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Using an estimated background nitrogen (N) deposition value of 0.5 kg N·ha−1·yr−1 in 1900, and a 19-year record of measured values from Loch Vale (Colorado, USA; NADP site CO98), I reconstructed an N-deposition history using exponential equations that correlated well with EPA-reported NOx emissions from Colorado and from the sum of emissions of 11 western states. The mean wet N-deposition values for the period 1950–1964 was ~1.5 kg N·ha−1·yr−1, corresponding to the reported time of alteration of diatom assemblages attributed to N deposition in alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park (USA). This value becomes the critical load defining the threshold for ecological change from eutrophication. Thus if an N-deposition...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Conservation biology and applied ecology increasingly recognize that natural resource management is both an outcome and a driver of social, economic, and ecological dynamics. Protected areas offer a fundamental approach to conserving ecosystems, but they are also social-ecological systems whose ecological management and sustainability are heavily influenced by people. This editorial, and the papers in the invited feature that it introduces, discuss three emerging themes in social-ecological systems approaches to understanding protected areas: (1) the resilience and sustainability of protected areas, including analyses of their internal dynamics, their effectiveness, and the resilience of the landscapes within which...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Human society has used freshwater from rivers, lakes, groundwater, and wetlands for many different urban, agricultural, and industrial activities, but in doing so has overlooked its value in supporting ecosystems. Freshwater is vital to human life and societal well-being, and thus its utilization for consumption, irrigation, and transport has long taken precedence over other commodities and services provided by freshwater ecosystems. However, there is growing recognition that functionally intact and biologically complex aquatic ecosystems provide many economically valuable services and long-term benefits to society. The short-term benefits include ecosystem goods and services, such as food supply, flood control,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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An introduced pathogen, white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), has caused declines in five-needled pines throughout North America. Simultaneously, fire exclusion has resulted in dense stands in many forest types, which may create additional stress for these generally shade-intolerant pines. Fire exclusion also allows fuels to accumulate, and it is unclear how affected populations will respond to the reintroduction of fire. Although white pine blister rust and fire exclusion are widely recognized threats, long-term demographic data that document the effects of these stressors are rare. We present population trends from 2168 individuals over 5–15 years for an affected species, sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana),...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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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...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Biological soil crusts arrest soil erosion and supply nitrogen to arid ecosystems. To understand their recovery from disturbance, we studied performances of Collema spp. lichens relative to four experimental treatments plus microtopography of soil pedicels, oriented north-northwest to south-southeast in crusts. At sites in Needles (NDLS) and Island in the Sky (ISKY) districts of Canyonlands National Park, lichens were transplanted to NNW, SSE, ENE, WSW, and TOP pedicel faces and exposed to a full-factorial, randomized block experiment with four treatments: nutrient addition (P and K), soil stabilization with polyacrylamide resin (PAM), added cyanobacterial fiber, and biweekly watering.After 14.5 mo (NDLS) and 24...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Stable isotope analysis is a useful tool to track animal movements in both terrestrial and marine environments. These intrinsic markers are assimilated through the diet and may exhibit spatial gradients as a result of biogeochemical processes at the base of the food web. In the marine environment, maps to predict the spatial distribution of stable isotopes are limited, and thus determining geographic origin has been reliant upon integrating satellite telemetry and stable isotope data. Migratory sea turtles regularly move between foraging and reproductive areas. Whereas most nesting populations can be easily accessed and regularly monitored, little is known about the demographic trends in foraging populations. The...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Neonicotinoid insecticides are currently the fastest‐growing and most widely used insecticide class worldwide. Valued for their versatility in application, these insecticides may cause deleterious effects in a range of non‐target (beneficial) arthropods. However, it remains unclear whether strong patterns exist in terms of their major effects, if broad measures of arthropod performance are negatively affected, or whether different functional groups are equally vulnerable. Here, we present a meta‐analysis of 372 observations from 44 field and laboratory studies that describe neonicotinoid effects on 14 arthropod orders across five broad performance measures: abundance, behavior, condition, reproductive success, and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
Invasion by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) often results in replacement of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) in the inland western United States, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a four-year removal experiment to test for population-level mechanisms (i.e., changes in recruitment, survival, emigration, and immigration) promoting invasion success of brook trout and causing decline of native Colorado River cutthroat trout (O. c. pleuriticus). We chose 700–1200 m segments of four small mountain streams where brook trout had recently invaded cutthroat trout populations, two each at mid elevation (2500–2700 m) and high elevation (3150–3250 m), and annually removed...
We used multiscale plots to sample vascular plant diversity and soil characteristics in and adjacent to 26 long-term grazing exclosure sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, USA. The exclosures were 7?60 yr old (31.2 � 2.5 yr, mean � 1 se). Plots were also randomly placed in the broader landscape in open rangeland in the same vegetation type at each site to assess spatial variation in grazed landscapes. Consistent sampling in the nine National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other management units yielded data from 78 1000-m2 plots and 780 1-m2 subplots. We hypothesized that native species richness would be lower in the exclosures than in grazed sites, due to competitive exclusion in the absence of...
