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Synopsis: This study investigates the relationships of landscape disturbance, altered prey resources, and rattlesnake populations in the Upper Snake River Plain of southeastern. Researchers used radio telemetry to track rattlesnakes while concurrently conducting habitat sampling and small mammal trapping in areas used by snakes and in random locations. Disturbed areas (by grazing and/or burning) were characterized by lower biological crust cover, shrub cover, shrub height, and shrub dispersion, as well as higher grass and bare soil cover. Disturbed areas were also characterized by lower proportions of small animal biomass, abundance, and large prey species (such as chipmunks), while the proportions Conclusions:...
Large predators potentially can help shape the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, yet strong evidence of top-down herbivore limitation has not been widely reported in the scientific literature. Herein we synthesize outcomes of recent tri-trophic cascades studies involving the presence and absence of large predators for five national parks in the western United States, including Olympic, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, and Wind Cave. Historical observations by park biologists regarding woody browse species and recently compiled age structure data for deciduous trees indicate major impacts to woody plant communities by ungulates following the extirpation or displacement of large predators. Declines...
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Synopsis: This study examines the influence of landscape fragmentation on trophic cascades in southern California. Results indicate that, as habitat fragmentation negatively affects the persistence of coyote populations, the abundance of smaller meso-predators increase, resulting in higher mortality rates in scrub-breeding birds. Fragment size was a strong indicator of coyote abundance, and coyote abundance was a strong indicator of bird diversity, as coyotes kept down the number of meso-predators that prey on birds. The positive effect of fragment area and the negative effect of fragment age were the strongest determinants of bird diversity in this system. Conclusions: Fragment size correlates with coyote abundance,...
In 1998, Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) were introduced into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA) that spans adjacent portions of Arizona andNewMexico. In 2009 we selected three mixedconifer sites on the Apache National Forest, within the BRWRA of east-central Arizona, to characterize long-term age structure of aspen (Populus tremuloides) and to check for the possible occurrence of a tri-trophic cascade involving Mexican wolves, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and aspen. These mixed-conifer sites included (a) a refugium site, (b) an old-growth site, and (c) a site thinned in 1991?1992. The refugium site was inaccessible to elk and cattle whereas the old-growth and thinned sites were...


    map background search result map search result map Linking landscape disturbance to the population ecology of Great Basin rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) in the Upper Snake River Plain Mesopredator release and avifaunal extinctions in a fragmented system. Linking landscape disturbance to the population ecology of Great Basin rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) in the Upper Snake River Plain Mesopredator release and avifaunal extinctions in a fragmented system.