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We used the United States National Grid to develop a sampling grid for monitoring programs in the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative, delineated by Bird Conservation Regions 18 and 19. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are science based partnerships with the goal to inform and guide conservation at regional landscape levels. Developing a standardized sampling grid for a LCC is a new endeavor and is designed to reduce program costs, avoid repetition in sampling, and increase efficiency in monitoring programs. This is possible because the grid’s nationwide coverage, uniform starting point, and scalability allow researchers to expand their monitoring programs from a small, local level to a regional or...
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Habitat fragmentation and flow regulation are significant factors related to the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids require moving water and some length of unfragmented stream to complete their life cycle. However, it is unknown how discharge and habitat features interact at multiple spatial scales to alter the transport of semi-buoyant fish eggs. Our objective was to assess the relationship between downstream drift of semi-buoyant egg surrogates (gellan beads) and discharge and habitat complexity. We quantified transport time of a known quantity of beads using 2–3 sampling devices at each of seven locations on the North Canadian and Canadian rivers. Transport time was...
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Stream fragmentation alters the structure of aquatic communities on a global scale, generally through loss of native species. Among riverscapes in the Great Plains of North America, stream fragmentation and hydrologic alteration (flow regulation and dewatering) are implicated in the decline of native fish diversity. This study documents the spatio–temporal distribution of fish reproductive guilds in the fragmented Arkansas and Ninnescah rivers of south-central Kansas using retrospective analyses involving 63 years of fish community data. Pelagic-spawning fishes declined throughout the study area during 1950–2013, including Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi) last reported in 1983, plains minnow (Hybognathus...
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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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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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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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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The influence of recent climate change on the world’s biota has manifested broadly, resulting in latitudinal range shifts, advancing dates of arrival of migrants and onset of breeding, and altered community relationships. Climate change elevates conservation concerns worldwide because it will likely exacerbate a broad range of identified threats to animal populations. In the past few decades, grassland birds have declined faster than other North American avifauna, largely due to habitat threats such as the intensification of agriculture. We examine the effects of local climatic variations on the breeding performance of a bird endemic to the shortgrass prairie, the Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) and discuss...
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Playa wetlands on the west-central Great Plains of North America are vulnerable to sediment infilling from upland agriculture, putting at risk several important ecosystem services as well as essential habitats and food resources of diverse wetland-dependent biota. Climate predictions for this semi-arid area indicate reduced precipitation which may alter rates of erosion, runoff, and sedimentation of playas. We forecasted erosion rates, sediment depths, and resultant playa wetland depths across the west-central Great Plains and examined the relative roles of land use context and projected changes in precipitation in the sedimentation process. We estimated erosion with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE)...
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With extraordinary resolution and accuracy, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)-derived digital elevation models (DEMs) have been increasingly used for watershed analyses and modeling by hydrologists, planners and engineers. Such high-accuracy DEMs have demonstrated their effectiveness in delineating watershed and drainage patterns at fine scales in low-relief terrains. However, these high-resolution datasets are usually only available as topographic DEMs rather than hydrologic DEMs, presenting greater land roughness that can affect natural flow accumulation. Specifically, locations of drainage structures such as road culverts and bridges were simulated as barriers to the passage of drainage. This paper proposed...
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The administrative boundary for the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative was created by combining Bird Conservation Regions (BCR) 18 and 19. These two regions combine the historically mixed and short grass prairie ecosystems traditional referenced as the Great Plains of the United States and have similar biological, ecological, and climatological characteristics and concerns.
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Intrafragment ecology is little studied for imperiled riverine fishes although river fragmentation and habitat loss increasingly threaten sensitive species. A long-term population-monitoring program in the Pecos River, New Mexico, provided detailed data for 15 annual cohorts of speckled chub (Macrhybopsis aestivalis), which were used to assess intrafragment patterns in recruitment and year-class strength in relation to distributional patterns, flow-regime characteristics, and air temperature. Cohorts avoided a degraded upstream reach. Age-1 and older individuals had distributions consistently centered within a central, relict-ecosystem reach that contained high-quality habitat. Age-0 individuals were widespread...
Categories: Data, Publication; Types: Citation, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi), Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi), CATFISHES/MINNOWS, Climate Change, Climate Change, All tags...
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We used comparative landscape genetics to examine the relative roles of historical events, intrinsic traits and landscape factors in determining the distribution of genetic diversity of river fishes across the North American Great Plains. Spatial patterns of diversity were overlaid on a patch-based graphical model and then compared within and among three species that co-occurred across five Great Plains watersheds. Species differing in reproductive strategy (benthic vs. pelagic-spawning) were hypothesized to have different patterns of genetic diversity, but the overriding factor shaping contemporary patterns of diversity was the signature of past climates and geological history. Allelic diversity was significantly...
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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Within interior North America, erratic weather patterns and heterogeneous wetland complexes cause wide spatio-temporal variation in the resources available to migrating shorebirds. Identifying the pattern-generating components of landscape-level resources and the scales at which shorebirds respond to these patterns will better facilitate conservation efforts for these species. We constructed descriptive models that identified weather variables associated with creating the spatio-temporal patterns of shorebird habitat in ten landscapes in north-central Oklahoma. We developed a metric capable of measuring the dynamic composition and configuration of shorebird habitat in the region and used field data to empirically...
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Stopover use by migrating shorebirds is affected by patch-level characteristics of habitat, but the relative influence of broadscale factors is poorly understood. We conducted surveys of ten 10-km-radius landscapes in north-central Oklahoma from 2007 through 2009 to examine the influence of the amount and composition of wetland habitats and surrounding land cover on shorebird use during migration. We used generalized linear modeling and an information-theoretic framework to identify factors that best explained species richness, total abundance, and abundance of four groups of shorebirds classified by breeding status and migration distance. Total abundance and richness both increased with the area of wetland...
