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The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to many migrating and breeding waterbirds. Due to their small size and the relatively dry climate of the region, these wetlands are considered at high risk for negative climate change effects as temperatures increase. To estimate the potential impacts of climate change on breeding waterbirds, we predicted current and future distributions of species common in the PPR using species distribution models (SDMs). We created regional-scale SDMs for the U.S. PPR using Breeding Bird Survey occurrence records for 1971–2011 and wetland, upland, and climate variables....
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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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This dataset was developed as part of the Designing Sustainble Landscapes project led by Professor Kevin McGarigal of UMass Amherst and sponsored by the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (www.northatlanticlcc.org); for more information about the entire project see: http://www.umass.edu/landeco/research/dsl/dsl.htmlThis dataset was last updated 02/2017. The revised version incorporates the addition of a simplified version of The Nature Conservancy's Northeast lakes and ponds classification, visit https://www.conservationgateway.org/ConservationByGeography/NorthAmerica/UnitedStates/edc/reportsdata/freshwater/Pages/Northeast-Lakes.aspx for more details.This dataset represents terrestrial and wetland...
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Rapid expansion of cropland threatens grassland ecosystems across western North America and broad-scaleplanning can be a catalyst motivating individuals and agencies to accelerate conservation. Sprague’s Pipit(Anthus spragueii) is an imperiled grassland songbird whose population has been declining rapidly in recent decades.Here, we present a strategic framework for conservation of pipits and their habitat in the northern GreatPlains.We modeled pipit distribution across its million-km2 breeding range in Canada and the U.S.We describefactors shaping distribution, delineate population cores and assess vulnerability to future grassland losses. Pipitsselected landscapes with a high proportion of continuous grassland...
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Comprehensive wetland inventories are an essential tool for wetland management, but developing and maintaining an inventory is expensive and technically challenging. Funding for these efforts has also been problematic. Here we describe a large-area application of a semi-automated processused to update a wetland inventory for east-central Minnesota. The original inventory for this area was the product of a laborintensive, manual photo-interpretation process. The present application incorporated high resolution, multi-spectral imagery from multiple seasons; high resolution elevation data derived from lidar; satellite radar imagery; and other GIS data. Map production combined image segmentation and random forest classification...
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The habitats and food resources required to support breeding and migrant birds dependent on North American prairie wetlands are threatened by impending climate change. The North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) hosts nearly 120 species of wetland-dependent birds representing 21 families. Strategic management requires knowledge of avian habitat requirements and assessment of species most vulnerable to future threats. We applied bioclimatic species distribution models (SDMs) to project range changes of 29 wetland-dependent bird species using ensemble modeling techniques, a large number of General Circulation Models (GCMs), and hydrological climate covariates. For the U.S. PPR, mean projected range change, expressed...
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Identifying the climatic drivers of an ecological system is a key step in assessing its vulnerability to climate change. Theclimatic dimensions to which a species or system is most sensitive – such as means or extremes – can guide methodologicaldecisions for projections of ecological impacts and vulnerabilities. However, scientific workflows for combining climateprojections with ecological models have received little explicit attention. We review Global Climate Model (GCM)performance along different dimensions of change and compare frameworks for integrating GCM output into ecologicalmodels. In systems sensitive to climatological means, it is straightforward to base ecological impact assessments onmean projected...
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Oil development in the Bakken shale region has increased rapidly as a result of new technologies and strongdemand for fossil fuel. This region also supports a particularly high density and diversity of grassland bird species,which are declining across North America. We examined grassland bird response to unconventional oilextraction sites (i.e. developed with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques) and associatedroads in North Dakota. Our goal was to quantify the amount of habitat that was indirectly degraded by oil development,as evidenced by patterns of avoidance by birds. Grassland birds avoided areas within 150 m of roads(95% CI: 87–214 m), 267 m of single-bore well pads (95% CI: 157–378 m),...
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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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There is mounting concern that climate change will lead to the collapse of cyclic population dynamics, yet the influence of climate variability on population cycling remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that variability in survival and fecundity, driven by climate variability at different points in the life cycle, scales up from local populations to drive regional characteristics of population cycling and spatial synchronization.
