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Surging wildfires across the globe are contributing to escalating residential losses and have major social, economic, and ecological consequences. The highest losses in the U.S. occur in southern California, where nearly 1000 homes per year have been destroyed by wildfires since 2000. Wildfire risk reduction efforts focus primarily on fuel reduction and, to a lesser degree, on house characteristics and homeowner responsibility. However, the extent to which land use planning could alleviate wildfire risk has been largely missing from the debate despite large numbers of homes being placed in the most hazardous parts of the landscape. Our goal was to examine how housing location and arrangement affects the likelihood...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Since the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in the eastern hemisphere, numerous surveillance programs and studies have been undertaken to detect the occurrence, distribution, or spread of avian influenza viruses (AIV) in wild bird populations worldwide. To identify demographic determinants and spatiotemporal patterns of AIV infection in long distance migratory waterfowl in North America, we fitted generalized linear models with binominal distribution to analyze results from 13,574 blue-winged teal (Anas discors, BWTE) sampled in 2007 to 2010 year round during AIV surveillance programs in Canada and the United States. Our analyses revealed that during late summer staging (July-August) and fall...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Although nickel exposure results in allergic reactions, respiratory conditions, and cancer in humans and rodents, the ramifications of excess nickel in the environment for animal and human health remain largely undescribed. Nickel and other cationic metals travel through waterways and bind to soils and sediments. To evaluate the potential toxic effects of nickel at environmental contaminant levels (8.9-7,600 µg Ni/g dry weight of sediment and 50-800 µg NiCl2/L of water), we conducted assays using two cosmopolitan nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus. We assayed the effects of both sediment-bound and aqueous nickel upon animal growth, developmental survival, lifespan, and fecundity. Uncontaminated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Climate-induced tree mortality is an increasing concern for forest managers around the world. We used a coupled hydrologic and ecosystem carbon cycling model to assess temperature and precipitation impacts on productivity and survival of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). Model predictions were evaluated using observations of productivity and survival for three ponderosa pine stands located across an 800 m elevation gradient in the southern Rocky Mountains, USA, during a 10-year period that ended in a severe drought and extensive tree mortality at the lowest elevation site. We demonstrate the utility of a relatively simple representation of declines in non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) as an approach for estimating...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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We used correlative models with species occurrence points, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices, and topo-climatic predictors to map the current distribution and potential habitat of invasive Prosopis juliflora in Afar, Ethiopia. Time-series of MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Indices (EVI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) with 250 m2 spatial resolution were selected as remote sensing predictors for mapping distributions, while WorldClim bioclimatic products and generated topographic variables from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission product (SRTM) were used to predict potential infestations. We ran Maxent models using non-correlated variables and the 143 species-occurrence...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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We present a unique water-balance approach for modeling snowpack under historic, current and future climates throughout the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion. Our methodology uses a finer scale (270 m) than previous regional studies and incorporates cold-air pooling, an atmospheric process that sustains cooler temperatures in topographic depressions thereby mitigating snowmelt. Our results are intended to support management and conservation of snow-dependent species, which requires characterization of suitable habitat under current and future climates. We use the wolverine (Gulo gulo) as an example species and investigate potential habitat based on the depth and extent of spring snowpack within four National Park units with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Many applications in ecological genetics involve sampling individuals from a mixture of multiple biological populations and subsequently associating those individuals with the populations from which they arose. Analytical methods that assign individuals to their putative population of origin have utility in both basic and applied research, providing information about population-specific life history and habitat use, ecotoxins, pathogen and parasite loads, and many other non-genetic ecological, or phenotypic traits. Although the question is initially directed at the origin of individuals, in most cases the ultimate desire is to investigate the distribution of some trait among populations. Current practice is to assign...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Comparison of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations between the sexes of mature fish may reveal important behavioral and physiological differences between the sexes. We determined whole-fish PCB concentrations in 23 female summer flounder Paralichthys dentatusand 27 male summer flounder from New Jersey coastal waters. To investigate the potential for differences in diet or habitat utilization between the sexes, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were also determined. In 5 of the 23 female summer flounder, PCB concentrations in the somatic tissue and ovaries were determined. In addition, we used bioenergetics modeling to assess the contribution of the growth dilution effect to the observed difference...