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Estimating thermal performance of organisms is critical for understanding population distributions and dynamics and predicting responses to climate change. Typically, performance curves are estimated using laboratory studies to isolate temperature effects, but other abiotic and biotic factors influence temperature-performance relationships in nature reducing these models' predictive ability. We present a model for estimating thermal performance curves from repeated field observations that includes environmental and individual variation. We fit the model in a Bayesian framework using MCMC sampling, which allowed for estimation of unobserved latent growth while propagating uncertainty. Fitting the model to simulated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
In an earlier article the author has argued that the turbulent history of nuclear power in Britain and the USA stems from the technology itself, and has little to do with the very different institutional arrangements made for the new technology in the two countries. Nuclear plant has various features which make its planning extraordinarily difficult. Its long lead time, large unit size, capital intensity and dependence on complex infrastructure combine to ensure that mistakes are likely to be made in planning the technology and that what mistakes do occur are expensive. This article aims to expand on the earlier one in two ways; by looking at the apparent success of the French nuclear programme which seems to run...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: crisis, ecology, environment, society
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Wide natural gradients of soil nitrogen (N) can be used to examine fundamental relationships between plant–soil–microbial N cycling and hydrologic N loss, and to test N-saturation theory as a general framework for understanding ecosystem N dynamics. We characterized plant production, N uptake and return in litterfall, soil gross and net N mineralization rates, and hydrologic N losses of nine Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests across a wide soil N gradient in the Oregon Coast Range (USA). Surface mineral soil N (0–10 cm) ranged nearly three-fold from 0.29% to 0.78% N, and in contrast to predictions of N-saturation theory, was linearly related to 10-fold variation in net N mineralization, from 8 to 82 kg...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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The robust design has become popular among animal ecologists as a means for estimating population abundance and related demographic parameters with mark-recapture data. However, two drawbacks of traditional mark-recapture are financial cost and repeated disturbance to animals. Mark-resight methodology may in many circumstances be a less expensive and less invasive alternative to mark-recapture, but the models developed to date for these data have overwhelmingly concentrated only on the estimation of abundance. Here we introduce a mark-resight model analogous to that used in mark-recapture for the simultaneous estimation of abundance, apparent survival, and transition probabilities between observable and unobservable...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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The consequences of climate change for ecosystem structure and function remain largely unknown. Here, I examine the ability of climate variation to explain long-term changes in bird and plant populations, as well as trophic interactions in a high-elevation riparian system in central Arizona, USA, based on 20 years of study. Abundances of dominant deciduous trees have declined dramatically over the 20 years, correlated with a decline in overwinter snowfall. Snowfall can affect overwinter presence of elk, whose browsing can significantly impact deciduous tree abundance. Thus, climate may affect the plant community indirectly through effects on herbivores, but may also act directly by influencing water availability...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Climate in low-latitude wintering areas may influence temperate and high-latitude breeding populations of birds, but demonstrations of such relationships have been rare because of difficulties in linking wintering with breeding populations. We used long-term aerial surveys in Mexican wintering areas and breeding areas in Alaska, USA, to assess numbers of Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans; hereafter brant) on their principal wintering and breeding area in El Niño and non-El Niño years. We used Pollock's robust design to directly estimate probability of breeding and apparent annual survival of individually marked brant at the Tutakoke River (TR) colony, Alaska, in each year between 1988 and 2001. Fewer brant...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Climate models predict precipitation changes for much of the humid tropics, yet few studies have investigated the potential consequences of drought on soil carbon (C) cycling in this important biome. In wet tropical forests, drought could stimulate soil respiration via overall reductions in soil anoxia, but previous research suggests that litter decomposition is positively correlated with high rainfall fluxes that move large quantities of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the litter layer to the soil surface. Thus, reduced rainfall could also limit C delivery to the soil surface, reducing respiration rates. We conducted a throughfall manipulation experiment to investigate how 25% and 50% reductions in rainfall...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Interannual variation of carbon fluxes can be attributed to a number of biotic and abiotic controls that operate at different spatial and temporal scales. Type and frequency of disturbance, forest dynamics, and climate regimes are important sources of variability. Assessing the variability of carbon fluxes from these specific sources can enhance the interpretation of past and current observations. Being able to separate the variability caused by forest dynamics from that induced by climate will also give us the ability to determine if the current observed carbon fluxes are within an expected range or whether the ecosystem is undergoing unexpected change. Sources of interannual variation in ecosystem carbon fluxes...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Many metapopulation models assume rules of population connectivity that are implicitly based on what we know about within-population dispersal, but especially for vertebrates, few data exist to assess whether interpopulation dispersal is just within-population dispersal "scaled up." We extended existing multi-stratum mark-release-recapture models to incorporate the robust design, allowing us to compare patterns of within- and between-population movement in the banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis). Movement was rare among eight populations separated by only a few hundred meters: seven years of twice-annual sampling captured >1200 individuals but only 26 interpopulation dispersers. We developed a program...