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Systematic conservation planning, a widely used approach to identify priority lands and waters, uses efficient, defensible, and transparent methods aimed at conserving biodiversity and ecological systems. Limited financial resources and competing land uses can be major impediments to conservation; therefore, participation of diverse stakeholders in the planning process is advantageous to help address broad-scale threats and challenges of the 21st century. Although a broad extent is needed to identify core areas and corridors for fish and wildlife populations, a fine-scale resolution is needed to manage for multiple, interconnected ecosystems. Here, we developed a conservation plan using a systematic approach to...
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Documenting the evolving processes associated with habitat restoration and how long it takes to detect avian demographic responses is crucial to evaluate the success of restoration initiatives and to identify ways to improve their effectiveness. The importance of this endeavor prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to evaluate their sun‐to‐shade coffee restoration program in Puerto Rico initiated in 2003. We quantified the responses of 12 resident avian species using estimates of local occupancy and extinction probabilities based on surveys conducted in 2015–2017 at 65 restored farms grouped according to time‐since‐initial‐restoration (TSIR): new (2011–2014),...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Restoration Ecology
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Expert knowledge-based species-habitat relationships are used extensively to guide conservation planning, particularly when data are scarce. Purported relationships describe the initial state of knowledge, but are rarely tested. We assessed support in the data for suitability rankings of vegetation types based on expert knowledge for three terrestrial avian species in the South Atlantic Coastal Plain of the United States. Experts used published studies, natural history, survey data, and field experience to rank vegetation types as optimal, suitable, and marginal. We used single-season occupancy models, coupled with land cover and Breeding Bird Survey data, to examine the hypothesis that patterns of occupancy conformed...
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The factors which govern species‘ distribution and abundance are myriad, and together constitute the ecological niche of a given species. Because abiotic factors are arguably the most profound of the factors influencing niche boundaries and thus, species distributions, substantial changes in either climatic or habitat-related parameters can be expected to produce interrelated and profound niche shifts. Habitat loss and degradation can also effectively induce a de facto climate change by forcing populations to relocate to environmentally suboptimal habitats. Populations experiencing niche shifts due to range restrictions and geographic isolation become subject to a suite of factors that may act synergistically to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Documenting the evolving processes associated with habitat restoration and how long it takes to detect avian demographic responses is crucial to evaluate the success of restoration initiatives and to identify ways to improve their effectiveness. The importance of this endeavor prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to evaluate their sun‐to‐shade coffee restoration program in Puerto Rico initiated in 2003. We quantified the responses of 12 resident avian species using estimates of local occupancy and extinction probabilities based on surveys conducted in 2015–2017 at 65 restored farms grouped according to time‐since‐initial‐restoration (TSIR): new (2011–2014),...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Restoration Ecology
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Production of woody biomass for bioenergy, whether wood pellets or liquid biofuels, has the potential to cause substantial landscape change and concomitant effects on forest ecosystems, but the landscape effects of alternative production scenarios have not been fully assessed. We simulated landscape change from 2010 to 2050 under five scenarios of woody biomass production for wood pellets and liquid biofuels in North Carolina, in the southeastern United States, a region that is a substantial producer of wood biomass for bioenergy and contains high biodiversity. Modeled scenarios varied biomass feedstocks, incorporating harvest of ‘conventional’ forests, which include naturally regenerating as well as planted forests...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: GCB Bioenergy
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The Eastern North Carolina/Southeastern Virginia Strategic Habitat Conservation Team (ENCSEVA) is a partnership among local federal agencies and programs with a mission to apply Strategic Habitat Conservation to accomplish priority landscape-level conservation within its geographic region. ENCSEVA seeks to further landscape-scale conservation through collaboration with local partners. To accomplish this mission, ENCSEVA is developing a comprehensive Strategic Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) to provide guidance for its members, partners, and collaborators by establishing mutual conservation goals, objectives, strategies, and metrics to gauge the success of conservation efforts. Identifying common goals allows the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Bulletin
Managing ecosystems for resilience and sustainability requires understanding how they will respond to future anthropogenic drivers such as climate change and urbanization. In fire-dependent ecosystems, predicting this response requires a focus on how these drivers will impact fire regimes. Here, we use scenarios of climate change, urbanization and management to simulate the future dynamics of the critically endangered and fire-dependent longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystem. We investigated how climate change and urbanization will affect the ecosystem, and whether the two conservation goals of a 135% increase in total longleaf area and a doubling of fire-maintained open-canopy habitat can be achieved in the...
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Bees are the predominant pollinating taxa, providing a critical ecosystem service upon which many angiosperms rely for successful reproduction. Available data suggests that bee populations worldwide are declining, but scarce data in tropical regions precludes assessing their status and distribution, impact on ecological services, and response to management actions. Herein, we reviewed >150 papers that used six common sampling methods (pan traps, baits, Malaise traps, sweep nets, timed observations and aspirators) to better understand their strengths and weaknesses, and help guide method selection to meet research objectives and development of multi-species monitoring approaches. Several studies evaluated the effectiveness...
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A landscape-scale perspective on restoration ecology has been advocated, but few studies have informed restoration with landscape metrics or addressed broad-scale threats. Threats such as urban growth may affect restoration effectiveness in a landscape context. Here, we studied longleaf pine savanna in the rapidly urbanizing southeastern United States where a habitat-specialist bird, Bachman's sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis), is closely associated with savanna vegetation structure and frequent fire. Our objectives were to construct a species distribution model for Bachman's sparrow, determine the relationship between fire and urbanization, quantify the urban growth effect (2010–2090), identify potential restoration...
