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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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Contaminant exposure of tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, nesting in 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs) in the Great Lakes basin was assessed from 2010 to 2014 to assist managers and regulators in their assessments of Great Lakes AOCs. Contaminant concentrations in nestlings from AOCs were compared with those in nestlings from nearby non-AOC sites. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether concentrations in tree swallow nestling carcasses at 30% and 33% of AOCs, respectively, were below the mean concentration for non-AOCs. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in nestling stomach contents and perfluorinated compound concentrations in nestling plasma at 67% and 64% of AOCs, respectively,...
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The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a methodology to assess the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife; it is a probabilistic, quantitative assessment methodology that can communicate to decision makers and the public the magnitude of these effects on species populations. The methodology is currently applicable to birds and bats, focuses primarily on the effects of collisions, and can be applied to any species that breeds in, migrates through, or otherwise uses any part of the United States. The methodology is intended to assess species at the national scale and is fundamentally different from existing methods focusing on impacts at individual facilities. Publicly available fatality information, population...
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The vertical avoidance behavior of the tadpole madtom (Noturus gyrinus) exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of the granular formulation of the lampricide Bayluscide® was evaluated. The lampricide formulation (3.2 percent active ingredient coated on a sand granule) is used to control larval sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes. The tadpole madtom was chosen as a surrogate to the federally endangered northern madtom (Noturus stigmosus) based on similar life history characteristics and habitat requirements. Vertical avoidance of tadpole madtoms in response to the granular formulation was documented in clear Plexiglas columns (107 centimeters in height, 30.5 centimeters in diameter) for 1 hour after...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Depicting the spatial distribution of wildlife species is an important first step in developing management and conservation programs for particular species. Accurate representation of a species distribution is important for predicting the effects of climate change, land-use change, management activities, disease, and other landscape-level processes on wildlife populations. We developed models to estimate the spatial distribution of little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) wintering populations in the United States east of the 100th meridian, based on known hibernacula locations. From this data, we developed several scenarios of wintering population counts per county that incorporated uncertainty in the spatial distribution...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology and Evolution
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Bigheaded carps are invasive fishes threatening to invade the Great Lakes basin and establish spawning populations, and have been monitored using environmental DNA (eDNA). Not only does eDNA hold potential for detecting the presence of species, but may also allow for quantitative comparisons like relative abundance of species across time or space. We examined the relationships among bigheaded carp movement, hydrography, spawning and eDNA on the Wabash River, IN, USA. We found positive relationships between eDNA and movement and eDNA and hydrography. We did not find a relationship between eDNA and spawning activity in the form of drifting eggs. Our first finding demonstrates how eDNA may be used to monitor species...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Molecular Ecology Resources
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Background: Myotis species of bats such as the Indiana Bat and Little Brown Bat are facing population declines because of White-nose syndrome (WNS). These species also face threats from anthropogenic activities such as wind energy development. Population models may be used to provide insights into threats facing these species. We developed a population model, BatTool, as an R package to help decision makers and natural resource managers examine factors influencing the dynamics of these species. The R package includes two components: 1) a deterministic and stochastic model that are accessible from the command line and 2) a graphical user interface (GUI). Results: BatTool is an R package allowing natural resource...
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Environmental DNA (eDNA) samples that are collected from remote locations depend on rapid stabilization of the DNA. The degradation of eDNA in water samples is minimized when samples are stored at ≤ 4 °C. Developing a preservation technique to maintain eDNA integrity at room temperature would allow a wider range of locations to be sampled. We evaluated an ethanol and sodium acetate solution to maintain the integrity of the DNA samples for the time between collection and lab testing. For this evaluation, replicate water samples taken from a tank housing Asian carp were placed on ice or held at room temperature. At both temperatures, water samples were left untreated or were preserved with an ethanol and sodium acetate...
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Fisheries managers need effective methods to limit the spread of invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus in North America. Elevating carbon dioxide (CO2) in water at pinch points of rivers (e.g., inside locks) is one approach showing potential to deter the passage of invasive fishes, such as bigheaded carps Hypophthalmichthys spp., but the effectiveness of this method to alter round goby behavior has not been determined. The goal for this study was to determine CO2 concentrations that alter round goby behavior across a range of water temperatures. Free-swimming avoidance (voluntary response) and loss of equilibrium (involuntary response) were quantified by exposing round goby to increasing CO2 concentrations...
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Bigheaded carps, which include silver and bighead carp, are threatening to invade the Great Lakes. These species vary seasonally in distribution and abundance due to environmental conditions such as precipitation and temperature. Monitoring this seasonal movement is important for management to control the population size and spread of the species. We examined if environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches could detect seasonal changes of these species. To do this, we developed a novel genetic marker that was able to both detect and differentiate bighead and silver carp DNA. We used the marker, combined with a novel occupancy model, to study the occurrence of bigheaded carps at 3 sites on the Wabash River over the course...
