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Knowing how physical and biogenic habitat characteristics affect microspatial variability of larval caddisflies is important to understanding potential population distributions and local species assemblages. We show that larval caddisfly densities and assemblages vary between study reaches and streams on the Angelo Coast Range Reserve in northern California and that species abundance patterns are associated with specific habitat variables. Dicosmoecus gilvipes and Psychoglypha spp. were most dense in 4th-order reaches of the south fork of the Eel River (SFE) and rare or absent in shallow 2nd- and 1st-order reaches of the Elder and Fox Creek tributaries, respectively. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) suggested D. gilvipes densities were associated with water depth, as microdistributions were restricted to depths >40 cm. Microdistributions were also associated with Rivularia-dominated algal patches, but it is doubtful grazing D. gilvipes tracked these cyanobacteria. Psychoglypha spp. were typically found between roughness elements (stones) in relatively deep waters, and MDS suggested that densities of Psychoglypha spp. were related to current velocity Lepidostoma sp. was densest in Fox Creek, and densities of this detritivore were associated with benthic organic matter (BOM). Glossosoma spp. densities were similar among streams (∼25 larvae · m-2) and did not configure around any of the habitat variables used in MDS. Neophylax (likely rickeri), Heteroplectron, Ecclisomyia, and Hydatophylax hesperus were uncommon and found only in either Elder or Fox creeks. Our work shows that larval caddisfly assemblages are more diverse in SFE tributaries than in the mainstem and that species traits and microdistributions are related to local-scale habitat variables in these Mediterranean-climate streams.
Caddisflies were collected at 181 wall seep, stream, river, and lake habitats in 7 counties in northwest and north central Washington over a 6-year period. From 17,405 specimens, we identified 164 adult caddisfly species within 62 genera and 16 families. Twenty taxa were new state records, bringing the number of species currently reported from Washington to 230. Species assemblages were compared to altitude, physicochemical factors, aquatic-habitats, and land use (urban, agriculture, and forest) on the west and east sides of the North Cascade Range. Species richness showed significant positive correlations to altitude and pH and showed significant negative correlations to total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and specific conductivity, as well as especially to channel embeddedness. A multilevel hierarchical clustering model separated wall seeps, streams, and rivers into geographic and land-use regions based on adult caddisfly assemblages. We used a multimetric index (caddisfly tolerance index [CTI]) to determine environmental tolerance levels for adult caddisfly species. The index performed well in distinguishing among the effects of total phosphorus, total nitrogen, specific conductance, and channel embeddedness on the distribution of caddisfly species. These CTI values provide baseline information for monitoring changes in ecosystem health in drainages throughout Washington landscapes.
Over 200 species of freshwater and terrestrial water bears (phylum Tardigrada) are known to occur in North America. Of these, 20 species have been recorded in Louisiana. Foliose and fruticose lichen and moss samples collected in 2011 in the city of Lake Charles and in Sam Houston Jones State Park, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, USA, were stored in paper envelopes and later soaked in tap water overnight. Tardigrade specimens and eggs were extracted and mounted in polyvinyl lactophenol. The samples contained a new species of tardigrade. Milnesium lagniappe sp. n. has claw formula [2–3]-[3–2] and 9 sculptured bands in the dorsal and lateral cuticle. The new species most closely resembles Milnesium reticulatum, a species known only from the Seychelles Islands, in its cuticular pattern. However, M. lagniappe sp. n. is almost twice as large as M. reticulatum, lacks gibbosities, has proportionally wider buccal tube and longer claws, and has a more posterior point of stylet insertion. Reexamination of tardigrades from central Florida, USA, previously reported as M. tardigradum shows that they are in fact M. lagniappe sp. n.
