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Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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The Williston Basin, located in the NorthernGreat Plains, is experiencing rapid energy developmentwith North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter ofcurrent and projected development in the USA. Theaverage single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscapeleveldisturbance may provide a pathway for the establishmentof non-native plants. To evaluate potentialinfluences of energy development on the presence andabundance of non-native species, vegetation surveyswere conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-oldand 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in nativeprairie environments across the Williston Basin. Nonnativespecies richness and cover were recorded...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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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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Conservation planning aims to optimize outcomes for select species or ecosystems by directing resources toward high-return sites. The possibility that local benefits might be increased by directing resources beyond the focal area is rarely considered. We present a case study of restoring river connectivity for migratory fish of the Great Lakes Basin by removing dams and road crossings within municipal jurisdictions versus their broader watersheds. We found that greater river connectivity could often be achieved by considering both intra-jurisdictional and extra-jurisdictional barriers. Focusing on jurisdictional barriers alone generally forfeited <20 (median = 0%) of habitat gains for those who value solely habitat...
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Estimating species abundance is important for land managers, especially for monitoringconservation efforts. The two main survey methods for estimating avian abundance are point counts and transects. Previous comparisons of these two methods have either been limited to a single species or have not included detection probability. During the 2012 breeding season, we compared and assessed the efficiency (precision for amount of effort) of point count time of detection (PCTD) and dependent double-observer transect (TRMO) methods based on detection probabilities and abundance estimates of five species of songbirds that use a range of habitats in a prairie system in Montana dominated by sagebrush and grassland vegetation....
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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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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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The availability of output from climate model ensembles,such as phases 3 and 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project(CMIP3 and CMIP5), has greatly expanded information about future projections,but there is no accepted blueprint for how this data should be utilized.The multi-model average is themost commonly cited single estimate of future conditions,but higher-order moments representing thevariance and skewness of the distribution of projections provide important information about uncertainty. We have analyzed a set of statistically downscaled climate model projections from the CMIP3 archive to assess extreme weather events at a level aimed to be appropriate for decisionmakers. Our analysis uses the distribution...
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Executive Summary: We provide an analysis of Sonoran Desert water network connectivity to inform managers of current conditions for target wildlife and how the connectivity will change as the landscape becomes more water limited.Climate change is expected to lead to fragmentation of the network, increasing coalescence distance by 8% and reducing the persistence and overall number of waters on the landscape. Identification of key water sites, ranked by network connectivity metrics, are presented in Appendix B. Wetland number under our scenario of water limitation will decline by 43% reducing network resilience.Anurans and Caudates, although varying in ability to disperse, generally experienced reduced connectivity...
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Our goal was to predict road culvert passability, as defined by culvert outlet drop and outlet water velocity, for three fish swimming groups using remotely collected environmental variables that have been shown to influence the passability of road culverts.We generated four boosted regression tree models, one for road culvert outlet drop and one each for the three culvert outlet water velocities, and predicted the probability of impassable road culverts on low-order streams based on the models. Independent variables in the modelsincluded the upstream area draining to the culvert, slope at the culvert, stream segment gradient and stream reach gradient.Gradient of the stream segment was the most important predictor...
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Northern Great Lakes forests represent an ecotone in the boreal–temperate transition zone and are expected to change dramatically with climate change. Managers are increasingly seeking adaptation strategies to manage these forests. We explored the efficacy of two alternative management scenarios compared with business-as-usual (BAU) management: expanding forest reserves meant to preserve forest identity and increase resistance, and modified silviculture meant to preserve forest function and increase adaptive capacity. Our study landscapes encompassed northeastern Minnesota and northern Lower Michigan, which are predicted to experience significant changes in a future climate and represent a gradient of latitude,...
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A key challenge in aquatic restoration efforts is documenting locations where ecological connectivity is disrupted in water bodies that are dammed or crossed by roads (road crossings). To prioritize actions aimed at restoring connectivity, we argue that there is a need for systematic inventories of these potential barriers at regional and national scales. Here, we address this limitation for the North American Great Lakes basin by compiling the best available spatial data on the locations of dams and road crossings. Our spatial database documents 38 times as many road crossings as dams in the Great Lakes basin, and case studies indicate that, on average, only 36% of road crossings in the area are fully passable...
