected to have no potential thermal refugia. One possible adaptation to climate change could be to provide fish passage or translocation so that riverine Lake Sturgeon might have access to more thermally suitable habitats.

  2. A Spatially Explicit, Multi-Criteria Decision Support Model for Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat Suitability: A Remote Sensing-Based Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Dunkin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Nesting habitat for the federally endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta were designated as critical in 2014 for beaches along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Nesting suitability is routinely determined based on site specific information. Given the expansive geographic location of the designated critical C. caretta nesting habitat and the highly dynamic coastal environment, understanding nesting suitability on a regional scale is essential for monitoring the changing status of the coast as a result of hydrodynamic forces and maintenance efforts. The increasing spatial resolution and temporal frequency of remote sensing data offers the opportunity to study this dynamic environment on a regional scale. Remote sensing data were used as input into the spatially-explicit, multi-criteria decision support model to determine nesting habitat suitability. Results from the study indicate that the morphological parameters used as input into the model are well suited to provide a regional level approach with the results from the optimized model having sensitivity and detection prevalence values greater than 80% and the detection rate being greater than 70%. The approach can be implemented in various geographic locations to better communicate priorities and evaluate management strategies as a result of changes to the dynamic coastal environment.

  3. Winter habitat selection by caribou in relation to lichen abundance, wildfires, grazing, and landscape characteristics in northwest Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle Joly; F. Stuart III Chapin; David R. Klein

    2010-01-01

    Lichens are an important winter forage for large, migratory herds of caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) that can influence population dynamics through effects on body condition and in turn calf recruitment and survival. We investigated the vegetative and physiographic characteristics of winter range of the Western Arctic Herd in northwest Alaska, one...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. C. Jantsch

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satyaranjan BEHERA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close to Gahirmatha rookery should be monitored efficiently so that future arribada at this rookery should not be troubled due to habitat destruction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzáles-Andrés, Cristina; F M Lopes, Priscila; Cortés, Jorge; Sánchez-Lizaso, José Luis; Pennino, Maria Grazia

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas A. Kirk; William J. Zielinski

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Chapter 13 Application of landscape and habitat suitability models to conservation: the Hoosier National Forest land-management plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Stephen R. Shifley; William D. Dijak; Zhaofei Fan; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Judith A. Perez; Cynthia M. Sandeno

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate an approach to integrated land-management planning and quantify differences in vegetation and avian habitat conditions among 5 management alternatives as part of the Hoosier National Forest planning process. The alternatives differed in terms of the type, extent, magnitude, frequency, and location of management activities. We modeled ecological processes...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Gonzáles-Andrés

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-20

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

  12. Movements and habitat use locations of manatees within Kings Bay Florida during the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge winter season (November 15–March 31)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slone, Daniel H.; Butler, Susan M.; Reid, James P.

    2018-04-06

    Kings Bay, Florida, is one of the most important natural winter habitat locations for the federally threatened Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee). Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983 specifically to provide protection for manatees and their critical habitat. To aid managers at the refuge and other agencies with this task, spatial analyses of local habitat use locations and travel corridors of manatees in Kings Bay during manatee season (November 15–March 31) are presented based on Global Positioning System telemetry of 41 manatees over a 12-year timespan (2006−18). Local habitat use areas and travel corridors differed spatially when Gulf of Mexico water temperatures were cold (less than or equal to 17 degrees Celsius) versus when they were warm (greater than 17 degrees Celsius). During times of cold water, manatees were found in higher concentrations in the main springs and canals throughout the eastern side of the bay, whereas when waters were warm, they were found more generally throughout the bay and into Crystal River, except for the central open part of the bay and the southwest corner.

  13. Suitability of the ALien Biotic IndEX (ALEX) for assessing invasion of macroalgae across different Mediterranean habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazzi, Luigi; Gennaro, Paola; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2015-08-15

    The ALien Biotic IndEX (ALEX) has been recently proposed to evaluate biological invasions in soft-bottom macro-invertebrate assemblages. The present paper proposes the use of ALEX in sessile assemblages of Mediterranean hard bottom habitats and tests it along gradients of invasion. For five invasive macroalgae a variable number of case studies per each of four habitats were examined from the available data sets. For each case study samples were attributed to four levels of invasion depending on the abundance of the invading macroalgae. Results showed that the application of ALEX to sessile assemblages of hard bottoms allows to qualify the level of invasion along the considered gradients. Moreover, the decline of index values matched the impact of invasion on species number of the assemblages. Results also suggest that the concurrent use of ALEX and indices of benthic quality status can be a valuable tool to assess biopollution in hard bottom habitats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Field Validation of Habitat Suitability Models for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean: Implications for the use of Broad-scale Models in Fisheries Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, O. F.; Guinotte, J. M.; Clark, M. R.; Rowden, A. A.; Mormede, S.; Davies, A. J.; Bowden, D.

    2016-02-01

    Spatial management of vulnerable marine ecosystems requires accurate knowledge of their distribution. Predictive habitat suitability modelling, using species presence data and a suite of environmental predictor variables, has emerged as a useful tool for inferring distributions outside of known areas. However, validation of model predictions is typically performed with non-independent data. In this study, we describe the results of habitat suitability models constructed for four deep-sea reef-forming coral species across a large region of the South Pacific Ocean using MaxEnt and Boosted Regression Tree modelling approaches. In order to validate model predictions we conducted a photographic survey on a set of seamounts in an un-sampled area east of New Zealand. The likelihood of habitat suitable for reef forming corals on these seamounts was predicted to be variable, but very high in some regions, particularly where levels of aragonite saturation, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon were optimal. However, the observed frequency of coral occurrence in analyses of survey photographic data was much lower than expected, and patterns of observed versus predicted coral distribution were not highly correlated. The poor performance of these broad-scale models is attributed to lack of recorded species absences to inform the models, low precision of global bathymetry models, and lack of data on the geomorphology and substrate of the seamounts at scales appropriate to the modelled taxa. This demonstrates the need to use caution when interpreting and applying broad-scale, presence-only model results for fisheries management and conservation planning in data poor areas of the deep sea. Future improvements in the predictive performance of broad-scale models will rely on the continued advancement in modelling of environmental predictor variables, refinements in modelling approaches to deal with missing or biased inputs, and incorporation of true absence data.

  15. Forecasting Large-Scale Habitat Suitability of European Bustards under Climate Change: The Role of Environmental and Geographic Variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, Alba; Delgado, M Paula; Arroyo, Beatriz; Traba, Juan; Morales, Manuel B

    2016-01-01

    We modelled the distribution of two vulnerable steppe birds, Otis tarda and Tetrax tetrax, in the Western Palearctic and projected their suitability up to the year 2080. We performed two types of models for each species: one that included environmental and geographic variables (space-included model) and a second one that only included environmental variables (space-excluded model). Our assumption was that ignoring geographic variables in the modelling procedure may result in inaccurate forecasting of species distributions. On the other hand, the inclusion of geographic variables may generate an artificial constraint on future projections. Our results show that space-included models performed better than space-excluded models. While distribution of suitable areas for T. tetrax in the future was approximately the same as at present in the space-included model, the space-excluded model predicted a pronounced geographic change of suitable areas for this species. In the case of O. tarda, the space-included model showed that many areas of current presence shifted to low or medium suitability in the future, whereas a northward expansion of intermediate suitable areas was predicted by the space-excluded one. According to the best models, current distribution of these species can restrict future distribution, probably due to dispersal constraints and site fidelity. Species ranges would be expected to shift gradually over the studied time period and, therefore, we consider it unlikely that most of the current distribution of these species in southern Europe will disappear in less than one hundred years. Therefore, populations currently occupying suitable areas should be a priority for conservation policies. Our results also show that climate-only models may have low explanatory power, and could benefit from adjustments using information on other environmental variables and biological traits; if the latter are not available, including the geographic predictor may improve the

  16. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for fisher (Martes pennanti) in forests of interior northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.J. Zielinski; J. R. Dunk; J. S. Yaeger; D. W. LaPlante

    2010-01-01

    The fisher is warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the western United States and, as such, it is especially important that conservation and management actions are based on sound scientific information. We developed a landscape-scale suitability model for interior northern California to predict the probability of detecting fishers and to identify...

  17. Relationship between body size and habitat complexity preference in age-0 and -1 year winter flounder Pseudopleuronectes americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappal, A L; Rountree, R A; MacDonald, D G

    2012-07-01

    The interaction between body size, habitat complexity and interstice width on habitat preference of age-0 and -1 year Pseudopleuronectes americanus was examined using continuous remote video observation. The habitat choices of juvenile P. americanus were recorded over a 6 h period in tanks with four treatments: bare sand, sand with low complexity cobble, sand with intermediate complexity cobble and sand with high complexity cobble. Both age-0 and -1 year fish preferred cobble to bare sand. Within cobble treatments, age-0 year fish preferred intermediate complexity cobble, with a 1.59 ratio of interstitial space to body width. The largest age-1 year fish (123-130 mm standard length, L(S) ) preferred low complexity cobble. While a significant preference was not detected, medium age-1 year fish (83-88 mm L(S) ) tended to select low complexity cobble, whereas small age-1 year fish (73-82 mm L(S) ) tended to select low and intermediate cobble, with an interstitial space to body width ratio of 1.05. For medium and large age-1 year fish, there was an increased selection of low complexity cobble, corresponding to larger interstitial space to body size ratios. This study indicates that juvenile P. americanus prefer complex habitat to unstructured habitat and that this preference is mediated by a relationship between fish body size and the size of structure interstices. These results contribute to the growing body of knowledge of complex habitat selection and drivers of habitat choice in flatfishes. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  18. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  19. Use of LANDSAT imagery for wildlife habitat mapping in northeast and eastcentral Alaska. [winter and summer moose range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lent, P. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Winter and summer moose range maps of three selected areas were produced (1:63,360 scale). The analytic approach is very similar to modified clustering. Preliminary results indicate that this method is not only more accurate but considerably less expensive than supervised classification techniques.

  20. Habitat use and diet of skylarks (Alauda arvensis) wintering in an intensive agricultural landscape of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geiger, Flavia; Hegemann, Arne; Gleichman, Maurits; Flinks, Heiner; de Snoo, Geert R.; Prinz, Sebastian; Tieleman, B. Irene; Berendse, Frank

    In recent decades, Skylark (Alauda arvensis) populations in Europe have declined sharply due to agricultural intensification. Insufficient reproduction rates are one reason. Increased winter mortality may also be important, but studies outside the breeding season are scarce and mostly limited to the

  1. Habitat use and diet of Skylarks (Alauda arvensis) wintering in an intensive agricultural landscape of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geiger, F.; Hegemann, A.; Gleichman, J.M.; Flinks, H.; Snoo, de G.R.; Prinz, S.; Tieleman, B.I.; Berendse, F.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, Skylark (Alauda arvensis) populations in Europe have declined sharply due to agricultural intensification. Insufficient reproduction rates are one reason. Increased winter mortality may also be important, but studies outside the breeding season are scarce and mostly limited to the

  2. Effects of breeding versus winter habitat loss and fragmentation on the population dynamics of a migratory songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Caz M; Stutchbury, Bridget J M

    2016-03-01

    Many migratory species are in decline and understanding these declines is challenging because individuals occupy widely divergent and geographically distant habitats during a single year and therefore populations across the range are interconnected in complex ways. Network modeling has been used to show, theoretically, that shifts in migratory connectivity patterns can occur in response to habitat or climate changes and that habitat loss in one region can affect sub-populations in regions that are not directly connected. Here, we use a network model, parameterized by integrating long-term monitoring data with direct tracking of -100 individuals, to explain population trends in the rapidly declining Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) and to predict future trends. Our model suggests that species-level declines in Wood Thrush are driven primarily by tropical deforestation in Central America but that protection of breeding habitat in some regions is necessary to prevent shifts in migratory connectivity and to sustain populations in all breeding regions. The model illustrates how shifts in migratory connectivity may lead to unexpected population declines in key regions. We highlight current knowledge gaps that make modeling full life-cycle population demographics in migratory species challenging but also demonstrate that modeling can inform conservation while these gaps are being filled.

  3. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire D Stevenson-Holt

    Full Text Available Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  4. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C; Nevin, Owen T; Ramsey, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  5. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Hemrová

    Full Text Available Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern.In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment.In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly correlated between the two

  6. Development of habitat suitability criteria for Neotropical stream fishes and an assessment of their transferability to streams with different conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Barreto Teresa

    Full Text Available We assessed the preference of 10 fish species for depth and velocity conditions in forested streams from southeastern Brazil using habitat suitability criteria (HSC curves. We also tested whether preference patterns observed in forested streams can be transferred to deforested streams. We used data from fish sampled in 62 five-meter sites in three forested streams to construct preference curves. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii, and Piabina argentea showed a preference for deep slow habitats, whereas Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra, Cetopsorhamdia iheringi, Pseudopimelodus pulcher, and Hypostomus nigromaculatus showed an opposite pattern: preference for shallow fast habitats. Hypostomus ancistroides showed a multimodal pattern of preference for depth and velocity. To evaluate whether patterns observed in forested streams may be transferred to deforested streams, we sampled 64 five-meters sites in three deforested streams using the same methodology. The preference for velocity was more consistent than for depth, as success in the transferability criterion was 86% and 29% of species, respectively. This indicates that velocity is a good predictor of species abundance in streams, regardless of their conditionNeste estudo avaliamos a preferência de 10 espécies de peixes por condições de profundidade e fluxo em riachos florestados do sudeste do Brasil por meio do critério de adequabilidade de habitat (habitat suitability criteria - curvas HSC. Testamos também se os padrões de preferência observados nos riachos florestados podem ser transferidos para riachos desmatados. Foram realizadas amostragens da ictiofauna em 62 trechos de cinco metros de extensão em três riachos florestados para a construção das curvas de preferência. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii e Piabina argentea apresentaram preferência por habitats lentos e profundos, enquanto Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS): An iRODS-Based, Cloud-Enabled Decision Support System for Invasive Species Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Roger; Schnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) is an online decision support system that allows users to load point occurrence field sample data for a plant species of interest and quickly generate habitat suitability maps for geographic regions of interest, such as a national park, monument, forest, or refuge. Target customers for ISFS are natural resource managers and decision makers who have a need for scientifically valid, model- based predictions of the habitat suitability of plant species of management concern. In a joint project involving NASA and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ISFS has been used to model the potential distribution of Wavyleaf Basketgrass in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Maximum entropy techniques are used to generate predictive maps using predictor datasets derived from remotely sensed data and climate simulation outputs. The workflow to run a model is implemented in an iRODS microservice using a custom ISFS file driver that clips and re-projects data to geographic regions of interest, then shells out to perform MaxEnt processing on the input data. When the model completes, all output files and maps from the model run are registered in iRODS and made accessible to the user. The ISFS user interface is a web browser that uses the iRODS PHP client to interact with the ISFS/iRODS- server. ISFS is designed to reside in a VMware virtual machine running SLES 11 and iRODS 3.0. The ISFS virtual machine is hosted in a VMware vSphere private cloud infrastructure to deliver the online service.

  9. Deer Wintering Areas

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Deer winter habitat is critical to the long term survival of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Vermont. Being near the northern extreme of the...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianna Giannoulaki

    2017-07-01

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

  11. Operational Prediction of the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Distribution for Neon Flying Squid in Central North Pacific by Using FORA Dataset and a New Data Assimilation System SKUIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, H.; Ishikawa, Y.; Wakamatsu, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Nishikawa, S.; Nishikawa, H.; Kamachi, M.; Kuragano, T.; Takatsuki, Y.; Fujii, Y.; Usui, N.; Toyoda, T.; Hirose, N.; Sakai, M.; Saitoh, S. I.; Imamura, Y.

