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Understanding how climate change and variability will impact grassland ecosystems is crucial for successful grassland management in the 21st century. In 2020, the U.S. Geological Survey North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (USGS NC CASC) began a project to establish a baseline of information to best serve grassland managers (that is, those who develop grassland management plans or implement those plans on the ground) at Federal, State, and Tribal agen-cies and nongovernmental organizations to help meet regional grassland management goals. This project “A Synthesis of Climate Impacts, Stakeholder Needs, and Adaptation in Northern Great Plains Grassland Ecosystems” (hereafter, the Grasslands Synthesis Project),...
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Floods, spatially complex water flows, and organism movements all generate important fluxes of aquatic-derived materials into terrestrial habitats, counteracting the gravity-driven downhill transport of matter from terrestrial-to-aquatic ecosystems. The magnitude of these aquatic subsidies isoften smaller than terrestrial subsidies to aquatic ecosystems but higher in nutritional quality, energy density, and nutrient concentration. The lateral extent of biological aquatic subsidies is typically small, extending only a few meters into riparian habitat; however, terrestrial consumers often aggregate on shorelines to capitalize on these high-quality resources. Although the ecological effects of aquatic subsidies remain...
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How local geomorphic and hydrologic features mediate the sensitivity of stream thermal regimes to variation in climatic conditions remains a critical uncertainty in understanding aquatic ecosystem responses to climate change. We used stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen to estimate contributions of snow and rainfall to 80 boreal streams and show that differences in snow contribution are controlled by watershed topography. Time series analysis of stream thermal regimes revealed that streams in rain-dominated, low-elevation watersheds were 5–8 times more sensitive to variation in summer air temperature compared to streams draining steeper topography whose flows were dominated by snowmelt. This effect was more pronounced...
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Biodiversity in stream networks is threatened globally by interactions between habitat fragmentation and altered hydrologic regimes. In the Great Plains of North America, stream networks are fragmented by 19,000 anthropogenic barriers, and flow regimes are altered by surface water retention and groundwater extraction. We documented the distribution of anthropogenic barriers and dry stream segments in five basins covering the central Great Plains to assess effects of broad-scale environmental change on stream fish community structure and distribution of reproductive guilds. We used an information-theoretic approach to rank competing models in which fragmentation, discharge magnitude, and percentage of time streams had...
Categories: Data, Publication; Types: Citation, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: CATFISHES/MINNOWS, Colorado, Colorado, FISH, Federal resource managers, All tags...
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Habitat loss and fragmentation are widely recognized as among the most important threats to global biodiversity. New analytical approaches are providing improved ability to predict the effects of landscape change on population connectivity at vast spatial extents. This paper presents an analysis of population connectivity for three species of conservation concern [swift fox (Vulpes velox); lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus); massasuaga (Sistrurus catenatus)] across the American Great Plains region. We used factorial least-cost path and resistant kernel analyses to predict effects of landscape conditions on corridor network connectivity. Our predictions of population connectivity provide testable...
Categories: Data, Project, Publication; Types: Citation, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2010, CO-01, CO-02, CO-03, CO-04, All tags...
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Genetic, demographic, and environmental processes affect natural populations synergistically, and understanding their interplay is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity. Stream fishes in metapopulations are particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation because persistence depends on dispersal and colonization of new habitat but dispersal is constrained to stream networks. Great Plains streams are increasingly fragmented by water diversion and climate change, threatening connectivity of fish populations in this ecosystem. We used seven microsatellite loci to describe population and landscape genetic patterns across 614 individuals from 12 remaining populations of Arkansas darter ( Etheostoma cragini) in...
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Conclusions: Grizzly bears can use roaded habitats, but spatial avoidance will increase and survival will decrease as traffic levels, road densities and human settlement increases. Road density standards and road closure programmes should be developed and that these programmes incorporate seasonal habitat requirements of grizzly bears. Thresholds/Learnings: More than 80% of bear sitings occurred in blocks of undisturbed habitat >900 ha Synopsis: The study examined the relationships between grizzly bears, habitat and roads in the Swan Mountains, Montana. The study showed complex spatial and temporal relationships between grizzly bears and habitat resources. Resource selection was expressed relative to strength...
