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Mark T. Wiltermuth

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The U.S. Geological Survey Community for Data Integration annually funds small projects focusing on data integration for interdisciplinary research, innovative data management, and demonstration of new technologies. This report provides a summary of the 11 projects funded in fiscal year 2017, outlining their goals, activities, and outputs.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Measuring habitat and understanding habitat dynamics have become increasingly important for wildlife conservation. Using remotely-sensed data, we developed procedures to measure breeding habitat abundance for the federally listed piping plover (Charadrius melodus) at Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, USA. We also developed a model to predict habitat abundance based on past and projected water levels, vegetation colonization rates, and topography. Previous studies define plover habitat as flat areas (<10% slope) with ≤30% obstruction of bare substrate. Compared to ground-based data, remotely-sensed habitat classifications (≤30/>30% bare-substrate obstruction) were 76% correct and omission and commission errors were equal....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Modelling
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In the past 60 years, reservoirs have reshaped riverine ecosystems and transformed breeding habitats used by the threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plover). Currently, 29% of the Northern Great Plains plover population nests at reservoirs that might function as ecological traps because reservoirs have more diverse habitat features and greater dynamics in water levels than habitats historically used by breeding plovers. We examined factors influencing daily survival rates (DSR) of 346 plover nests at Lake Sakakawea (SAK; reservoir) during 2006–2009 by evaluating multiple a priori models, and we used our best model to hindcast nest success of plovers during 1985–2009. Our observed and hindcast...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Oecologia
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The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) contains ecosystems that are typified by an extensive matrix of grasslands and depressional wetlands, which provide numerous ecosystem services. Over the past 150 years the PPR has experienced numerous landscape modifications resulting in agricultural conversion of 75–99 % of native prairie uplands and drainage of 50–90 % of wetlands. There is concern over how and where conservation dollars should be spent within the PPR to protect and restore wetland basins to support waterbird populations that will be robust to a changing climate. However, while hydrological impacts of landscape modifications appear substantial, they are still poorly understood. Previous modeling efforts addressing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wetlands
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The upper Missouri River system provides nesting and foraging habitat for federally endangered least terns (Sternula antillarum; hereafter “terns”) and threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter “plovers”). These species are the subject of substantial management interest on the Missouri River for several reasons. First, ecosystem recovery is a goal for management agencies that seek to maintain or restore natural functions and native biological communities for the Missouri River system. Terns and plovers are recognized as important ecosystem components that are linked with the river’s ecological functions. Second, although both species breed beyond the Missouri River system, the Missouri River is one...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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