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Climate change is driving rapid changes in environmental conditions and affecting population and species’ persistence across spatial and temporal scales. Integrating climate change assessments into biological resource management, such as conserving endangered species, is a substantial challenge, partly due to a mismatch between global climate forecasts and local or regional conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate how outputs of global climate change models can be downscaled to the watershed scale, and then coupled with ecophysiological metrics to assess climate change effects on organisms of conservation concern. We employed models to estimate future water temperatures (2010–2099) under several climate change...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum) varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Parametric and nonparametric kernel methods dominate studies of animal home ranges and space use. Most existing methods are unable to incorporate information about the underlying physical environment, leading to poor performance in excluding areas that are not used. Using radio-telemetry data from sea otters, we developed and evaluated a new algorithm for estimating home ranges (hereafter Permissible Home Range Estimation, or “PHRE”) that reflects habitat suitability. We began by transforming sighting locations into relevant landscape features (for sea otters, coastal position and distance from shore). Then, we generated a bivariate kernel probability density function in landscape space and back-transformed this...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) were used to evaluate trophic niche overlap between two filter-feeding fishes (known together as bigheaded carp) native to China, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), and three native filter-feeding fish including bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) and paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) in the lower Missouri River, USA, using the Bayesian Stable Isotope in R statistics. Results indicate that except for bigmouth buffalo, all species displayed similar trophic niche size and trophic diversity. Bigmouth buffalo occupied a small trophic niche and had the greatest trophic overlap...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Soil represents the largest store of mercury (Hg) in terrestrial ecosystems, and further study of the factors associated with soil Hg storage is needed to address concerns about the magnitude and persistence of global environmental Hg bioaccumulation. To address this need, we compared total Hg and methyl Hg concentrations and stores in the soil of different landscapes in two watersheds in different geographic settings with similar and relatively high methyl Hg concentrations in surface waters and biota, Fishing Brook, Adirondack Mountains, New York, and McTier Creek, Coastal Plain, South Carolina. Median total Hg concentrations and stores in organic and mineral soil samples were three-fold greater at Fishing Brook...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Critics of the market-based, ecosystem services approach to biodiversity conservation worry that volatile market conditions and technological substitutes will diminish the value of ecosystem services and obviate the “economic benefits” arguments for conservation. To explore the effects of market forces and substitutes on service values, we assessed how the value of the pest-control services provided by Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana) to cotton production in the southwestern U.S. has changed over time. We calculated service values each year from 1990 through 2008 by estimating the value of avoided crop damage and the reduced social and private costs of insecticide use in the presence of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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As bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver carp H. molitrix (the bigheaded carps) are poised to enter the Laurentian Great Lakes and potentially damage the region’s economically important fishery, information on developmental rates and behaviors of carps is critical to assessing their ability to establish sustainable populations within the Great Lakes basin. In laboratory experiments, the embryonic and larval developmental rates, size, and behaviors of bigheaded carp were tracked at two temperature treatments, one “cold” and one “warm”. Developmental rates were computed using previously described stages of development and the cumulative thermal unit method. Both species have similar thermal requirements,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Information about wolf (Canis lupus) movements anywhere near the northern extreme of the species' range in the High Arctic (>75°N latitude) are lacking. There, wolves prey primarily on muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) and must survive 4 months of 24 hr/day winter darkness and temperatures reaching -53 C. The extent to which wolves remain active and prey on muskoxen during the dark period are unknown, for the closest area where information is available about winter wolf movements is >2,250 km south. We studied a pack of ≥20 wolves on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada (80°N latitude) from July 2009 through mid-April 2010 by collaring a lead wolf with a Global Positioning System (GPS)/Argos radio collar. The collar recorded...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients. Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions. The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20–30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Simple models of plant response to warming climates predict vegetation moving to cooler and/or wetter locations: in mountainous regions shifting upslope. However, species-specific responses to climate change are likely to be much more complex. We re-examined a recently reported vegetation shift in the Santa Rosa Mountains, California, to better understand the mechanisms behind the reported shift of a plant distribution upslope. We focused on five elevational zones near the center of the gradient that captured many of the reported shifts and which are dominated by fire-prone chaparral. Using growth rings, we determined that a major assumption of the previous work was wrong: past fire histories differed among elevations....