Most wild species experience considerable variation in habitat quality. Ecological theory that considers how organisms disperse between good and bad habitats has shown that such spatial structure can strongly influence population dynamics, but real-world implications have rarely been found. In this study, researchers from the University of California Santa Cruz show that the spatial structure of Peregrine Falcons in California has profoundly influenced the management and recovery of this species.
California peregrines suffered a dramatic population crash in the 1950s due to DDT-induced eggshell thinning, and this regional population has been highly managed by the introduction of over 800 young birds. Observations of banded birds showed that dispersal rates between three subpopulations--interior, coastal, and urban--were asymmetric, with essentially no dispersal out of the interior subpopulation and a strong tendency for coastal peregrines to disperse to the urban habitats. By fitting regional population models to the observed recovery of breeding pairs in each habitat, this study also characterized the demographic performance of peregrines within each subpopulation.
The spatial structure revealed by this study suggests that the highly productive interior subpopulation would have recovered largely on its own, without the reintroduced birds, while the coastal subpopulation would have been very slow to recover without the reintroduction effort. This study makes clear that understanding spatial structure can be critical for the effective conservation and management of animal populations.
Tricia Morse | EurekAlert!
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Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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