Habitat Use (habitat + use)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts


EVOLUTION, Issue 1 2000
Marguerite A. Butler
Abstract., Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is the evolutionary result of selection operating differently on the body sizes of males and females. Anolis lizard species of the Greater Antilles have been classified into ecomorph classes, largely on the basis of their structural habitat (perch height and diameter). We show that the major ecomorph classes differ in degree of SSD. At least two SSD classes are supported: high SSD (trunk-crown, trunk-ground) and low SSD (trunk, crown-giant, grass-bush, twig). Differences cannot be attributed to an allometric increase of SSD with body size or to a phylogenetic effect. A third explanation, that selective pressures on male and/or female body size vary among habitat types, is examined by evaluating expectations from the major relevant kinds of selective pressures. Although no one kind of selective pressure produces expectations consistent with all of the information, competition with respect to structural habitat and sexual selection pressures are more likely possibilities than competition with respect to prey size or optimal feeding pressures. The existence of habitat-specific sexual dimorphism suggests that adaptation of Anolis species to their environment is more complex than previously appreciated. [source]

Effects of Predation Risk on Vertical Habitat Use and Foraging of Pardosa milvina

ETHOLOGY, Issue 12 2006
Hillary C. Folz
Animals face the risk of predation while engaging in regular activities, such as foraging, mate-seeking, and reproducing. In order to avoid predation, prey can modify behavior to prevent capture. Pardosa milvina may climb in response to chemotactile cues of Hogna helluo, a larger cooccurring wolf spider, to avoid predation. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of the location of predator cues on the climbing response of P. milvina and to test how this antipredator behavior affected foraging success. In experimental arenas, when cues were on the bottom of the containers, P. milvina moved upward, and when cues were on the walls, individuals moved downward. These results suggest that P. milvina respond to H. helluo cues with general avoidance and do not automatically climb in response to the cues. As H. helluo spend most of their time on the ground, P. milvina may avoid predation by spending more time climbing in areas with H. helluo cues. The presence of predator cues significantly decreased foraging by P. milvina. But within the predator cue treatments, climbing ability had no effect on foraging, possibly due to the short height of the feeding arenas. Future studies are needed to determine if climbing by P. milvina in response to cues of H. helluo has direct and indirect negative effects on herbivores in the field. [source]

Habitat use of age 0 Alabama shad in the Pascagoula River drainage, USA

P. F. Mickle
Mickle PF, Schaefer JF, Adams SB, Kreiser BR. Habitat use of age 0 Alabama shad in the Pascagoula River drainage, USA. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2010: 19: 107,115. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S Abstract,, Alabama shad (Alosa alabamae) is an anadromous species that spawns in Gulf of Mexico drainages and is a NOAA Fisheries Species of Concern. Habitat degradation and barriers to migration are considered contributing factors to range contraction that has left just the Pascagoula River drainage population in Mississippi. We studied juvenile life history and autecology in three rivers within the drainage. We collected fish, habitat and physicochemical data in three habitat types (sandbar, open channel and bank) from June to October 2004,2006. Sandbar habitat was favoured by smaller individuals early in the year. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) decreased through the summer as larger fish began occupying bank and open channel habitat. The most parsimonious model of abundance included year and river variables, while patterns of presence and absence were best explained by river, habitat type and physiochemical variables. While all three rivers in the drainage contained Alabama shad, fish were less abundant and had lower condition values in the Chickasawhay River. Earlier work suggested the Alabama shad may gradually move downstream towards the Gulf of Mexico in their first year. However, we found no evidence of this and captured large fish high in the drainage late in the year. [source]

A patch perspective on summer habitat use by brown trout Salmo trutta in a high plains stream in Wyoming, USA

R. R. O'Connor
Abstract,,, We quantified the use of habitat patches by brown trout, Salmo trutta, during summer conditions in a plains stream in the western United States. A Global Positioning System was used to map discrete habitat patches (2,420 m2) consisting of macrophytes, wood accumulation, or deep water. Habitat use by brown trout was monitored by radio telemetry. Brown trout used habitat in a nonrandom manner with 99% of all daytime observations and 91% of all nighttime observations occurring in patches that consisted of combinations of deep water, wood accumulations or macrophytes even though such patches constituted only 9.8% of the available habitat. Brown trout used deep water almost exclusively during the day but broadened their habitat use at night. Most fish stayed within a large plunge pool created by a low-head dam. This pool supplemented the deep-water habitat that was naturally rare in our study area and illustrates how human modifications can sometimes create habitat patches important for stream fishes. [source]

Patterns of phenotypic and genetic variability show hidden diversity in Scottish Arctic charr

C. E. Adams
Abstract,,, This study examined the degree and pattern of variability in trophic morphology in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) at three spatial scales: across 22 populations from Scotland and between and within two adjacent catchments (Laxford and Shin) in northern Scotland. In addition, the variability at six microsatellite loci between and within the Laxford and Shin systems was determined. Habitat use by charr differed significantly between populations. The pattern of variability in trophic morphology, known to influence foraging ability in charr, showed a very high degree of between-population variation with at least 52% of population pairs showing significant differences in head shape. Trophic morphology and genetic variation was also high over small geographical scales; variation being as high between charr from lakes within the same catchment, as between adjacent catchments. The pattern of both phenotypic and genotypic variation suggests a mosaic of variation across populations with geographically close populations often as distinct from each other as populations with much greater separation. Very low levels of effective migrants between populations, even within the same catchment, suggest that this variation is being maintained by very low straying rates between phenotypically and genetically distinct populations, even when there is no apparent barrier to movement. We conclude that the genetic and phenotypic integrity of charr populations across Scotland is high and that this adaptive radiation constitutes a ,hidden' element of diversity in northern freshwater systems. Two consequences of this are that the population (rather than the species) makes a more rational unit for the consideration of conservation strategies and that the habitat requirements and therefore management needs may differ significantly between populations. [source]