Seasonal succession and interannual variation of modern diatom populations in Fallen Leaf Lake, Sierra Nevada, California, are characterized and discussed in relation to stratification, water quality, and inflow during spring runoff. Fallen Leaf Lake is a deep, transparent subalpine lake that undergoes a 5–6 month period of stratification and develops a deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) dominated by diatoms. A seasonal succession was observed, where the early spring was dominated by Asterionella formosa, Fragilaria tenera-group (F. tenera and F. nanana), Tabellaria flocculosa strain IIIp, Aulacoseira subarctica, and Urosolenia eriensis. Asterionella formosa and T. flocculosa strain IIIp persisted into the summer, becoming dominant components of the DCM. In late summer, Cyclotella rossii succeeded the araphids in the DCM and persisted until deep mixing in the late fall. In winter, the lake is ice free and well mixed, and Au. subarctica was abundant in surface waters, along with Nitzschia and the other components of the spring bloom. Strong species partitioning occurred between the epilimnion and hypolimnion, and Handmannia bodanica was the dominant summer epilimnetic diatom in all years. During a 3-year period, we observed interannual variation in the species of dominant phytoplankton. These years also varied in the depth and development of stratification, development of snowpack in the watershed, and timing of spring melt. The maximum depth of the epilimnion ranged from 12.5 to 17.5 m, and the DCM varied from 30 to 40 m deep. The weakest epilimnetic development was associated with 2011, a year with unusually deep snowpack, wintery spring conditions, and late melting. During 2011, Fragilaria tenera-group dominated the phytoplankton, and water clarity was low. A considerable portion of dead lotic diatoms were suspended in the water column, washed in from higher in the watershed during spring runoff. The lotic fraction is a significant portion of surface sediments and may be a useful proxy for identifying past changes in inflow. In addition, ratios of H. bodanica and C. rossii are explored as a possible proxy for strength in stratification. Collectively, these data provide a solid picture of the seasonal and interannual dynamics of the modern lake system, an essential step in evaluating the climate potential of the diatom record, which is currently being analyzed from lake cores.
Big Spring spinedace (Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis) is a cyprinid whose entire population occurs within a section of Meadow Valley Wash, Nevada. Other spinedace species have suffered population and range declines (one species is extinct). Managers, concerned about the vulnerability of Big Spring spinedace, have considered habitat restoration actions or translocation, but they have lacked data on distribution or habitat use. Our study occurred in an 8.2-km section of Meadow Valley Wash, including about 7.2 km in Condor Canyon and 0.8 km upstream of the canyon. Big Spring spinedace were present upstream of the currently listed critical habitat, including in the tributary Kill Wash. We found no Big Spring spinedace in the lower 3.3 km of Condor Canyon. We tagged Big Spring spinedace ≥70 mm fork length (range 70–103 mm) with passive integrated transponder tags during October 2008 (n = 100) and March 2009 (n = 103) to document movement. At least 47 of these individuals moved from their release location (up to 2 km). Thirty-nine individuals moved to Kill Wash or the confluence area with Meadow Valley Wash. Ninety-three percent of movement occurred in spring 2009. Fish moved both upstream and downstream. We found no movement downstream over a small waterfall at river km 7.9 and recorded only one fish that moved downstream over Delmue Falls (a 12-m drop) at river km 6.1. At the time of tagging, there was no significant difference in fork length or condition between Big Spring Spinedace that were later detected moving and those not detected moving. We found no significant difference in fork length or condition at time of tagging of Big Spring spinedace ≥70 mm fork length that were detected moving and those not detected moving. Kill Wash and its confluence area appeared important to Big Spring spinedace; connectivity with these areas may be key to species persistence. These areas may provide a habitat template for restoration or translocation. The lower 3.3 km of Meadow Valley Wash in Condor Canyon may be a good candidate section for habitat restoration actions.
The aim of this research was to determine whether permanent and nonpermanent plots for describing riparian plant communities would yield the same results. This research was conducted at 4 streams in central eastern Idaho. Permanent and nonpermanent greenline plots (first perennial vegetation adjacent to stream) were sampled repeatedly from June to October 2010, and we assessed differences between plot types by comparing species richness, wetland indicator rating, and percent cover of live vegetation, forbs, graminoids, litter/moss, and bare ground. We found few statistically significant differences between permanent and nonpermanent greenline plots. Because both types of plots yielded similar results, we suggest that nonpermanent plots are a better choice for riparian monitoring because they are defined by their spatial relationship to the stream, rendering a permanent marker unnecessary, and they are also less labor intensive.
Development for wind energy is increasing rapidly across the United States, particularly in Wyoming, despite a general lack of information on the potential interaction development could have on wildlife species. Therefore, knowledge of the space use and movement patterns of individuals can help define spatial distributions and management unit boundaries for populations prior to development. Such knowledge can also be used as baseline data from which to assess any future impacts on animal populations. We investigated the spatial ecology of female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus; n = 18) equipped with global positioning system collars from 23 February 2011 to 15 January 2012 in an area along the Wyoming–Colorado border that has been proposed for wind energy development. The objectives of this study were to collect predevelopment baseline estimates of annual and seasonal home-range and core area size and fidelity, movement between seasonal ranges, changes in the use of elevation, and movement patterns at 2 temporal resolutions (i.e., within-season diel patterns and year-round diurnal and nocturnal movements by week). Annual size of home ranges averaged 2495 ha (SE = 121), whereas size of core areas averaged 310 ha (SE = 30). Seasonal site fidelity was substantial (81.1%, SE = 5.7) between successive cool-season ranges. Migration distances between cool- and warm-season home ranges were minimal (spring migration = 1319 m; autumn migration = 1342 m). Deer exhibited crepuscular movement patterns (peaks near 06:00 and 18:00) during the warm season but showed a diurnal movement pattern during the cool season (peak from 06:00 to 15:00). Partuition influenced movement during the warm season; movement was much reduced during a period from mid-June to mid-July Deer in this population appear to be year-round residents that exhibit strong seasonal and annual fidelity to previously established ranges and modify movement patterns in relation to general changes in environmental conditions (e.g., snow). These findings can be used to define seasonally important ranges and formulate boundaries and sizes of game management units. Understanding fine-scale temporal movement allows the development of strategies that could minimize disturbance to deer while allowing for development or recreation.