    2016-02-01

    The neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) has a wide-spread distribution in subtropical and temperate waters in the North Pacific, which plays an important role in the pelagic ecosystem and is one of the major targets in Japanese squid fisheries. The main fishing areas for Japanese commercial vessels are located in the central North Pacific (35-45N, around the date line) in summer. In this study, we have developed several kinds of habitat suitability index (HSI) models of the neon flying squid for investigating the relationship between its potential habitat and the ocean state variations in the target area. For developing HSI models, we have used a new ocean reanalysis dataset FORA (4-dimensional variational Ocean Re-Analysis) produced by JAMSTEC/CEIST and MRI-JMA. The horizontal resolution is 0.1*0.1 degree of latitude and longitude with 54 vertical levels, which can provide realistic fields of 3-dimensional ocean circulation and environmental structures including meso-scale eddies. In addition, we have developed a new 4D-VAR (4-dimensional variational) ocean data assimilation system for predicting ocean environmental changes in the main fishing grounds. We call this system "SKUIDS" (Scalable Kit of Under-sea Information Delivery System). By using these prediction fields of temperature, salinity, sea surface height, horizontal current velocity, we produced daily HSI maps of the neon flying squid, and provided them to the Japanese commercial vessels in operation. Squid fishermen can access the web site for delivering the information of ocean environments in the fishing ground by using Inmarsat satellite communication on board, and show the predicted fields of subsurface temperatures and HSI. Here, we present the details of SKUIDS and the web-delivery system for squid fishery, and some preliminary results of the operational prediction.

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Fisher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1983-01-01

    The fisher (Martes pennanti) is the largest member of its genus and is found only i n North America (Powell 1982). Within the contiguous United States, indigenous and reintroduced populations presently inhabit portions of the Appalachian Mountains from New England south to West Virginia in the east; northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan's upper peninsula in the Midwest; northern Idaho and western Montana in the Northwest; and as far south as northern California along the West Coast.

  13. Computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) modelling as an exploratory tool for assessing passability of riverine migratory challenge zones for fish

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    We developed two-dimensional computational fluid hydraulics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) models to identify and qualitatively assess potential zones of shallow water depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five major anadromous fish species in a 2.63-km reach of the main stem Penobscot River, Maine, as a result of a dam removal downstream of the reach. Suitability parameters were based on distribution of fish lengths and body depths and transformed to cruising, maximum sustained and sprint swimming speeds. Zones of potential depth and velocity challenges were calculated based on the hydraulic models; ability of fish to pass a challenge zone was based on the percent of river channel that the contiguous zone spanned and its maximum along-current length. Three river flows (low: 99.1 m3 sec-1; normal: 344.9 m3 sec-1; and high: 792.9 m3 sec-1) were modelled to simulate existing hydraulic conditions and hydraulic conditions simulating removal of a dam at the downstream boundary of the reach. Potential depth challenge zones were nonexistent for all low-flow simulations of existing conditions for deeper-bodied fishes. Increasing flows for existing conditions and removal of the dam under all flow conditions increased the number and size of potential velocity challenge zones, with the effects of zones being more pronounced for smaller species. The two-dimensional CFD-HSI model has utility in demonstrating gross effects of flow and hydraulic alteration, but may not be as precise a predictive tool as a three-dimensional model. Passability of the potential challenge zones cannot be precisely quantified for two-dimensional or three-dimensional models due to untested assumptions and incomplete data on fish swimming performance and behaviours.

  14. Winter habitat use of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina fitted with Fastloc™GPS/GSM tags in two tidal bays in France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile Vincent

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Winter movements and habitat use of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina were investigated in two tidal bays in France, at the southern limit of their species range in the Northeast Atlantic. We fitted 15 seals with Fastloc™GPS/GSMtags in the Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel (BMSM and the Baie des Veys (BDV. Tags relayed 20.6±7.1 GPS locations per seal-day, 81% of all dives performed by the seals and 87% of haulouts, during an average tracking duration of 108±56 days. One seal travelled 380 km away from the BMSM but the other seals remained stationary, with 95% and 55% of at-sea locations ≤ 5 km from the haulout sites in BMSM and BDV respectively. Home range sizes were 137 and 161 km² in BMSM and BDV, and core areas’ sizes, 35 and 22 km² respectively. The seals remained very coastally in both sites with 93% and 71% of at-sea locations located in the intertidal zone of BMSM and BDV respectively. Accordingly, dives were shallow with 63% and 61% of dive maximum depths <4 m and 94% and 88% <10 m (in BMSM and BDV respectively. Preferred foraging areas were located in tidal channels in BMSM, sometimes in the vicinity of rocks or mussel farms. In BDV one seal made foraging trips 10-15 km offshore but all other seals repeatedly used coastal areas, often foraging around mussel farms, shipwrecks or intertidal rocks in tidal currents. We suggest that the importance of the tides combined with local features of the topography allow seals to predict prey availability, driving their foraging strategies towards a number of specific coastal areas. These results further illustrate the behavioural plasticity of the species according to habitat and environmental conditions. Fastloc™ GPS/GSM telemetry is particularly well adapted for the study of seals’ habitat use at a fine geographical and temporal scale, as long as they occasionally come close to shore within GSM coverage.

  15. Improving Conservation of Florida Manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris): Conceptualization and Contributions Toward a Regional Warm-Water Network Management Strategy for Sustainable Winter Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig

    2013-01-01

    We used southwestern Florida as a case study to lay the groundwork for an intended and organized decision-making process for managing warm-water habitat needed by endangered manatees to survive winters in Florida. Scientists and managers have prioritized (a) projecting how the network of warm-water sites will change over the next 50 years as warmed industrial discharges may expire and as flows of natural springs are reduced through redirection of water for human uses, and (b) mitigating such changes to prevent undue consequences to manatees. Given the complexities introduced by manatee ecology; agency organizational structure; shifting public demands; fluctuating resource availability; and managing within interacting cultural, social, political, and environmental contexts, it was clear that a structured decision process was needed. To help promote such a process, we collected information relevant to future decisions including maps of known and suspected warm-water sites and prototyped a characterization of sites and networks. We propose steps that would lead to models that might serve as core tools in manatee/warm-water decision-making, and we summarized topics relevant for informed decision-making (e.g., manatee spatial cognition, risk of cold-stress morbidity and mortality, and human dimensions). A major impetus behind this effort is to ensure proactively that robust modeling tools are available well in advance of the anticipated need for a critical management decision.

  16. Common dolphins in the Alboran Sea: Facing a reduction in their suitable habitat due to an increase in Sea surface temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañadas, A.; Vázquez, J. A.

    2017-07-01

    The short-beaked common dolphin Mediterranean subpopulation appears to have suffered a steep decline over recent decades and was listed in 2003 as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Alboran Sea is the last region in the Mediterranean where it is still abundant. In this study, we relate features of this species' ecology to climate change, focusing on distribution and density. This work used a two decades-long dataset on the common dolphin in the Alboran Sea and a time series of environmental changes. Once established, these relationships were used in conjunction with some simulated scenarios of environmental change to predict the potential effects of further change on these species over the next 100 years. Two approaches were used: 1) projection from a regression line from local variation, and 2) a HadCM3 climate model with time-varying anthropogenic effects. Generalized Additive Models were used to model the relationship between density of the animals with SST and other environmental covariates. Results from both approaches were very similar. The predictions of density from the regression line fell within the ranges from the HadCM3 climate model, the first being based on local and locally, point to point, differentiated information, which lead us to consider the first approach as the best for this area. At the small spatial scale of the Alboran Sea and Gulf of Vera, an increase in SST will potentially yield a reduction in suitable habitat for common dolphins, with a progressive reduction in density from east to west.

  17. Using forest inventory and analysis data and the forest vegetation simulator to predict and monitor fisher (Martes pennanti) resting habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Zielinski; Andrew N. Gray; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Joseph W. Sherlock; Gary E. Dixon

    2010-01-01

    New knowledge from wildlife-habitat relationship models is often difficult to implement in a management context. This can occur because researchers do not always consider whether managers have access to information about environmental covariates that permit the models to be applied. Moreover, ecosystem management requires knowledge about the condition of habitats over...

  18. Using a rule-based envelope model to predict the expansion of habitat suitability within New Zealand for the tick Haemaphysalis longicornis, with future projections based on two climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, K E; Summers, S R; Heath, A C G; McFadden, A M J; Pulford, D J; Tait, A B; Pomroy, W E

    2017-08-30

    Haemaphysalis longicornis is the only species of tick present in New Zealand which infests livestock and is also the only competent vector for Theileria orientalis. Since 2012, New Zealand has suffered from an epidemic of infectious bovine anaemia associated with T. orientalis, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite of cattle and buffaloes. The aim of this study was to predict the spatial distribution of habitat suitability of New Zealand for the tick H. longicornis using a simple rule-based climate envelope model, to validate the model against published data and use the validated model to project an expansion in habitat suitability for H. longicornis under two alternative climate change scenarios for the periods 2046-2065 and 2081-2100, relative to the climate of 1981-2010. A rule-based climate envelope model was developed based on the environmental requirements for off-host tick survival. The resulting model was validated against a maximum entropy environmental niche model of environmental suitability for T. orientalis transmission and against a H. longicornis occurrence map. Validation was completed using the I-similarity statistic and by linear regression. The H. longicornis climate envelope model predicted that 75% of cattle farms in the North Island, 3% of cattle farms in the South Island and 54% of cattle farms in New Zealand overall have habitats potentially suitable for the establishment of H. longicornis. The validation methods showed an acceptable level of agreement between the envelope model and published data. Both of the climate change scenarios, for each of the time periods, projected only slight to moderate increases in the average farm habitat suitability scores for all the South Island regions. However, only for the West Coast, Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson regions did these increases in environmental suitability translate into an increased proportion of cattle farms with low or high H. longicornis habitat suitability. These results will

  19. The study of seasonal composition and dynamics of wetland ecosystems and wintering bird habitat at Poyang Lake, PR China using object-based image analysis and field observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dronova, Iryna

    Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world which support critical ecological services and high biological diversity yet are vulnerable to climate change and human activities. In this thesis, I investigated the capabilities of satellite remote sensing with medium spatial resolution and object-based image analysis (OBIA) methods to elucidate seasonal composition and dynamics of wetland ecosystems and indicators of habitat for wintering waterbirds in a large conservation hotspot of Poyang Lake, PR China. I first examined changes in major wetland cover types during the low water period when Poyang Lake provides habitat to large numbers of migratory birds from the East Asian pathway. I used OBIA to map and analyze the transitions among water, vegetation, mudflat and sand classes from four 32-m Beijing-1 microsatellite images between late fall 2007 and early spring 2008. This analysis revealed that, while transitions among wetland classes were strongly associated with precipitation and flood-driven hydrological variation, the overall dynamics were a more complex interplay of vegetation phenology, disturbance and post-flood exposure. Remote sensing signals of environmental processes were more effectively captured by changes in fuzzy memberships to each class per location than by changes in spatial extents of the best-matching classes alone. The highest uncertainty in the image analysis corresponded to transitional wetland states at the end of the major flood recession in November and to heterogeneous mudflat areas at the land-water interface during the whole study period. Results suggest seasonally exposed mudflat features as important targets for future research due to heterogeneity and uncertainty of their composition, variable spatial distribution and sensitivity to hydrological dynamics. I further explored the potential of OBIA to overcome the limitations of the traditional pixel-based image classification methods in characterizing Poyang Lake

  20. A multistage decision support framework to guide tree species management under climate change via habitat suitability and colonization models, and a knowledge-based scoring system

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Context. No single model can capture the complex species range dynamics under changing climates--hence the need for a combination approach that addresses management concerns. Objective. A multistage approach is illustrated to manage forested landscapes under climate change. We combine a tree species habitat model--DISTRIB II, a species colonization model--SHIFT, and...

  1. Recently created man-made habitats in Doñana provide alternative wintering space for the threatened continental European black-tailed godwit population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Márquez-Ferrando, Rocío; Figuerola, Jordi; Hooijmeijer, Jos; Piersma, Theunis

    Over the last decades the Continental European population of black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa limosa, has shown steep declines as a consequence of agricultural intensification on the breeding grounds. Although numbers have also declined in their traditional wintering areas in West-Africa, in the

  2. Recently created man-made habitats in Doñana provide alternative wintering space for the threatened Continental European black-tailed godwit population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Márquez-Ferrando, R.; Figuerola, J.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decades the Continental European population of black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa limosa, has shown steep declines as a consequence of agricultural intensification on the breeding grounds. Although numbers have also declined in their traditional wintering areas in West-Africa, in the

  3. Relative abundance, habitat use, and long-term population changes of wintering and resident landbirds on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Steadman; Jensen Montambault; Scott Robinson; Sonja Oswalt; Thomas Brandeis; Agustavo Londono; Matthew Reetz; Wendy Schelsky; Natalie Wright; Jeffrey Hoover; Jill Jankowski; Andrew Kratter; Arie Martínez; Jordan. Smith

    2009-01-01

    St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, is one of the most forested islands in the West Indies and provides an opportunity to conserve both resident birds and wintering neotropical migrants.We conducted double-observer point counts of landbirds in December 2005 and 2006 in Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plots and National Park Service (NPS) trails in Virgin Islands...

  4. Proceedings of a workshop on the development and evaluation of habitat suitability criteria: A compilation of papers and discussions presented at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, December 8-12, 1986

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovee, Ken; Zuboy, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    The development of reliable habitat suitability criteria is critical to the successful implementation of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM), or any other habitat based evaluation technology. It is also a fascinating topic of research, for several reasons. First, the “science” of habitat quantification is relatively young. Descriptions of habitat use and partitioning can be traced back to Darwin, if not further. Attempts to actually quantify habitat use can be found predominantly during the last two decades, with most of the activity occurring in about the last five years. Second, this work is challenging because we are usually working with fish or some other organism that lives out of sight in an environment that is foreign to humans. Most of the data collection techniques that have been developed for standard fisheries work are unsuited, without modification, for criteria development. These factors make anyone involved in this type of research a pioneer, of sorts. Pioneers often make new and wonderful discoveries, but they also sometimes get lost. In our opinion, however, there is an even more rewarding aspect to criteria development research. It seems that the field of biology has tended to become increasingly clinical over the years. Criteria development demands the unobtrusive observation of organisms in their natural environment, a fact that allows the biological to be a naturalist and still get paid for it. The relative youth and importance of habitat quantification have resulted in rapid advancements in the state of the art. The expansion of methods is vividly demonstrated simply by comparing the two Instream Flow Information Papers written on the subject in 1978 and in 1986. One of the missions of the Aquatic Systems Branch (formerly the Instream Flow Group) is to serve as a clearinghouse for new techniques and methods. In keeping with this role, a workshop was conducted during December 1986 to discuss current and newly evolving methods

  5. Winter Weather

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Education Centers Harwood Training Grants Videos E-Tools Winter Storms Plan. Equip. Train To prevent injuries, illnesses and Fatalities during winter storms. This page requires that javascript be enabled ...

  6. Winter MVC

    OpenAIRE

    Castellón Gadea, Pasqual

    2013-01-01

    Winter MVC és un framework de presentació basat en Spring MVC que simplifica la metodologia de configuracions. Winter MVC es un framework de presentación basado en Spring MVC que simplifica la metodología de configuraciones. Winter MVC is a presentation framework that simplifies Spring MVC configuration methodology.