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Across the globe, species distributions are changing in response to climate change and land use change. In parts of the southeastern United States, climate change is expected to result in the poleward range expansion of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) at the expense of some salt marsh vegetation. The morphology of A. germinans at its northern range limit is more shrub-like than in tropical climes in part due to the aboveground structural damage and vigorous multi-stem regrowth triggered by extreme winter temperatures. In this study, we developed aboveground allometric equations for freeze-affected black mangroves which can be used to quantify: (1) total aboveground biomass; (2) leaf biomass; (3) stem plus...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Wild waterfowl are primary reservoirs of avian influenza viruses (AIV). However the role of sea ducks in the ecology of avian influenza, and how that role differs from freshwater ducks, has not been examined. We obtained and analyzed sera from North Atlantic sea ducks and determined the seroprevalence in those populations. We also tested swab samples from North Atlantic sea ducks for the presence of AIV. We found relatively high serological prevalence (61%) in these sea duck populations but low virus prevalence (0.3%). Using these data we estimated that an antibody half-life of 141 weeks (3.2 years) would be required to attain these prevalences. These findings are much different than what is known in freshwater...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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We conducted a survey of an endangered and cryptic forest grouse, the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, based on droppings collected on two sampling occasions in eight forest fragments in central Switzerland in early spring 2009. We used genetic analyses to sex and individually identify birds. We estimated sex-dependent detection probabilities and population size using a modern spatial capture-recapture (SCR) model for the data from pooled surveys. A total of 127 capercaillie genotypes were identified (77 males, 46 females, and 4 of unknown sex). The SCR model yielded atotal population size estimate (posterior mean) of 137.3 capercaillies (posterior sd 4.2, 95% CRI 130–147). The observed sex ratio was skewed towards...
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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Pollination is a critical ecosystem service affected by various drivers of land-use change, such as policies and programs aimed at land resources, market values for crop commodities, local land-management decisions, and shifts in climate. The United States is the world's most active market for pollination services by honey bees, and the Northern Great Plains provide the majority of bee colonies used to meet the Nation's annual pollination needs. Legislation requiring increased production of biofuel crops, increasing commodity prices for crops of little nutritional value for bees in the Northern Great Plains, and reductions in government programs aimed at promoting land conservation are converging to alter the regional...
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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Body condition is a gauge of the energy stores of an animal, and though it has important implications for fitness, survival, competition, and disease, it is difficult to measure directly. Instead, body condition is frequently estimated as a body condition index (BCI) using length and mass measurements. A desirable BCI should accurately reflect true body condition and be unbiased with respect to size (i.e., mean BCI estimates should not change across different length or mass ranges), and choosing the most-appropriate BCI is not straightforward. We evaluated 11 different BCIs in 248 Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus), organisms that, like other snakes, exhibit simple body plans well characterized by length and mass....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Predators sample the available prey community when foraging; thus, changes in the environment may be reflected by changes in predator diet and foraging preferences. We examined Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri) prey species over an 11-year period by sampling approximately 10,000 prey fish returned to 17 breeding colonies in south San Francisco Bay, California. We compared the species composition among repeatedly-sampled colonies (≥ 4 years), using both relative species abundance and the composition of total dry mass by species. Overall, the relative abundances of prey species at seven repeatedly-sampled tern colonies were more different than would be expected by chance, with the most notable differences in relative...
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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Large numbers of bats are killed by wind turbines worldwide and minimizing fatalities is critically important to bat conservation and acceptance of wind energy development. We implemented a 2-year study testing the effectiveness of an ultrasonic acoustic deterrent for reducing bat fatalities at a wind energy facility in Pennsylvania. We randomly selected control and treatment turbines that were searched daily in summer and fall 2009 and 2010. Estimates of fatality, corrected for field biases, were compared between treatment and control turbines. In 2009, we estimated 21–51% fewer bats were killed per treatment turbine than per control turbine. In 2010, we determined an approximate 9% inherent difference between...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE


map background search result map search result map Housing arrangement and location determine the likelihood of housing loss due to wildfire Evaluating the effectiveness of an ultrasonic acoustic deterrent for reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines Assaying environmental nickel toxicity using model nematodes An integrated model of environmental effects on growth, carbohydrate balance, and mortality of Pinus ponderosa forests in the southern Rocky Mountains Incorporating cold-air pooling into downscaled climate models increases potential refugia for snow-dependent species within the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion, CA Evaluating the effectiveness of an ultrasonic acoustic deterrent for reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines Housing arrangement and location determine the likelihood of housing loss due to wildfire Incorporating cold-air pooling into downscaled climate models increases potential refugia for snow-dependent species within the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion, CA Assaying environmental nickel toxicity using model nematodes An integrated model of environmental effects on growth, carbohydrate balance, and mortality of Pinus ponderosa forests in the southern Rocky Mountains