Reintroductions and translocations of northern river otters have been a common management practice throughout the United States from the 1970s to the 2000s. Though many reintroductions have been successful, populations are not always monitored or evaluated post-release. From 2009 through 2012, we translocated 27 radio-marked otters into the Provo River watershed in northern Utah. Our objective was to determine what factors influenced the translocation-related mortality of otters. We developed a series of a priori models and used logistic regression to determine the most influential factors. We used Akaike's information criterion to evaluate relative model support. We found that the univariate model including body mass bore the most model weight and that body mass was the most important factor influencing the initial survival of translocated otters. Model-averaged β estimates indicated that otters at the high end of body mass were 4 times more likelv to survive the translocation than otters at the low end of body mass. Sex was the next most important factor influencing survival, as odds ratios indicated that males were more likely to survive the translocation than females. We urge ecologists and managers to delay the trapping and translocating of otters until young-of-the-year are likely large enough to have a high probability of survival. We further recommend female-biased translocations, as females were less likely to survive translocations.
I tested 3 hair-collection devices used for population surveys of ringtails (Bassariscus astutus): PVC pipes, modified cage traps, and triangular Coroplast® tunnels. Coroplast tunnels were the most efficient, with hair obtained by 92% of tunnels tested on radio-collared ringtails. I used the tunnels to survey ringtails on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. Probability of detection in areas where ringtails were present was 74% (95% CI 0.56—0.86). Population density was estimated to be 0.17—0.33 ringtails · km-2 and occupancy (Ψ) by ringtails was 0.56 (95% CI 0.35–0.75).
Astragalus (Fabaceae) is a broadly distributed, diverse, and economically important group of plants. Given the number of species and its distribution, it is not surprising that there are many species that are highly restricted and endangered. Among these is the Ash Meadows milkvetch, Astragalus phoenix. Here we investigate the breeding biology of As. phoenix. Our data show that As. phoenix is xenogamous and that Anthophora porterae (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is the most likely pollinator. We also noticed Apis mellifera visiting As. phoenix, though it appears unlikely that Ap. rnellifera contributes significantly to the reproductive success of As. phoenix. We located a nesting aggregation of An. porterae and offer a description of its nest architecture.
We report the first records of the eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) in Trans-Pecos Texas. Sciurus niger is widely established in pecan orchards in the Lower El Paso Valley of the Rio Grande, El Paso County. Expansion of this population to other pecan-growing regions along the Rio Grande in New Mexico is possible. Research is needed on both the extent of damage caused by S. niger to pecan production and the control methods in this situation. We recommend a goal of complete eradication of S. niger from this region. Sciurus niger should be delisted as a game species in El Paso County, Texas, and throughout New Mexico, where there are no native populations of the species.
Between 27 June 1997 and 16 May 1999, 423 rodents were collected from North Texas (Collin, Denton, and Grayson counties) by using Sherman live-traps (trapping success rate ∼22%). Of the 423 rodents collected, 328 were tested for evidence of IgG antibodies to New World hantaviruses. Hantavirus antibodies were detected in 34 individuals (∼10%). This is the first record of hantavirus antibody—positive rodents from the highly urbanized area of North Texas.
As presently recognized, the snake genus Chersodromus (Colubridae) is composed of 2 species, C. liebmanni and C. rubriventris, both of which are endemic to eastern Mexico. Distribution of the genus is largely restricted to the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca and broadly corresponds to the south of the Sierra Madre Oriental and the eastern portion of the Transvolcanic Belt. Chersodromus liebmanni is the more common species of the genus and is distributed in the foothills of several localities in central Veracruz and northern Oaxaca. However, C. rubriventris is restricted to only a few small localities in San Luis Potosi and now the state of Hidalgo. Both species appear to be restricted to montane forest communities, including pine-oak, cloud forest, and tropical forest habitats.
The pocket mouse from the southern Baja California peninsula, Chaetodipus dalquesti, is synonymized to Chaetodipus ammophilus, following the Principle of Priority of the Code of Zoological Nomenclature, because C. ammophilus was described before C. dalquesti. The subspecies are reassigned.