Ecologists increasingly use plot-scale data to inform research and policy related to regional and global environmental change. For soil chemistry research, scaling from the plot to the region is especially difficult due to high spatial variability at all scales. We used a hierarchical Bayesian model of plot-scale soil nutrient pools to predict storage of soil organic carbon (oC), inorganic carbon (iC), total nitrogen (N), and available phosphorus (avP) in a 7962-km2 area including the Phoenix, Arizona, USA, metropolitan area and its desert and agricultural surroundings. The Bayesian approach was compared to a traditional approach that multiplied mean values for urban mesic residential, urban xeric residential, nonresidential...
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The intense demand for river water in arid regions is resulting in widespread changes in riparian vegetation. We present a direct gradient method to predict the vegetation change resulting from a proposed upstream dam or diversion. Our method begins with the definition of vegetative cover types, based on a census of the existing vegetation in a set of 1 x 2 m plots. A hydraulic model determines the discharge necessary to inundate each plot. We use the hydrologic record, as defined by a flow duration curve, to determine the inundation duration for each plot. This allows us to position cover types along a gradient of inundation duration. A change in river management results in a new flow duration curve, which is used...
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Significant ecological, hydrologic, and geomorphic changes have occurred during the 20th century along many large floodplain rivers in the American Southwest. Native Populus forests have declined, while the exotic Eurasian shrub, Tamarix, has proliferated and now dominates most floodplain ecosystems. Photographs from late 19th and early 20th centuries illustrate wide river channels with largely bare in-channel landforms and shrubby higher channel margin floodplains. However, by the mid-20th century, floodplains supporting dense Tamarix stands had expanded, and river channels had narrowed. Along the lower Green River in eastern Utah, the causal mechanism of channel and floodplain changes remains ambiguous due to...
Two populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas) experienced drastic declines in abundance in the late 1990s. Evidence supported the hypothesis of disease (the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) as the cause of these declines, but other hypotheses had not been evaluated. We used an 11-year capture-recapture data set to evaluate weather and disease as causes of these declines. We developed sets of mathematical models that reflected hypothesized relationships between several weather variables and annual survival rates of adult males in these populations. In addition, models that reflected the possibility that the declines were caused by an introduced fungus were developed. All models were fit to the data...
Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands, and subsequent brush management, are among the most prominent changes to occur in arid and semiarid systems over the past century. Despite the resulting widespread changes in landcover, substantial uncertainty about the biogeochemical impacts of woody proliferation and brush management exists. We explored the role of shrub encroachment and brush management on leaf litter decomposition in a semidesert grassland where velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) abundance has increased over the past 100 years. This change in physiognomy may affect decomposition directly, through altered litter quality or quantity, and indirectly through altered canopy structure. To assess the direct...
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The take of Nearctic songbirds for the caged-bird trade is an important cultural and economic activity in Mexico, but its sustainability has been questioned. We relied on the theta-logistic population model to explore options for setting allowable levels of take for 11 species of passerines that were subject to legal take in Mexico in 2010. Because estimates of population size necessary for making periodic adjustments to levels of take are not routinely available, we examined the conditions under which a constant level of take might contribute to population depletion (i.e., a population below its level of maximum net productivity). The chance of depleting a population is highest when levels of take are based on...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Detailed empirical models predicting both species occurrence and fitness across a landscape are necessary to understand processes related to population persistence. Failure to consider both occurrence and fitness may result in incorrect assessments of habitat importance leading to inappropriate management strategies. We took a two-stage approach to identifying critical nesting and brood-rearing habitat for the endangered Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Alberta at a landscape scale. First, we used logistic regression to develop spatial models predicting the relative probability of use (occurrence) for Sage-Grouse nests and broods. Secondly, we used Cox proportional hazards survival models to identify...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Abundance estimation in ecology is usually accomplished by capture–recapture, removal, or distance sampling methods. These may be hard to implement at large spatial scales. In contrast, binomial mixture models enable abundance estimation without individual identification, based simply on temporally and spatially replicated counts. Here, we evaluate mixture models using data from the national breeding bird monitoring program in Switzerland, where some 250 1-km2 quadrats are surveyed using the territory mapping method three times during each breeding season. We chose eight species with contrasting distribution (wide–narrow), abundance (high–low), and detectability (easy–difficult). Abundance was modeled as a random...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications


map background search result map search result map Processes of Tamarix invasion and floodplain development along the lower Green River, Utah. Relating Riparian Vegetation to Present and Future Streamflows Relating Riparian Vegetation to Present and Future Streamflows Processes of Tamarix invasion and floodplain development along the lower Green River, Utah.