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Conclusions: Report presents a framework for assessing the condition of Southern Alberta’s natural assets and their ability to provide ecosystem goods and services. Measurable indicators of ecosystem services, including broad and fine scale landscape indicators, were also distilled from a literature review. Thresholds/Learnings: Wetland cover should be maintained at >15% for watersheds with high potential for phosphorus loading & eutrophication. Impervious cover should be maintained at or below 25% in heavily urbanizing watersheds. Synopsis: This report develops a framework for assessing the condition of Southern Alberta’s natural assets and their resulting ability to provide ecosystem goods and services. The...
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Synopsis: Wind erosion control is typically needed in areas with low and variable precipitation and frequent droughts, and where high winds, high temperature and consequent high evaporation are common conditions, such as in southern Alberta. Potential average annual erosion rates from wind erosion are predicted using the wind erosion equation E= f(I, K, C, L, V) where I is the soil erodibility index, K is the soil-ridge-roughness factor, C is the climactic factor, L is the unsheltered, weighted travel distance of the wind across a field and V is the equivalent vegetated cover. Wind erosion can be controlled with one or more of the following five basic principles of wind erosion control: · Reduce field widths...
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Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information. Soil surveys can be used for general farm, local, and wider area planning. Onsite investigation is needed in some cases, such as soil quality assessments and certain conservation and engineering applications....
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Congress passed the State Wildlife Grants program (SWG) in 2001 in recognition of the need for funding of wildlife diversity programs. Congress mandated each state and territory to develop a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (now named Wildlife Action Plans) by 2005 in order to continue to receive federal funds through the SWG program. Nevada’s Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) was completed and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2005. Nevada’s WAP has served as a plan of action for state wildlife conservation and funding by targeting the species of greatest conservation need and the key habitats on which they depend. To date, NDOW has received over $11 million in federal dollars through...
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This report is synthesizes and summarizes major findings from literature relating to the direct and indirect ecological impacts of paved highways on birds. It represents a meta-analysis of contributing factors of road mortality, effects of roadway lighting, traffic noise, traffic volume, and roadway contaminants on bird populations, which may help guide conservation efforts within the Yellowstone to Yukon ecoregion. Traffic volume and noise are believed to be the most important factors affecting breeding bird population densities near roads. The number of affected species increases with traffic volume but the relationship appears to reach threshold at an average daily traffic volume of 30,000 vehicles a day. In...
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Conclusions: Habitat changes resulting from timber harvest have altered the predator–prey balance leading to asymmetric predation affecting the survivial rates of endangered mountain caribou Thresholds/Learnings: As young forest stands increase in proportion to old forests, caribou population densities and survival rates decline as they become increasingly vulnerable to predation and extripation. Synopsis: Timber harvesting in areas of Mountain Caribou habitat have created landscapes of early seral forests. Such habitat changes have altered the predator–prey balance resulting in asymmetric predation in which predators are maintained by alternative prey (i.e. apparent competition). This study estimates survival...
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Synopsis: Reviews information on grassland bird habitat requirements including a focus on the importance of grassland cover, size of contiguous patches, and other landscape factors. Some species require large blocks of unbroken grassland habitat for nesting. In general, where large blocks of undisturbed grassland occur, grassland birds are able to fulfill most of their requirements during the nesting season. For many bird species, these habitats provide winter and migration cover as well. The more grassland available in an area, particularly in large unbroken blocks, the greater the number of area-sensitive grassland birds the area is able to support. Pastures and crop fields also often provide attractive cover...
