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Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea) is a critically endangered thermophilic minnow native to the Muddy River ecosystem in southeastern Nevada, USA. Restricted to temperatures between 26.0 and 32.0°C, these fish are constrained to the upper two km of the Muddy River and several small tributaries fed by warm springs. Habitat alterations, nonnative species invasion, and water withdrawals during the 20th century resulted in a drastic decline in the dace population and in 1979 the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) was created to protect them. The goal of our study was to determine the potential effects of reduced surface flows that might result from groundwater pumping or water diversions on Moapa dace habitat inside...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Studying habitat overlap between sympatric species is one of the best ways to identify interspecies relationships and to direct conservation efforts so that multiple species can benefit. However, studies exploring interspecies relationships are very limited in Nepal, making it difficult for the government of Nepal and conservation partners to manage wildlife in their habitats, especially in Himalayan protected areas. In this study, we identified habitat overlap between Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and red panda (Ailurus fulgens) as well as important habitat types for both species in the Makalu Barun National Park, Nepal using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling. GPS points of species occurrence were collected...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Overabundant populations of ungulates have caused environmental degradation and loss of biological diversity in ecosystems throughout the world. Culling or regulated harvest is often used to control overabundant species. These methods are difficult to implement in national parks, other types of conservation reserves, or in residential areas where public hunting may be forbidden by policy. As a result, fertility control has been recommended as a non-lethal alternative for regulating ungulate populations. We evaluate this alternative using white-tailed deer in national parks in the vicinity of Washington, D.C., USA as a model system. Managers seek to reduce densities of white-tailed deer from the current average (50...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Raptors are exposed to a wide variety of human-related mortality agents, and yet population-level effects are rarely quantified. Doing so requires modeling vital rates in the context of species life-history, behavior, and population dynamics theory. In this paper, we explore the details of such an analysis by focusing on the demography of a resident, tree-nesting population of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in the vicinity of an extensive (142 km2) windfarm in California. During 1994–2000, we tracked the fates of >250 radio-marked individuals of four life-stages and conducted five annual surveys of territory occupancy and reproduction. Collisions with wind turbines accounted for 41% of 88 uncensored fatalities,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Individual host immune responses to infectious agents drive epidemic behavior and are therefore central to understanding and controlling infectious diseases. However, important features of individual immune responses, such as the strength and longevity of immunity, can be challenging to characterize, particularly if they cannot be replicated or controlled in captive environments. Our research on bighorn sheep pneumonia elucidates how individual bighorn sheep respond to infection with pneumonia pathogens by examining the relationship between exposure history and survival in situ. Pneumonia is a poorly understood disease that has impeded the recovery of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) following their widespread extirpation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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An increasing number of studies employ spatial capture-recapture models to estimate population size, but there has been limited research on how different spatial sampling designs and trap configurations influence parameter estimators. Spatial capture-recapture models provide an advantage over non-spatial models by explicitly accounting for heterogeneous detection probabilities among individuals that arise due to the spatial organization of individuals relative to sampling devices. We simulated black bear (Ursus americanus) populations and spatial capture-recapture data to evaluate the influence of trap configuration and trap spacing on estimates of population size and a spatial scale parameter, sigma, that relates...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Land use and climate change occur simultaneously around the globe. Fully understanding their separate and combined effects requires a mechanistic understanding at the local scale where their effects are ultimately realized. Here we applied an individual-based model of fish population dynamics to evaluate the role of local stream variability in modifying responses of Coastal Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) to scenarios simulating identical changes in temperature and stream flows linked to forest harvest, climate change, and their combined effects over six decades. We parameterized the model for four neighboring streams located in a forested headwater catchment in northwestern Oregon, USA with multi-year,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Through their dam-building activities and subsequent water storage, beaver have the potential to restore riparian ecosystems and offset some of the predicted effects of climate change by modulating streamflow. Thus, it is not surprising that reintroducing beaver to watersheds from which they have been extirpated is an often-used restoration and climate-adaptation strategy. Identifying sites for reintroduction, however, requires detailed information about habitat factors—information that is not often available at broad spatial scales. Here we explore the potential for beaver relocation throughout the Snohomish River Basin in Washington, USA with a model that identifies some of the basic building blocks of beaver...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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The nutrient-water color paradigm is a framework to characterize lake trophic status by relating lake primary productivity to both nutrients and water color, the colored component of dissolved organic carbon. Total phosphorus (TP), a limiting nutrient, and water color, a strong light attenuator, influence lake chlorophyll a concentrations (CHL). But, these relationships have been shown in previous studies to be highly variable, which may be related to differences in lake and catchment geomorphology, the forms of nutrients and carbon entering the system, and lake community composition. Because many of these factors vary across space it is likely that lake nutrient and water color relationships with CHL exhibit spatial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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New-hoof growth is regarded as the most reliable metric for predicting age of newborn ungulates, but variation in estimated age among hoof-growth equations that have been developed may affect estimates of survival in staggered-entry models. We used known-age newborns to evaluate variation in age estimates among existing hoof-growth equations and to determine the consequences of that variation on survival estimates. During 2001–2009, we captured and radiocollared 174 newborn (≤24-hrs old) ungulates: 76 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Minnesota and South Dakota, 61 mule deer (O. hemionus) in California, and 37 pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) in South Dakota. Estimated age of known-age newborns differed...