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AimAvian communities in human-modified landscapes exhibit varying patterns of local colonization and extinction rates, determinants of species occurrence. Our objective was to model these processes to identify habitat features that might enable movements and account for occupancy patterns in habitat matrices between the Guanica and Susua forest reserves. This knowledge is central to conservation design, particularly in ever changing insular landscapes.LocationSouth-western Puerto Rico.MethodsWe used a multiseason occupancy modelling approach to quantify seasonal estimates of occupancy, and colonization and extinction rates of seven resident avian species surveyed over five seasons from January 2010 to June 2011....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Diversity and Distributions
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Domestic and foreign renewable energy targets and financial incentives have increased demand for woody biomass and bioenergy in the southeastern United States. This demand is expected to be met through purpose-grown agricultural bioenergy crops, short-rotation tree plantations, thinning and harvest of planted and natural forests, and forest harvest residues. With results from a forest economics model, spatially explicit state-and-transition simulation models, and species–habitat models, we projected change in habitat amount for 16 wildlife species caused by meeting a renewable fuel target and expected demand for wood pellets in North Carolina, USA. We projected changes over 40 years under a baseline ‘business-as-usual’...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: GCB Bioenergy
Abstract (from http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0182.1): The potential ecological and economic effects of climate change for tropical islands were studied using output from 12 statistically downscaled general circulation models (GCMs) taking Puerto Rico as a test case. Two model selection/model averaging strategies were used: the average of all available GCMs and the average of the models that are able to reproduce the observed large-scale dynamics that control precipitation over the Caribbean. Five island-wide and multidecadal averages of daily precipitation and temperature were estimated by way of a climatology-informed interpolation of the site-specific downscaled climate model output. Annual...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Southeast CASC
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Populations of Eleutherodactylus species in Puerto Rico have declined in recent decades due to habitat loss and long-term climatic changes. The conservation of these habitat specialists requires an understanding of factors influencing their abundance and distribution, which at present is scant. We estimated occupancy probability and the probability of encountering ≥2 individuals of E. wightmanae (Melodius Coqui or Wightman's Robber Frog) and E. brittoni (Grass Coqui), species with contrasting habitat affinities, using multi-season, multi-state occupancy models. These parameters also served as an index of abundance (non-presence, 1, and ≥2 individuals). We modeled parameters as a function of seasonal temperature...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Caribbean Naturalist
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Wetland managers benefit from monitoring data of sufficient precision and accuracy to assess wildlife habitat conditions and to evaluate and learn from past management decisions. For large-scale monitoring programs focused on waterbirds (waterfowl, wading birds, secretive marsh birds, and shorebirds), precision and accuracy of habitat measurements must be balanced with fiscal and logistic constraints. We evaluated a set of protocols for rapid, visual estimates of key waterbird habitat characteristics made from the wetland perimeter against estimates from (1) plots sampled within wetlands, and (2) cover maps made from aerial photographs. Estimated percent cover of annuals and perennials using a perimeter-based protocol...
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The potential ecological and economic effects of climate change for tropical islands were studied using output from 12 statistically downscaled general circulation models (GCMs) taking Puerto Rico as a test case. Two model selection/model averaging strategies were used: the average of all available GCMs and the average of the models that are able to reproduce the observed large-scale dynamics that control precipitation over the Caribbean. Five island-wide and multidecadal averages of daily precipitation and temperature wereestimated by way of a climatology-informed interpolation of the site-specific downscaled climate model output. Annual cooling degree-days (CDD) were calculated as a proxy index for air-conditioning...
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Wetland connectivity provides migratory shorebirds varying options to meet energy requirements to survive and complete their annual cycle. Multiple factors mediate movement and residency of spatially segregated wetlands. Information on these factors is lacking in the tropics, yet such information is invaluable for conservation design. The influence of seven biotic and abiotic factors on local movement and residency rates of Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) among three major wetlands in southwestern Puerto Rico in 2013–2014 was assessed using multi-state models. The model with highest support (AICc wi= 0.78) indicated that weekly residency rates increased seasonally, and were positively influenced by bird...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Waterbirds
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Birds, lizards and insects were surveyed in three sun and three shade coffee plantations in Puerto Rico to provide a comprehensive comparison of biodiversity between plantations types and to identify potential interrelationships (e.g., biological or natural control services) between members of each taxon and coffee pests. Abundance of avian species, including insectivorous species, was significantly higher in shade coffee. Anolis cristatellus and A. stratulus were significantly more abundant in sun plantations whereas A. gundlachi and A. evermanni were detected more frequently in shade plantations. Insects in the orders Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Neuroptera, and Psocoptera were significantly...
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This study quantitatively explores whether land cover changes have a substantive impact on simulated streamflow within the tropical island setting of Puerto Rico. The Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) was used to compare streamflow simulations based on five static parameterizations of land cover with those based on dynamically varying parameters derived from four land cover scenes for the period 1953-2012. The PRMS simulations based on static land cover illustrated consistent differences in simulated streamflow across the island. It was determined that the scale of the analysis makes a difference: large regions with localized areas that have undergone dramatic land cover change may show negligible difference...


map background search result map search result map THE EFFECTS OF CHANGING LAND COVER ON STREAMFLOW SIMULATION IN PUERTO RICO Climate Change Implications for Tropical Islands: Interpolating and Interpreting Statistically Downscaled GCM Projections for Management and Planning THE EFFECTS OF CHANGING LAND COVER ON STREAMFLOW SIMULATION IN PUERTO RICO Climate Change Implications for Tropical Islands: Interpolating and Interpreting Statistically Downscaled GCM Projections for Management and Planning