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Synopsis: Remotely sensed data and GIS were used to compare the effects of clear-cutting and road-building on the landscape pattern of the Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming. Landscape patterns were quantified for each of 12 watersheds on a series of four maps that differed only in the degree of clear-cutting and road density. Researchers analyzed several landscape pattern metrics for the landscape as a whole and for the lodgepole pine and spruce/fir cover classes across the four maps to determine the relative effects of clear-cutting and road building on the pattern of each watershed. At both the landscape and cover class scales, clear-cutting and road building resulted in increased fragmentation as represented...
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Synopsis: Recent reports clearly indicate that odor emitted from concentrated livestock production facilities in the Midwest of the US is a significant social problem that negatively impacts rural and state economies, human health, and the quality of rural life. A potential incremental approach to dealing with livestock odor is the use of shelterbelts arranged in strategic designs near and within livestock facilities. This review outlines the various ways that shelterbelts can be effective technology which biophysically mitigates odor thereby reducing social conflict from odor nuisance. The biophysical potential of shelterbelts to mitigate livestock odor arises from the tree/shrub impacts on the central characteristics...
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Conclusions: Caribou subpopulation persistence and landscape occupancy depends highly on the degree of forest cover, cover type, and distance from human presence. Thresholds/Learnings: Synopsis: This study evaluates factors influencing the persistence and landscape occupancy of caribou subpopulations in southern British Columbia. Data from 235 radio-collared caribou across 13 subpopulations were used to derive a landscape occupancy index. The index was analyzed against 33 landscape variables including, land cover, terrain, climate, and human influence. At the metapopulation level, the persistence of subpopulations correlated with the extent of wet climate conditions and the distribution of old forests and alpine...


map background search result map search result map Climate change and connectivity: Assessing landscape and species vulnerability Effects of paved roads on birds: a literature review and recommendations for the Yellowstone to Yukon Ecoregion Factors influencing the dispersion and fragmentation of endangered mountain caribou populations Changes in landscape composition influence the decline of a threatened woodland caribou population Ecosystem Goods and Services Southern Alberta Assessment of Natural Asset Condition Grassland Birds Relationships among grizzly bears, roads, and habitat in the Swan Mountains, Montana. Watershed analysis of forest fragmentation by clearcuts and roads in a Wyoming forest Basic principles of wind erosion control Mitigating swine odor with strategically designed shelterbelt systems: a review. Web Soil Survey Lithology, hydrologic characteristics, and water quality of the Arkansas River Valley alluvial aquifer in the vicinity of Van Buren, Arkansas (COPY01) Basement domain map of the conterminous United States and Alaska (COPY09) Nevada Wildlife Action Plan Watershed geomorphology and snowmelt control stream thermal sensitivity to air temperature Subsidies of Aquatic Resources in Terrestrial Ecosystems Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Grassland Management Priorities for the North Central Region Dunlin resightings in East Asian-Australasian flyway publications Lithology, hydrologic characteristics, and water quality of the Arkansas River Valley alluvial aquifer in the vicinity of Van Buren, Arkansas (COPY01) Relationships among grizzly bears, roads, and habitat in the Swan Mountains, Montana. Watershed geomorphology and snowmelt control stream thermal sensitivity to air temperature Subsidies of Aquatic Resources in Terrestrial Ecosystems Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Watershed analysis of forest fragmentation by clearcuts and roads in a Wyoming forest Factors influencing the dispersion and fragmentation of endangered mountain caribou populations Changes in landscape composition influence the decline of a threatened woodland caribou population Ecosystem Goods and Services Southern Alberta Assessment of Natural Asset Condition Nevada Wildlife Action Plan Climate change and connectivity: Assessing landscape and species vulnerability Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Grassland Management Priorities for the North Central Region Effects of paved roads on birds: a literature review and recommendations for the Yellowstone to Yukon Ecoregion Grassland Birds Basic principles of wind erosion control Mitigating swine odor with strategically designed shelterbelt systems: a review. Basement domain map of the conterminous United States and Alaska (COPY09) Web Soil Survey Dunlin resightings in East Asian-Australasian flyway publications