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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Image credit: Peggy Moore/USGS
Vegetation Classification and Mapping Report Ready for Yosemite National Park
With partners at the California Department of Fish and Game and Aerial Information Systems, WERC scientist Peggy Moore has coauthored a final, comprehensive report for the Yosemite National Park Vegetation Classification and Mapping Project. The culmination of a decade of data collection and ground truthing, this National Park Service report includes a listing of vegetation types occurring in the park and vicinity, a key for identifying vegetation types in the field, and a listing of types that were mapped and their descriptions. The map encompasses nearly 1.4 million acres in and around Yosemite, includes the distribution of 107 vegetation types within the park and an additional 23 vegetation types in the vicinity, and includes the vegetation mapping of Devils Postpile National Monument.
NEW JOURNAL ARTICLES
Keeley, JE, CJ Fotheringham, PW Rundel. 2012. Postfire chaparral regeneration under Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean climates. Madroño 59(3): 109-127. doi: 10.3120/0024-9637-59.3.109
Halstead, BJ, MR Miller, ML Casazza, PS Coates, MA Farinha, BK Gustafson, JL Yee, JP Fleskes. 2011. Rapid assessment of rice seed availability for wildlife in harvested fields. Wildlife Society Bulletin 35: 377-393. doi: 10.1002/wsb.72
Buler, JJ, LA Randall, JP Fleskes, WC Barrow Jr, T Bogart, D Kluver. 2012. Mapping wintering waterfowl distributions using weather surveillance radar. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41571. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041571
NEW JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Vittecoq, M, KD Lafferty, E Elguero, J Brodeur, M Gauthier-Clerc, D Missé, B Roche, F Thomas. 2012. Cat ownership is neither a strong predictor of Toxoplamsa gondii infection nor a risk factor for brain cancer. Biology Letters. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0625
NEW PUBLICATION BRIEFS
Differences in Postfire Recovery of CA and AZ Chaparral Plant Diversity
According to research by Jon Keeley, C.J. Fotheringham and Phil Rundel at UCLA, chaparral plant communities recover after fire quite differently in Mediterranean-type climates versus non-Mediterranean-type climates. This pub brief summarizes findings published in the journal Madroño, comparing plant biodiversity in the California chaparral with that in the Arizona chaparral, after 2002 fires in southeastern Arizona and 2003 fires in southern California.
August 14-18, 2012 (Vancouver, BC)
Barbara Kus and colleagues attended the 5th North American Ornithological Conference in Vancouver, Canada.
September 13-16, 2012 (San Diego, CA)
WERC scientists from the San Diego Field Station will once again have a booth at the Reptilemania weekend at the San Diego Zoo. Kids and parents can ask questions about their local reptile and amphibian species and take home coloring sheets of native and invasive species.
September 27, 2012 (Menlo Park, CA)
USGS Alaska Science Center scientist James Bodkin will discuss WERC and USGS sea otter research and the Pacific Nearshore Project in this free public lecture and live webcast.
IN THE NEWS
Figure 1 from Sato et al. 2012.
A Cascade of Consequences (Science)
Editors Kristen Mueller and Maria Cruz listed a Kevin Lafferty paper in a recent Editor’s Choice section of Science. The study documented a behavior-altering parasite that induces crickets to head towards streams. Preferring crickets, local trout abandon their normal aquatic insect prey, whose numbers rise and cause a decrease in algae and leaf litter in that food web.
Tenth Triennial Open House in Menlo Park (USGS Sound Waves)
Helen Gibbons showcases photos and highlights from the USGS family science fair in May, including WERC booths on sea otter and salt ponds research.
Salt Ponds in San Francisco Bay (NASA Visible Earth)
Editors at NASA’s Visible Earth gallery featured a satellite photo of the salt ponds in southern San Francisco Bay. WERC scientist Laura Valoppi provided some of the explanations of the restoration effort visible in the satellite image.
Image credit: NASA
Teachers getting the new school year started should remember to browse the USGS Education homepage for materials and tips for science education activities. Download free activity plans and access reference websites here.
California Sea Otter Population Continues Tepid Pace of Recovery
Brian Hatfield and Tim Tinker summarized findings for the 2012 population survey of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), a threatened species. The averaged population index for 2012 is 2,792. Although this is a slight uptick overall from recent surveys, the population appears to be experiencing stagnant or negative growth in some stretches of the California coast, and slight growth in other areas. The survey is conducted for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with California Department of Fish and Game, Monterey Bay Aquarium, UC Santa Cruz, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
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 (1.15)