Habitat use and population structure of four native minnows (family Cyprinidae) in the upper Missouri and lower Yellowstone rivers, North Dakota (USA)

T. L. Welker
Abstract,,, In 1997 and 1998, sampling was conducted on the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, North Dakota, to obtain information on the distribution, abundance, and habitat use of the flathead chub (Platygobio gracilis Richardson), sicklefin chub (Macrhybopsis meeki Jordan & Evermann), sturgeon chub (Macrhybopsis gelida Girard), and western silvery minnow (Hybognathus argyritis Girard), four declining fish species (family Cyprinidae) native to the Missouri River basin, USA. The study area consisted of four distinct river segments near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers , three moderately altered segments that were influenced by a main-stem dam and one quasi-natural segment. One moderately altered segment was located at the confluence of the two rivers (mixing-zone segment (MZS)). The other two moderately altered segments were in the Missouri River adjacent to the MZS and extended up-river (above-confluence segment (ACS)) and down-river (below-confluence segment (BCS)) from this segment. The quasi-natural segment (Yellowstone River segment (YRS)) extended up-river from the MZS in the Yellowstone River. Catch rates with the trawl for sicklefin chub and sturgeon chub and catch rates with the bag seine for flathead chub and western silvery minnow were highest in the BCS and YRS. Most sicklefin and sturgeon chubs were captured in the deep, high-velocity main channel habitat with the trawl (sicklefin chub, 97%; sturgeon chub, 85%), whereas most flathead chub and western silvery minnow were captured in the shallow, low-velocity channel border habitat with the bag seine (flathead chub, 99%; western silvery minnow, 98%). Best-fit regression models correctly predicted the presence or absence of sicklefin chub, flathead chub, and western silvery minnow more than 80% of the time. Sturgeon chub presence and absence were predicted correctly 55% of the time. Best-fit regression models fit to fish number data for flathead chub, sicklefin chub, and sturgeon chub and fish catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) data for flathead chub also provided good fits, with R2 values ranging from 0.32 to 0.55 (P < 0.0001). The higher density and catch of the four native minnows in the YRS and BCS suggest that these two segments are better habitat than the ACS and MZS. [source]

Habitat use and foraging success of 0+ pike (Esox lucius L.) in experimental ponds related to prey fish, water transparency and light intensity

C. Skov
Abstract ,,,This study investigated the habitat use of 0+ pike (9,17 cm) in relation to two different water transparency regimes (clear water/chlorophyll water), two different light regimes (day/night) and the presence/absence of prey using 16 m2 experimental ponds. Pike could freely choose between two structured habitats (a simple structured and a complex structured), an interface habitat (between the structured habitats and open water) and an open water habitat. Foraging success of the pike in relation to water transparency was investigated by comparing mean condition (Fultons K) of the pike as well as the number of surviving prey fish. Habitat use was influenced by the presence/absence of prey and varied between waters with different transparency. The presence of prey intensified the use of structural habitats of 0+ pike in both clear and chlorophyll waters. A preference for complex habitats was found in clear water and was presumably related to foraging. The pike in chlorophyll water, in contrast, appeared more evenly distributed among all habitats, as illustrated by a more intensive use of open water in chlorophyll water compared to the clear water. No detectable impact of water transparency on the foraging success of 0+ pike was found. [source]

The Influence of Flowing Water on the Resource Pursuit-Risk Avoidance Tradeoff in the Crayfish Orconectes virilis

ETHOLOGY, Issue 4 2006
Keith W. Pecor
The influence of hydrodynamics on chemically mediated behavioral tradeoffs has received little attention. We tested the hypothesis that individuals of the crayfish Orconectes virilis would be more sensitive to chemical cues in flowing water than in still water. Orconectes virilis is a good subject for this test, because it is found in both still water (e.g. ponds), and flowing water (e.g. rivers). A factorial design was used, with two stimulus treatments and two habitat types. Crayfish were exposed to either food cue or food + alarm cue in either still water or flowing water in an artificial stream arena. Habitat use and activity were significantly influenced by stimulus treatment, with more time spent away from the stimulus source and less activity in the food + alarm treatment than in the food treatment. Neither habitat type nor the interaction of stimulus treatment and habitat type had a significant effect on the response variables. Given the natural history of O. virilis, we suggest that selection has favored the ability to equally utilize chemical cues in both still and flowing water. We acknowledge that different flow conditions may influence chemical ecology in this species and caution against the view that tests in flowing waters necessarily provide a more accurate approximation of natural responses. [source]

Food composition, habitat use and growth of stocked and native Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus, in Lake Muddusjärvi, Finland

Habitat use, growth and food composition of native and stocked Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus (L.), were studied in the subarctic Lake Muddusjärvi, northern Finland, to investigate reasons for poor stocking success. Samples were collected with pelagic and epibenthic gill nets. Stocked and native charr occurred in similar epibethic habitats, whereas pelagic habitat was avoided. Native charr grew fast after shifting to piscivory. Growth rate of stocked charr was slow because only a small proportion of stocked fish became piscivorous during the first year after stocking. During the first lake year, stocked charr divided into slow-growing planktivores and fast-growing piscivores. Piscivorous stocked and native charr consumed only whitefish, Coregonus lavaretus (L.), as their prey. Small-sized (<10 cm) whitefish were preferred when shifting to piscivory. [source]

The effects of low summer flow on wild salmon (Salmo salar), trout (Salmo trutta) and grayling (Thymallus thymallus) in a small stream

Summary 1.,The effects of an experimentally imposed low summer flow on habitat use, displacement and survival of wild populations of juvenile salmon (Salmo salar), trout (Salmo trutta) and grayling (Thymallus thymallus) were investigated in a chalk stream. The habitat use and mobility of the fish in response to reduced flow was determined using passive integrated transponder-tag detector systems. 2.,Habitat use was compared to that available under different flow regimes. These consisted of an initial control phase of normal summer flow, an abrupt step change to 21 days of low flow, followed by a second control phase when normal summer flow was reinstated. First year (0+) salmon showed little change in their preferred substratum during low flow, whilst 1+ salmon increased their use of gravel and reduced that of mud during the day. Both 0+ and 1+ salmon were found in relatively deep water by day under low flow, whilst 1+ salmon preferred relatively shallow water at night. First year trout increased their use of gravel and reduced their use of mud and submerged tree roots under low flow, using relatively deep and fast flowing water by day. Older trout increased their use of gravel and occupied relatively deep, slow flowing water by day and relatively fast and shallow water at night. Grayling showed little change in their preferred substratum, but occupied relatively shallow water following the introduction of low flow. 3.,The range of movement of juvenile salmon increased at night under low flow, and was greater by day under normal flow. There was also an initial increase in the range of movement of 0+ trout following the introduction of low flow. Older trout initially moved less under low flow. With reduced flow, the range of movement by grayling increased significantly during the day. 4.,There was no net downstream displacement of any species with reduced flow, but the mortality rate in 0+ salmon, trout and grayling increased. This may be related to their small size and increased vulnerability to predation under low flow, and due to the reduction in depth and loss of the stream margins that are normally the preferred habitat of 0+ trout and grayling. 5.,The findings of this field study have implications for the management of braided, and highly regulated, chalk stream systems. In particular, they underline the importance of the stream margins as juvenile salmonid habitat, and suggest that a flow management strategy is required to mitigate for drought conditions. Such a strategy might include pre-emptive controls on abstraction and the maintenance of river flow via a prioritised route, predetermined using fish or habitat surveys, to minimise the effects of drought conditions on the more vulnerable or valued fish groups. [source]

Characteristics of woods used recently and historically by Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos minor in England

IBIS, Issue 3 2010
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor numbers have declined greatly in England since the early 1980s for reasons that are not yet fully understood. It has been suggested that the species' decline may be linked to the increase in Great Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos major, changes in woodland habitat quality (such as deadwood abundance) and landscape-scale changes in tree abundance. We tested some of these hypotheses by comparing the characteristics of woods in southern England where the species is still relatively numerous with those of woods used in the 1980s before the major decline. In each time period, habitat, predator and landscape information from woods known to be occupied by Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers was compared with those found to be unoccupied during surveys. Before the main period of decline, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers used oak-dominated, mature, open woods with a large amount of standing deadwood. Habitat use assessed from recent data was very similar, the species being present in mature, open, oak-dominated woodlands. There was a strong relationship between wood use probability and the extent of woodland within a 3-km radius, suggesting selection for more heavily wooded landscapes. In recent surveys, there was no difference in deadwood abundance or potential predator densities between occupied and unoccupied woods. Habitat management should focus on creating and maintaining networks of connected woodlands in areas of mature, open woods. Finer-scale habitat selection by Lesser Spotted Woodpecker within woodlands should be assessed to aid development of beneficial management actions. [source]

The effect of habitat management on home-range size and survival of rural Norway rat populations

M. S. Lambert
Summary 1Norway rat Rattus norvegicus populations are usually controlled with toxic baits, but this approach is increasingly recognized as having negative welfare and environmental impacts. An integrated strategy that relies less on rodenticides is therefore required. Here we investigate the possibility of using a resource-based approach to rat population management. 2Structurally complex habitats provide rat populations with nest sites and opportunities to avoid predators; modifying habitats to reduce structural complexity might reduce their potential to support rat populations. As part of an integrated approach, this could be more sustainable than relying exclusively on lethal control. However, in order to target habitat management efforts most effectively with minimum impact on other species, an understanding of habitat utilization by Norway rats is required. 3In this study, rat populations on farms in the north-east of England were monitored by radio-tracking and population counts before and after a single phase of habitat modification. Rats living near farm buildings utilized areas with high levels of cover; habitat modification reduced the survival rate and size of these rat populations. Rats living in field margins also preferred areas with high levels of cover, but they had significantly bigger home ranges than rats living near farm buildings and were largely unaffected by small-scale habitat management. 4Synthesis and applications. Our results indicate that habitat management near farm buildings has the potential to reduce the size of rat populations. As part of an integrated approach, this technique offers a way of reducing reliance on rodenticides. Habitat use by rats within the wider farm landscape suggests that land management practices have the potential to influence the size and distribution of rat populations; many game-rearing practices and environmental policies designed to create habitats for ,desirable' farm wildlife, inadvertently create desirable habitats for rats. [source]

Habitat use by forest mammals in Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, Central Africa Republic

Mario Melletti
First page of article [source]

Habitat use by radio-tagged Namib Desert golden moles (Eremitalpa granti namibensis)

Galen B. Rathbun
First page of article [source]

Habitat use, abundance, and persistence of Neotropical migrant birds in a habitat matrix in northeast Belize

Camila Gómez-Montes
ABSTRACT To ensure adequate protection of nonbreeding habitats used by Neotropical migratory landbirds, we must first address questions about habitat use and quality. On the Yucatan peninsula, migrants use many habitats, several of which remain unstudied, and methodological differences preclude interhabitat comparisons based on studies to date. We used distance sampling along line transects in six habitats in northeast Belize to examine use of previously unstudied habitats (e.g., salt marsh) by Neotropical migrants and to permit comparison across habitats. We calculated unadjusted and adjusted (for detectability) density estimates for individual migrant species and for all species combined to generate hypotheses about habitat quality based on the assumption that density and quality are positively correlated. Adjusted density estimates for all migrants were highest in black mangrove habitat (1799 ± 110 ind/km2), intermediate in three forest types and milpa (range 598,802 ind/km2), and lowest in salt marsh (207 ± 32.3 ind/km2). By combining density estimates with habitat availability in our study region, we estimated that evergreen forest and black mangrove supported 70% and 9% of the region's migrant population, respectively. At the species level, five of the 10 most common species had habitat preferences (>50% detections in one habitat). Given the diversity of habitat preferences among species and apparent seasonal movements, our results indicate that Neotropical migrants in northeast Belize are dependent on a matrix of interconnected habitats. RESUMEN Para asegurar la protección adecuada del hábitat no- reproductivo utilizado por aves migratorias Neotropicales terrestres, debemos responder preguntas sobre el uso y la calidad del hábitat. En la península de Yucatán, lasaves migratorias utilizan muchos hábitats, varios de los cuales aún continúan sin ser estudiados. Además las diferencias metodológicas evitan hacer comparaciones inter-hábitat basadas en los estudios que se han hecho hasta ahora. Utilizamos unmuestreo a lo largo de transectos de distancia variable, en seis hábitats, algunos previamente no estudiados (ej. ciénagas salobres), en el noreste de Belize para examinar y comparar el uso por parte de las migratorias Neotropicales, Calculamos estimados de densidad, ajustados y no ajustados (para detectabilidad), para especies particulares de migratorias y para todas las especies combinadas para generar una hipótesis sobre la calidad del hábitat basándonos en la presunción que la densidad estaría positivamente correlacionada con la calidad del hábitat. Los estimados de densidad ajustados para todos los migratorios fueron más altos en mangle negro (1799 ± 100 ind/km2), intermedios en tres tipos de bosque y milpa rango 598,802 ind/km2) y menores en ciénagas salobres (207 ± 32.3 ind/km2). Combinando los estimados de densidad con la disponibilidad de hábitats en nuestra región de estudio, estimamos que el bosque siempreverde y el mangle negro sostienen el 70% y 9% de los migratorios en la región, respectivamente. A nivel de especies, cinco de las 10 especies más comunes tienen preferencias de hábitat (>50% de las detecciones en un hábitat). Dada la diversidad de preferencias de hábitat entre especies y el aparente movimiento estacional, nuestros resultados indican que las aves migratorias Neotropicales en el noreste de Belize dependen de una matriz de hábitats interconectados. [source]

Role of habitat in mediating mortality during the post-settlement transition phase of temperate marine fishes

F Juanes
The transition phase describes a distinct post-settlement stage associated with the recruitment to benthic habitats by pelagic life stages. The habitat shift is often accompanied by feeding shifts and metamorphosis from larval to juvenile phases. Density-dependent settlement, growth and mortality are often the major factors controlling recruitment success of this phase. Habitat use also becomes more pronounced after settlement. The role of habitat-mediated post-settlement mortality is elucidated by focusing on the early life history of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) in the north-west Atlantic. In these species, settlement can occur over all bottom types, but habitat-specific differences in post-settlement mortality rates combined with size and priority at settlement effects on growth and survival determine recruitment and eventual year-class strength. These results and those from other temperate marine fish species along with work on tropical reef species emphasize the generality of habitat-based density-dependent mortality during the transition phase and its potential for population regulation. These results have implications for fisheries management and can be used to outline a procedure to assist managers in identifying and managing essential transitional habitats including the potential role of marine protected areas in habitat conservation. [source]

Habitat use, migration pattern and population dynamics of chevron snakehead Channa striata in a rainfed rice farming landscape

E. Amilhat
Habitat use, migration, mortality and growth of the chevron snakehead Channa striata in a rainfed rice farming landscape of north-east Thailand were studied through a tagging experiment. A total of 751 fish were captured, tagged and released during three distinct events in the late dry season, and in the beginning and at the end of the wet season. Rice fields provided the major wet season habitat for C. striata. Small trap ponds built to provide dry season habitat on farms provided 20% of catches and, if not harvested, could increase recruitment to the spawning stock by >30% despite accounting for <1% of dry season habitat by area. Migrations were localized (mostly <500 m). Up-migration from perennial to seasonal water bodies at the beginning of the wet season involved longer distances and took place over a longer time than down-migration at the end of the wet season. Natural mortality rates were extremely high, particularly during the period of down-migration. Fishing mortality rates were high in absolute terms, but contributed only 6,36% to the total mortality. Growth was seasonal with a maximum towards the end of the wet season. Snakeheads have successfully colonized the rainfed rice farming landscape, where populations can withstand intensive exploitation and respond well to aquatic habitat management on farmland. [source]

Habitat use, diet and roost selection by the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) in North America: a case for conserving an abundant species

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 3 2002
ABSTRACT Insectivorous bats are integral components of terrestrial ecosystems. Despite this, a growing number of factors causing world-wide declines in bat populations have been identified. Relatively abundant species are important for bat conservation because of their role in ecosystems and the research opportunities they offer. In addition, species that have been well-studied present unique opportunities to synthesize information and highlight important areas of focus for conservation and research. This paper focuses on a well-studied abundant bat, Eptesicus fuscus. I review the relevant literature on habitat use, diet and roost selection by E. fuscus in North America, and highlight important areas of conservation and research for this species, including the effects of roost disturbance, control of economically important insect pests, exposure to pesticides, long-term monitoring of populations, and the potential consequences of expanding populations. These issues have broad implications for other species and can be used to focus future research and conservation efforts. [source]

Seasonal variations in black-faced black spider monkey (Ateles chamek) habitat use and ranging behavior in a southern Amazonian tropical forest

Robert B. Wallace
Abstract Data are presented regarding the habitat use and ranging behavior of a spider monkey (Ateles chamek) community at Lago Caiman in northeastern Bolivia. Habitat use was driven primarily by fruit availability and distribution across the community home range. Strong seasonal variations occurred in fruit availability within all five of the floristically and phenologically distinct habitat types identified within the study site, and the spider monkeys dramatically shifted their ranging according to which habitat was richest in fleshy fruits. This use of local habitat diversity resulted in an unusually elongated shape for the home range that was otherwise typical of previous Ateles studies in terms of size. Ranging behavior was clumped and community core areas shifted seasonally across the focal community home range. Individual core areas were not relevant to the study due to dramatic community-wide shifts in ranging patterns. Day journey lengths were highly variable (460,5,690,m) and the distribution and abundance of fleshy fruit resources explained 81% of the monthly variations in mean day journey length. Keystone habitats for forest frugivores are identified and results are discussed with reference to previous studies on this genus, and the importance of considering keystone habitats and local habitat diversity within the management of forestry concessions in the region. Results are also discussed with reference to the behavioral ecology of the genus Ateles. Am. J. Primatol. 68:313,332, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Local richness and distribution of the lizard fauna in natural habitat mosaics of the Brazilian Cerrado

Abstract We investigate local lizard richness and distribution in central Brazilian Cerrado, harbouring one of the least studied herpetofaunas in the Neotropical region. Our results are based on standardized samplings at 10 localities, involving 2917 captures of 57 lizard species in 10 families. Local richness values exceeded most presented in earlier studies and varied from 13 to 28 species, with modal values between 19 and 28 species. Most of the Cerrado lizard fauna is composed of habitat-specialists with patchy distributions in the mosaic of grasslands, savannas and forests, resulting in habitat-structured lizard assemblages. Faunal overlap between open and forested habitats is limited, and forested and open areas may act as mutual barriers to lizard distribution. Habitat use is influenced by niche conservatism in deep lineages, with iguanians and gekkotans showing higher use of forested habitats, whereas autarchoglossans are richer and more abundant in open habitats. Contrary to trends observed in Cerrado birds and large mammals, lizard richness is significantly higher in open, interfluvial habitats that dominate the Cerrado landscape. Between-localities variation in lizard richness seems tied to geographical distance, landscape history and phylogenetic constraints, factors operating in other well-studied lizard faunas in open environments. Higher richness in dominant, open interfluvial habitats may be recurrent in Squamata and other small-bodied vertebrates, posing a threat to conservation as these habitats are most vulnerable to the fast, widespread and ongoing process of habitat destruction in central Brazil. [source]

The Contribution of Long-Term Research at Gombe National Park to Chimpanzee Conservation

chimpancé; conservación de simios mayores; Parque Nacional Gombe; Tanzania Abstract:,Long-term research projects can provide important conservation benefits, not only through research specifically focused on conservation problems, but also from various incidental benefits, such as increased intensity of monitoring and building support for the protection of an area. At Gombe National Park, Tanzania, long-term research has provided at least four distinct benefits to wildlife conservation. (1) Jane Goodall's groundbreaking discoveries of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) tool use, hunting, and complex social relationships in what was then a game reserve drew attention to the area and created support for upgrading Gombe to national park status in 1968. (2) The highly publicized findings have earned Gombe and Tanzania the attention of a worldwide public that includes tourists and donors that provide financial support for Gombe, other parks in Tanzania, and chimpanzee conservation in general. (3) Crucial information on social structure and habitat use has been gathered that is essential for effective conservation of chimpanzees at Gombe and elsewhere. (4) A clear picture of Gombe's chimpanzee population over the past 40 years has been determined, and this has helped identify the greatest threats to the viability of this population, namely disease and habita loss outside the park. These threats are severe and because of the small size of the population it is extremely vulnerable. Research at Gombe has led to the establishment of conservation education and development projects around Gombe, which are needed to build local support for the park and its chimpanzees, but saving these famous chimpanzees will take a larger integrated effort on the part of park managers, researchers, and the local community with financial help from international donors. Resumen:,Los proyectos de investigación de largo plazo pueden proporcionar beneficios importantes a la conservación, no solo a través de investigación enfocada específicamente a problemas de conservación, sino también a través de varios beneficios incidentales, como una mayor intensidad de monitoreo y construcción de soporte para la protección de un área. En el Parque Nacional Gombe, Tanzania, la investigación a largo plazo ha proporcionado por lo menos cuatro beneficios a la conservación de vida silvestre. (1) Los descubrimientos innovadores de Jane Goodall sobre el uso de herramientas, la cacería y las complejas relaciones sociales de chimpancés en lo que entonces era una reserva de caza atrajeron la atención al área y crearon el soporte para cambiar a Gombe a estatus de parque nacional en 1968. (2) Los hallazgos muy publicitados han ganado para Gombe y Tanzania la atención del público en todo el mundo incluyendo turistas y donadores que proporcionan soporte financiero a Gombe, otros parques en Tanzania y a la conservación de chimpancés en general. (3) Se ha reunido información crucial sobre la estructura social y el uso del hábitat que ha sido esencial para la conservación efectiva de chimpancés en Gombe y otros sitios. (4) Se ha determinado un panorama claro de la población de chimpancés en Gombe durante los últimos 40 años, y esto a ayudado a identificar las mayores amenazas a la viabilidad de esta población, a saber enfermedades y pérdida de hábitat fuera del parque. Estas amenazas son severas y la población es extremadamente vulnerable por su tamaño pequeño. La investigación en Gombe ha llevado al establecimiento de proyectos de desarrollo y de educación para la conservación en los alrededores del parque, lo cual es necesario para encontrar soporte local para el parque y sus chimpancés, pero el rescate de estos famosos chimpancés requerirá de un esfuerzo más integrado de parte de los manejadores del parque, investigadores y la comunidad local con la ayuda financiera de donadores internacionales. [source]

An Experimental Investigation of Landscape Resistance of Forest versus Old-Field Habitats to Emigrating Juvenile Amphibians

Betsie B. Rothermel
Larval amphibians,spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), small-mouthed salamander (A. texanum), and American toad ( Bufo americanus ),were added to artificial pools in four dispersal arrays on forest edges. Each array consisted of a pool surrounded by a circular drift fence with pitfall traps and two 2.5 × 50 m enclosures (runs) extending into forest and old-field habitat. Juveniles captured at the circular fences were individually marked and released into either field or forest runs. We determined initial distance, initial rate, total distance, and net distance moved by juveniles in the field versus forest from recaptures in the runs. We also conducted 24-hour dehydration trials to compare the rates of evaporative water loss by spotted and small-mouthed salamanders in field and forest. Initial orientation of spotted salamanders and toads was significantly biased toward forest. Orientation of small-mouthed salamanders did not differ significantly from random expectations. The avoidance of open-canopy habitat by juvenile American toads in particular indicates that predictions of dispersal behavior based on adult habitat use may be misleading. Spotted salamanders moved almost four times farther and toads more than three times farther into the forest than into the field, and recapture rates of both species were much lower in the field. We attribute the lower recapture rates and shorter distances moved in the field to higher mortality due to desiccation or an abundance of predators. Juvenile spotted and small-mouthed salamanders experienced greater evaporative water loss in the field. Our data on movement behavior and dehydration rates suggest that old-field habitats offer greater landscape resistance to dispersing juveniles of some species. Thus, forest fragmentation is likely to reduce dispersal rates between local populations of these three species, with potentially negative consequences for population persistence in altered landscapes. Resumen: Utilizamos un enfoque experimental para investigar los efectos de la composición del paisaje sobre el éxito inicial de dispersión de anfibios juveniles. Colcamos larvas de anfibios (salamandras manchadas [Ambystoma maculatum] y A. texanum y sapo americano [Bufo americanus] ) en estanques artificiales en cuatro secuencias de dispersión en bordes de bosque. Cada secuencia consistió de un estanque rodeado por un cerco circular con trampas de fosa y dos encierros (corridas) de 2.5 × 50 m que se extendían hacia el hábitat de bosque y de campo viejo. Los juveniles capturados en los cercos circulares fueron marcados individualmente y liberados en las corridas de bosque o de campo. A partir de recapturas en las corridas, determinamos la distancia inicial, la tasa inicial, las distancia total y la distancia neta recorrida por juveniles en el campo versus el bosque. También realizamos pruebas de deshidratación de 24 horas para comparar las tasas de pérdida de agua por evaporación en salamandras en el campo y el bosque. La orientación inicial de Ambystoma maculatum y Bufo americanus estuvo significativamente sesgada hacia el bosque. La orientación inicial de A. texanum no fue significativamente diferente de las expectativas aleatorias. La evasión del hábitat abierto en particular por juveniles de sapo americano indica que las predicciones del comportamiento de dispersión basadas en el uso del hábitat por adultos pueden llevar a conclusiones erróneas. Las salamandras manchadas se movieron cuatro veces mas lejos y los sapos más de tres veces más lejos dentro del bosque que dentro del campo, y las tasas de recaptura de ambas especies fueron mucho menores en el campo. Atribuimos las bajas tasas de recaptura y las distancias menores a la mayor mortalidad debido a la desecación o a la abundancia de depredadores. Los juveniles de las dos especies de salamandras experimentaron mayor pérdida de agua por evaporación en los campos. Nuestros datos del comportamiento de movimiento y las tasas de deshidratación sugieren que los hábitats de campo viejo ofrecen mayor resistencia de paisaje para los juveniles dispersantes de algunas especies. Por tanto, es probable que la fragmentación de bosques reduce las tasas de dispersión entre poblaciones locales de estas tres especies, con consecuencias potencialmente negativas para la persistencia de la población en paisajes alterados. [source]

Biogeographic variation in nest placement: a case study with conservation implications

Jennifer M. Parody
Abstract. Local habitat characteristics are often used to describe a species' niche despite the fact that habitat use can vary across the geographical range. We sought to quantify variation in habitat preferences by asking how nesting habit varies within and between populations of Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii) across its geographical range. Analyses of detailed nest placement data from three localities (Kansas, eastern New Mexico and western New Mexico) showed a general trend towards use of dense vegetation. However, there was substantial variation in nest placement and vegetation at nest sites between localities. Furthermore, a review of nest placement data from the literature shows strong differences in nest heights and species of trees even between populations less than 100 km apart. We evaluate these results in light of conservation and suggest that to be most effective, habitat conservation plans should be based on data collected at the locality where the population of interest occurs. [source]

The spatial distribution of badgers, setts and latrines: the risk for intra-specific and badger-livestock disease transmission

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 4 2008
Monika Böhm
The spatial distribution of wildlife hosts and the associated environmental distribution of their excretory products are important factors associated with the risk of disease transmission between wildlife and livestock. At a landscape scale, heterogeneous distribution of a wildlife host will create regional hot spots for disease risk, while at the farm level, distributional patterns of wildlife excretory products as well as habitat use are of primary importance to the assessment of disease risk to livestock. In the UK, badgers have been implicated in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis to cattle. In this study, we focus on the spatial and social organization and habitat use of badgers as well as the distributions of their excretions at latrine and sett sites to assess intra- and inter-species (badger,cattle) disease risk. Across the study site, badger latrines and setts were found in prominent clusters, at distances of up to 250 and 200 m respectively. This was partly due to small-scale clustering of latrines around sett sites, so that disease risk may be higher within the vicinity of setts. The clustered distribution suggests that sites of high risk for TB transmission may be localised within farms. Exclusion of cattle from the few sett and latrine sites within their grazing pasture is therefore likely to provide an effective way of reducing the risk of disease transmission. We also found evidence of social sub-division within badger social groups based on differences in the use of main and outlier setts. This may contribute to localised clusters of infection within the badger population, resulting in heterogeneous patterns of environmental disease risk to the wider host community. A greater understanding of variation in host behaviour and its implications for patterns of disease will allow the development of more targeted and effective management strategies for wildlife disease in group-living hosts. [source]

Consistent spatial patterns across biogeographic gradients in temperate reef fishes

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 1 2008
Maren Wellenreuther
Biogeographic gradients may facilitate divergent evolution between populations of the same species, leading to geographic variation and possibly reproductive isolation. Previous work has shown that New Zealand triplefin species (family Tripterygiidae) have diversified in habitat use, however, knowledge about the consistency of this pattern throughout their geographic range is lacking. Here we examine the spatial habitat associations of 15 New Zealand triplefin species at nine locations on a latitudinal gradient from 35°50,S to 46°70,S to establish whether distant populations differ in habitat use. Triplefin diversity and density varied between locations, as did habitat variables such as percentage cover of the substratum, onshore-offshore location, microposition, depth and exposure. Canonical discriminant analysis identified specific species-habitat combinations, and when habitat was statistically partialled from location, most species exhibited consistent habitat associations throughout their range. However, the density of a few species at some locations was lower or higher than expected given the habitat availability. This indicates that the habitat variables recorded were not the sole predictors of assemblage structure, and it is likely that factors influencing larval dispersal (e.g. the low salinity layer in Fiordland and geographic isolation of the Three Kings Islands) play an additional role in structuring assemblage composition. Together these results suggest that New Zealand triplefin species show strong and consistent habitat use across potential biogeographical barriers, but this pattern appears to be modified by variation in larval supply and survival. This indicates that species with broad geographic distributions do not necessarily show phenotypic variation between populations. [source]

Do competitive intraguild interactions affect space and habitat use by small carnivores in a forested landscape?

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 4 2006
Caroline St-Pierre
Complex interactions such as interference competition and predation, including intraguild predation, are now recognized as important components in animal community structure. At the lower end of a guild, weasels may be highly affected by other guild members due to small body size in relation to other predators. In 2000 and 2001, we radio-collared 24 ermines Mustela erminea and 25 long-tailed weasels M. frenata in 2 areas that differed in abundance of guild members. We tested the hypothesis that when faced with an increased density of other guild members, weasels would modify space and habitat use to reduce the risk of predation associated with encounters involving guild members. We predicted that weasels would increase use of specific habitats (such as refuges) to reduce encounter rates in the presence of a greater number of guild members. Because M. erminea is smaller than M. frenata and thus better able to take advantage of small rodent burrows as refuges from predators and as feeding grounds, we also predicted that M. frenata would show a stronger response to a higher abundance of guild members than M. erminea. Results were consistent with our predictions. Faced with an increased abundance of guild members, M. frenata showed increased habitat selectivity and reduced activity levels, which resulted in increased daily travel distances and increased home ranges. Mustela erminea responded to an increased abundance of guild members through reduced use of preferred habitat which M. frenata already occupied. The contrasting pattern of habitat selection observed between the 2 mustelid species suggested cascading effects, whereby large-predator pressure on M. frenata relaxed pressure of M. frenata on M. erminea. Our results draw attention to the likelihood that competitive intraguild interactions play a facilitating role in M. erminea,M. frenata coexistence. [source]

Migration of hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata from Tortuguero, Costa Rica

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 3 2005
Sebastian Troëng
The hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata is a widely distributed and critically endangered species that feeds on sponges and fills an important ecological role in the coral reef ecosystem. At Tortuguero, Costa Rica, trend analyses indicate considerable decline in nesting estimated at 77.2,94.5% between 1956 and 2003, as a result of excessive turtle fishing. We analyzed flipper tag returns, satellite telemetry and genetic samples to determine movements and habitat use of adult female Tortuguero hawksbills. Tag returns and satellite telemetry show hawksbills migrate to foraging grounds in Nicaragua and Honduras. Genetic analysis indicates the hawksbills may also migrate to Cuban, Puerto Rican, and possibly Mexican waters. We conclude hawksbills represent an internationally shared resource. There is a close correlation between tag recapture sites, hawksbill foraging grounds and coral reef distribution. Caribbean coral reef decline may reduce food availability and negatively impact hawksbill turtles. Conversely, hawksbill decline may shift the balance on coral reefs by reducing predation pressure on sponges and hence make coral reefs less resilient to natural and anthropogenic threats. Strategies aiming to conserve hawksbills and coral reefs must consider both the extensive hawksbill migrations and the close relationship between the species and the coral reef ecosystem. [source]

Does habitat use explain large scale species richness patterns of aquatic beetles in Europe?

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2003
Ignacio Ribera
Regularities in species richness are widely observed but controversy continues over its mechanistic explanation. Because richness patterns are usually a compound measure derived from taxonomically diverse species with different ecological requirements, these analyses may confound diverse causes of species numbers. Here we investigate species richness in the aquatic beetle fauna of Europe, separating major taxonomic groups and two major ecological types, species occurring in standing and running water bodies. We collated species distributions for 800+ species of water beetles in 15 regions across western Europe. Species number in any of these regions was related to three variables: total area size, geographic connectedness of the area, and latitude. Pooled species numbers were accurately predicted, but correlations were different for species associated with either running or standing water. The former were mostly correlated with latitude, while the latter were only correlated with the measure of connectedness or with area size. These differences were generally also observed in each of the four phylogenetically independent lineages of aquatic Coleoptera when analysed separately. We propose that effects of habitat, in this case possibly mediated by different long term persistence of running and standing water bodies, impose constraints at the population or local level which, if effective over larger temporal and spatial scales, determine global patterns of species richness. [source]

Effects of temperature and elevation on habitat use by a rare mountain butterfly: implications for species responses to climate change

Abstract 1.,The present study used the mountain specialist butterfly Parnassius apollo as a model system to investigate how climate change may alter habitat requirements for species at their warm range margins. 2.,Larval habitat use was recorded in six P. apollo populations over a 700 m elevation gradient in the Sierra de Guadarrama (central Spain). Larvae used four potential host species (Sedum spp.) growing in open areas amongst shrubs. 3.,Parnassius apollo host-plant and habitat use changed as elevation increased: the primary host shifted from Sedum amplexicaule to Sedum brevifolium, and larvae selected more open microhabitats (increased bare ground and dead vegetation, reduced vegetation height and shrub cover), suggesting that hotter microhabitats are used in cooler environments. 4.,Larval microhabitat selection was significantly related to ambient temperature. At temperatures lower than 27 °C, larvae occupied open microhabitats that were warmer than ambient temperature, versus more shaded microhabitats that were cooler than ambient conditions when temperature was higher than 27 °C. 5.,Elevational changes in phenology influenced the temperatures experienced by larvae, and could affect local host-plant favourability. 6.,Habitat heterogeneity appears to play an important role in P. apollo larval thermoregulation, and may become increasingly important in buffering populations of this and other insect species against climatic variation. [source]

Foraging in nature: foraging efficiency and attentiveness in caterpillars with different diet breadths

E. A. Bernays
Abstract., 1. Seventy-seven individual last-instar caterpillars foraging in the field were examined for 6 h each. They represented four species of Arctiidae of similar size and habitat use. Two, Hypocrisias minima and Pygarctia roseicapitis, are specialists restricted to particular plant genera. The other two, Grammia geneura and Estigmene acrea, are extreme generalists that use many host plant species from multiple plant families. 2. Parameters of behavioural efficiency were monitored. Generalists spent more time walking, rejected more potential host plants, took longer to decide to feed after inspecting a plant, and took relatively more small feeding bouts compared with specialists. 3. This is the first test of differential foraging efficiency in the field in relation to diet breadth of insects and the data indicate that generalists are less efficient in their foraging activities and may suffer from divided attention. The need for attentiveness to enhance efficiency and thereby reduce ecological risk is discussed. [source]