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Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Hybridization creates novel gene combinations that may generate important evolutionary novelty, but may also reduce existing adaptation by interrupting inherent biological processes, such as genotype-environment interactions. Hybridization often causes substantial change in patterns of gene expression, which, in turn, may cause phenotypic change. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and cutthroat trout (O. clarkii) produce viable hybrids in the wild, and introgressive hybridization with introduced rainbow trout is a major conservation concern for native cutthroat trout. The two species differ in body shape, which is likely an evolutionary adaptation to their native environments, and their hybrids tend to show intermediate...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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We evaluated the influence of pack stock (i.e., horse and mule) use on meadow plant communities in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks in the Sierra Nevada of California. Meadows were sampled to account for inherent variability across multiple scales by: 1) controlling for among-meadow variability by using remotely sensed hydro-climatic and geospatial data to pair stock use meadows with similar non-stock (reference) sites, 2) accounting for within-meadow variation in the local hydrology using in-situ soil moisture readings, and 3) incorporating variation in stock use intensity by sampling across the entire available gradient of pack stock use. Increased cover of bare ground was detected only within “dry” meadow...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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In capture-recapture and mark-resight surveys, movements of individuals both within and between sampling periods can alter the susceptibility of individuals to detection over the region of sampling. In these circumstances spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) models, which incorporate the observed locations of individuals, allow population density and abundance to be estimated while accounting for differences in detectability of individuals. In this paper I propose two Bayesian SECR models, one for the analysis of recaptures observed in trapping arrays and another for the analysis of recaptures observed in area searches. In formulating these models I used distinct submodels to specify the distribution of individual...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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MotivationSeveral spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models have been developed to estimate animal abundance by analyzing the detections of individuals in a spatial array of traps. Most of these models do not use the actual dates and times of detection, even though this information is readily available when using continuous-time recorders, such as microphones or motion-activated cameras. Instead most SCR models either partition the period of trap operation into a set of subjectively chosen discrete intervals and ignore multiple detections of the same individual within each interval, or they simply use the frequency of detections during the period of trap operation and ignore the observed times of detection. Both practices...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Conversion of wild habitats to human dominated landscape is a major cause of biodiversity loss. An approach to mitigate the impact of habitat loss consists of designating reserves where habitat is preserved and managed. Determining the most valuable areas to preserve in a landscape is called the reserve design problem. There exists several possible formulations of the reserve design problem, depending on the objectives and the constraints. In this article, we considered the dynamic problem of designing a reserve that contains a desired area of several key habitats. The dynamic case implies that the reserve cannot be designed in one time step, due to budget constraints, and that habitats can be lost before they are...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Adaptive management involves learning-oriented decision making in the presence of uncertainty about the responses of a resource system to management. It is implemented through an iterative sequence of decision making, monitoring and assessment of system responses, and incorporating what is learned into future decision making. Decision making at each point is informed by a value or objective function, for example total harvest anticipated over some time frame. The value function expresses the value associated with decisions, and it is influenced by system status as updated through monitoring. Often, decision making follows shortly after a monitoring event. However, it is certainly possible for the cadence of decision...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Logistic regression models—or “sightability models”—fit to detection/non-detection data from marked individuals are often used to adjust for visibility bias in later detection-only surveys, with population abundance estimated using a modified Horvitz-Thompson (mHT) estimator. More recently, a model-based alternative for analyzing combined detection/non-detection and detection-only data was developed. This approach seemed promising, since it resulted in similar estimates as the mHT when applied to data from moose (Alces alces) surveys in Minnesota. More importantly, it provided a framework for developing flexible models for analyzing multiyear detection-only survey data in combination with detection/non-detection...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Upriver movements were determined for Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha returning to the Yukon River, a large, virtually pristine river basin. These returns have declined dramatically since the late 1990s, and information is needed to better manage the run and facilitate conservation efforts. A total of 2,860 fish were radio tagged during 2002–2004. Most (97.5%) of the fish tracked upriver to spawning areas displayed continual upriver movements and strong fidelity to the terminal tributaries entered. Movement rates were substantially slower for fish spawning in lower river tributaries (28–40 km d-1) compared to upper basin stocks (52–62 km d-1). Three distinct migratory patterns were observed, including a...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Recovery of large carnivores remains a challenge because complex spatial dynamics that facilitate population persistence are poorly understood. In particular, recovery of the critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) has been challenging because of its vulnerability to extinction via human-caused mortality and hybridization with coyotes (Canis latrans). Therefore, understanding red wolf space use and habitat selection is important to assist recovery because key aspects of wolf ecology such as interspecific competition, foraging, and habitat selection are well-known to influence population dynamics and persistence. During 2009–2011, we used global positioning system (GPS) radio-telemetry to quantify space use...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Coastal wetland responses to sea-level rise are greatly influenced by biogeomorphic processes that affect wetland surface elevation. Small changes in elevation relative to sea level can lead to comparatively large changes in ecosystem structure, function, and stability. The surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) approach is being used globally to quantify the relative contributions of processes affecting wetland elevation change. Historically, SET-MH measurements have been obtained at local scales to address site-specific research questions. However, in the face of accelerated sea-level rise, there is an increasing need for elevation change network data that can be incorporated into regional ecological...