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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A variety of processes are thought to be involved in the formation and dynamics of species assemblages. For example, various metacommunity theories are based on differences in the relative contributions of dispersal of species among local communities and interactions of species within local communities. Interestingly, metacommunity theories continue to be advanced without much empirical validation. Part of the problem is that statistical models used to analyze typical survey data either fail to specify ecological processes with sufficient complexity or they fail to account for errors in detection of species during sampling. In this paper, we describe a statistical modeling framework for the analysis of metacommunity...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Controls over nutrient supply are key to understanding the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Conceptual models once held that in situ mineral weathering was the primary long-term control over the availability of many plant nutrients, including the base cations calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K). Recent evidence has shown that atmospheric sources of these "rock-derived" nutrients can dominate actively cycling ecosystem pools, especially in systems on highly weathered soils. Such studies have relied heavily on the use of strontium isotopes as a proxy for base-cation cycling. Here we show that vegetation and soil-exchangeable pools of strontium in a tropical rainforest on highly weathered...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Many populations of animals are fluid in both space and time, making estimation of numbers difficult. Much attention has been devoted to estimation of bias in detection of animals that are present at the time of survey. However, an equally important problem is estimation of population size when all animals are not present on all survey occasions. Here, we showcase use of the superpopulation approach to capture-recapture modeling for estimating populations where group membership is asynchronous, and where considerable overlap in group membership among sampling occasions may occur. We estimate total population size of long-legged wading bird (Great Egret and White Ibis) breeding colonies from aerial observations of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
Total nitrogen incorporated in the shrubs of a low-fertility desert plant community (principally Acacia Gregii, Cassia armata, and Larrea divaricata) was estimated from the nitrogen content of plant parts, the total weight of plants and proportional weight of roots, stems, and leaves, and the number of plants per unit area. The average nitrogen content of shrub leaves, stems, and roots was 1.31%, .87%, and .80%, respectively. Shrub cover occupied 20% of the ground surface and contained an average of 29 kg nitrogen/ha. Legume shrubs were not significantly greater in nitrogen content than nonlegume shrubs. Soil nitrogen content decreased significantly as a function of radial distance from the center of the shrub canopy....
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Recurring estimates of the size of animal populations are often required by biologists or wildlife managers. Because of cost or other constraints, estimates frequently lack the accuracy desired but cannot readily be improved by additional sampling. This report proposes a statistical method employing empirical Bayes (EB) estimators as alternatives to those customarily used to estimate population size, and evaluates them by a subsampling experiment on waterfowl surveys. EB estimates, especially a simple limited-translation version, were more accurate and provided shorter confidence intervals with greater coverage probabilities than customary estimates.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
The “Hydroecology of Flowing Waters” project was initiated in 1998 with the aim to improve understanding of how stream and river corridors function naturally in ways that produce valuable ecosystem services (e.g. flood attenuation, carbon and nutrient storage and contaminant removal, habitat value for fish and wildlife, recreation). The research is increasingly focused on how aquatic ecosystem services can be better protected in the face of degradation resulting from accelerating land use and climate change. Central to the research is the investigation of interactions between physical and biological processes, e.g. how land use change affects hydraulics and channel geomorphology in ways that produce cascading...
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Epidemiological theory suggests that pathogens will not cause host extinctions because agents of disease should fade out when the host population is driven below a threshold density. Nevertheless, infectious diseases have threatened species with extinction on local scales by maintaining high incidence and the ability to spread efficiently even as host populations decline. Intertidal black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii), but not other abalone species, went extinct locally throughout much of southern California following the emergence of a Rickettsiales-like pathogen in the mid-1980s. The rickettsial disease, a condition known as withering syndrome (WS), and associated mortality occur at elevated water temperatures....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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The Rainwater Basin (RWB) wetland complex in south-central Nebraska provides crucial stopover habitat for over 7 million waterfowl and 500,000 shorebirds every spring. However, only 10% of the original RWB wetlands remain, resulting in less available habitat for wetland-dependent birds. Conservation efforts are being employed to alleviate the loss of RWB wetlands. To aid conservation efforts, we created a vegetation map of all historical RWB wetlands based on 2004 imagery. The shapefile maps the 2004 vegetation communities for all historic wetlands in the Rainwater Basin region of Nebraska, USA. Vegetation communities include cropped areas that rarely pond water, cropped areas that often pond water, bare soil...
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We undertook a demographic analysis of the Yellowstone grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) to identify critical environmental factors controlling grizzly bear vital rates, and thereby to help evaluate the effectiveness of past management and to identify future conservation issues. We concluded that, within the limits of uncertainty implied by the available data and our methods of data analysis, the size of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population changed little from 1975 to 1995. We found that grizzly bear mortality rates are about double in years when the whitebark pine crop fails than in mast years, and that the population probably declines when the crop fails and increases in mast years. Our model suggests that natural...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology


map background search result map search result map Biogeochemistry of a temperate forest nitrogen gradient RWB 2004 Wetland Vegetation USGS Land Cover - Woodland for California 20181111 State or Territory FileGDB 10.1 RWB 2004 Wetland Vegetation Biogeochemistry of a temperate forest nitrogen gradient USGS Land Cover - Woodland for California 20181111 State or Territory FileGDB 10.1