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Bats are ecologically and economically important species because they consume insects, transport nutrients, and pollinate flowers. Many species of bats, including those in the Myotis genus, are facing population decline and increased extinction risk. Despite these conservation concerns, few models exist for providing insight into the population dynamics of bats in a spatially explicit context. We developed a model for bats by considering the stage-structured colonial life history of Myotis bats with their annual migration behavior. This model provided insight into network dynamics. We specifically focused on two Myotis species living in the eastern United States: the Indiana bat (M. sodalis), which is a Federally...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Letters in Biomathematics
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Tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor, nestlings were collected from 60 sites in the Great Lakes, which included multiple sites within 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs) and six sites not listed as AOCs from 2010 to 2014. Nestlings, approximately 12 days-of-age, were evaluated for ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity, chromosomal damage, and six measures of oxidative stress. Data on each of these biomarkers were divided into four equal numbered groups from the highest to lowest values and the groups were compared to contaminant concentrations using multivariate analysis. Contaminant concentrations, from the same nestlings, included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecotoxicology
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The health of tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, on the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) was assessed in 2010 and 2011 using biomarkers at six sites downriver of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN metropolitan area, a tributary into the UMR, and a nearby lake. Chromosomal damage was evaluated in nestling blood by measuring the coefficient of variation of DNA content (DNA CV) using flow cytometry. Cytochrome P450 1A activity in nestling liver was measured using the ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) assay, and oxidative stress was estimated in nestling livers via determination of thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS), reduced glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), the ratio GSSG/GSH, total sulfhydryl, and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecotoxicology
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Tai Lake (Chinese: Taihu), the third-largest freshwater lake in China, suffers from harmful cyanobacteria blooms that are caused by economic development and population growth near the lake. Several studies have focused on phytoplankton in Tai Lake after a drinking water crisis in 2007; however, these studies primarily focused on microcystin bioaccumulation and toxicity to individual species without examining the effects of microcystin on macrobenthic community diversity. In this study, we conducted a survey of the lake to examine the effects of microcystine and other pollutants on marcobenthic community diversity. A totally of forty-nine species of macroinvertebrates were found in Tai Lake. Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Indicators
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Many metrics exist for quantifying the relative value of habitats and pathways used by highly mobile species. Properly selecting and applying such metrics requires substantial background in mathematics and understanding the relevant management arena. To address this multidimensional challenge, we demonstrate and compare three measurements of habitat quality: graph-, occupancy-, and demographic-based metrics. Each metric provides insights into system dynamics, at the expense of increasing amounts and complexity of data and models. Our descriptions and comparisons of diverse habitat-quality metrics provide means for practitioners to overcome the modeling challenges associated with management or conservation of such...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Resource Modeling
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Zequanox® is a commercial formulation of the killed bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens (strain CL145A), that was developed to control dreissenid mussels. In 2014, Zequanox became the second product registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for use in open water environments as a molluscicide. Previous nontarget studies demonstrated the safety and selectivity of P. fluorescens CL154A, but the database on the toxicity of the formulation (Zequanox) is limited for macroinvertebrate taxa and exposure conditions. We evaluated the safety of Zequanox to the amphipod Gammarus lacustris lacustris, and nymphs of the burrowing mayfly, Hexagenia spp. at the maximum approved concentration (100 mg/L...
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Biologists and environmental scientists now routinely solve computational problems that were unimaginable a generation ago. Examples include processing geospatial data, analyzing -omics data, and running large-scale simulations. Conventional desktop computing cannot handle these tasks when they are large, and high-performance computing is not always available nor the most appropriate solution for all computationally intense problems. High-throughput computing (HTC) is one method for handling computationally intense research. In contrast to high-performance computing, which uses a single "supercomputer," HTC can distribute tasks over many computers (e.g., idle desktop computers, dedicated servers, or cloud-based...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLOS Computational Biology
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Quantifying the impact of anthropogenic development on local populations is important for conservation biology and wildlife management. However, these local populations are often subject to demographic stochasticity because of their small population size. Traditional modeling efforts such as population projection matrices do not consider this source of variation whereas individual-based models, which include demographic stochasticity, are computationally intense and lack analytical tractability. One compromise between approaches is branching process models because they accommodate demographic stochasticity and are easily calculated. These models are known within some sub-fields of probability and mathematical ecology...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere
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Resource managers need for effective methods to prevent the movement of silver (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) from the Mississippi River basin into the Laurentian Great Lakes. In this study, we evaluated dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) as a barrier and deterrent to silver (278 ± 30.5 mm) and bighead (212 ± 7.7 mm) carp movement in continuous-flow outdoor ponds. As a barrier, CO2 significantly reduced upstream movement but was not 100% effective at blocking fish passage. As a deterrent, we observed a significant shift away from areas of high CO2 relative to normal movement before and after injection. Carbon dioxide concentrations varied across the pond during injection and reached maximum...
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For this study, a methodology was developed for assessing impacts of wind energy generation on populations of birds and bats at regional to national scales. The approach combines existing methods in applied ecology for prioritizing species in terms of their potential risk from wind energy facilities and estimating impacts of fatalities on population status and trend caused by collisions with wind energy infrastructure. Methods include a qualitative prioritization approach, demographic models, and potential biological removal. The approach can be used to prioritize species in need of more thorough study as well as to identify species with minimal risk. However, the components of this methodology require simplifying...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation


map background search result map search result map Estimating the spatial distribution of wintering little brown bat populations in the eastern United States Estimating the spatial distribution of wintering little brown bat populations in the eastern United States