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Person

Laura Brandt

Wildlife Biologist

Email: Laura_Brandt@fws.gov
Office Phone: 954 577 6343
Description of the community and its mission: Through the Science Support Partnership (SSP) Program, the U.S. Geological Survey partners with the Fish and Wildlife Service to understand and provide the critical science information required to effectively manage our nation’s resources.
Old World Climbing Fern (Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R. Br.) is an invasive plant species threatening South Florida ecosystems. In 1989 L. microphyllum was observed in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. L. microphyllum has attributes that allow it to thrive in South Florida. It produces a huge number of small spores that are easily suspended by wind and dispersed, have a high germination rate, and gametophytes have a high rate of sporophyte production. Aerial dispersal allows it to spread to suitable germination sites and its ability to self-fertilize at such high rates promotes successful colonization. The intense, abundant spore production also assists in saturating most suitable colonization...
We developed an expert opinion questionnaire to gather information regarding expert opinion regarding the importance of climate variables in determining a species geographic range (Brandt et al. 2017). The data on the Survey_Results tab represent the raw survey questions and responses. Each column in the spreadsheet (except the first four columns, described below) represents a survey question, which is written in the first cell of that column. Each survey response for that question is listed below. Some questions have multi-part answers, and are listed in multiple columns, and appended with letters (e.g., Q8A, Q8B, Q8C, etc.). The first four columns of the spreadhseet represent unique information for that survey...
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This SSP project conducted from FY2002-2006 had several parts: The optimal control model portion which was worked on by Scott Duke Sylvester for his dissertation research. A spore dispersal study conducted by Allison Snow (USGS employee based at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR) A spore germination study conducted by Erynn Call (USGS employee based at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR) A user interface for Scott's model done by Gareth Mann and Leonard Pearlstine, University of Florida. An analysis of Lygodium in the refuge from IKONOS data done by Ken Rutchey at South Florida Water Management District. The first and last projects were not funded with SSP funds, but are considered part of the project....
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We developed a modelling spatial domain, or mask, to delimit the modeling extent for each species (n=15 species), as a part of a larger project to compare climate envelope models outputs that were generated using two types of predictor variables: expert opinion and statistical method (Brandt et al. 2017). The species masks, or model domains, were defined separately for each species using a variation of the “target-group” approach (Phillips et al. 2009), where the domain was determine using convex polygons including occurrence data for at least three phylogenetically related and similar species (Watling et al. 2012). This dataset is separated into 15 zipped GeoTIFF rasters, each with its own metadata documentation....
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