  7. Agricultural utilisation and potential suitability of the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area (south-western Slovakia landscape in relation to the habitat requirements of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zemko Martin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Intensification of land use in an agricultural landscape significantly affects biodiversity also in protected areas. This can be observed in the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area in relation to the occurrence of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus. The objective of this study was to evaluate the landscape structure and suitability of agrotechnical procedures for the habitat demands of this species in the course of the period from 2004 until 2017. The utilisation was assessed on the basis of four landscape elements representation in 1949 and 2017. The next step was analysis of landscape patches. The aim was to quantify the diversity and the spatial structure of the landscape mosaic using Shannon’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index as well as Simpson’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index and spatial pattern analysis in the Fragstats software programme. Assessment of crop suitability was carried out according to the following criteria: representation of positive/negative agricultural crops, diversity of crops in crop rotation, and (non-observance of crop rotation. It was found that the agricultural landscape use did not change significantly. The study area has been used as an intensively-farmed agricultural landscape for a long time. The landscape elements have remained almost identical, with dominance of arable land. Differences emerged in the analysis of the micropatches, which are represented by natural hedgerows consisting of various species of trees, shrubs and grasses. The results show a decrease in the diversity of patches and changes in the structure of the landscape patches, which may be important in terms of the preservation of the habitat of fauna which form an important part of the F vespertinus diet. On the basis of the evaluation of the suitability of agricultural crop growing, we found that there were some areas showing negative values in all the criteria, and thus they require changes in the crop rotation focusing

  8. Winter movement dynamics of black brant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindberg, Mark S.; Ward, David H.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Roser, John

    2007-01-01

    Although North American geese are managed based on their breeding distributions, the dynamics of those breeding populations may be affected by events that occur during the winter. Birth rates of capital breeding geese may be influenced by wintering conditions, mortality may be influenced by timing of migration and wintering distribution, and immigration and emigration among breeding populations may depend on winter movement and timing of pair formation. We examined factors affecting movements of black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) among their primary wintering sites in Mexico and southern California, USA, (Mar 1998–Mar 2000) using capture–recapture models. Although brant exhibited high probability (>0.85) of monthly and annual fidelity to the wintering sites we sampled, we observed movements among all wintering sites. Movement probabilities both within and among winters were negatively related to distance between sites. We observed a higher probability both of southward movement between winters (Mar to Dec) and northward movement between months within winters. Between-winter movements were probably most strongly affected by spatial and temporal variation in habitat quality as we saw movement patterns consistent with contrasting environmental conditions (e.g., La Niña and El Niño southern oscillation cycles). Month-to-month movements were related to migration patterns and may also have been affected by differences in habitat conditions among sites. Patterns of winter movements indicate that a network of wintering sites may be necessary for effective conservation of brant.

  9. Winter use of sea ice and ocean water mass habitat by southern elephant seals: The length and breadth of the mystery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrousse, Sara; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Heerah, Karine; Guinet, Christophe; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Authier, Matthieu; Picard, Baptiste; Roquet, Fabien; Bailleul, Frédéric; Hindell, Mark; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the responses of animals to the environment is crucial for identifying critical foraging habitat. Elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) from the Kerguelen Islands (49°20‧S, 70°20‧E) have several different foraging strategies. Why some individuals undertake long trips to the Antarctic continent while others utilize the relatively close frontal zones is poorly understood. Here, we investigate how physical properties within the sea ice zone are linked to foraging activities of southern elephant seals (SES). To do this, we first developed a new approach using indices of foraging derived from high temporal resolution dive and accelerometry data to predict foraging behaviour in an extensive, low resolution dataset from CTD-Satellite Relay Data Loggers (CTD-SRDLs). A sample of 37 post-breeding SES females were used to construct a predictive model applied to demersal and pelagic dive strategies relating prey encounter events (PEE) to dive parameters (dive duration, bottom duration, hunting-time, maximum depth, ascent speed, descent speed, sinuosity, and horizontal speed) for each strategy. We applied these models to a second sample of 35 seals, 20 males and 15 females, during the post-moult foraging trip to the Antarctic continental shelf between 2004 and 2013, which did not have fine-scale behavioural data. The females were widely distributed with important foraging activity south of the Southern Boundary Front, while males predominately travelled to the south-eastern part of the East Antarctica region. Combining our predictions of PEE with environmental features (sea ice concentration, water masses at the bottom phase of dives, bathymetry and slope index) we found higher foraging activity for females over shallower seabed depths and at the boundary between the overlying Antarctic Surface Water (AASW) and the underlying Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW). Increased biological activity associated with the upper boundary of MCDW, may provide

  10. Hellsgate Winter Range Mitigation Project; Long-term Management Plan, Project Report 1993, Final Draft.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, Matthew T.

    1994-01-01

    A study was conducted on the Hellsgate Winter Range Mitigation Project area, a 4,943 acre ranch purchased for mitigating some habitat losses associated with the original construction of Grand Coulee Dam and innundation of habitat by Lake Roosevelt. A Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) study was used to determine habitat quality and quantity baseline data and future projections. Target species used in the study were sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemoinus), mink (Mustela vison), spotted sandpiper (Actiius colchicus), bobcat (Felis reufs), blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus), and mourning dove (Zenaida macroura). From field data collected, limiting life values or HSI's (Habitat Suitability Index's) for each indicator species was determined for existing habitats on project lands. From this data a long term management plan was developed. This report is designed to provide guidance for the management of project lands in relation to the habitat cover types discussed and the indicator species used to evaluate these cover types. In addition, the plan discusses management actions, habitat enhancements, and tools that will be used to enhance, protect and restore habitats to desired conditions. Through planned management actions biodiversity and vegetative structure can be optimized over time to reduce or eliminate, limiting HSI values for selected wildlife on project lands.

  11. Managing for Caribou Survival in a Partitioned Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.G. Cumming

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Forest management guidelines for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in Ontario need to be re-examined in light of the finding that caribou partition habitat with moose (Alces alces, partly to find virtual refuges from predation by gray wolves (Canis lupus. Forest-wide guidelines seem inappropriate for a species that is widely scattered and little known. Management should concentrate on and around currently used virtual refuges to ensure their continued habitability. Cutting these areas may force the caribou into places with higher densities of predators; winter use of roads might bring poachers, increased wolf entry, and accidents. A proposal for 100 km2 clear-cuts scheduled over 60+ years across the forest landscape would probably minimize moose/wolf densities in the long run as intended, but because of habitat partitioning might forfeit any benefits to caribou in the short-term. Sharply reducing moose densities near areas where caribou have sought refuge might incline wolves to switch to caribou. Cutting beyond caribou winter refuge areas should aim at maintaining current moose densities to prevent wolves from switching prey species. Operations level manipulation of the forest around each wintering area should provide winter habitat for the future, while treatment replications with controls across the whole forest would provide reliable knowledge about which approaches work best. The remainder of the forest should be managed to maintain suitable densities of all other species.

  12. Columbia River wildlife mitigation habitat evaluation procedures report: Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, Berg Brothers, and Douglas County pygmy rabbit projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashley, P.R.; Ratassepp, J.; Berger, M.; Judd, S.L.

    1997-01-01

    This Habitat Evaluation Procedure study was conducted to determine baseline habitat units (HUs) on the Scotch Creek, Mineral Hill, Pogue Mountain, Chesaw and Tunk Valley Habitat Areas (collectively known as the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area) in Okanogan County, Sagebrush Flat and the Dormaler property in Douglas County, and the Berg Brothers ranch located in Okanogan County within the Colville Reservation. A HEP team comprised of individuals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Appendix A) conducted baseline habitat surveys using the following HEP evaluation species: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), mink (Mustela vison), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), Lewis woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), and Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia). Results of the HEP analysis are listed below. General ratings (poor, marginal, fair, etc.,) are described in Appendix B. Mule deer habitat was marginal lacking diversity and quantify of suitable browse species. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat was marginal lacking residual nesting cover and suitable winter habitat Pygmy rabbit habitat was in fair condition except for the Dormaier property which was rated marginal due to excessive shrub canopy closure at some sites. This report is an analysis of baseline habitat conditions on mitigation project lands and provides estimated habitat units for mitigation crediting purposes. In addition, information from this document could be used by wildlife habitat managers to develop management strategies for specific project sites

  13. Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation Habitat Evaluation Procedures Report / Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, Berg Brothers, and Douglas County Pygmy Rabbit Projects.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashley, Paul R.

    1997-01-01

    This Habitat Evaluation Procedure study was conducted to determine baseline habitat units (HUs) on the Scotch Creek, Mineral Hill, Pogue Mountain, Chesaw and Tunk Valley Habitat Areas (collectively known as the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area) in Okanogan County, Sagebrush Flat and the Dormaler property in Douglas County, and the Berg Brothers ranch located in Okanogan County within the Colville Reservation. A HEP team comprised of individuals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Appendix A) conducted baseline habitat surveys using the following HEP evaluation species: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), mink (Mustela vison), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), Lewis woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), and Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia). Results of the HEP analysis are listed below. General ratings (poor, marginal, fair, etc.,) are described in Appendix B. Mule deer habitat was marginal lacking diversity and quantify of suitable browse species. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat was marginal lacking residual nesting cover and suitable winter habitat Pygmy rabbit habitat was in fair condition except for the Dormaier property which was rated marginal due to excessive shrub canopy closure at some sites. This report is an analysis of baseline habitat conditions on mitigation project lands and provides estimated habitat units for mitigation crediting purposes. In addition, information from this document could be used by wildlife habitat managers to develop management strategies for specific project sites.

  14. Predicting habitat suitability in temperate seagrass ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heide, van Tj.; Peeters, E.T.H.M.; Hermus, D.C.R.; Katwijk, van M.M.; Roelofs, J.G.M.; Smolders, A.J.P.

    2009-01-01

    The worldwide observed dramatic decline of seagrasses has typically been attributed to multiple stressors such as eutrophication, disease, sedimentation, and toxicity events. Using principal component analysis and (multivariate) logistic regression, we investigated the importance of 30 commonly

  15. Habitat suitability index models: Cutthroat trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickman, Terry J.; Raleigh, Robert F.

    1982-01-01

    Cutthroat trout, Salmo clarki, are a polytypic species consisting of several geographically distinct forms with a broad distribution and a great amount of genetic diversity (Hickman 1978; Behnke 1979). Behnke (1979) recognized 13 extant subspecies: Coastal cutthroat (S. c. clarki) in coastal streams from Prince William Sound, Alaska to the Eel Rlver in California; mountain cutthroat (~. ~. alpestris) in upper Columbia and F~Dser River drainages of British Columbia; west slope cutthroat (S. c. lewisi) in the upper Columbia, Salmon, Clearwater, South Saskatchewan and upper Missouri drainages of Montana and Idaho; an undescribed subspecies in the Alvord basin, Oregon; Lahonton cutthroat (S. c ..henshawi), Pauite cutthroat (S. c. seleniris), and an undescribed- subspecies in the Humboldt River drafnage of the Lahontan basin of Nevada and California; Yellowstone cutthroat (S. c. bouvieri) in the Yellowstone drainage of Wyoming and Montana and the Snake River drainage of Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada; an undescribed subspecies (fine spotted) in the upper Snake River, Wyoming; Bonneville cutthroat (S. c. utah) in the Bonneville basin in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming; Colorado River cutthroat (~. ~. pleuriticus) in the Colorado River drainage in Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado; greenback cutthroat (S. c. stomias) in the South Platte and Arkansas River systems; and Rio Grande cutthroat (~. ~. virginalis) in the Rio Grande River drainage of Colorado and New Mexico. Many of these 13 subspecies are included on Federal or State endangered or threatened species lists.Temperature and chemical preferences, migration, and other ecological and life history attributes vary among cutthroat subspecies (Behnke 1979). Differences in growth rate (Carlander 1969; Scott and Crossman 1973; Behnke 1979) and food preferences have also been reported (Trojnar and Behnke 1974) between some subspecies.

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Western grebe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Henry L.

    1984-01-01

    The western grebe (Aechmophorus occi denta 1is) "breeds from southeastern Alaska, south-central British Columbia, central Alberta, central Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba south to southern Californi a, north-central Utah, southwestern Colorado, southwest~rn and northeastern New Mexico, western Nebraska, northwestern Iowa, and western Minnesota; and locally in Mexico from Chihuahua and Durango south to northern Guerrero, Puebla and San Luis Potosi" (American Ornithologists' Union 1983:10).

  17. Winter Wonderlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coy, Mary

    2011-01-01

    Listening to people complain about the hardships of winter and the dreariness of the nearly constant gray sky prompted the author to help her sixth graders recognize and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them for nearly five months of the year in western New York. The author opines that if students could see things more artistically, the winter…

  18. Human recreation affects spatio-temporal habitat use patterns in red deer (Cervus elaphus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppes, Joy; Burghardt, Friedrich; Hagen, Robert; Suchant, Rudi; Braunisch, Veronika

    2017-01-01

    The rapid spread and diversification of outdoor recreation can impact on wildlife in various ways, often leading to the avoidance of disturbed habitats. To mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, spatial zonation schemes can be implemented to separate human activities from key wildlife habitats, e.g., by designating undisturbed wildlife refuges or areas with some level of restriction to human recreation and land use. However, mitigation practice rarely considers temporal differences in human-wildlife interactions. We used GPS telemetry data from 15 red deer to study the seasonal (winter vs. summer) and diurnal (day vs. night) variation in recreation effects on habitat use in a study region in south-western Germany where a spatial zonation scheme has been established. Our study aimed to determine if recreation infrastructure and spatial zonation affected red deer habitat use and whether these effects varied daily or seasonally. Recreation infrastructure did not affect home range selection in the study area, but strongly determined habitat use within the home range. The spatial zonation scheme was reflected in both of these two levels of habitat selection, with refuges and core areas being more frequently used than the border zones. Habitat use differed significantly between day and night in both seasons. Both summer and winter recreation trails, and nearby foraging habitats, were avoided during day, whereas a positive association was found during night. We conclude that human recreation has an effect on red deer habitat use, and when designing mitigation measures daily and seasonal variation in human-wildlife interactions should be taken into account. We advocate using spatial zonation in conjunction with temporal restrictions (i.e., banning nocturnal recreation activities) and the creation of suitable foraging habitats away from recreation trails. PMID:28467429

  19. Using species distribution model to estimate the wintering population size of the endangered scaly-sided merganser in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Qing; Zhang, Yamian; Sun, Gongqi; Duo, Hairui; Wen, Li; Lei, Guangchun

    2015-01-01

    Scaly-sided Merganser is a globally endangered species restricted to eastern Asia. Estimating its population is difficult and considerable gap exists between populations at its breeding grounds and wintering sites. In this study, we built a species distribution model (SDM) using Maxent with presence-only data to predict the potential wintering habitat for Scaly-sided Merganser in China. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) method suggests high predictive power of the model (training and testing AUC were 0.97 and 0.96 respectively). The most significant environmental variables included annual mean temperature, mean temperature of coldest quarter, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of driest quarter. Suitable conditions for Scaly-sided Merganser are predicted in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, especially in Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei Provinces. The predicted suitable habitat embraces 6,984 km of river. Based on survey results from three consecutive winters (2010-2012) and previous studies, we estimated that the entire wintering population of Scaly-sided Merganser in China to be 3,561 ± 478 individuals, which is consistent with estimate in its breeding ground.