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Tracking and preventing the spillover of disease from wildlife to livestock can be difficult when rare outbreaks occur across large landscapes. In these cases, broad scale ecological studies could help identify risk factors and patterns of risk to inform management and reduce incidence of disease. Between 2002 and 2014, 21 livestock herds in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) were affected by brucellosis, a bacterial disease caused by Brucella abortus, while no affected herds were detected between 1990 and 2001. Using a Bayesian analysis, we examined several ecological covariates that may be associated with affected livestock herds across the region. We showed that livestock risk has been increasing over time and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Ecological systems may occur in alternative states that differ in ecological structures, functions and processes. Resilience is the measure of disturbance an ecological system can absorb before changing states. However, how the intrinsic structures and processes of systems that characterize their states affects their resilience remains unclear. We analyzed time series of phytoplankton communities at three sites in a floodplain in central Spain to assess the dominant frequencies or “temporal scales” in community dynamics and compared the patterns between a wet and a dry alternative state. The identified frequencies and cross-scale structures are expected to arise from positive feedbacks that are thought to reinforce...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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During both regulatory and routine surveillance sampling of baitfish from the states of Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, and Wisconsin, USA, isolates (nā€Š=ā€Š20) of a previously unknown picornavirus were obtained from kidney/spleen or entire viscera of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) and brassy minnows (Hybognathus hankinsoni). Following the appearance of a diffuse cytopathic effect, examination of cell culture supernatant by negative contrast electron microscopy revealed the presence of small, round virus particles (∼30–32 nm), with picornavirus-like morphology. Amplification and sequence analysis of viral RNA identified the agent as a novel member of the Picornaviridae family, tentatively named fathead minnow...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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The global trade in wildlife has historically contributed to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases. The United States is the world's largest importer of wildlife and wildlife products, yet minimal pathogen surveillance has precluded assessment of the health risks posed by this practice. This report details the findings of a pilot project to establish surveillance methodology for zoonotic agents in confiscated wildlife products. Initial findings from samples collected at several international airports identified parts originating from nonhuman primate (NHP) and rodent species, including baboon, chimpanzee, mangabey, guenon, green monkey, cane rat and rat. Pathogen screening identified retroviruses (simian...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Managers of protected natural areas increasingly are confronted with novel ecological conditions and conflicting objectives to preserve the past while fostering resilience for an uncertain future. This dilemma may be pronounced at range peripheries where rates of change are accelerated and ongoing invasions often are perceived as threats to local ecosystems. We provide an example from City of Rocks National Reserve (CIRO) in southern Idaho, positioned at the northern range periphery of pinyon-juniper (P-J) woodland. Reserve managers are concerned about P-J woodland encroachment into adjacent sagebrush steppe, but the rates and biophysical variability of encroachment are not well documented and management options...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Pesticide presence in streams is a potential threat to Endangered Species Act listed salmonids in the Hood River basin, Oregon, a primarily forested and agricultural basin. Two types of passive samplers, polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS) and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs), were simultaneously deployed at four sites in the basin during Mar. 2011–Mar. 2012 to measure the presence of pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The year-round use of passive samplers is a novel approach and offers several new insights. Currently used pesticides and legacy contaminants, including many chlorinated pesticides and PBDEs, were present throughout the year...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are the focus of a growing wildlife viewing industry and are found in habitats frequented by recreationists. Managers face difficult decisions in balancing recreational opportunities with habitat protection for wildlife. Here, we integrate results from empirical studies with expert knowledge to better understand the potential population-level effects of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Abundance estimation of carnivore populations is difficult and has prompted the use of non-invasive detection methods, such as remotely-triggered cameras, to collect data. To analyze photo data, studies focusing on carnivores with unique pelage patterns have utilized a mark-recapture framework and studies of carnivores without unique pelage patterns have used a mark-resight framework. We compared mark-resight and mark-recapture estimation methods to estimate bobcat (Lynx rufus) population sizes, which motivated the development of a new "hybrid" mark-resight model as an alternative to traditional methods. We deployed a sampling grid of 30 cameras throughout the urban southern California study area. Additionally,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Soaring birds can balance the energetic costs of movement by switching between flapping, soaring and gliding flight. Accelerometers can allow quantification of flight behavior and thus a context to interpret these energetic costs. However, models to interpret accelerometry data are still being developed, rarely trained with supervised datasets, and difficult to apply. We collected accelerometry data at 140Hz from a trained golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) whose flight we recorded with video that we used to characterize behavior. We applied two forms of supervised classifications, random forest (RF) models and K-nearest neighbor (KNN) models. The KNN model was substantially easier to implement than the RF approach...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE


map background search result map search result map A plant distribution shift: temperature, drought or past disturbance? Isolation and molecular characterization of a novel picornavirus from baitfish in the USA Mercury in the soil of two contrasting watersheds in the eastern United States A plant distribution shift: temperature, drought or past disturbance? Mercury in the soil of two contrasting watersheds in the eastern United States Isolation and molecular characterization of a novel picornavirus from baitfish in the USA