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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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Conservation of biological communities requires accurate estimates of abundance for multiple species. Recent advances in estimating abundance of multiple species, such as Bayesian multispecies N-mixture models, account for multiple sources of variation, including detection error. However, false-positiveerrors (misidentification or double counts), which are prevalent in multispecies data sets, remain largely unaddressed. The dependent-double observer (DDO) method is an emerging method that both accounts for detection error and is suggested to reduce the occurrence of false positives because it relies on two observers working collaboratively to identify individuals. To date, the DDO method has not been combined with...
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Wetland hydroperiod, the length of time water is available in wetlands, is sensitive to changes in precipitation, temperature and timing due to climate variation. Truncated hydroperiod has major implications for wetland-dependent species (e.g., waterfowl, amphibians) and human water allocation (PPP LCC Need 1). To characterize wetland hydroperiod in the Plains and Prairie Pothole Region, we first identify location and hydroperiod of wetlands using field-based and remotely sensed training data (RapidEye, Landsat). We define hydroperiod as wetland ephemerality, where ephemerality represents the persistence of a wetland across the growing season. We then link hydroperiod to climatic variation by relating climate time-series...
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In many large ecosystems, conservation projects are selected by a diverse set of actors operating independently at spatial scales ranging from local to international. Although small-scale decision making can leverage local expert knowledge, it also may be an inefficient means of achieving large-scale objectives if piecemeal efforts are poorly coordinated. Here, we assess the value of coordinating efforts in both space and time to maximize the restoration of aquatic ecosystem connectivity. Habitat fragmentation is a leading driver of declining biodiversity and ecosystem services in rivers worldwide, and we simultaneously evaluate optimal barrier removal strategies for 661 tributary rivers of the Laurentian Great...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...


map background search result map search result map Quantitative and Predictive Analysis: Landscape Connectivity of Isolated Waters for Wildlife in the Sonoran Desert Publication: Restoring aquatic ecosystem connectivity requires expanding inventories of both dams and road crossings Publication: Predicting road culvert passability for migratory fishes Publication: Local-Scale Benefits of River Connectivity Restoration Planning Beyond Jurisdictional Boundaries Publication: Enhancing ecosystem restoration efficiency through spatial and temporal coordination Publication: Interpreting climate model projections of extreme weather events Publication: A blind spot in climate change 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 Publication: Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity Publication: Effects of alternative forest management on biomass and species diversity in the face of climate change in the northern Great Lakes region Comparison of removal-based methods for estimating abundance of five species of prairie songbirds A multispecies dependent double-observer model: A new method to for estimating multispecies abundance 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 Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin Using a multiscale, probabilistic approach to identify spatial-temporal wetland gradients Avoidance of unconventional oil wells and roads exacerbates habitat loss for grassland birds in the North American great plains Quantitative and Predictive Analysis: Landscape Connectivity of Isolated Waters for Wildlife in the Sonoran Desert Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota One step ahead of the plow: Using cropland conversion risk to guide Sprague's Pipit conservation in the northern Great Plains Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin Publication: Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity Publication: Effects of alternative forest management on biomass and species diversity in the face of climate change in the northern Great Lakes region Comparison of removal-based methods for estimating abundance of five species of prairie songbirds A multispecies dependent double-observer model: A new method to for estimating multispecies abundance Using a multiscale, probabilistic approach to identify spatial-temporal wetland gradients Publication: Restoring aquatic ecosystem connectivity requires expanding inventories of both dams and road crossings Publication: Predicting road culvert passability for migratory fishes Publication: Local-Scale Benefits of River Connectivity Restoration Planning Beyond Jurisdictional Boundaries Publication: Enhancing ecosystem restoration efficiency through spatial and temporal coordination Publication: Interpreting climate model projections of extreme weather events Publication: A blind spot in climate change 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