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Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GB005493/abstract): Phytoplankton growth in the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) is limited by iron (Fe), yet Fe sources are poorly constrained. We examine the temporal and spatial distributions of Fe, and its sources in the GoA, based on data from three cruises carried out in 2010 from the Copper River (AK) mouth to beyond the shelf break. April data are the first to describe late winter Fe behavior before surface water nitrate depletion began. Sediment resuspension during winter and spring storms generated high “total dissolvable Fe” (TDFe) concentrations of ~1000 nmol kg−1 along the entire continental shelf, which decreased beyond the shelf break. In July, high...
The American Fisheries Society and the Human Dimensions Research Unit of Cornell University have been engaged by NCCWSC to lead 5-year reviews of the CSCs. The purpose of the CSC review and evaluation is to: 1. Evaluate the effectiveness of each CSC in meeting project goals. 2. Assess the level of scientific contribution and achievement at each CSC with respect to climate modeling, climate change impacts assessments, vulnerability and adaptation of fish, wildlife and their habitats, and collaborative development of adaptation strategies for regional stakeholders, and education and training of graduate and post‐doctoral fellows 3. Evaluate the competencies and efficiencies of each host university in managing...
Our knowledge of avian behaviors during the non-breeding period still lags behind that of the breeding season, but the last decade has witnessed a proliferation in research that has yielded significant progress in understanding migration patterns of North American birds. And, although the great majority of migration research has historically been conducted in the eastern half of the continent, there has been much recent progress on aspects of avian migration in the West. In particular, expanded use of techniques such as radar, plasma metabolites, mist-netting, count surveys, stable isotopes, genetic data, and animal tracking, coupled with an increase in multi-investigator collaborations, have all contributed to...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10236-013-0684-3): A three-level nested Regional Ocean Modeling System was used to examine the seasonal evolution of the Copper River (CR) plume and how it influences the along- and across-shore transport in the northern Gulf of Alaska (NGoA). A passive tracer was introduced in the model to delineate the growth and decay of the plume and to diagnose the spread of the CR discharge in the shelf, into Prince William Sound (PWS) and offshore. Furthermore, a model experiment with doubled discharge was conducted to investigate potential impacts of accelerated glacier melt in future climate scenarios. The 2010 and 2011 simulation revealed that the upstream (eastward)...
Abstract (from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138759): Future climate change may significantly alter the distributions of many plant taxa. The effects of climate change may be particularly large in mountainous regions where climate can vary significantly with elevation. Understanding potential future vegetation changes in these regions requires methods that can resolve vegetation responses to climate change at fine spatial resolutions. We used LPJ, a dynamic global vegetation model, to assess potential future vegetation changes for a large topographically complex area of the northwest United States and southwest Canada (38.0–58.0°N latitude by 136.6–103.0°W longitude). LPJ is a...
Habitat loss and alteration from land use change, species invasion, and more recently, climate change have reduced biodiversity and ecosystem function worldwide. Habitat decisions have important implications to individual fitness as well as population dynamics and community structure. Resource limitation, predation, competition, and unfavorable abiotic conditions all have the potential to influence survival and future reproductive potential. Understanding how changes to ecosystem structure and function impact species and populations of conservation concern is essential for conservation delivery to be effective. Similar to many migratory species, shorebird populations are declining worldwide and declines may be related...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.1853/full): Predicting species responses to perturbations is a fundamental challenge in ecology. Decision makers must often identify management perturbations that are the most likely to deliver a desirable management outcome despite incomplete information on the pattern and strength of food web links. Motivated by a current fishery decline in inland lakes of the Midwestern United States, we evaluate consistency of the responses of a target species (walleye (Sander vitreus)) to press perturbations. We represented food web uncertainty with 196 plausible topological models and applied four perturbations to each one. Frequently the direction of the focal...
We classified walleye ( Sander vitreus) recruitment with 81% accuracy (recruitment success and failure predicted correctly in 84% and 78% of lake-years, respectively) using a random forest model. Models were constructed using 2779 surveys collected from 541 Wisconsin lakes between 1989 and 2013 and predictor variables related to lake morphometry, thermal habitat, land use, and fishing pressure. We selected predictors to minimize collinearity while maximizing classification accuracy and data availability. The final model classified recruitment success based on lake surface area, water temperature degree-days, shoreline development factor, and conductivity. On average, recruitment was most likely in lakes larger than...
[Excerpt from Introduction] "The San Francisco Bay Estuary supports a large and diverse bird community. More than 50% of most Pacific flyway diving duck populations are found in the Estuary during the winter months (Trost 2002; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2002). San Francisco Bay has been designated as a site of international importance for shorebirds (Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network), supporting millions of individuals (Morrison et al. 2001; Takekawa et al. 2001; Warnock et al. 2002), including species that use tidal marsh habitats. In total, the Bay’s tidal marshes support at least 113 bird species that represent 31 families (Takekawa et al., in press)..."
Abstract (from http://sp.lyellcollection.org/content/early/2015/10/09/SP408.11.abstract): We present a hierarchical series of spatially decreasing and temporally increasing models to evaluate the uncertainty in the atmosphere – ocean global climate model (AOGCM) and the regional climate model (RCM) relative to the uncertainty in the somatic growth of the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). For effects on fish populations of riverine ecosystems, climate output simulated by coarse-resolution AOGCMs and RCMs must be downscaled to basins to river hydrology to population response. One needs to transfer the information from these climate simulations down to the individual scale in a way that minimizes extrapolation...