  20. Using species distribution model to estimate the wintering population size of the endangered scaly-sided merganser in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Zeng

    Full Text Available Scaly-sided Merganser is a globally endangered species restricted to eastern Asia. Estimating its population is difficult and considerable gap exists between populations at its breeding grounds and wintering sites. In this study, we built a species distribution model (SDM using Maxent with presence-only data to predict the potential wintering habitat for Scaly-sided Merganser in China. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC method suggests high predictive power of the model (training and testing AUC were 0.97 and 0.96 respectively. The most significant environmental variables included annual mean temperature, mean temperature of coldest quarter, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of driest quarter. Suitable conditions for Scaly-sided Merganser are predicted in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, especially in Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei Provinces. The predicted suitable habitat embraces 6,984 km of river. Based on survey results from three consecutive winters (2010-2012 and previous studies, we estimated that the entire wintering population of Scaly-sided Merganser in China to be 3,561 ± 478 individuals, which is consistent with estimate in its breeding ground.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariñe Crespo

    Full Text Available Success of migration in birds in part depends on habitat selection. Overall, it is still poorly known whether there is habitat selection amongst landbird migrants moving across landscapes. Europe is chiefly covered by agro-forestry mosaic landscapes, so migratory species associated to either agricultural landscapes or woodland habitats should theoretically find suitable stopover sites along migration. During migration from wintering to breeding quarters, woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola tagged with PTT satellite-tracking transmitters were used to test for the hypothesis that migrants associated to agro-forest habitats have no habitat selection during migration, at a meso-scale level. Using a GIS platform we extracted at a meso-scale range habitat cover at stopover localities. Results obtained from comparisons of soil covers between points randomly selected and true stopover localities sites revealed, as expected, the species may not select for particular habitats at a meso-scale range, because the habitat (or habitats required by the species can be found virtually everywhere on their migration route. However, those birds stopping over in places richer in cropland or mosaic habitats including both cropland and forest and with proportionally less closed forest stayed for longer than in areas with lower surfaces of cropland and mosaic and more closed forest. This suggests that areas rich in cropland or mosaic habitat were optimal.

  2. WINTER SAECULUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emil Mihalina

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Accumulated imbalances in the economy and on the markets cause specific financial market dynamics that have formed characteristic patterns kept throughout long financial history. In 2008 Authors presented their expectations of key macroeconomic and selected asset class markets developments for period ahead based on Saeculum theory. Use of term Secular describes a specific valuation environment during prolonged period. If valuations as well as selected macro variables are considered as a tool for understanding business cycles then market cycles become much more obvious and easily understandable. Therefore over the long run, certain asset classes do better in terms of risk reward profile than others. Further on, there is no need for frequent portfolio rebalancing and timing of specific investment positions within a particular asset class market. Current stage in cycle development suggests a need for reassessment of trends and prevailing phenomena due to cyclical nture of long lasting Saeculums. Paper reviews developments in recognizable patterns of selected metrics in current Winter Saeculum dominated with prevailing forces of delivering, deflation and decrease in velocity of money.

  3. Spawning habitat unsuitability: an impediment to cisco rehabilitation in Lake Michigan?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madenjian, Charles P.; Rutherford, Edward S.; Blouin, Marc A.; Sederberg, Bryan J.; Elliott, Jeff R.

    2011-01-01

    The cisco Coregonus artedi was one of the most important native prey fishes in Lake Michigan and in the other four Laurentian Great Lakes. Most of the cisco spawning in Lake Michigan was believed to have occurred in Green Bay. The cisco population in Lake Michigan collapsed during the 1950s, and the collapse was attributed in part to habitat degradation within Green Bay. Winter water quality surveys of lower Green Bay during the 1950s and 1960s indicated that the bottom dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration was less than 2 mg/L throughout much of the lower bay, and most cisco eggs would not successfully hatch at such low DO concentrations. To determine present-day spawning habitat suitability in lower Green Bay, we compared cisco egg survival in lower Green Bay with survival at a reference site (St. Marys River, Michigan–Ontario) during 2009. We also conducted winter water quality surveys in lower Green Bay and the St. Marys River during 2009 and 2010. Cisco egg survival in lower Green Bay averaged 65.3%, which was remarkably similar to and not significantly different from the mean at the St. Marys River site (64.0%). Moreover, the lowest bottom DO concentrations recorded during the winter surveys were 11.2 mg/L in lower Green Bay and 12.7 mg/L in the St. Marys River. These relatively high DO concentrations would not be expected to have any negative effect on cisco egg survival. We conclude that winter water quality conditions in lower Green Bay were suitable for successful hatching of cisco eggs and that water quality during the egg incubation period did not represent an impediment to cisco rehabilitation in Lake Michigan. Our approach to determining spawning habitat suitability for coregonids would be applicable to other aquatic systems.

  4. Winter Weather: Frostbite

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Safety During Fire Cleanup Wildfires PSAs Related Links Winter Weather About Winter Weather Before a Storm Prepare Your Home Prepare Your Car Winter Weather Checklists During a Storm Indoor Safety During ...

  5. Polar bear maternal den habitat in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ambrosius, Ken J.

    2006-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) give birth during mid-winter in dens of ice and snow. Denning polar bears subjected to human disturbances may abandon dens before their altricial young can survive the rigors of the Arctic winter. Because the Arctic coastal plain of Alaska is an area of high petroleum potential and contains existing and planned oil field developments, the distribution of polar bear dens on the plain is of interest to land managers. Therefore, as part of a study of denning habitats along the entire Arctic coast of Alaska, we examined high-resolution aerial photographs (n = 1655) of the 7994 km2 coastal plain included in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and mapped 3621 km of bank habitat suitable for denning by polar bears. Such habitats were distributed uniformly and comprised 0.29% (23.2 km2) of the coastal plain between the Canning River and the Canadian border. Ground-truth sampling suggested that we had correctly identified 91.5% of bank denning habitats on the ANWR coastal plain. Knowledge of the distribution of these habitats will help facilitate informed management of human activities and minimize disruption of polar bears in maternal dens.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alafifi, A.

    2016-12-01

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

  7. [Fish community structure and its seasonal change in subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen-Hua; Wang, Kai; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Shou-Yu

    2011-05-01

    To understand the characteristics of fish community structure in sandy beach habitats of island reef water areas, and to evaluate the potential capacity of these habitats in local fish stock maintenance, fishes were monthly collected with multi-mesh trammel nets in 2009 from the subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island, taking the adjacent rocky reef habitat as the control. alpha and beta species diversity indices, index of relative importance (IRI), relative catch rate, and dominance curve for abundance and biomass (ABC curve) were adopted to compare the fish species composition, diversity, and community pattern between the two habitats, and multivariate statistical analyses such as non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) and cluster were conducted to discuss the fish assemblage patterns. A total of 63 fish species belonging to 11 orders, 38 families, and 56 genera were collected, of which, 46 fish species were appeared in the two habitats. Due to the appearance of more warm water species in sandy bottom, the fishes in subtidal sandy beach habitat showed much higher richness, and the abundance catch rate (ACR) from May to July was higher than that in rocky reef habitat. In most rest months, the ACR in subtidal sandy beach habitat also showed the similar trend. However, the species richness and diversity in spring and summer were significantly lower in subtidal sandy beach habitat than in rocky reef habitat, because of the high species dominance and low evenness in the sandy beach habitat. Japanese tonguefish (Paraplagusia japonica) was the indicator species in the sandy beach habitat, and dominated in early spring, later summer, autumn, and winter when the fishing pressure was not strong. In sandy bottom, a unique community structure was formed and kept in dynamic, due to the nursery use of sandy beach by Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) from May to July, the gathering of gray mullet (Mugil cephalus) in most months for feeding, and the large

  8. 75 FR 12815 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-17

    ... developed habitat suitability index models for proposed critical habitat units. The extent of the... the suitability of the California red-legged frog's habitat in the future. However, we are required to... a habitat suitability index had been established for the area. Response: We recognize this...

  9. Southern Hemisphere humpback whales wintering off Central America: insights from water temperature into the longest mammalian migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Kristin; Palacios, Daniel M; Calambokidis, John; Saborío, Marco T; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Secchi, Eduardo R; Steiger, Gretchen H; Allen, Judith M; Stone, Gregory S

    2007-06-22

    We report on a wintering area off the Pacific coast of Central America for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrating from feeding areas off Antarctica. We document seven individuals, including a mother/calf pair, that made this migration (approx. 8300km), the longest movement undertaken by any mammal. Whales were observed as far north as 11 degrees N off Costa Rica, in an area also used by a boreal population during the opposite winter season, resulting in unique spatial overlap between Northern and Southern Hemisphere populations. The occurrence of such a northerly wintering area is coincident with the development of an equatorial tongue of cold water in the eastern South Pacific, a pattern that is repeated in the eastern South Atlantic. A survey of location and water temperature at the wintering areas worldwide indicates that they are found in warm waters (21.1-28.3 degrees C), irrespective of latitude. We contend that while availability of suitable reproductive habitat in the wintering areas is important at the fine scale, water temperature influences whale distribution at the basin scale. Calf development in warm water may lead to larger adult size and increased reproductive success, a strategy that supports the energy conservation hypothesis as a reason for migration.

  10. Stamena winter wheat variety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mišić Todor

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Stamena is a winter wheat variety developed at the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. It was released by the Federal Commission for varietals Approval in 1999. Stamena was developed by crossing genetically divergent and highly productive parents Lasta and Rodna (Breeders: T. Mišić. N. Mladenov, Z. Jerković and R. Jevtić. Spike is white, smooth, awn less, medium compact with 18-21 spike lets. The grain is vitreous and dark red (Triticum aestivum L. ssp. vulgar e var. lutescens. Stamena is a medium early variety, 1 day earlier than Partizanka and 3 days earlier than Jugoslavija (Table 4. It has excellent resistance to winterkilling, as in very winter hardy Partizanka. The average stem height is 78 cm, with a good resistance to lodging. Stamena has field resistance to leaf rust (Pucce, recondita tritict, horizontal resistance, which is the type of resistance that modern wheat breeding is interested in. The resistance to stem rust (Pucce, graminis tritict is good and to powdery mildew (Erysiphegraminis tritici very good. The 1000 grain mass is about 32 g and volume grain mass 81.3 kg/hi. (Table 2. Stamena is classified in the subgroup A-l. It has excellent milling and baking quality and it belong to the 1st technological group (quality enhancer. The quantity of dry gluten is about 9%. The variety Stamena is a very productive, with the genetic potential for grain above 11 t/ha suitable for growing on fertile and less fertile soils. It has started to be grown commercially in 2000.

  11. Winter Weather Emergencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severe winter weather can lead to health and safety challenges. You may have to cope with Cold related health ... Although there are no guarantees of safety during winter weather emergencies, you can take actions to protect ...

  12. Winter maintenance performance measure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The Winter Performance Index is a method of quantifying winter storm events and the DOTs response to them. : It is a valuable tool for evaluating the States maintenance practices, performing post-storm analysis, training : maintenance personnel...

  13. Winter weather demand considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-01

    Winter weather has varied effects on travel behavior. Using 418 survey responses from the Northern Virginia : commuting area of Washington, D.C. and binary logit models, this study examines travel related changes under : different types of winter wea...

  14. Living on the edge: Space use of Eurasian red squirrels in marginal high-elevation habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A.; Preatoni, Damiano; Tosi, Guido; Martinoli, Adriano

    2010-11-01

    In marginal habitats located at the edge of a species' range, environmental conditions are frequently extreme and individuals may be subject to different selective pressures compared to central populations. These so-called edge or marginal populations tend to have lower densities and reproductive rates than populations located in more suitable habitats, but little is known about local adaptations in spacing behavior. We studied space use and social organization in a population of Eurasian red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris) in a high-elevation marginal habitat of dwarf mountain pine ( Pinus mugo) and compared it with spacing patterns in high-quality Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris) forest at lower-elevation. Home ranges and core areas were larger in the marginal habitat. In both habitats, males used larger home ranges than females, but sex differences in core area size were significant only in the edge population. Patterns of core area overlap were similar in both habitats with intra-sexual territoriality among adult females and higher degrees of inter-sexual overlap, typical for the species throughout its range. However, low densities in the edge population resulted in higher female by males overlap in spring-summer, suggesting males increased home ranges and core areas during mating season to augment access to estrus females. Thus, in the marginal habitat, with low food abundance and low population densities, linked with extreme winter conditions, squirrels, especially males, used large home ranges. Finally, squirrels responded more strongly to variation in food availability (inverse relation between home range size and seed abundance), and even to fluctuations in density (inverse relation between core area size and density of animals of the same sex), in the marginal than in the high-quality habitat, suggesting high behavioral plasticity to respond to the ecological constraints in marginal habitats.

  15. Winter-to-winter variations in indoor radon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mose, D.G.; Mushrush, G.W.; Kline, S.W.

    1989-01-01

    Indoor radon concentrations in northern Virginia and central Maryland show a strong dependence on weather. Winter tends to be associated with higher than average indoor radon, and summer with lower than average. However, compared to the winter of 1986-1987, the winter of 1987-1988 was warmer and drier. Consequently, winter-to-winter indoor radon decreased by about 25%. This winter-to-winter decrease is unexpectedly large, and simulates winter-to-summer variations that have been reported

  16. MoSI (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal): assessing habitat-specific overwintering survival of neotropical migratory landbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    David F. DeSante; T. Scott Sillett; Rodney B. Siegel; James F. Saracco; Claudia A. Romo de Vivar Alvarez; Salvadora Morales; Alexis Cerezo; Danielle R. Kaschube; Manuel Grosselet; Borja Mila

    2005-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that population declines in many Neotropical-wintering migratory landbird species are caused by habitat loss and degradation on their wintering grounds. Such habitat loss and degradation can lower overwintering survival rates and cause surviving birds to leave their wintering grounds in poor physical condition, leading to high mortality during...

  17. Hellsgate Big Game Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Site Specific Management Plan for the Hellsgate Project.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, Matthew T.; Judd, Steven L.

    1999-01-01

    This report contains a detailed site-specific management plan for the Hellsgate Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project. The report provides background information about the mitigation process, the review process, mitigation acquisitions, Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and mitigation crediting, current habitat conditions, desired future habitat conditions, restoration/enhancements efforts and maps.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    the physical habitat quality of stream Ledreborg using af habitat hydraulic model • to assess the present and potential physical habitat quality of stream Ledreborg • to evaluate the suitability and applicability of habitat hydraulic models to Danish stream management Results • Precipitation and evaporation...... the best potential physical habitat quality for trout fry and juvenile trout and the lowest potential physical habitat quality for adult trout. This finding supports previous evaluations of the stream as a trout habitat, concluding that stream Ledreborg has very few suitable habitats for adult trout...... in the modelling. • Although more time consuming than present Danish methods for assessment of physical habitat quality in streams, the habitat hydraulic models can be used to evaluate physical habitat conditions at reach level and work as a basis for a more objective assessment method....

  19. AGROTECHNOLOGY OF WINTER CABBAGE SEED PRODUCTION IN CONDITION OF DAGESTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Velizhanov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil-climatic conditions of the South region of Dagestan are suitable for growing of winter cabbage. The yield of winter cab-bage in Dagestan farms is still very low because of low quality of seeds and non'observance of rules of cabbage seed production.

