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National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) along the East Coast of the United States protect habitat for a host of wildlife species, while also offering storm surge protection, improving water quality, supporting nurseries for commercially important fish and shellfish, and providing recreation opportunities for coastal communities. Yet in the last century, coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development activities as well as sea-level rise and more frequent extreme events related to climate change. These influences threaten the ability of NWRs to protect our nation’s natural resources and to sustain their many beneficial services. Through this project, researchers are collaborating with...
1 Resource pulses generally result in a burst of biological activity at multiple scales. For plants, the increased activity is generally considered positive due to an overall up-regulation of physiological activity during the pulse. Longer-term effects remain an understudied aspect of resource pulses. 2 We monitored the short- and long-term effects of nitrogen (N) pulse to the long-lived desert perennial, Cryptantha flava. One group of plants were treated with a one-time application of N in the spring of 1999, a second group received two N pulses (one in the spring of 1999 and one in the spring of 2000), and a third group received ambient N (controls). 3 In the short-term, N-pulse treated plants rapidly increased...
Coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by local processes associated with human development, including drainage of coastal wetlands, hydrologic alterations affecting sediment supply, and land-use change, and by global-scale ecological changes including sea-level rise and other effects associated with climate change. Together, these forces are degrading the capacity of ecological and social systems to respond to disturbance. The goal of this project was to foster active engagement with stakeholders; develop a comprehensive problem definition that expressed local values, knowledge, and perceptions; and encourage building of effective networks and trust across organizations and individuals...
The rank-abundance distribution (RAD) represents the manner in which species divide resources. Community-specific division rules that determine resource allocation among species, and thereby the shape of the RAD, have been hypothesized to account for observed stability of local species richness over time. While the shape of the RAD has been well studied, the temporal dynamics of this distribution have received much less attention. Here we assess changes in the shape of the RAD through time in a desert rodent community in Arizona (USA). Because energy use may be more appropriate for studying resource division than abundance, we also evaluate an energetic equivalent of the RAD. Significant, directional trends in the...

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