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Holocene environmental change is poorly characterized throughout much of the High Plains. Playa wetlands are sites with appreciable potential for reconstructing environmental change because of their environmental sensitivity. Radiocarbon, litho- and magneto-stratigraphic, and stable carbon isotope (δ13C) data for four playas on the Kansas High Plains indicate significant change occurred throughout the Holocene, which had profound impacts on playa ecosystem functions (e.g. groundwater recharge, surface water storage, and habitat). Minimum δ13C values and buried soils observed during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition suggest sufficient moisture to support vegetative cover and promote pedogenesis. Low magnetic susceptibility,...
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Quantitative studies focusing on the collection of semibuoyant fish eggs, which are associated with a pelagic broadcast-spawning reproductive strategy, are often conducted to evaluate reproductive success. Many of the fishes in this reproductive guild have suffered significant reductions in range and abundance. However, the efficiency of the sampling gear used to evaluate reproduction is often unknown and renders interpretation of the data from these studies difficult. Our objective was to assess the efficiency of a modified Moore egg collector (MEC) using field and laboratory trials. Gear efficiency was assessed by releasing a known quantity of gellan beads with a specific gravity similar to that of eggs from representatives...
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Native grasslands have been altered to a greater extent than any other biome in North America. The habitats and resources needed to support breeding performance of grassland birds endemic to prairie ecosystems are currently threatened by land management practices and impending climate change. Climate models for the Great Plains prairie region predict a future of hotter and drier summers with strong multiyear droughts and more frequent and severe precipitation events. We examined how fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado influenced nest survival of an avian species that has experienced recent population declines, the Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus). Nest survival averaged 27.2% over a 7-yr...
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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 an 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...
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Combines the Playa Lakes Joint Venture's Probable Playas v4 (PLJV, PPv4))with the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture's Nebraska Historic Wetland Mask (RWBJV, HWM). The PPv4 data was used for most of the great plains region including western Nebraska. The HWM was used for the central and eastern portions of Nebraska. Not all attributes were retained from their respective sources in order to combine the files. Please see the source data for information regarding each.
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Inundation is a critical parameter of wetland hydrologic performance. This study uses Annual Habitat Survey data from 2004 to 2012 in the Rainwater Basin in south-central Nebraska to examine differences between the actual inundation conditions and three datasets: the National Wetland Inventory (NWI), the Soil Survey Geographic database (SSURGO), and LiDAR-derived depressions. The results show that current wetland inundated areas were well overlaid with these datasets (99.9% in SSURGO data, 67.9% in NWI data, and 87.3;% in LiDAR-derived depressions). However, the hydrologic degradation of playa wetlands was not reflected in these datasets. In SSURGO data, only 13.3% of hydric soil footprint areas were inundated and...


    map background search result map search result map Climate change and connectivity: Assessing landscape and species vulnerability Drought and Cooler Temperatures Are Associated with Higher Nest Survival in Mountain Plovers Modeling sediment accumulation in North American playa wetlands in response to climate change, 1940–2100 Sampling Efficiency of the Moore Egg Collector Broad-scale Relationships Between Shorebirds and Landscapes in the Southern Great Plains Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative Boundary GPLCC Historic Playa Wetlands Evaluating population connectivity for species of conservation concern in the American Great Plains Publication: Holocene records of environmental change in High Plains playa wetlands, Kansas, US Publication: Intrafragment riverscape conservation for an imperiled, small-bodied, pelagic-broadcast spawning minnow: speckled chub (Macrhybopsis aestivalis) Examining Playa Wetland Inundation Conditions for National Wetland Inventory, Soil Survey Geographic Database, and LiDAR Data Drainage Structure Datasets and Effects on LiDAR-Derived Surface Flow Modeling Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Publication: Comparative riverscape genetics reveals reservoirs of genetic diversity for conservation and restoration of Great Plains fishes Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Spatiotemporal scaling of North American continental interior wetlands: implications for shorebird conservation Weather effects on avian breeding performance and implications of climate change Final Report: Integrated monitoring within BCR’s: Creating a wildlife monitoring grid for the GPLCC Drainage Structure Datasets and Effects on LiDAR-Derived Surface Flow Modeling Examining Playa Wetland Inundation Conditions for National Wetland Inventory, Soil Survey Geographic Database, and LiDAR Data Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Publication: Holocene records of environmental change in High Plains playa wetlands, Kansas, US Publication: Intrafragment riverscape conservation for an imperiled, small-bodied, pelagic-broadcast spawning minnow: speckled chub (Macrhybopsis aestivalis) Broad-scale Relationships Between Shorebirds and Landscapes in the Southern Great Plains Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Sampling Efficiency of the Moore Egg Collector GPLCC Historic Playa Wetlands Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative Boundary Climate change and connectivity: Assessing landscape and species vulnerability Drought and Cooler Temperatures Are Associated with Higher Nest Survival in Mountain Plovers Modeling sediment accumulation in North American playa wetlands in response to climate change, 1940–2100 Evaluating population connectivity for species of conservation concern in the American Great Plains Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Publication: Comparative riverscape genetics reveals reservoirs of genetic diversity for conservation and restoration of Great Plains fishes Spatiotemporal scaling of North American continental interior wetlands: implications for shorebird conservation Weather effects on avian breeding performance and implications of climate change Final Report: Integrated monitoring within BCR’s: Creating a wildlife monitoring grid for the GPLCC