Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Landscape-level habitat connectivity is key for species that depend on longleaf pine

20.03.2015

Preserving isolated patches of habitat isn't enough to save species such as Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) that depend on longleaf pine; habitat connectivity at the landscape level is also crucial. That is the message of a new paper by Paul Taillie, M. Nils Peterson, and Christopher Moorman of North Carolina State University, published this week in The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

In the past, fire-dependent longleaf pine forests covered vast, unbroken areas of the southeastern U.S., and Bachman's Sparrows and other species adapted to live in this expansive habitat. Today, however, longleaf pines exist primarily in isolated patches surrounded by agriculture and urban development.


A Bachman's sparrow perches in longleaf pine habitat.

Credit: P. Taillie

To see whether small but well-managed patches of longleaf pine were enough to support healthy Bachman's Sparrow populations, Taillie and his colleagues surveyed Bachman's Sparrows in 111 habitat patches in spring 2011 and tested what factors best explained their distribution.

They found that while the sparrows did prefer patches that had been burned recently, an even stronger predictor of the presence or absence of Bachman's Sparrows was how much of the land within three kilometers was devoted to longleaf pine--that is, how connected a patch was to a larger longleaf pine landscape.

"While we know a lot about the local habitat characteristics affecting Bachman's Sparrow habitat selection, we don't know much about the role of landscape-level factors," explains Taillie. "As a result of this research, we found that habitat selection actually appears to depend on a very broad range of scales, from 100 meters to several kilometers.

Other studies have shown similar patterns for other species associated with longleaf pine, which suggests that connectivity may be important to the function of the greater ecosystem, and possibly other highly fragmented ecosystems as well. Thus, conservation management and planning efforts, such as prescribed burning, habitat restoration, and land acquisition, should also consider a broad range of scales to benefit the diverse assemblage of organisms that comprise this community."

"Taillie, Peterson and Moorman have made a significant contribution to the understanding of Bachman's sparrow's use of the landscape in eastern North Carolina," adds Jeff Marcus of the Nature Conservancy, a longleaf pine management expert who was not involved in the research.

"As the broader conservation community strives to restore and enhance longleaf pine habitat across its range, it is important to understand not only the habitat characteristics but also the landscape characteristics that will lead to the most robust and resilient outcome for longleaf-associated species. The Bachman's sparrow is an excellent indicator species to help inform longleaf pine habitat needs because it is closely tied to well-managed longleaf habitat."

###

"The relative importance of multiscale factors in the distribution of Bachman's Sparrow and the implications for ecosystem conservation" is an open-access paper that can be viewed at http://www.aoucospubs.org/doi/full/10.1650/CONDOR-14-137.1.

About the journal: The Condor: Ornithological Applications is a peer-reviewed, international journal of ornithology. The journal began in 1899 as the journal of the Cooper Ornithological Club, a group of ornithologists in California that became the Cooper Ornithological Society.

Paul Taillie | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>