In December 2009, a workshop sponsored by the US Geological Survey and the US Environmental Protection Agency was held to identify on-going sea level rise (SLR) modeling efforts, data gaps, and information needs for management decisions about current and future mitigation and restoration efforts in Oregon estuaries. The workshop brought together 46 non-governmental organizations, federal scientists, state land managers, and SLR modelers and has inspired collaborations for data, knowledge, and technology exchange. A second SLR workshop was scheduled for February 1 and 2, 2011 in Newport, OR to continue to build upon the collaborative efforts established at the first workshop.
The American Fisheries Society and the Human Dimensions Research Unit of Cornell University have been engaged by NCCWSC to lead 5-year reviews of the CSCs. The purpose of the CSC review and evaluation is to: 1. Evaluate the effectiveness of each CSC in meeting project goals. 2. Assess the level of scientific contribution and achievement at each CSC with respect to climate modeling, climate change impacts assessments, vulnerability and adaptation of fish, wildlife and their habitats, and collaborative development of adaptation strategies for regional stakeholders, and education and training of graduate and post‐doctoral fellows 3. Evaluate the competencies and efficiencies of each host university in managing...
Abstract (from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X15005518): Although localized effects of individual dams on stream fish assemblages have been relatively well-studied, less is known about the effects of multiple dams within a stream network on fishes and the patterns that emerge when the combined effects of individual and multiple dams are viewed across entire river basins, ecoregions, and states. This study evaluated multiple stream network fragmentation metrics representing localized (e.g., distance-to-dams) and cumulative (e.g., total upstream reservoir storage) dam influences on streams in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, developing an approach for identifying suitable fish indicators...
Abstract (from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02755947.2016.1146179): Over the last decade, the abundance of Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoideshas increased in many northern Wisconsin lakes, causing concern among anglers and biologists regarding the potential for Largemouth Bass to negatively affect populations of Walleye Sander vitreus through predation or competition for prey. Our objectives were to determine whether (1) diet overlap and predation occurred between adult Walleyes and Largemouth Bass in four northern Wisconsin lakes and (2) the use of DNA barcoding to reduce unidentifiable fish in diet samples affected conclusions regarding diet overlap. A single occurrence of Walleye predation was...
Abstract (from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0148795): Arid climates have unpredictable precipitation patterns, and wildlife managers often provide supplemental water to help desert ungulates endure the hottest, driest periods. When surface water is unavailable, the only source of water for ungulates comes from the forage they consume, and they must make resourceful foraging decisions to meet their requirements. We compared two desert bighorn sheep ( Ovis canadensis nelsoni) populations in Arizona, USA: a treatment population with supplemental water removed during treatment, and a control population. We examined whether sheep altered their seasonal diets without supplemental water....
We modeled the current and future breeding ranges of seven bird and five reptile species in the Southwestern United States with sets of landscape, biotic (plant), and climatic global circulation model (GCM) variables. For modeling purposes, we used PRISM data to characterize the climate of the Western United States between 1980 and 2009 (baseline for birds) and between 1940 and 2009 (baseline for reptiles). In contrast, we used a pre-selected set of GCMs that are known to be good predictors of southwestern climate (five individual and one ensemble GCM), for the A1B emission scenario, to characterize future climatic conditions in three time periods (2010–39; 2040–69; and, 2070–99). Our modeling approach relied on...
Abstract (from http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/ES15-00266.1): Climate often drives ungulate population dynamics, and as climates change, some areas may become unsuitable for species persistence. Unraveling the relationships between climate and population dynamics, and projecting them across time, advances ecological understanding that informs and steers sustainable conservation for species. Using pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana) as an ecological model, we used a Bayesian approach to analyze long-term population, precipitation, and temperature data from 18 populations in the southwestern United States. We determined which long-term (12 and 24 months) or short-term (gestation trimester and lactation period)...
Abstract (from http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1799/20142454): Hybridization between native and non-native species has serious biological consequences, but our understanding of how dispersal and selection interact to influence invasive hybridization is limited. Here, we document the spread of genetic introgression between a native ( Oncorhynchus clarkii) and invasive ( Oncorhynchus mykiss) trout, and identify the mechanisms influencing genetic admixture. In two populations inhabiting contrasting environments, non-native admixture increased rapidly from 1984 to 2007 and was driven by surprisingly consistent processes. Individual admixture was related to two phenotypic traits associated with fitness:...
Abstract (from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00028487.2014.963256#.VRQIaY7F8qY): The Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis is an important species of conservation concern in the eastern USA. We developed a model to predict Brook Trout population status within individual stream reaches throughout the species’ native range in the eastern USA. We utilized hierarchical logistic regression with Bayesian estimation to predict Brook Trout occurrence probability, and we allowed slopes and intercepts to vary among ecological drainage units (EDUs). Model performance was similar for 7,327 training samples and 1,832 validation samples based on the area under the receiver operating curve (∼0.78) and Cohen's kappa statistic...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-009-9644-9): Recent changes in global climate have dramatically altered worldwide temperatures and the corresponding timing of seasonal climate conditions. Recognizing the degree to which species respond to changing climates is therefore an area of increasing conservation concern as species that are unable to respond face increased risk of extinction. Here we examine spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the rate of climate change across western North America and discuss the potential for conditions to arise that may limit the ability of western migratory birds to adapt to changing climates. Based on 52 years of climate data, we show that changes in...