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Sediment accumulation threatens the viability and hydrologic functioning of many naturally formed depressional wetlands across the interior regions of North America. These wetlands provide many ecosystem services and vital habitats for diverse plant and animal communities. Climate change may further impact sediment accumulation rates in the context of current land use patterns. We estimated sediment accretion in wetlands within a region renowned for its large populations of breeding waterfowl and migrant shorebirds and examined the relative roles of precipitation and land use context in the sedimentation process. We modeled rates of sediment accumulation from 1971 through 2100 using the Revised Universal Soil Loss...
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Developing conservation strategies for threatened species increasingly requires understanding vulnerabilities to climate change, in terms of both demographic sensitivities to climatic and other environmental factors, and exposure to variability in those factors over time and space. Weconducted a range-wide, spatially explicit climate change vulnerability assessment for Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), a declining endemic species in a region showing strong environmental change. Using active season and winter adult survival estimates derived from 17 data sets throughout the species’ range, we identified demographic sensitivities to winter drought, maximum precipitation during the summer, and the proportion...
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Climate change poses major challenges for conservation and management because it alters the area, quality, and spatial distribution of habitat for natural populations. To assess species’ vulnerability to climate change and target ongoing conservation investments, researchers and managers often consider the effects of projected changes in climate and land use on future habitat availability and quality and the uncertainty associated with these projections. Here, we draw on tools from hydrology and climate science to project the impact of climate change on the density of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of the USA, a critical area for breeding waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. We evaluate the potential...
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Temperate grassland ecosystems are imperiled globally, and habitat loss in North America has resulted in steepdeclines of endemic songbirds. Commercial livestock grazing is the primary land use in rangelands that supportremaining bird populations. Some conservationists suggest using livestock as “ecosystem engineers” to increasehabitat heterogeneity in rangelands because birds require a spectrum of sparse to dense vegetation cover.However, grazing effects remain poorly understood because local studies have not incorporated broad-scaleenvironmental constraints on herbaceous growth. We surveyed grassland birds across a region spanning26 500 km2 in northeast Montana, United States to assess how distribution and abundance...


    map background search result map search result map Climate change and connectivity: Assessing landscape and species vulnerability Broad-scale Relationships Between Shorebirds and Landscapes in the Southern Great Plains Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitat Map (DSLland), Version 3.1, Northeast U.S. Publication: Climate variability drives population cycling and synchrony Publication: Demographic consequences of climate change and land cover help explain a history of extirpations and range contraction in a declining snake species Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Projected wetland densities under climate change: habitat loss but little geographic shift in conservation strategy Implications of climate change for wetland-dependent birds in the Prairie Potholes Region Vulnerability of Breeding Waterbirds to Climate Change in the Prairie Pothole Region Designing ecological climate change impact assessments to reflect key climatic drivers Sediment Accumulation in Prairie Wetlands under a Changing Climate: the Relative Roles of Landscape and Precipitation Precipitation and Soil Productivity Explain Effects of Grazing on Grassland Songbirds One step ahead of the plow: Using cropland conversion risk to guide Sprague's Pipit conservation in the northern Great Plains Avoidance of unconventional oil wells and roads exacerbates habitat loss for grassland birds in the North American great plains Avoidance of unconventional oil wells and roads exacerbates habitat loss for grassland birds in the North American great plains Broad-scale Relationships Between Shorebirds and Landscapes in the Southern Great Plains Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Precipitation and Soil Productivity Explain Effects of Grazing on Grassland Songbirds One step ahead of the plow: Using cropland conversion risk to guide Sprague's Pipit conservation in the northern Great Plains Climate change and connectivity: Assessing landscape and species vulnerability Projected wetland densities under climate change: habitat loss but little geographic shift in conservation strategy Implications of climate change for wetland-dependent birds in the Prairie Potholes Region Vulnerability of Breeding Waterbirds to Climate Change in the Prairie Pothole Region Designing ecological climate change impact assessments to reflect key climatic drivers Sediment Accumulation in Prairie Wetlands under a Changing Climate: the Relative Roles of Landscape and Precipitation Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitat Map (DSLland), Version 3.1, Northeast U.S. Publication: Climate variability drives population cycling and synchrony Publication: Demographic consequences of climate change and land cover help explain a history of extirpations and range contraction in a declining snake species