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Abstract: Field observations and numerical simulations indicate that the 6-to-30-km-wide mangrove forest along the Gulf Coast of South Florida effectively attenuated storm surges from a Category 3 hurricane, Wilma, and protected the inland wetland by reducing an inundation area of 1800 km2 and restricting surge inundation inside the mangrove zone. The surge amplitude decreases at a rate of 40–50 cm/km across the mangrove forest and at a rate of 20 cm/km across the areas with a mixture of mangrove islands with open water. In contrast, the amplitudes of storm surges at the front of the mangrove zone increase by about 10–30% because of the “blockage” of mangroves to surge water, which can cause greater impacts on structures...
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 BioScience): Despite their limited spatial extent, freshwater ecosystems host remarkable biodiversity, including one-third of all vertebrate species. This biodiversity is declining dramatically: Globally, wetlands are vanishing three times faster than forests, and freshwater vertebrate populations have fallen more than twice as steeply as terrestrial or marine populations. Threats to freshwater biodiversity are well documented but coordinated action to reverse the decline is lacking. We present an Emergency Recovery Plan to bend the curve of freshwater biodiversity loss. Priority actions include accelerating implementation of environmental flows; improving water quality; protecting and restoring critical...
Abstract: Rising environmental temperatures result from changes in land use and global climate and can cause significant shifts in the composition and distribution of species within communities. In freshwater systems, the larval life stage, glochidia, of Unionida mussels develops as an obligate parasite on host fish gills or fins before transforming into the juvenile stage and dropping to the sediment to complete the life cycle. Because of the relationship between freshwater mussels and their often specific host fish species, mussels are not only limited by their own variable thermal tolerances, but also by those of their host fish. Our intent was to compile data from available literature regarding thermal sensitivities...
Abstract: Freshwater mussels are among the most imperiled faunal groups globally, and relevant ecological information is urgently needed to guide their management and conservation in the face of global change. We explored the influence of species traits, host fishes, and habitat at three spatial scales (micro-, reach-, and catchment-scale) on the detection and occupancy of 14 species of freshwater mussels in the Tar River basin, North Carolina. Detection probability for all species was 0.42 (95% CI, 0.36 –0.47) with no species- or site-specific detection effects identified. Mean occupancy probability among species ranged from 0.04 (95% CI, 0.01 – 0.16) for Alasmidonta undulata, an undescribed Lampsilis sp., and...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12847/full): Climate models predict increasing drought intensity and frequency for many regions, which may have negative consequences for tree recruitment, growth and mortality, as well as forest ecosystem services. Furthermore, practical strategies for minimizing vulnerability to drought are limited. Tree population density, a metric of tree abundance in a given area, is a primary driver of competitive intensity among trees, which influences tree growth and mortality. Manipulating tree population density may be a mechanism for moderating drought-induced stress and growth reductions, although the relationship between tree population density and...
The United Nations’ (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development defines the formidable challenge of integrating historically separate economic, social, and environmental goals into a unified ‘plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity.’ We highlight the substantial contribution inland fisheries can make towards preventing increased poverty and, in some cases, alleviating poverty (i.e. addressing Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 1: No Poverty) as an opportunity to inform the next set of development agendas and their associated budgets and priorities. Overlooking the contribution of inland fisheries to poverty prevention and alleviation may undermine the capacity to successfully meet the development goals,...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01853.x/abstract): Globally, seabirds are vulnerable to anthropogenic threats both at sea and on land. Seabirds typically nest colonially and show strong fidelity to natal colonies, and such colonies on low-lying islands may be threatened by sea-level rise. We used French Frigate Shoals, the largest atoll in the Hawaiian Archipelago, as a case study to explore the population dynamics of seabird colonies and the potential effects sea-level rise may have on these rookeries. We compiled historic observations, a 30-year time series of seabird population abundance, lidar-derived elevations, and aerial imagery of all the islands of French Frigate...
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: Population persistence across broad spatial scales (e.g., watersheds) can depend on asynchronous dynamics among populations at finer scales (e.g., streams or habitats). We applied a von Bertalanffy growth model and closed N‐mixture abundance model in a hierarchical Bayesian framework to examine effects of fine‐scale variability in temperature and density dependence on growth and abundance as well as within‐ versus among‐stream variability in growth and abundance of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (RGCT) in northern New Mexico streams. An accumulation of degree‐days positively influenced instantaneous growth rates and, to a lesser extent, negatively affected asymptotic body length....
Abstract (from Nature.com): Globally, our knowledge on lake fisheries is still limited despite their importance to food security and livelihoods. Here we show that fish catches can respond either positively or negatively to climate and land-use changes, by analyzing time-series data (1970–2014) for 31 lakes across five continents. We find that effects of a climate or land-use driver (e.g., air temperature) on lake environment could be relatively consistent in directions, but consequential changes in a lake-environmental factor (e.g., water temperature) could result in either increases or decreases in fish catch in a given lake. A subsequent correlation analysis indicates that reductions in fish catch was less likely...
These datasets consist of transcripts from two focus groups with science users (1st group) and science producers (2nd group) who were partners of the regional Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC). The participants in the focus groups were science users and science producers identified by the regional CASC and recruited in collaboration with Cornell's Center for Conservation Social Sciences. The purpose of the focus groups was to understand the range of perspectives and experiences of CASC partners in relation to their work with the CASC. We attempted to include participants that represented a diversity of organizations and regions working with the CASC. Participants in the science users groups included representatives...
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...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jawr.12178/abstract): We developed a stochastic hourly stream temperature model (SHSTM) to estimate probability of exceeding given threshold temperature ( T ) for specified durations (24 and 96 h) to assess potential impacts on freshwater mussels in the upper Tar River, North Carolina. Simulated daily mean stream T from climate change (CC) and land-use (LU) change simulations for 2021-2030 and 2051-2060 were used as input to the SHSTM. Stream T observations in 2010 revealed only two sites with T above 30°C for >24 h and T s were never >31°C for more than 24 h at any site. The SHSTM suggests that the probability, P , that T will exceed 32°C for...
Summary (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fwb.12807/abstract) Conservation of freshwater unionid mussels presents unique challenges due to their distinctive life cycle, cryptic occurrence and imperilled status. Relevant ecological information is urgently needed to guide their management and conservation. We adopted a modelling approach, which is a novel application to freshwater mussels to enhance inference on rare species, by borrowing data among species in a hierarchical framework to conduct the most comprehensive occurrence analysis for freshwater mussels to date. We incorporated imperfect detection to more accurately examine effects of biotic and abiotic factors at multiple scales on the occurrence...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.13681/full): Hybridization between invasive and native species, a significant threat to worldwide biodiversity, is predicted to increase due to climate-induced expansions of invasive species. Long-term research and monitoring are crucial for understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that modulate the effects of invasive species. Using a large, multidecade genetics dataset (N = 582 sites, 12,878 individuals) with high-resolution climate predictions and extensive stocking records, we evaluate the spatiotemporal dynamics of hybridization between native cutthroat trout and invasive rainbow trout, the world's most widely introduced invasive fish,...
Abstract (from ScienceDirect): Climate change effects on vegetation will likely be strong in the southwestern U.S., which is projected to experience large increases in temperature and changes in precipitation. Plant communities in the southwestern U.S. may be particularly vulnerable to climate change as the productivity of many plant species is strongly water-limited. This study examines the relationship between climate and vegetation condition using a time-series of Landsat imagery across grassland, shrubland, and woodland communities on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We improve on poorly understood inter-annual climate-vegetation relationships by exploring how the responses of different plant communities depend on...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-015-3296-4): Climate plays a fundamental role in limiting the range of a species, is a key factor in the dynamics of large herbivores, and is thought to be involved in declines of moose populations in recent decades. We examined effects of climate and growing-season phenology on recruitment (8–9 months old) of young Shiras moose ( Alces alces shirasi) over three decades, from 18 herds, across a large geographic area encompassing much of the southern extent of their range. Recruitment declined in 8 of 18 herds during 1980–2009, whereas others did not exhibit a temporal trend (none showed a positive trend). During those three decades, seasonal temperatures...