  20. Water level affects availability of optimal feeding habitats for threatened migratory waterbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aharon-Rotman, Yaara; McEvoy, John; Zhaoju, Zheng; Yu, Hui; Wang, Xin; Si, Yali; Xu, Zhenggang; Yuan, Zeng; Jeong, Wooseog; Cao, Lei; Fox, Anthony D

    2017-12-01

    Extensive ephemeral wetlands at Poyang Lake, created by dramatic seasonal changes in water level, constitute the main wintering site for migratory Anatidae in China. Reductions in wetland area during the last 15 years have led to proposals to build a Poyang Dam to retain high winter water levels within the lake. Changing the natural hydrological system will affect waterbirds dependent on water level changes for food availability and accessibility. We tracked two goose species with different feeding behaviors (greater white-fronted geese Anser albifrons [grazing species] and swan geese Anser cygnoides [tuber-feeding species]) during two winters with contrasting water levels (continuous recession in 2015; sustained high water in 2016, similar to those predicted post-Poyang Dam), investigating the effects of water level change on their habitat selection based on vegetation and elevation. In 2015, white-fronted geese extensively exploited sequentially created mudflats, feeding on short nutritious graminoid swards, while swan geese excavated substrates along the water edge for tubers. This critical dynamic ecotone successively exposes subaquatic food and supports early-stage graminoid growth during water level recession. During sustained high water levels in 2016, both species selected mudflats, but also to a greater degree of habitats with longer established seasonal graminoid swards because access to tubers and new graminoid growth was restricted under high-water conditions. Longer established graminoid swards offer less energetically profitable forage for both species. Substantial reduction in suitable habitat and confinement to less profitable forage by higher water levels is likely to reduce the ability of geese to accumulate sufficient fat stores for migration, with potential carryover effects on subsequent survival and reproduction. Our results suggest that high water levels in Poyang Lake should be retained during summer, but permitted to gradually recede

  1. Effect of Climate Change on Mediterranean Winter Ranges of Two Migratory Passerines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José L Tellería

    Full Text Available We studied the effect of climate change on the distribution of two insectivorous passerines (the meadow pipit Anthus pratensis and the chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita in wintering grounds of the Western Mediterranean basin. In this region, precipitation and temperature can affect the distribution of these birds through direct (thermoregulation costs or indirect effects (primary productivity. Thus, it can be postulated that projected climate changes in the region will affect the extent and suitability of their wintering grounds. We studied pipit and chiffchaff abundance in several hundred localities along a belt crossing Spain and Morocco and assessed the effects of climate and other geographical and habitat predictors on bird distribution. Multivariate analyses reported a positive effect of temperature on the present distribution of the two species, with an additional effect of precipitation on the meadow pipit. These climate variables were used with Maxent to model the occurrence probabilities of species using ring recoveries as presence data. Abundance and occupancy of the two species in the study localities adjusted to the distribution models, with more birds in sectors of high climate suitability. After validation, these models were used to forecast the distribution of climate suitability according to climate projections for 2050-2070 (temperature increase and precipitation reduction. Results show an expansion of climatically suitable sectors into the highlands by the effect of warming on the two species, and a retreat of the meadow pipit from southern sectors related to rain reduction. The predicted patterns show a mean increase in climate suitability for the two species due to the warming of the large highland expanses typical of the western Mediterranean.

  2. Effect of Climate Change on Mediterranean Winter Ranges of Two Migratory Passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellería, José L; Fernández-López, Javier; Fandos, Guillermo

    2016-01-01

    We studied the effect of climate change on the distribution of two insectivorous passerines (the meadow pipit Anthus pratensis and the chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita) in wintering grounds of the Western Mediterranean basin. In this region, precipitation and temperature can affect the distribution of these birds through direct (thermoregulation costs) or indirect effects (primary productivity). Thus, it can be postulated that projected climate changes in the region will affect the extent and suitability of their wintering grounds. We studied pipit and chiffchaff abundance in several hundred localities along a belt crossing Spain and Morocco and assessed the effects of climate and other geographical and habitat predictors on bird distribution. Multivariate analyses reported a positive effect of temperature on the present distribution of the two species, with an additional effect of precipitation on the meadow pipit. These climate variables were used with Maxent to model the occurrence probabilities of species using ring recoveries as presence data. Abundance and occupancy of the two species in the study localities adjusted to the distribution models, with more birds in sectors of high climate suitability. After validation, these models were used to forecast the distribution of climate suitability according to climate projections for 2050-2070 (temperature increase and precipitation reduction). Results show an expansion of climatically suitable sectors into the highlands by the effect of warming on the two species, and a retreat of the meadow pipit from southern sectors related to rain reduction. The predicted patterns show a mean increase in climate suitability for the two species due to the warming of the large highland expanses typical of the western Mediterranean.

  3. 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.

  4. San Diego Littoral Cell CRSMP Sensitive Habitat 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — Specific concerns relate to the threatened snowy plover’s critical habitat, including nesting and wintering locations, as well as the endangered least tern’s nesting...

  5. Migration and winter distribution of the Chestnutcollared Longspur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellison Kevin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus is one of five grassland songbirds, endemic within North America, with populations that have declined >65% since the 1960s. These species breed and winter in the northern and southern Great Plains, respectively. Identifying migration routes, wintering sites, and the timing of their habitat use is key for understanding the relative magnitude of threats across the annual cycle and effectively targeting habitats for conservation. We tracked migratory movements of seven Chestnut-collared Longspurs with light-level geolocators deployed in Canada. Individuals wintered up to 112-1,200km apart. All followed the Central Flyway, circumvented high-elevation terrain, and traveled east of the breeding location. Unlike most songbirds, the durations of spring and fall migrations were similar; on average 42 ± 7d and 41 ± 5d during fall and spring migrations, respectively, for an approximately 2,000km migration; this highlights the need to better understand habitat requirements during migration for grassland songbirds. Using geospatial habitat data, we assessed winter distribution overlap with four other endemic grassland songbirds; wintering range overlapped 63-99%. Future studies should use more precise devices (e.g., archival GPS units, programmed for data collection dates from this study, to identify specific migratory sites for better conserving this and associated grassland species.

  6. [Activity patterns and foraging behavior of Apis cerana cerana in the urban gardens in winter].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fa-jun; Yang, Qing-qing; Long, Li; Hu, Hong-mei; Duan, Bin; Chen, Wen-nian

    2016-01-01

    Bees and other pollinating insects are the important parts of biodiversity due to their great role in plant reproduction and crop production. To explore the role of city garden in native bees conservation, activity patterns, visiting behaviors and flowering plants with nectar or pollen were recorded in south Sichuan in winter. The results showed that, worker bees (Apis cerana cerana) were active to collect food out hive under suitable weather conditions, the duration of working was long. Peaks of the number of outgoing, entrance and foragers without pollen appeared at 14:00-15:00, and bimodal patterns were observed. While, peak of bees with pollen appeared at 11:00, and a unimodal pattern was observed. Time significantly affected the activity of workers. The workload of honey bees on nectar and pollen collection were different, just less than twenty percent foragers carrying pollen. Temperature and humidity also affected flights of bees to some degree, and bee activities showed similar patterns on different days. However, the activities had diverse characteristics in some time. Though a less number of plants were in flowering, most of them could be utilized by A. cerana cerana, and colonies could effectively get the food resource by behavior adjustment. In addition, visiting activities of bees on the flowers of main garden plants, such as Camellia japonica, showed obvious rhythm. Increasing the flowering plants with nectar and pollen in winter by scientific management of urban gardens would facilitate the creation of suitable habitats for A. cerana cerana and maintaining the wild population.

  7. Habitats of North American sea ducks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derksen, Dirk V.; Petersen, Margaret R.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Breeding, molting, fall and spring staging, and wintering habitats of the sea duck tribe Mergini are described based on geographic locations and distribution in North America, geomorphology, vegetation and soil types, and fresh water and marine characteristics. The dynamics of habitats are discussed in light of natural and anthropogenic events that shape areas important to sea ducks. Strategies for sea duck habitat management are outlined and recommendations for international collaboration to preserve key terrestrial and aquatic habitats are advanced. We follow the definition of habitat advanced by Odum (1971), which is the place or space where an organism lives. Weller (1999) emphasized that habitats for waterbirds required presence of sufficient resources (i.e., food, water, cover, space) for maintenance during a portion of their annual cycle. Habitats exploited by North American sea ducks are diverse, widespread across the continent and adjacent marine waters and until recently, most were only superficially known. A 15-year-long effort funded research on sea duck habitats through the Sea Duck Joint Venture and the Endangered or Threatened Species programs of the United States and Canada. Nevertheless, important gaps remain in our understanding of key elements required by some species during various life stages. Many significant habitats, especially staging and wintering sites, have been and continue to be destroyed or altered by anthropogenic activities. The goal of this chapter is to develop a comprehensive summary of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats and their characteristics by considering sea duck species with similar needs as groups within the tribe Mergini. Additionally, we examine threats and changes to sea duck habitats from human-caused and natural events. Last, we evaluate conservation and management programs underway or available for maintenance and enhancement of habitats critical for sea ducks.

  8. Hellsgate Winter Range : Wildlife Mitigation Project. Preliminary Environmental Assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1995-01-01

    The Bonneville Power Administration proposes funding the Hellsgate Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project in cooperation with the Colville Convederated Tribes and Bureau of Indian Affairs. This Preliminary Environmental Assessment examines the potential environmental effects of acquiring and managing property for wildlife and wildlife habitat within a large project area. The Propose action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wild life habitat that was adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams and their reservoirs.

  9. Winters fuels report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The outlook for distillate fuel oil this winter is for increased demand and a return to normal inventory patterns, assuming a resumption of normal, cooler weather than last winter. With industrial production expected to grow slightly from last winter's pace, overall consumption is projected to increase 3 percent from last winter, to 3.4 million barrels per day during the heating season (October 1, 1995-March 31, 1996). Much of the supply win come from stock drawdowns and refinery production. Estimates for the winter are from the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) 4th Quarter 1995 Short-Tenn Energy Outlook (STEO) Mid-World Oil Price Case forecast. Inventories in place on September 30, 1995, of 132 million barrels were 9 percent below the unusually high year-earlier level. Inventories of high-sulfur distillate fuel oil, the principal type used for heating, were 13 percent lower than a year earlier. Supply problems are not anticipated because refinery production and the ready availability of imports should be adequate to meet demand. Residential heating off prices are expected to be somewhat higher than last winter's, as the effects of lower crude oil prices are offset by lower distillate inventories. Heating oil is forecast to average $0.92 per gallon, the highest price since the winter of 1992-93. Diesel fuel (including tax) is predicted to be slightly higher than last year at $1.13 per gallon. This article focuses on the winter assessment for distillate fuel oil, how well last year's STEO winter outlook compared to actual events, and expectations for the coming winter. Additional analyses include regional low-sulfur and high-sulfur distillate supply, demand, and prices, and recent trends in distillate fuel oil inventories

  10. Ski areas affect Pacific marten movement, habitat use, and density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith M. Slauson; William J. Zielinski; Michael K. Schwartz

    2017-01-01

    Alpine ski recreation is one of the most popular outdoor winter sports globally but often involves habitat modification and dense human activity, both of which can harm wildlife. We investigated the effects of ski area development and winter recreation activities on movement, occupancy, and density of Pacific martens (Martes caurina) in the Lake...

  11. Notes on winter feeding behavior and molt in Wilson's phalaropes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, J.; Howe, M.

    1975-01-01

    Wilson's Phalaropes, Steganopus tricolor, migrate in late summer from the prairie regions of North America to their wintering grounds in the highlands of Peru and the inland and coastal waters of Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina (Holmes 1939, Meyer de Schauensee 1970). Reports on these birds from their wintering habitat are few. This paper describes numbers, feeding behavior, and molt of Wilson's Phalaropes wintering in a freshwater marsh in central Argentina. Fieldwork in Argentina was conducted by the senior author. The junior author analyzed molt patterns of birds collected there and added data he collected in North Dakota in 1968 and 1969.

  12. Land Suitability Assessment for Pineapple Production in the A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    elsewhere, land .use suitability assessment in Ghana is influenced by inherent conflicts and a complex network of socio-economic ... habitat l(1r cnnscrrntinn or. flora and f'auna (Pereira and l)udstein 199>. Store and Kangas ... case studies, the overlay land suitability models have been applied incorrectly and with dubious ...

  13. Habitat constraints on the distribution of passerine residents and neotropical migrants in Latin America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, C.S.; Dowell, B.A.; Dawson, D.K.

    1994-01-01

    With continuing tropical deforestation, there is increased concern for birds that depend on forest habitats in Latin America. During the past 10 northern winters, we have conducted quantitative studies of habitat use by wintering migrant songbirds and by residents in the Greater Antilles, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Many migrants, but few residents, winter in forest fragments and in certain arboreal agricultural habitats (citrus, cacao, shade coffee). Many other agricultural habitats (sun coffee, mango, commercial banana plantations, and heavily grazed pasture) are avoided by most birds. Some species, such as thrushes and ground-feeding warblers, depend on closed-canopy forest. Some, such as Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) and Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), winter primarily in mangroves or other swamp forests. The majority of neotropical migrant passerines winter in forest fragments and certain agricultural habitats, as well as mature forest; but many resident species, especially suboscines (Furnariidae, Dendrocolaptidae, Formicariidae, Papridae), are heavily impacted by loss and fragmentation of the forest.

  14. Habitat Loss, Not Fragmentation, Drives Occurrence Patterns of Canada Lynx at the Southern Range Periphery

    OpenAIRE

    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., le...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Challenging the assumption of habitat limitation: An example from centrarchid fishes over an intermediate spatial scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutreuter, S.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat rehabilitation efforts are predicated on the frequently untested assumption that habitat is limiting to populations. These efforts are typically costly and will be ineffective if habitat is not limiting. Therefore it is important to assess, rather than assume, habitat limitation wherever habitat rehabilitation projects are considered. Catch-count data from a standardized probability-based stratified-random monitoring programme were examined for indirect evidence of backwater habitat limitation by centrarchid fishes in the Upper Mississippi River System. The monitoring design enabled fitting statistical models of the association between mean catch at the spatial scale of tens of river kilometres and the percentage of contiguous aquatic area in backwater at least 1 m deep by maximizing a stratum-area weighted negative binomial log-likelihood function. Statistical models containing effects for backwater limitation failed to account for substantial variation in the data. However, 95% confidence intervals on the backwater parameter estimates excluded zero, indicating that population abundance may be limited by backwater prevalence where backwaters are extremely scarce. The combined results indicate, at most, a weak signal of backwater limitation where backwaters are extremely scarce in the lower reaches, but not elsewhere in the Upper Mississippi River System. This suggests that habitat restoration projects designed to increase the area of backwaters suitable for winter survival of centrarchids are unlikely to produce measurable benefits over intermediate spatial scales in much of the Upper Mississippi River System, and indicates the importance of correct identification of limiting processes. Published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  17. Seasonal movements and habitat use of Potamodromous Rainbow Trout across a complex Alaska riverscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraley, Kevin M.; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Yanusz, Richard; Ivey, Sam S.

    2016-01-01

    Potamodromous Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss are an important ecological and recreational resource in freshwater ecosystems of Alaska, and increased human development, hydroelectric projects, and reduced escapement of Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha may threaten their populations. We used aerial and on-the-ground telemetry tracking, a digital landscape model, and resource selection functions to characterize seasonal movements and habitat use of 232 adult (>400 mm FL) Rainbow Trout across the complex, large (31,221 km2) Susitna River basin of south-central Alaska during 2003–2004 and 2013–2014. We found that fish overwintered in main-stem habitats near tributary mouths from November to April. After ice-out in May, fish ascended tributaries up to 51 km to spawn and afterward moved downstream to lower tributary reaches, assumedly to intercept egg and flesh subsidies provided by spawning salmonids in July and August. Fish transitioned back to main-stem overwintering habitats at the onset of autumn when salmonid spawning waned. Fidelity to tributaries where fish were initially tagged varied across seasons but was high (>0.75) in three out of four drainages. Model-averaged resource selection functions suggested that Rainbow Trout habitat use varied seasonally; fish selected low-gradient, sinuous, main-stem stream reaches in the winter, reaches with suitably sized substrate during spawning, larger reaches during the feeding season prior to the arrival of spawning salmonids, and reaches with high Chinook Salmon spawning habitat potential following the arrival of adult fish. We found little difference in movement patterns between males and females among a subset of fish for which sex was determined using genetic analysis. As most Rainbow Trout undertake extensive movements within and among tributaries and make use of a variety of seasonal habitats to complete their life histories, it will be critical to take a basinwide approach to their management (i

  18. Natal Dispersal in the North Island Robin (Petroica longipes: the Importance of Connectivity in Fragmented Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Askia K. Wittern

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Natal dispersal is an important component in bird population dynamics and can influence the persistence of local and metapopulations. We examined natal dispersal in the North Island robin (Petroica longipes, a sedentary bird species distributed in a fragmented forest habitat on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand. Earlier studies have shown that the only dispersal phase in this species takes place when juveniles leave their natal patch, and that juveniles who fail to find suitable habitat do not survive their first winter. These findings suggest that natal dispersal behavior in this species is important for population viability. We found that juveniles were highly affected by the fragmentation of the forest habitat, with patch occupancy being positively correlated with degree of connectivity of the landscape. Most juvenile movements (52.1% were observed between patches that were separated by less than 20 m. Juvenile North Island robins were found in all forest habitat types, including young and open stands. This suggests that the juveniles are not dependent on old forest stands during their dispersal phase. Based on these findings, we suggest that management of this regionally-threatened species should focus not only on maintaining populations in occupied patches and increasing the habitat quality of these patches, but also on protecting existing forest patches acting as corridors and creating new forest habitat among patches. This would greatly increase the viability of the species' metapopulations by increasing dispersal success between both unoccupied patches and subpopulations. Additionally, increased connectivity between forest patches could also be expected to increase the probability of successful dispersal of other threatened native species, many of which are also sensitive to the high degree of fragmentation of their habitats.