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Forest cover in the eastern United States has increased over the past century and while some late-successional species have benefited from this process as expected, others have experienced population declines. These declines may be in part related to contemporary reductions in small-scale forest interior disturbances such as fire, windthrow, and treefalls. To mitigate the negative impacts of disturbance alteration and suppression on some late-successional species, strategies that emulate natural disturbance regimes are often advocated, but large-scale evaluations of these practices are rare. Here, we assessed the consequences of experimental disturbance (using partial timber harvest) on a severely declining late-successional...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Fish migration in large freshwater lacustrine systems such as the Laurentian Great Lakes is not well understood. The walleye (Sander vitreus) is an economically and ecologically important native fish species throughout the Great Lakes. In Lake Huron walleye has recently undergone a population expansion as a result of recovery of the primary stock, stemming from changing food web dynamics. During 2011 and 2012, we used acoustic telemetry to document the timing and spatial scale of walleye migration in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay. Spawning walleye (nā€Š=ā€Š199) collected from a tributary of Saginaw Bay were implanted with acoustic tags and their migrations were documented using acoustic receivers (nā€Š=ā€Š140) deployed throughout...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Population trends, defined as interval-specific proportional changes in population size, are often used to help identify species of conservation interest. Efficient modeling of such trends depends on the consideration of the correlation of population changes with key spatial and environmental covariates. This can provide insights into causal mechanisms and allow spatially explicit summaries at scales that are of interest to management agencies. We expand the hierarchical modeling framework used in the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) by developing a spatially explicit model of temporal trend using a conditional autoregressive (CAR) model. By adopting a formal spatial model for abundance, we produce spatially...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Migrating waterfowl are implicated in the global spread of influenza A viruses (IAVs), and mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) are considered a particularly important IAV reservoir. Prevalence of IAV infection in waterfowl peaks during autumn pre-migration staging and then declines as birds reach wintering areas. Migration is energetically costly and birds often experience declines in body condition that may suppress immune function. We assessed how body condition affects susceptibility to infection, viral shedding and antibody production in wild-caught and captive-bred juvenile mallards challenged with low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) H5N9. Wild mallards (n = 30) were separated into three experimental groups;...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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We used repeated sightings of individual birds encountered in community-level surveys to investigate the relative roles of habitat and biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of each species. To analyze these data, we developed a multispecies N-mixture model that allowed estimation of both positive and negative correlations between abundances of different species while also estimating the effects of habitat and the effects of errors in detection of each species. Using a combination of single- and multispecies N-mixture modeling, we examined for each species whether our measures of habitat were sufficient to account for the variation in encounter histories of individual birds or whether...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Coral reefs can undergo relatively rapid changes in the dominant biota, a phenomenon referred to as phase shift. Various reasons have been proposed to explain this phenomenon including increased human disturbance, pollution, or changes in coral reef biota that serve a major ecological function such as depletion of grazers. However, pinpointing the actual factors potentially responsible can be problematic. Here we show a phase shift from coral to the corallimorpharian Rhodactis howesii associated with a long line vessel that wrecked in 1991 on an isolated atoll (Palmyra) in the central Pacific Ocean. We documented high densities of R. howesii near the ship that progressively decreased with distance from the ship...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Information is sparse about aspects of female wolf (Canis lupus) breeding in the wild, including age of first reproduction, mean age of primiparity, generation time, and proportion of each age that breeds in any given year. We studied these subjects in 86 wolves (113 captures) in the Superior National Forest (SNF), Minnesota (MN), during 1972–2013 where wolves were legally protected for most of the period, and in 159 harvested wolves from throughout MN wolf range during 2012–2014. Breeding status of SNF wolves were assessed via nipple measurements, and wolves from throughout MN wolf range, by placental scars. In the SNF, proportions of currently breeding females (those breeding in the year sampled) ranged from 19%...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Conservation of bat species is one of the most daunting wildlife conservation challenges in North America, requiring detailed knowledge about their ecology to guide conservation efforts. Outside of the hibernating season, bats in temperate forest environments spend their diurnal time in day-roosts. In addition to simple shelter, summer roost availability is as critical as maternity sites and maintaining social group contact. To date, a major focus of bat conservation has concentrated on conserving individual roost sites, with comparatively less focus on the role that broader habitat conditions contribute towards roost-site selection. We evaluated roost-site selection by a northern population of federally-endangered...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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The gut microbiome of herbivorous animals consists of organisms that efficiently digest the structural carbohydrates of ingested plant material. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) provide an interesting model of change in these microbial communities because they undergo a pronounced shift from a surface-pelagic distribution and omnivorous diet to a neritic distribution and herbivorous diet. As an alternative to direct sampling of the gut, we investigated the cloacal microbiomes of juvenile green turtles before and after recruitment to neritic waters to observe any changes in their microbial community structure. Cloacal swabs were taken from individual turtles for analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences using Illumina...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE


map background search result map search result map An ecohydraulic model to identify and monitor moapa dace habitat Use of exposure history to identify patterns of immunity to pneumonia in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions An ecohydraulic model to identify and monitor moapa dace habitat Use of exposure history to identify patterns of immunity to pneumonia in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions