WERC research roundups are in a biweekly format, complete with PDF version. Check back every two weeks for a run down of new research and events from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. To add your name to the email distribution list for the PDF newsletter, please contact email@example.com.
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Nate Stephenson. Image Credit: Nathan Stephenson/USGS
Nathan Stephenson Receives National Award from National Park Service
WERC scientist Nathan Stephenson
has been honored by the National Park Service
with the Director’s Award for Natural Resource Research
. Based out of the WERC Sequoia and Kings Canyon Field Station, Stephenson is a leader in research and long-term monitoring of Western U.S. forest ecosystems, contributing to our knowledge of forestry science, climate change effects, parks management and more. “Due to Nate’s commitment to the Sierra Nevada and his original research in forested ecosystems and their maintenance processes, he has become an internationally acknowledged expert on forest ecology,” says the service. This is Stephenson’s second nomination for this national award, whose previous receipient was noted biologist E.O. Wilson in 2010.
NEW JOURNAL ARTICLES
Stephens, SL, REJ Boerner, JJ Moghaddas, EEY Moghaddas, BM Collins, CB Dow, C Edminster, CE Fiedler, DL Fry, BR Hartsough, JE Keeley
, EE Knapp, JD McIver, CN Skinner, A Youngblood. 2012. Fuel treatment impacts on estimated wildfire carbon loss from forests in Montana, Oregon, California, and Arizona. Ecosphere
3(5). doi: 10.1890/ES11-00289.1
Soldánová, M, AM Kuris, Scholz, T, KD Lafferty
. 2012. The role of spatial and temporal heterogeneity and competition in structuring trematode communities in the great pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis (L.). Journal of Parasitology
98(3): 460-471. doi: 10.1645/GE-2964.1
Miller, DAW, CS Brehme
, JE Hines, JD Nichols, RN Fisher
. 2012. Joint estimation of habitat dynamics and species interactions: disturbance reduces co-occurence of non-native predators with an endangered toad. Journal of Animal Ecology.
Jacobson, ER, KH Berry
, JFX Wllehan Jr, F Origgi, AL Childress, J Braun, M Schrenzel, J Yee
, B Rideout. 2012. Serologic and molecular evidence for testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz’s desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii. Journal of Wildlife Diseases
, ML Casazza
, BJ Halstead
, JP Fleskes
. 2012. Relative value of managed wetlands and tidal marshlands for wintering northern pintails. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.
Athearn, ND, JY Takekawa
, JD Bluso-Demers, JM Shinn
, LA Brand
, CW Robinson-Nilsen, CM Strong. 2012. Variability in habitat value of commercial salt production ponds: implications for waterbird management and tidal marsh restoration planning. Hydrobiologia
. doi: 10.1007/s10750-012-1177-y
NEW WERC PUBLICATION BRIEFS
Density-Dependent Nest Survival and the Benefits of Having Neighbors
Nest predation levels are a key part of waterfowl demography studies, but considerable uncertainty remains as to whether nest predation is density-dependent. Published in Oecologia
, new research by Josh Ackerman
and UC Davis colleagues found local nest dispersion — rather than larger-scale measures of nest density — may play a more important role in density-dependent nest predation.
Mercury Exposure Suppresses Stress Response in Juvenile Birds
New research by Josh Ackerman
, Garth Herring
and Mark Herzog
published in Environmental Science and Technology
indicates that chronic mercury exposure may suppress baseline corticosterone concentrations in Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri
) chicks, and suggests that a juvenile bird’s ability to respond to stress may be reduced.
Mercury May Reduce Body Condition of Endangered California Clapper Rails
USGS researchers examined mercury exposure in 133 California clapper rails within tidal marsh habitats of San Francisco Bay from 2006 to 2010, with birds collected from Arrowhead Marsh, Colma Creek Marsh, Cogswell Marsh, and Faber-Laumeister Marsh. The research by Josh Ackerman
, Cory Overton
, Mike Casazza
, Robin Keister
, Mark Herzog
and Collin Eagles-Smith found a percentage of feather, blood and egg samples with mercury concentrations that could put rails at risk for impaired reproduction.
USGS scientists measure a California clapper rail. Image credit: USGS.
June 25-27, 2012 (Los Angeles, CA)
WERC scientist Jon Keeley
was among the panelists at the Tuesday working group sessions at The Mediterranean City
conference on climate change adaptation.
June 26, 2012 (San Diego, CA)
WERC scientists Robert Fisher
, Carlton Rochester
, Denise Clark
and others presented at the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program
’s Annual Report Workshop, a public meeting discussing habitat planning efforts in San Diego County informed by WERC research. Contact Robert Fisher for details.
July 15-18, 2012 (Oakland, CA)
The 2012 SCB North America Congress for Conservation Biology
will include several presentations and tours featuring WERC scientists, including Erin Boydston
, Arriana Brand
and Laura Valoppi
. Interior Assistant Secretary Anne Castle
will be a plenary speaker.
IN THE NEWS
Wildfire Risk to Homes Is Most Related to Location, Study Finds (Los Angeles Times)
profiles the new study
by Jon Keeley
, Teresa Brennan
and colleagues, revealing that housing density and location were determinants of housing loss in San Diego and Ventura County wildfires.
Mercury Stays Put (Estuary News)
quotes Laura Valoppi
about mercury monitoring in Alviso, CA. USGS is studying whether levee breaches from salt pond restoration will disperse legacy mercury.
Common Parasite May Increase Suicide Risk (MyHealthNewsDaily.com)
reports on a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry
, and quotes Kevin Lafferty
as an outside expert on the biology of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii
California Landscape Conservation Cooperative to Fund Eight Conservation-Based Science Projects in 2012 (CaliforniaLCC.org)
announced the 2012 awarded projects of the California LCC. Supported WERC scientists include Joe Fleskes
’ research on climate change and waterfowl ecology in the San Francisco Bay Estuary, as well as research by John Takekawa
, Susan De La Cruz
and Isa Woo
on intertidal foraging of migratory birds in the San Francisco Bay Estuary.
The Science of Predicting Which Houses Will Survive Wildfires (KUNC Greely, Colorado)
cites the WERC Southern California Wildfire Risk Scenario Project
as part of its coverage of the current Colorado wildfires, interviewing co-PI Alexandra Syphard.
Image courtesy of KUNC.
FROM THE BLOG
Why Are Biologists Studying Housing Loss from Wildfires?
Guest writer Alexandra Syphard
answers the question. An ecologist with the Conservation Biology Institute, Syphard is a co-PI on the WERC Southern California Wildfire Risk Scenario Project.
This Biweekly Update is produced as a service to USGS/WERC staff, colleagues, partners and the interested public. To add your email address to the mailing list or to report errors/suggestions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Download the current issue (1.11)