  19. Summer and winter space use and home range characteristics of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tricia A.; Brooks, Robert P.; Lanzone, Michael J.; Cooper, Jeff; O'Malley, Kieran; Brandes, David; Duerr, Adam E.; Katzner, Todd

    2017-01-01

    Movement behavior and its relationship to habitat provide critical information toward understanding the effects of changing environments on birds. The eastern North American population of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) is a genetically distinct and small population of conservation concern. To evaluate the potential responses of this population to changing landscapes, we calculated the home range and core area sizes of 52 eagles of 6 age–sex classes during the summer and winter seasons. Variability in range size was related to variation in topography and open cover, and to age and sex. In summer, eagle ranges that were smaller had higher proportions of ridge tops and open cover and had greater topographic roughness than did larger ranges. In winter, smaller ranges had higher proportions of ridge tops, hillsides and cliffs, and open cover than did larger ranges. All age and sex classes responded similarly to topography and open cover in both seasons. Not surprisingly, adult eagles occupied the smallest ranges in both seasons. Young birds used larger ranges than adults, and subadults in summer used the largest ranges (>9,000 km2). Eastern adult home ranges in summer were 2–10 times larger than those reported for other populations in any season. Golden Eagles in eastern North America may need to compensate for generally lower-quality habitat in the region by using larger ranges that support access to adequate quantities of resources (prey, updrafts, and nesting, perching, and roosting sites) associated with open cover and diverse topography. Our results suggest that climate change–induced afforestation on the breeding grounds and ongoing land cover change from timber harvest and energy development on the wintering grounds may affect the amount of suitable habitat for Golden Eagles in eastern North America.

  20. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Deep Space Habitat Concept Demonstrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookout, Paul S.; Smitherman, David

    2015-01-01

    This project will develop, integrate, test, and evaluate Habitation Systems that will be utilized as technology testbeds and will advance NASA's understanding of alternative deep space mission architectures, requirements, and operations concepts. Rapid prototyping and existing hardware will be utilized to develop full-scale habitat demonstrators. FY 2014 focused on the development of a large volume Space Launch System (SLS) class habitat (Skylab Gen 2) based on the SLS hydrogen tank components. Similar to the original Skylab, a tank section of the SLS rocket can be outfitted with a deep space habitat configuration and launched as a payload on an SLS rocket. This concept can be used to support extended stay at the Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit to support the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and provide a habitat suitable for human missions to Mars.

  2. Wintering Map for Honey Bee Colonies in El-Behera Governorate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Wintering Map for Honey Bee Colonies in El-Behera Governorate, Egypt by using Geographical Information System (GIS) ... between the suitable regions and the unsuitable regions. The described model in the present research can be applied elsewhere for the successful identification of suitable wintering regions.

  3. Baseline Suitability Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-18

    recreation organizations that receive funding through profits earned by the organization). An applicant can be deemed suitable for federal...of previous bad conduct, such as driving while intoxicated, possessing or using marijuana , or experiencing indebtedness, do not automatically

  4. Employment and winter construction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ernst Jan de Place; Larsen, Jacob Norvig

    2011-01-01

    Reduced seasonal building activity in the construction sector is often assumed to be related to hard winter conditions for building activities and poor working conditions for construction workers, resulting in higher costs and poor quality of building products, particularly in the northern...... hemisphere. Can climatic conditions alone explain the sizeable difference in reduction in building activity in the construction sector in European countries in the winter months, or are other factors such as technology, economic cycles and schemes for financial compensation influential as well? What...... possibilities exist for reducing seasonal variation in employment? In addition to a literature review related to winter construction, European and national employment and meteorological data were studied. Finally, ministerial acts, ministerial orders or other public policy documents related to winter...

  5. Winter Bottom Trawl Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The standardized NEFSC Winter Bottom Trawl Survey was initiated in 1992 and covered offshore areas from the Mid-Atlantic to Georges Bank. Inshore strata were covered...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongkyun Im

    2011-12-01

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

  7. Off-host survival and reproductive success of adult female winter ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Winter tick is an important pest of moose which affects the physical and physiological well-being of moose. All moose in Alberta become infested with winter ticks every year and suffer morbidity and mortality from the infestation. The ticks are acquired in autumn in the habitats of EINP during search for food and other ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

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

  9. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Gass, Leila

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the methods used to derive various elevation-derivative grids that were inputted to the Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat model (L. Gass and others, unpub. data). These grids, which capture information on surface roughness and topographic characteristics, are a subset of the environmental datasets evaluated for the tortoise habitat model. This habitat model is of major importance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with management of this threatened population, including relocating displaced tortoises to areas identified as suitable habitat.

  10. Conservation Objectives for Wintering and Breeding Waterbirds in California’s Central Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. David Shuford

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/5tp5m718Birds associated with wetlands have declined historically across North America from extensive habitat loss and degradation. Among the regions most affected is California’s Central Valley, where over 90% of the wetland base has been lost. Still, this region remains of continental importance to waterbirds. On-the-ground conservation efforts for all bird groups are the focus of the Central Valley Joint Venture, guided by a periodically updated implementation plan. To track progress toward goal attainment, that plan sets time-bound, quantitative conservation goals. Lacking robust data on the size and trends of populations of most species of waterbirds in the Central Valley, we set conservation goals for this group by selecting 10 focal species. These species are of heightened conservation concern or are otherwise representative of the habitat needs of Central Valley waterbirds. Given the great loss of historical habitat, we assumed focal species populations have declined by ≥ 50%. Hence, we defined population objectives for most focal species as increasing their current populations by 10% over 10 years and doubling them in 100 years. The corresponding habitat objectives are to increase wetlands or enhance suitable crops for waterbirds in proportion to the population objectives. These include an increase over 10 years of 7,948 ha (19,641 acres of winter seasonal wetlands, 921 ha (2,276 acres each of semi-permanent and summer seasonal wetlands, and 573 ha (1,416 acres of strategically placed riparian forest. Agricultural needs include additional winter flooding of 15,160 ha (37,461 acres of rice and 2,137 ha (5,281 acres of corn. We distributed the habitat objectives across five planning regions, in some cases favoring proportionally larger increases in those regions with the greatest need. To maximize success, however, conservationists must take into account the specific needs of individual waterbird

  11. [Effects of different forest management alternatives on Sciurus vulgaris habitat].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Long-Ru; He, Hong-Shi; Zong, Cheng; Zhou, Yu-Fei; Bu, Ren-Cang

    2008-05-01

    A spatially explicit landscape model LANDIS was applied to simulate the forest landscape changes under four management alternatives (no cutting, clear cutting, selective cutting I and II) in Youhao Forestry Bureau located in Small Xing' an Mountain from 2000 to 2200. The outcomes from LANDIS were combined with a landscape-level habitat suitability index (HSI) model in a GIS environment to assess Sciurus vulgaris habitat quality. The results showed that the increase of suitable habitat area and the decrease of marginally suitable area were the fastest under no cutting scenario, and the slowest under clear cutting scenario. Suitable habitat area increased faster while marginally suitable area decreased more slowly under selective cutting I scenario than under selective cutting II. Overall, the optimal management alternative of S. vulgaris habitat was in the sequence of no cutting, selective cutting I, selective cutting II, and clear cutting.

  12. The nuclear winter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velikhow, Y.P.

    1986-01-01

    Nuclear winter is an example of possible secondary effects, and if we speak of secondary we are thinking of small-scale second-order effects, but a nuclear winter is not a second-order effect. If you calculate the amount of heat produced by a nuclear explosion, it is a very small amount which does not have any chance of changing the Earth's climate, but a nuclear explosion drives or stars some new mechanism - the mechanism of nuclear winter - after 100 megatons of dust are transferred to the upper atmosphere. Another example of such amplification is radioactive fall-out, especially long-life radioactive fall-out after the possible elimination of the nuclear power industry, nuclear storage and distribution of storage waste around the globe. This is a very powerful amplification mechanism

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Cold truths: how winter drives responses of terrestrial organisms to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Caroline M; Henry, Hugh A L; Sinclair, Brent J

    2015-02-01

    Winter is a key driver of individual performance, community composition, and ecological interactions in terrestrial habitats. Although climate change research tends to focus on performance in the growing season, climate change is also modifying winter conditions rapidly. Changes to winter temperatures, the variability of winter conditions, and winter snow cover can interact to induce cold injury, alter energy and water balance, advance or retard phenology, and modify community interactions. Species vary in their susceptibility to these winter drivers, hampering efforts to predict biological responses to climate change. Existing frameworks for predicting the impacts of climate change do not incorporate the complexity of organismal responses to winter. Here, we synthesise organismal responses to winter climate change, and use this synthesis to build a framework to predict exposure and sensitivity to negative impacts. This framework can be used to estimate the vulnerability of species to winter climate change. We describe the importance of relationships between winter conditions and performance during the growing season in determining fitness, and demonstrate how summer and winter processes are linked. Incorporating winter into current models will require concerted effort from theoreticians and empiricists, and the expansion of current growing-season studies to incorporate winter. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  16. 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.

  17. The global distribution of deep-water Antipatharia habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesson, Chris; Bedford, Faye; Rogers, Alex D.; Taylor, Michelle L.

    2017-11-01

    Antipatharia are a diverse group of corals with many species found in deep water. Many Antipatharia are habitat for associates, have extreme longevity and some species can occur beyond 8500 m depth. As they are major constituents of'coral gardens', which are Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), knowledge of their distribution and environmental requirements is an important pre-requisite for informed conservation planning particularly where the expense and difficulty of deep-sea sampling prohibits comprehensive surveys. This study uses a global database of Antipatharia distribution data to perform habitat suitability modelling using the Maxent methodology to estimate the global extent of black coral habitat suitability. The model of habitat suitability is driven by temperature but there is notable influence from other variables of topography, surface productivity and oxygen levels. This model can be used to predict areas of suitable habitat, which can be useful for conservation planning. The global distribution of Antipatharia habitat suitability shows a marked contrast with the distribution of specimen observations, indicating that many potentially suitable areas have not been sampled, and that sampling effort has been disproportionate to shallow, accessible areas inside marine protected areas (MPAs). Although 25% of Antipatharia observations are located in MPAs, only 7-8% of predicted suitable habitat is protected, which is short of the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of ocean habitats by 2020.

  18. Blue Creek Winter Range : Wildlife Mitigation Project : Final Environmental Assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration; United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs; Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation, Washington

    1994-11-01

    Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to fund that portion of the Washington Wildlife Agreement pertaining to the Blue Creek Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project (Project) in a cooperative effort with the Spokane Tribe, Upper Columbia United Tribes, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). If fully implemented, the proposed action would allow the sponsors to protect and enhance 2,631 habitat units of big game winter range and riparian shrub habitat on 2,185 hectares (5,400 acres) of Spokane Tribal trust lands, and to conduct long term wildlife management activities within the Spokane Indian Reservation project area. This Final Environmental Assessment (EA) examines the potential environmental effects of securing land and conducting wildlife habitat enhancement and long term management activities within the boundaries of the Spokane Indian Reservation. Four proposed activities (habitat protection, habitat enhancement, operation and maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation) are analyzed. The proposed action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wildlife habitat adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee Dam and its reservoir.

  19. Blue Creek Winter Range: Wildlife Mitigation Project. Final environmental assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-11-01

    Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to fund that portion of the Washington Wildlife Agreement pertaining to the Blue Creek Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project (Project) in a cooperative effort with the Spokane Tribe, Upper Columbia United Tribes, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). If fully implemented, the proposed action would allow the sponsors to protect and enhance 2,631 habitat units of big game winter range and riparian shrub habitat on 2,185 hectares (5,400 acres) of Spokane Tribal trust lands, and to conduct long term wildlife management activities within the Spokane Indian Reservation project area. This Final Environmental Assessment (EA) examines the potential environmental effects of securing land and conducting wildlife habitat enhancement and long term management activities within the boundaries of the Spokane Indian Reservation. Four proposed activities (habitat protection, habitat enhancement, operation and maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation) are analyzed. The proposed action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wildlife habitat adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee Dam and its reservoir

  20. Titan's Emergence from Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. Michael; Achterberg, Richard; Jennings, Donald; Schinder, Paul

    2011-01-01

    We summarize the changes in Titans thermal structure derived from Cassini CIRS and radio-occultation data during the transition from winter to early spring. Titan's surface, and middle atmosphere show noticeable seasonal change, whereas that in most of the troposphere is mated. This can be understood in terms of the relatively small radiative relaxation time in the middle atmosphere and much larger time scale in the troposphere. The surface exhibits seasonal change because the heat capacity in an annual skin depth is much smaller than that in the lowest scale height of the troposphere. Surface temperatures rise 1 K at raid and high latitudes in the winter northern hemisphere and cool in the southern hemisphere. Changes in in the middle atmosphere are more complicated. Temperatures in the middle stratosphere (approximately 1 mbar) increase by a few kelvin at mid northern latitudes, but those at high latitudes first increase as that region moves out of winter shadow, and then decrease. This probably results from the combined effect of increased solar heating as the suit moves higher in the sky and the decreased adiabatic warming as the sinking motions associated with the cross-equatorial meridional cell weaken. Consistent with this interpretation, the warm temperatures observed higher up at the winter polar stratopause cool significantly.

  1. Use of geolocators reveals previously unknown Chinese and Korean scaly-sided merganser wintering sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soloveyva, Diana; Afanasiev, Vsevolod; Fox, James W.

    2012-01-01

    on freshwater habitats throughout mainland China, straddling an area 830 km E−W and 1100 km N−S. Most wintered in discrete mountainous areas with extensive timber cover, large rivers and low human population density. Three birds tracked in more than one season returned to within 25−150 km of previous wintering...... and recaptured on nests along a 40-km stretch of the Kievka River. Mean positions for brood-rearing females during the summer were on average within 61.9 km of the nest site, suggesting reasonable device accuracy for subsequent location of winter quarters. Geolocation data showed that most birds wintered...... areas in successive years, suggesting winter fidelity to catchments if not specific sites. A single female from the adjacent Avvakumovka catchment wintered on saltwater in Korea, at least 1300 km east of Chinese wintering birds. Most sea duck species (Tribe Mergini) form pairs away from breeding areas...

