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Grassland bird populations have declined more than any other group of birds in North America and are of conservation concern to state and federal agencies. We determined relative abundances of grassland birds in oak barrens and dry sand prairies—native habitat types rare in the state of Wisconsin. We also investigated the association of relative abundance, patch size, and patch vegetation. Our study was conducted May–July 2000–2002 on Fort McCoy Military Installation in Monroe County, Wisconsin. Fourteen grassland bird species were found in native habitat patches. Vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) were the most abundant grassland...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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Although the fragmentation of the natural landscape of coastal southern California, USA, is accelerating, large-scale assessments of regional connectivity are lacking. Because of their large area requirements and long dispersal movements, mammalian carnivores can be effective focal species to use when evaluating landscape-level connectivity. Our goal was to make an initial assessment of the extent of landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California using mountain lions (Felis concolor [Linnaeus]) and bobcats (Felis rufus [Shreber]) as focal species. We first characterized habitat preferences for mountain lions and bobcats from previously derived habitat relationship models for these species; the resulting...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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Aquatic algal communities are sensitive to environmental stresses and are used as indicators of water quality. Diatoms were collected from three streams that drain the Great Marsh at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Diatom communities, water chemistry, and land use were measured at each site to test the hypothesis that differences in land use indirectly affect diatom communities, through changes in water quality. Relationships among these variables were examined by correlation, cluster, and detrended correspondence analysis. Several water chemistry variables were correlated to several land-use categories. Diatom species diversity was most variable in disturbed areas with poorer water quality and was correlated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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During 2002, the National Park Service initiated a demonstration project to develop science-based law enforcement strategies for the protection of at-risk natural resources, including American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.), and black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. [syn. Actaea racemosa L.]). Harvest pressure on these species is increasing because of the growing herbal remedy market. We developed habitat models for Shenandoah National Park and the northern portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway to determine the distribution of favorable habitats of these three plant species and to demonstrate the use of that information to support plant protection activities. We compiled...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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Fish assemblages were systematically sampled along the transition from channelized to unchannelized reaches in seven streams in northern Missouri, USA. Streams ranged in size from 4th to 8th order and were located in the Central Dissected Till Plains including the Grand, Chariton, Salt, and Fabius watersheds. Maximum species richness was reached 3-5 km downstream from the end of channelization. A limited core group of 10 species was present at most of the sites (channelized and unchannelized locations), and a diverse group of 45 species was present at relatively few sites (rarely channelized locations). The core group consisted largely of tolerant, omnivorous species and contained no top carnivores. The 45-species...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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The southern Lake Michigan basin in northwest Indiana possesses a variety of aquatic habitats including riverine, palustrine, and lacustrine systems. The watershed draining this area is a remnant of glacial Lake Chicago and supports fish communities that are typically low in species richness. Composition of the presettlement Lake Michigan fish community near the Indiana Dunes has been difficult to reconstruct. Existing data indicate that the number of native species in the Lake Michigan watershed, including nearshore Lake Michigan, has declined by 22% since the onset of European settlement. Few remnants of natural fish communities exist, and those occur principally in the ponds of Miller Woods, the Grand Calumet...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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The United States Northern Great Plains (NGP) has a high potential for landscape-scale conservation, but this grassland landscape is threatened by encroachment of woody species. We surveyed NGP land managers to identify patterns in, and illustrate a broad range of, individual managers' perceptions on (1) the threat of woody encroachment to grasslands they manage, and (2) what management practices they use that may influence woody encroachment in this region. In the 34 surveys returned, which came from predominantly public lands in the study area, 79% of responses reported moderate or substantial woody encroachment. Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) were the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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Fire intensity is one of the important components of a fire regime. However, relatively few studies have linked fire intensity with post-fire population vital rates. In this study, we explored the effects of fire intensity on population vital rates of Chamaecrista keyensis Pennell (Fabaceae) up to two years post-fire. C. keyensis is an endemic understory plant of pine rockland, a fire-dependent ecosystem of the Lower Florida Keys. We measured one fire intensity indicator, fire temperature reached by steel plates on the ground, during three prescribed fires at different sites. We followed marked individuals up to two years post-fire to derive annual survival, annual growth rate, percentage of fruiting plants, mean...