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Freshwater mussel species with doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) of mtDNA are unique because they are naturally heteroplasmic for two extremely divergent mtDNAs with ~50% amino acid differences for protein-coding genes. The paternally-transmitted mtDNA (or M mtDNA) clearly functions in sperm in these species, but it is still unknown whether it is transcribed when present in male or female soma. In the present study, we used PCR and RT-PCR to detect the presence and expression of the M mtDNA in male and female somatic and gonadal tissues of the freshwater mussel species Venustaconcha ellipsiformis and Utterbackia peninsularis (Unionidae). This is the first study demonstrating that the M mtDNA is transcribed not...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Few if any natural resource systems are completely understood and fully observed. Instead, there almost always is uncertainty about the way a system works and its status at any given time, which can limit effective management. A natural approach to uncertainty is to allocate time and effort to the collection of additional data, on the reasonable assumption that more information will facilitate better understanding and lead to better management. But the collection of more data, either through observation or investigation, requires time and effort that often can be put to other conservation activities. An important question is whether the use of limited resources to improve understanding is justified by the resulting...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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The shortnose sturgeon, Acipenser brevirostrum, oft considered a phylogenetic relic, is listed as an “endangered species threatened with extinction” in the US and “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Effective conservation of A. brevirostrum depends on understanding its diversity and evolutionary processes, yet challenges associated with the polyploid nature of its nuclear genome have heretofore limited population genetic analysis to maternally inherited haploid characters. We developed a suite of polysomic microsatellite DNA markers and characterized a sample of 561 shortnose sturgeon collected from major extant populations along the North American Atlantic coast. The 181 alleles observed at 11 loci were scored as...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Seamounts are unique deep-sea features that create habitats thought to have high levels of endemic fauna, productive fisheries and benthic communities vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts. Many seamounts are isolated features, occurring in the high seas, where access is limited and thus biological data scarce. There are numerous seamounts within the Drake Passage (Southern Ocean), yet high winds, frequent storms and strong currents make seafloor sampling particularly difficult. As a result, few attempts to collect biological data have been made, leading to a paucity of information on benthic habitats or fauna in this area, particularly those on primarily hard-bottom seamounts and ridges. During a research cruise...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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While it is well established that ecosystem subsidies—the addition of energy, nutrients, or materials across ecosystem boundaries—can affect consumer abundance, there is less information available on how subsidy levels may affect consumer diet, body condition, trophic position, and resource partitioning among consumer species. There is also little information on whether changes in vegetation structure commonly associated with spatial variation in subsidies may play an important role in driving consumer responses to subsidies. To address these knowledge gaps, we studied changes in abundance, diet, trophic position, size, and body condition of two congeneric gecko species (Lepidodactylus spp.) that coexist in palm...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Comparative phylogeographic studies have had mixed success in identifying common phylogeographic patterns among co-distributed organisms. Whereas some have found broadly similar patterns across a diverse array of taxa, others have found that the histories of different species are more idiosyncratic than congruent. The variation in the results of comparative phylogeographic studies could indicate that the extent to which sympatrically-distributed organisms share common biogeographic histories varies depending on the strength and specificity of ecological interactions between them. To test this hypothesis, we examined demographic and phylogeographic patterns in a highly specialized, coevolved community – Joshua trees...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Based on regional-scale studies, aboveground production and litter decomposition are thought to positively covary, because they are driven by shared biotic and climatic factors. Until now we have been unable to test whether production and decomposition are generally coupled across climatically dissimilar regions, because we lacked replicated data collected within a single vegetation type across multiple regions, obfuscating the drivers and generality of the association between production and decomposition. Furthermore, our understanding of the relationships between production and decomposition rests heavily on separate meta-analyses of each response, because no studies have simultaneously measured production and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats. Future effects of urban development, changes in water supply management, and precipitation and air temperature related to global climate change on area of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley are uncertain, yet potentially substantial. Therefore, we modeled area...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Myxobolus cerebralis caused severe declines in rainbow trout populations across Colorado following its introduction in the 1980s. One promising approach for the recovery of Colorado’s rainbow trout populations has been the production of rainbow trout that are genetically resistant to the parasite. We introduced one of these resistant crosses, known as the GR×CRR (cross between the German Rainbow [GR] and Colorado River Rainbow [CRR] trout strains), to the upper Colorado River. The abundance, survival, and growth of the stocked GR×CRR population was examined to determine if GR×CRRs had contributed offspring to the age-0 population, and determine whether these offspring displayed increased resistance and survival...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE


map background search result map search result map Regional contingencies in the relationship between aboveground Bbomass and litter in the world’s grasslands Effects of spatial subsidies and habitat structure on the foraging ecology and size of geckos A nuclear DNA perspective on delineating evolutionarily significant lineages in polyploids: the case of the endangered shortnose sturgeon (<i>Acipenser brevirostrum</i>) Effects of spatial subsidies and habitat structure on the foraging ecology and size of geckos A nuclear DNA perspective on delineating evolutionarily significant lineages in polyploids: the case of the endangered shortnose sturgeon (<i>Acipenser brevirostrum</i>) Regional contingencies in the relationship between aboveground Bbomass and litter in the world’s grasslands