  2. Use of seeded exotic grasslands by wintering birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Andrew D.; O'Connell, Timothy J.; Hickman, Karen R.; Leslie,, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Despite widespread population declines of North American grassland birds, effects of anthropogenic disturbance of wintering habitat of this guild remain poorly understood. We compared avian abundance and habitat structure in fields planted by the exotic grass Old World bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum; OWB) to that in native mixed-grass prairie. During winters of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, we conducted bird and vegetation surveys in six native grass and six OWB fields in Garfield, Grant, and Alfalfa counties, Oklahoma. We recorded 24 species of wintering birds in native fields and 14 species in OWB monocultures. While vegetation structure was similar between field types, abundance of short-eared owls (Asio flammeus), northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) and Smith's longspurs (Calcarius pictus) was higher in OWB fields during at least one year. The use of OWB fields by multiple species occupying different trophic positions suggested that vegetation structure of OWB can meet habitat requirements of some wintering birds, but there is insufficient evidence to determine if it provides superior conditions to native grasses.

  3. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    The introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is providing member state water resource managers with significant challenges in relation to meeting the deadline for 'Good Ecological Status' by 2015. Overall, instream physical habitat modelling approaches have advantages...... and disadvantages as management tools for member states in relation to the requirements of the WFD, but due to their different model structures they are distinct in their data needs, transferability, user-friendliness and presentable outputs. Water resource managers need information on what approaches will best...... management tools, but require large amounts of data and the model structure is complex. It is concluded that the use of habitat suitability indices (HSIs) and fuzzy rules in hydraulic-habitat modelling are the most ready model types to satisfy WFD demands. These models are well documented, transferable, user...

  4. Using High Resolution Remotely Sensed Data to Predict Territory Occupancy and Mircrorefugia for a Habitat Specialist, the American Pika (Ochotona princeps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beers, A.; Ray, C.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is likely to affect mountainous areas unevenly due to the complex interactions between topography, vegetation, and the accumulation of snow and ice. This heterogeneity will complicate relationships between species presence and large-scale drivers such as precipitation and make predicting habitat extent and connectivity much more difficult. We studied the potential for fine-scale variation in climate and habitat use throughout the year in the American pika (Ochotona princeps), a talus specialist of mountainous western North America known for strong microhabitat affiliation. Not all areas of talus are likely to be equally hospitable, which may reduce connectivity more than predicted by large-scale occupancy drivers. We used high resolution remotely sensed data to create metrics of the terrain and land cover in the Niwot Ridge (NWT) LTER site in Colorado. We hypothesized that pikas preferentially use heterogeneous terrain, as it might foster greater snow accumulation, and used radio telemetry to test this with radio-collared pikas. Pikas use heterogeneous terrain during snow covered periods and less heterogeneous area during the summer. This suggests that not all areas of talus habitat are equally suitable as shelter from extreme conditions but that pikas need more than just shelter from winter cold. With those results we created a predictive map using the same habitat metrics to model the extent of suitable habitat across the NWT area. These strong effects of terrain on pika habitat use and territory occupancy show the great utility that high resolution remotely sensed data can have in ecological applications. With increasing effects of climate change in mountainous regions, this modeling approach is crucial for quantifying habitat connectivity at both small and large scales and to identify potential refugia for threatened or isolated species.

  5. Niche suitability affects development: skull asymmetry increases in less suitable areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Maestri

    Full Text Available For conservation purposes, it is important to take into account the suitability of a species to particular habitats; this information may predict the long-term survival of a species. In this sense, morphological measures of developmental stress, such as fluctuating asymmetry, can be proxies for an individual's performance in different regions. In this study, we conducted tests to determine whether areas with different levels of suitability for a species (generated by ecological niche models were congruent with morphological markers that reflect environmental stress and morphological variance. We generated a Maxent niche model and compared the suitability assessments of several areas with the skull morphology data (fluctuating asymmetry and morphological disparity of populations of the Atlantic forest endemic to Brazil rodent Akodon cursor. Our analyses showed a significant negative relationship between suitability levels and fluctuating asymmetry levels, which indicates that in less suitable areas, the individuals experience numerous disturbances during skull ontogeny. We have not found an association between morphological variance and environmental suitability. As expected, these results suggest that in environments with a lower suitability, developmental stress is increased. Such information is helpful in the understanding of the species evolution and in the selection of priority areas for the conservation of species.

  6. Climate and suitable clothing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamas, R

    2010-10-01

    Climate may be described as refined weather The meteorologist notes the day-to-day variations of the weather components, extracts the principal frequencies which then describe the seasons, and once the average values have been derived over long periods of time, there emerges the concept of climate. Advances in preventive and curative medicine are such that man is left virtually with only his two oldest enemies to combat: his fellow men and the environment and he will be able to give better attention to the former if the latter is neutralised by the supply of suitable clothing designed to keep him comfortable.

  7. Habitat selection of Rocky Mountain elk in a nonforested environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, H.; Nielson, R.M.; Lindzey, F.G.; Keith, L.; Powell, J.H.; Abraham, A.A.

    2007-01-01

    Recent expansions by Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) into nonforested habitats across the Intermountain West have required managers to reconsider the traditional paradigms of forage and cover as they relate to managing elk and their habitats. We examined seasonal habitat selection patterns of a hunted elk population in a nonforested high-desert region of southwestern Wyoming, USA. We used 35,246 global positioning system locations collected from 33 adult female elk to model probability of use as a function of 6 habitat variables: slope, aspect, elevation, habitat diversity, distance to shrub cover, and distance to road. We developed resource selection probability functions for individual elk, and then we averaged the coefficients to estimate population-level models for summer and winter periods. We used the population-level models to generate predictive maps by assigning pixels across the study area to 1 of 4 use categories (i.e., high, medium-high, medium-low, or low), based on quartiles of the predictions. Model coefficients and predictive maps indicated that elk selected for summer habitats characterized by higher elevations in areas of high vegetative diversity, close to shrub cover, northerly aspects, moderate slopes, and away from roads. Winter habitat selection patterns were similar, except elk shifted to areas with lower elevations and southerly aspects. We validated predictive maps by using 528 locations collected from an independent sample of radiomarked elk (n = 55) and calculating the proportion of locations that occurred in each of the 4 use categories. Together, the high- and medium-high use categories of the summer and winter predictive maps contained 92% and 74% of summer and winter elk locations, respectively. Our population-level models and associated predictive maps were successful in predicting winter and summer habitat use by elk in a nonforested environment. In the absence of forest cover, elk seemed to rely on a combination of shrubs

  8. Editorial - The winter Atomiades

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2011-01-01

    As we wrote in our previous editorial, the Staff Association gives direct support to sports events, such as the Atomiades, a section of the Association of Sports Communities of European Research Institutes, which brings together sportsmen and women from 38 European research centres in 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Russia, and Switzerland). The summer Atomiades take place between the months of June and September every three years. Thirteen such events have taken place since 1973, the last one in June 2009 in Berlin. As far as the winter Atomiades are concerned, also organized every three years, and alternating with the summer Atomiades, there have been eleven since 1981, the last one at the end of January this year in neighbouring France. The following article tells the wonderful adventure of the CERN staff who took part in this event. A positive outcome for CERN skiers at the winter Atomiades The 11t...

  9. Spatial habitat for eel larva at Cimandiri estuary, West Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takarina, N. D.; Supriatna

    2017-07-01

    The estuarine ecosystem is known as suitable breeding sites for fishes because this particular habitat is receiving continuous organic matters from river ways and constant sunlight due to its depth that allows sunlight penetration. Cimandiri estuary is one of the estuaries located in the south of Java Island close to the Indian Ocean and known as a suitable habitat for eel larva that routinely collected by local people. Eel habitat has a relationship with the dynamic of space. This dynamic influenced by season, water flow, tide, bathymetry, salinity and dissolved oxygen (DO). The geographic information system is an approach in studying habitat dynamic, through modeling. Furthermore, the spatial model for eel larva habitat is required for land use planning that aimed to achieve sustainable eels larva rearing and conserve estuarine habitat as well. The aim of this research was to investigate dynamics on spatial habitat of eel larva at Cimandiri estuary, West Java.

  10. How climate, migration ability and habitat fragmentation affect the projected future distribution of European beech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltré, Frédérik; Duputié, Anne; Gaucherel, Cédric; Chuine, Isabelle

    2015-02-01

    Recent efforts to incorporate migration processes into species distribution models (SDMs) are allowing assessments of whether species are likely to be able to track their future climate optimum and the possible causes of failing to do so. Here, we projected the range shift of European beech over the 21st century using a process-based SDM coupled to a phenomenological migration model accounting for population dynamics, according to two climate change scenarios and one land use change scenario. Our model predicts that the climatically suitable habitat for European beech will shift north-eastward and upward mainly because (i) higher temperature and precipitation, at the northern range margins, will increase survival and fruit maturation success, while (ii) lower precipitations and higher winter temperature, at the southern range margins, will increase drought mortality and prevent bud dormancy breaking. Beech colonization rate of newly climatically suitable habitats in 2100 is projected to be very low (1-2% of the newly suitable habitats colonised). Unexpectedly, the projected realized contraction rate was higher than the projected potential contraction rate. As a result, the realized distribution of beech is projected to strongly contract by 2100 (by 36-61%) mainly due to a substantial increase in climate variability after 2050, which generates local extinctions, even at the core of the distribution, the frequency of which prevents beech recolonization during more favourable years. Although European beech will be able to persist in some parts of the trailing edge of its distribution, the combined effects of climate and land use changes, limited migration ability, and a slow life-history are likely to increase its threat status in the near future. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Winter is losing its cool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, S.

    2017-12-01

    Winter seasons have significant societal impacts across all sectors ranging from direct human health to ecosystems, transportation, and recreation. This study quantifies the severity of winter and its spatial-temporal variations using a newly developed winter severity index and daily temperature, snowfall and snow depth. The winter severity and the number of extreme winter days are decreasing across the global terrestrial areas during 1901-2015 except the southeast United States and isolated regions in the Southern Hemisphere. These changes are dominated by winter warming, while the changes in daily snowfall and snow depth played a secondary role. The simulations of multiple CMIP5 climate models can well capture the spatial and temporal variations of the observed changes in winter severity and extremes during 1951-2005. The models are consistent in projecting a future milder winter under various scenarios. The winter severity is projected to decrease 60-80% in the middle-latitude Northern Hemisphere under the business-as-usual scenario. The winter arrives later, ends earlier and the length of winter season will be notably shorter. The changes in harsh winter in the polar regions are weak, mainly because the warming leads to more snowfall in the high latitudes.

  12. Louisiana ESI: HABITATS (Habitat and Plant Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for coastal habitats in Louisiana. Vector polygons represent various habitats, including marsh types, other...

  13. The effects of habitat, climate, and Barred Owls on long-term demography of Northern Spotted Owls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugger, Catherine; Forsman, Eric D.; Franklin, Alan B.; Davis, Raymond J.; White, Gary C.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Nichols, James D.; Hines, James E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Doherty, Paul F.; Bailey, Larissa; Clark, Darren A.; Ackers, Steven H.; Andrews, Lawrence S.; Augustine, Benjamin; Biswell, Brian L.; Blakesley, Jennifer; Carlson, Peter C.; Clement, Matthew J.; Diller, Lowell V.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Green, Adam; Gremel, Scott A.; Herter, Dale R.; Higley, J. Mark; Hobson, Jeremy; Horn, Rob B.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; McCafferty, Christopher; McDonald, Trent; McDonnell, Kevin; Olson, Gail S.; Reid, Janice A.; Rockweit, Jeremy; Ruiz, Viviana; Saenz, Jessica; Sovern, Stan G.

    2016-01-01

    Estimates of species' vital rates and an understanding of the factors affecting those parameters over time and space can provide crucial information for management and conservation. We used mark–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected during 1985–2013 to evaluate population processes of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in 11 study areas in Washington, Oregon, and northern California, USA. We estimated apparent survival, fecundity, recruitment, rate of population change, and local extinction and colonization rates, and investigated relationships between these parameters and the amount of suitable habitat, local and regional variation in meteorological conditions, and competition with Barred Owls (Strix varia). Data were analyzed for each area separately and in a meta-analysis of all areas combined, following a strict protocol for data collection, preparation, and analysis. We used mixed effects linear models for analyses of fecundity, Cormack-Jolly-Seber open population models for analyses of apparent annual survival (ϕ), and a reparameterization of the Jolly-Seber capture–recapture model (i.e. reverse Jolly-Seber; RJS) to estimate annual rates of population change (λRJS) and recruitment. We also modeled territory occupancy dynamics of Northern Spotted Owls and Barred Owls in each study area using 2-species occupancy models. Estimated mean annual rates of population change (λ) suggested that Spotted Owl populations declined from 1.2% to 8.4% per year depending on the study area. The weighted mean estimate of λ for all study areas was 0.962 (± 0.019 SE; 95% CI: 0.925–0.999), indicating an estimated range-wide decline of 3.8% per year from 1985 to 2013. Variation in recruitment rates across the range of the Spotted Owl was best explained by an interaction between total winter precipitation and mean minimum winter temperature. Thus, recruitment rates were highest when both total precipitation (29 cm) and

  14. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Luis Passos Cordeiro

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The development of species distribution models (SDMs can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19% of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.

  15. Responses of Winter Wheat Yield and Water Use Efficiency to Irrigation Frequency and Planting Pattern

    OpenAIRE

    Bian, Chengyue; Ma, Changjian; Liu, Xinhui; Gao, Chao; Liu, Quanru; Yan, Zhenxing; Ren, Yujie; Li, Quanqi

    2016-01-01

    A suitable planting pattern and irrigation strategy are essential for optimizing winter wheat yield and water use efficiency (WUE). The study aimed to evaluate the impact of planting pattern and irrigation frequency on grain yield and WUE of winter wheat. During the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 winter wheat growing seasons in the North China Plain, the effects of planting patterns and irrigation frequencies were determined on tiller number, grain yield, and WUE. The two planting patterns tested we...

  16. A winter distribution model for Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a conservation tool for a threatened migratory songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. P. McFarland; C. C. Rimmer; J. E. Goetz; Y. Aubry; J. M. Wunderle Jr.; A. Hayes-Sutton; J. M. Townsend; A. Llanes Sosa; A. Kirkconnell

    2013-01-01

    Conservation planning and implementation require identifying pertinent habitats and locations where protection and management may improve viability of targeted species. The winter range of Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a threatened Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, is restricted to the Greater Antilles. We analyzed winter records from the mid-1970s to...

  17. Decontamination and winter conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quenild, C.; Tveten, U.

    1984-12-01

    The report deals with two decontamonation experiments under winter conditions. A snow-covered parking lot was contaminated, and the snow was subsequently removed using standard snow-moving equipment. The snow left behind was collected and the content of contaminant was determined. A non-radioactive contaminant was used. A decontamination factor exceeding 100 was obtained. Although the eksperimental conditions were close to ideal, it is reason to believe that extremely efficient removal of deposited materials on a snow surface is achivable. In another investigation, run-off from agricultural surface, contaminated while covered with snow, was measured A lycimeter was used in this experiment. A stable layer of ice and snow was allowed to form before contamination. The run-off water was collected at each thaw period until all snow and ice was gone. Cs-134 was used as contaminant. Roughly 30% of the Cs-134 with which the area was contaminated ran off with the melt water. Following a reactor accident situation, this would have given a corresponding reduction in the long term doses. Both of these experiments show that consequence calculation assumptions, as they are currently applied to large accident assessment, tend to overestimate the consequences resulting from accidents taking place under winter conditions

  18. Winter School Les Houches

    CERN Document Server

    Lannoo, Michel; Bastard, Gérald; Voos, Michel; Boccara, Nino

    1986-01-01

    The Winter School held in Les Houches on March 12-21, 1985 was devoted to Semiconductor Heterojunctions and Superlattices, a topic which is recognized as being now one of the most interesting and active fields in semiconductor physics. In fact, following the pioneering work of Esaki and Tsu in 1970, the study of these two-dimensional semiconductor heterostructures has developed rapidly, both from the point of view of basic physics and of applications. For instance, modulation-doped heterojunctions are nowadays currently used to investigate the quantum Hall effect and to make very fast transistors. This book contains the lectures presented at this Winter School, showing in particular that many aspects of semiconductor heterojunctions and super­ lattices were treated, extending from the fabrication of these two-dimensional systems to their basic properties and applications in micro-and opto-electron­ ics. Among the subjects which were covered, one can quote as examples: molecular beam epitaxy and metallorgani...

  19. Experimental log hauling through a traditional caribou wintering area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold G. Cumming

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available A 3-year field experiment (fall 1990-spring 1993 showed that woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou altered their dispersion when logs were hauled through their traditional wintering area. Unlike observations in control years 1 and 3, radio-collared caribou that had returned to the study area before the road was plowed on January 6 of the experimental year 2, moved away 8-60 km after logging activities began. Seasonal migration to Lake Nipigon islands usually peaked in April, but by February 22 of year 2, 4 of the 6 had returned. The islands provide summer refuge from predation, but not when the lake is frozen. Tracks in snow showed that some caribou remained but changed locations. They used areas near the road preferentially in year 1, early year 2, and year 3, but moved away 2-5 km after the road was plowed in year 2. In a nearby undisturbed control area, no such changes occurred. Caribou and moose partitioned habitat on a small scale; tracks showed gray wolf (Canis lupus remote from caribou but close to moose tracks. No predation on caribou was observed within the wintering area; 2 kills were found outside it. Due to the possibility of displacing caribou from winter refugia to places with higher predation risk, log hauling through important caribou winter habitat should be minimized.

  20. 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. © 2015 The Authors

  1. Trends and habitat associations of waterbirds using the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Smith, Lacy M.; Moskal, Stacy M.; Strong, Cheryl; Krause, John; Wang, Yiwei; Takekawa, John Y.

    2018-04-02

    Executive SummaryThe aim of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (hereinafter “Project”) is to restore 50–90 percent of former salt evaporation ponds to tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay (SFB). However, hundreds of thousands of waterbirds use these ponds over winter and during fall and spring migration. To ensure that existing waterbird populations are supported while tidal marsh is restored in the Project area, managers plan to enhance the habitat suitability of ponds by adding islands and berms to change pond topography, manipulating water salinity and depth, and selecting appropriate ponds to maintain for birds. To help inform these actions, we used 13 years of monthly (October–April) bird abundance data from Project ponds to (1) assess trends in waterbird abundance since the inception of the Project, and (2) evaluate which pond habitat characteristics were associated with highest abundances of different avian guilds and species. For comparison, we also evaluated waterbird abundance trends in active salt production ponds using 10 years of monthly survey data.We assessed bird guild and species abundance trends through time, and created separate trend curves for Project and salt production ponds using data from every pond that was counted in a year. We divided abundance data into three seasons—fall (October–November), winter (December–February), and spring (March–April). We used the resulting curves to assess which periods had the highest bird abundance and to identify increasing or decreasing trends for each guild and species.

  2. An NOy Algorithm for Arctic Winter 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewenstein, M.; Jost, H.; Greenblatt, J. B.; Podolske, J. R.; Gao, R. S.; Popp, P. J.; Toon, G. C.; Webster, C. R.; Herman, R. L.; Hurst, D. F.; hide

    2000-01-01

    NOy, total reactive nitrogen, and the long-lived tracer N2O, nitrous oxide, were measured by both in situ and remote sensing instruments during the Arctic winter 1999-2000 SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment (SOLVE). The correlation function NOy:N2O observed before the winter Arctic vortex forms, which is known as NOy(sup), is an important reference relationship for conditions in the evolving vortex. NOy(sup) can, with suitable care, be used to quantify vortex denitrification by sedimentation of polar stratospheric cloud particles when NOy data is taken throughout the winter. Observed NOy values less than the reference value can be interpreted in terms of semi-permanent removal of active nitrogen by condensation and sedimentation processes. In this paper we present a segmented function representing NOy(sup) applicable over the full range of altitudes sampled during SOLVE. We also assess the range of application of this function and some of its limitations.

  3. 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.

  4. Measurements for winter road maintenance

    OpenAIRE

    Riehm, Mats

    2012-01-01

    Winter road maintenance activities are crucial for maintaining the accessibility and traffic safety of the road network at northerly latitudes during winter. Common winter road maintenance activities include snow ploughing and the use of anti-icing agents (e.g. road salt, NaCl). Since the local weather is decisive in creating an increased risk of slippery conditions, understanding the link between local weather and conditions at the road surface is critically important. Sensors are commonly i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Austin; Kot, Mark

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Demography and ecology of southern right whales Eubalaena australis wintering at sub-Antarctic Campbell Island, New Zealand

    OpenAIRE

    Torres, Leigh; Rayment, Will; Olavarria, Carlos; Thompson, David; Graham, Brittany; Baker, C. Scott; Patenaude, Nathalie; Bury, Sarah Jane; Boren, Laura; Parker, Graham; Carroll, Emma Louise

    2017-01-01

    Since the decimation of the southern right whale Eubalaena australis population in New Zealand by whaling, research on its recovery has focused on the wintering ground at the Auckland Islands, neglecting potentially important wintering habitat at Campbell Island. For the first time in 20 years we conducted an expedition to sub-Antarctic Campbell Island to document and describe E. australis occupying this wintering habitat. We used a variety of methods including photo-identification, genetic a...

  7. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges...

  8. Winter fuels report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-11-29

    The Winter Fuels Report is intended to provide concise, timely information to the industry, the press, policymakers, consumers, analysts, and state and local governments on the following topics: distillate fuel oil net production, imports and stocks for all PADD's and product supplied on a US level; propane net product supplied on a US level; propane net production, imports and stocks for Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) I, II, and III; natural gas supply and disposition and underground storage for the United States and consumption for all PADD's; residential and wholesale pricing data for propane and heating oil for those states participating in the joint Energy Information Administration (EIA)/State Heating Oil and Propane Program; crude oil and petroleum price comparisons for the United States and selected cities; and US total heating degree-days by city. 27 figs, 12 tabs.

  9. Winter fuels report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1995-02-17

    The Winter Fuels Report is intended to provide consise, timely information to the industry, the press, policymakers, consumers, analysts, and State and local governments on the following topics: Distillate fuel oil net production, imports and stocks on a US level and for all Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) and product supplied on a US level; Natural gas supply and disposition and underground storage for the US and consumption for all PADD`s as well as selected National average prices; Residential and wholesale pricing data for heating oil and propane for those States participating in the joint Energy Information Administration (EIA)/State Heating Oil and Propane Program; Crude oil and petroleum price comparisons for the US and selected cities; and A 6-10 Day and 30-Day outlook for temperature and precipitation and US total heating degree days by city.

  10. Winter fuels report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The Winter Fuels Report is intended to provide concise, timely information to the industry, the press, policymakers, consumers, analysts, and State and local governments on the following topics: distillate fuel oil net production, imports and stocks on a US level and for all Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) and product supplied on a US level; propane net production, imports and stocks on a US level and for PADD's I, II, and III; natural gas supply and disposition and underground storage for the US and consumption for all PADD's, as well as selected National average prices; residential and wholesale pricing data for heating oil and propane for those States participating in the joint Energy Information Administration (EIA)/State Heating Oil and Propane Program; crude oil and petroleum price comparisons for the US and selected cities; and a 6-10 day, 30-Day, and 90-Day outlook for temperature and precipitation and US total heating degree-days by city

  11. Food and oviposition preferences of Diabrotica v. virgifera in multiple-choice crop habitat situations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Toepfer

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Multiple-choice field cage experiments were used to clarify to what extent adults of one of the most destructive maize pest, the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae, use non-maize crop habitats as alternative food sources or oviposition sites in situations of non-maize/maize rotations. Between 2009 and 2012, D. v. virgifera adults were released into large walk-in gauze cages each containing different combinations of three out of ten crop habitats in southern Hungary. Maize was planted the following year, allowing the development of larvae and the emergence of adults that were then captured in small cages. Results indicate that the polyphagous nature of D. v. virgifera adults is, under field situations, not as important as often stated. The generational, i.e. annual growth rate of populations, an indicator of crop habitat quality for food and oviposition, appeared highest when the entire multiple-choice cage had been planted with maize (populations nearly doubled. When Sudan grass and Sorghum millet were combined with maize, a slight population grow was still possible. When maize was combined with any other habitat type, populations decreased from year to year, suggesting that non-maize crop habitats are suboptimal, and their role as alternative food sources under field conditions might be overestimated. As for oviposition, also maize was found to be the most attractive. Of medium proportional attractiveness for oviposition were Sorghum millet, Sudan grass, and ploughed bare soil. Harvested and grubbed winter rape with some regrowth, harvested and grubbed or not grubbed winter-wheat with regrowth, and potatoes were comparatively less attractive for oviposition, suggesting that regrowth or volunteer crops play no role for D. v. virgifera. Least suitable were harvested and grubbed peas and soybean. The presence of particular weed species had no detectable influence on oviposition, but vegetation

  12. Understanding Peripheral Bat Populations Using Maximum-Entropy Suitability Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, Paul R; Gillam, Erin H

    2016-01-01

    Individuals along the periphery of a species distribution regularly encounter more challenging environmental and climatic conditions than conspecifics near the center of the distribution. Due to these potential constraints, individuals in peripheral margins are expected to change their habitat and behavioral characteristics. Managers typically rely on species distribution maps when developing adequate management practices. However, these range maps are often too simplistic and do not provide adequate information as to what fine-scale biotic and abiotic factors are driving a species occurrence. In the last decade, habitat suitability modelling has become widely used as a substitute for simplistic distribution mapping which allows regional managers the ability to fine-tune management resources. The objectives of this study were to use maximum-entropy modeling to produce habitat suitability models for seven species that have a peripheral margin intersecting the state of North Dakota, according to current IUCN distributions, and determine the vegetative and climatic characteristics driving these models. Mistnetting resulted in the documentation of five species outside the IUCN distribution in North Dakota, indicating that current range maps for North Dakota, and potentially the northern Great Plains, are in need of update. Maximum-entropy modeling showed that temperature and not precipitation were the variables most important for model production. This fine-scale result highlights the importance of habitat suitability modelling as this information cannot be extracted from distribution maps. Our results provide baseline information needed for future research about how and why individuals residing in the peripheral margins of a species' distribution may show marked differences in habitat use as a result of urban expansion, habitat loss, and climate change compared to more centralized populations.

  13. 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,...

  14. [Characteristics of wintering in ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in forest ecosystems of the East European Plain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griuntal', S Iu

    2000-01-01

    Specific features of wintering of the ground beetles in three habitats (litter, soil, and bark of fallen trees and stumps) were comparatively studied in the forests of forest-steppe (Voronezh District) and subzone of broad-leaved-spruce forests (Moscow District). The main mass of ground beetles is concentrated in the upper 10-cm soil layer, irrespective of the type of watering (automorphous or hydromorphous soils). Wintering under the bark is a facultative feature of the most species occurring in these biocoenoses.

  15. A 20-year study of wintering common crane fluctuations using time series analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Bautista, Luis M.; Alonso López, Juan C.; Alonso López, Javier A.

    1992-01-01

    The numbers of common cranes (Grus grus) staging and wintering at Gallocanta lake, northeastern Spain, have increased throughout the period 1970-90. Consequently, we modelled the use of this area by cranes using Box-Jenkins Time Series Analysis to evaluate the influence of local food availability, duck hunting, and habitat and food conditions at other more traditional crane wintering areas in southwestern Spain on Gallocanta crane numbers. Food availability was not correlated with crane numbe...

  16. Spatially explicit modeling of annual and seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and Northeastern California—An updated decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-20

    Successful adaptive management hinges largely upon integrating new and improved sources of information as they become available. As a timely example of this tenet, we updated a management decision support tool that was previously developed for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereinafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations in Nevada and California. Specifically, recently developed spatially explicit habitat maps derived from empirical data played a key role in the conservation of this species facing listing under the Endangered Species Act. This report provides an updated process for mapping relative habitat suitability and management categories for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California (Coates and others, 2014, 2016). These updates include: (1) adding radio and GPS telemetry locations from sage-grouse monitored at multiple sites during 2014 to the original location dataset beginning in 1998; (2) integrating output from high resolution maps (1–2 m2) of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper cover as covariates in resource selection models; (3) modifying the spatial extent of the analyses to match newly available vegetation layers; (4) explicit modeling of relative habitat suitability during three seasons (spring, summer, winter) that corresponded to critical life history periods for sage-grouse (breeding, brood-rearing, over-wintering); (5) accounting for differences in habitat availability between more mesic sagebrush steppe communities in the northern part of the study area and drier Great Basin sagebrush in more southerly regions by categorizing continuous region-wide surfaces of habitat suitability index (HSI) with independent locations falling within two hydrological zones; (6) integrating the three seasonal maps into a composite map of annual relative habitat suitability; (7) deriving updated land management categories based on previously determined cut-points for intersections of habitat suitability and an updated index of sage

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank R., III Thompson

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Modeling influences on winter distribution of caribou in northwestern Alaska through use of satellite telemetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Joly

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available I hypothesize that the distribution of barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti is affected by multiple, interrelated factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, terrain and snow characteristics as well as predation pressure and habitat. To test this hypothesis, I attributed caribou locations derived from satellite telemetry over a 6 year period with terrain (elevation, slope, aspect, and ruggedness, habitat characteristics, and moose density - potentially an index of wolf predation pressure. These locations were compared to random locations, attributed using the same data layers, using logistic regression techniques to develop resource selection functions (RSFs. I found that caribou moved significantly less during mid-winter than early- or late-winter and that cows moved significantly more in April than bulls due to their earlier departure on their spring migration. Distribution was different between cows and bulls. Terrain variables were important factors but were scale-dependent. Cows avoided forested areas, highlighting the importance of tundra habitats, and selected for dwarf shrub, with relatively high lichen cover, and sedge habitat types. Bulls selected for dryas, coniferous forest and dwarf shrub habitats but against lowland sedge, upland shrub and burned tundra. Cow distribution was negatively correlated with moose density at the scale of the Seward Peninsula. My results support the hypothesis that caribou distribution during winter in northwest Alaska is affected by multiple, interrelated factors. These results may be useful for researchers to track and/or model changes in future patterns of range use over winter.

  20. Potential use of weather radar to study movements of wintering waterfowl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, Lori A.; Diehl, Robert H.; Wilson, Barry C.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Jeske, Clinton W.

    2011-01-01

    To protect and restore wintering waterfowl habitat, managers require knowledge of routine wintering waterfowl movements and habitat use. During preliminary screening of Doppler weather radar data we observed biological movements consistent with routine foraging flights of wintering waterfowl known to occur near Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Louisiana. During the winters of 2004–2005 and 2005–2006, we conducted field surveys to identify the source of the radar echoes emanating from Lacassine NWR. We compared field data to weather radar reflectivity data. Spatial and temporal patterns consistent with foraging flight movements appeared in weather radar data on all dates of field surveys. Dabbling ducks were the dominant taxa flying within the radar beam during the foraging flight period. Using linear regression, we found a positive log-linear relationship between average radar reflectivity (Z) and number of birds detected over the study area (P r2 = 0.62, n = 40). Ground observations and the statistically significant relationship between radar data and field data confirm that Doppler weather radar recorded the foraging flights of dabbling ducks. Weather radars may be effective tools for wintering waterfowl management because they provide broad-scale views of both diurnal and nocturnal movements. In addition, an extensive data archive enables the study of wintering waterfowl response to habitat loss, agricultural practices, wetland restoration, and other research questions that require multiple years of data.