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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Mineral sites are scarce resources of high ion concentration used heavily by the Pacific Coast subpopulation of band-tailed pigeons. Over 20% of all known mineral sites used by band-tailed pigeons in western Oregon, including all hot springs, have been abandoned. Prior investigations have not analyzed stand or landscape level habitat composition in relation to band-tailed pigeon use of mineral sites. We used logistic regression models to evaluate the influence of habitat types, identified from Gap Analysis Program (GAP) products at two spatial scales, on the odds of mineral site use in Oregon (n = 69 currently used and 20 historically used). Our results indicated that the odds of current use were negatively associated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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Conducting dormant season or springtime prescribed fire treatments has become a common practice in many regions of the United States to restore ecosystems to their natural state. Despite the knowledge that historically, fires often occurred during the summer, the application of summer burns has been deterred, in part, by a lack of understanding of fire season effects on vegetation. We explored the differences in fire effects between spring and summer burns at Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota. The fire season effects on the ground layer vegetation were clearly different among the treatments: pre-burn, spring, and summer. Vegetation composition of pre-burn and after spring fires was similar, but differed significantly...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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Excessive fecal coliform bacteria in public swimming waters can potentially threaten visitor health. Fecal coliform bacteria (1984-1989) and Escherichia coli (1990-1995) density were monitored weekly at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore beaches for 12 summers, and park officials closed swimming areas when fecal coliform density exceeded the state water quality criteria (400 CFU fecal coliforms/ 100 ml; 235 CFU E. coli/100 ml water). Due to a 24-hour incubation in the fecal coliform and E. coli assays, beaches were closed the day after collection of high fecal coliform. Our analysis suggests that it is not possible to predict one day's fecal coliform count based on the previous day's results in waters taken from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
Imazapic has shown potential to control invasive weeds, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), during ecological restoration, but effects on non-target native plants are poorly known. In a replicated field experiment, as part of restoration for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in Colorado, imazapic was applied in the fall at a high rate (175 g/ha) to control cheatgrass in mowed Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young). Cheatgrass was reduced, but only by 67%, and non-native forbs were reduced by 80% by the following summer. However, native forbs also declined (by 84%). Two native grasses declined, but others were not affected. Damage to native forbs would likely...
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We tested two predictions associated with the hypothesis that certain populations of pond-breeding amphibians are structured into metapopulations using minimum relative abundance estimates of nesting four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum Schlegel) from 11 different ponds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Coefficients of variation (CV) for counts at individual ponds ranged from 0.25 to 1.26, and the overall mean CV at all 11 ponds was 0.34. Many pairs of ponds had negative correlations in abundance from 1999-2003, whereas others had various degrees of positive correlation (mean r = 0.29). Thus, nesting population size fluctuated semi-independently among the ponds from year to year, inferring the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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The Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, located in the northeastern portion of the country, currently has 26 state and three federal nature reserves covering approximately 4.5% of its land area. These reserves were established for a variety of reasons not necessarily related to conservation purposes. In 2000 in response to a growing concern about the lack of organized conservation reserve planning to protect the important biological and physical features of Mexico, the Mexican Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity proposed 12 new terrestrial reserves for Nuevo Leon. The new reserves, if established, would increase the proportion of protected lands in the state to almost 24% of the state's land area. We compiled...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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We monitored populations of Canada thistle biocontrol agents Cassida rubiginosa, Ceutorhynchus litura, Larinus (= Hadroplantus) planus, Urophora cardui, Orellia (= Terellia) ruficauda, and Rhinocyllus conicus on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) at two national wildlife refuges in South Dakota from 1999 through 2003. C. litura, U. cardui, O. ruficauda, and R. conicus were present on both refuges. Agent populations were low except for C. litura, which was present in up to 90% of stems in some plots. C. litura infestation did not reduce thistle flowering, stem length, or over-winter survival. There was no change in thistle stem numbers over the study period and no difference in stem numbers in areas of high C. litura...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal
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We compared the extent to which exotic species are associated with horse trails, old roads, and intact communities within three native vegetation types in Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri. We used a general linear model procedure and a Bonferroni multiple comparison test to compare exotic species richness, exotic to native species ratios, and exotic species percent cover across three usage types (horse trails, old roads, and intact communities) and three community types (river bottoms, upland waterways, and glades). We found that both exotic species richness and the ratio of exotic species to native species were greater in plots located along horse trails than in plots located either in intact native communities...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Areas Journal