Ecological Applications (ECOL APPL )
Ecological Applications, published eight times per year, contains ecological research and discussion papers that have specific relevance to environmental management and policy.
- Impact factor3.82Show impact factor historyHide impact factor history
- 5-year impact4.84
- Cited half-life8.80
- Immediacy index0.53
- Article influence2.02
- WebsiteEcological Applications website
- Other titlesEcological applications
- Material typePeriodical, Internet resource
- Document typeJournal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource
- Author can archive a pre-print version
- Author can archive a post-print version
- Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged (first page must state "Copyright by the Ecological Society of America," along with the full citation)
- On author or institutional server
- Classification green
Publications in this journal
- SourceAvailable from: utoronto.ca[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We investigated the roles of local environmental conditions and dispersal limitation in zooplankton recovery from acidification in Swan Lake, Ontario, a historically acidified, metal-contaminated lake. We hypothesized that local environmental conditions (pH and the presence of resident, acid-tolerant zooplankton) would limit the establishment of several zooplankton colonist species. We tested this in a factorial mesocosm experiment that ran for 32 days during the mid summer. Ambient pH (5.6) reduced the abundance of two acid-sensitive cladoceran taxa, Daphnia spp. and Ceriodaphnia lacustris compared to elevated pH (6.5) but increased the abundance of cyclopoid copepod juveniles. The resident community suppressed Skistodiaptomus oregonensis and Diacyclops bicuspidatus thomasi, and to a lesser extent Mesocyclops edax, but slightly enhanced Daphnia spp. We also hypothesized that conditions in the sediments of acidified Swan Lake would limit zoo-plankton recruitment from diapausing eggs. We tested this by reciprocally transferring sediments containing eggs between Swan Lake and a nearby recovered lake, and incubating them for 15 weeks in 20-L emergence traps. Most zooplankton emerged from diapause in both lakes indicating that this mechanism contributes to the recolonization of acidified lakes once pH returns to normal. Some species, however, emerged in only one lake or the other, indicating that hatching cues such as light, temperature, oxygen, or appropriate pH may have been missing. Our experiments demonstrate that both local lake conditions and dia-pausing eggs can influence zooplankton recovery. Continued recovery may require addi-tional management efforts to reduce and control regional acid emissions and active inter-vention in the form of food web manipulations.Ecological Applications 01/2025; 15:2025-2036.
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ABSTRACT: Grazing represents one of the most common disturbances in drylands worldwide, affecting both ecosystem structure and functioning. Despite the efforts to understand the nature and magnitude of grazing effects on ecosystem components and processes, contrasting results continue to arise. This is particularly remarkable for the biological soil crust (BSC) communities (i.e. cyanobacteria, lichens and bryophytes), which play an important role in soil dynamics. Here we evaluated simultaneously the effect of grazing impact on BSC communities (resistance) and recovery after livestock exclusion (resilience) in a semiarid grassland of Central Mexico. In particular, we examined BSC species distribution, species richness, taxonomical group cover (i.e., cyanobacteria, lichen, bryophyte) and composition along a disturbance gradient with different grazing regimes (low, medium, high impact) and along a recovery gradient with differently-aged livestock exclosures (short-, medium-, long-term exclusion). Differences in grazing impact and time of recovery from grazing both resulted in slight changes in species richness; however, there were pronounced shifts in species composition and group cover. We found we could distinguish four highly diverse and dynamic BSC species groups: 1) species with high resistance and resilience to grazing, 2) species with high resistance but low resilience, 3) species with low resistance but high resilience, and 4) species with low resistance and resilience. While disturbance resulted in a novel diversity configuration, which may profoundly affect ecosystem functioning, we observed that 10 years of disturbance removal did not lead to the ecosystem structure found after 27 years of recovery. These findings are an important contribution to our understanding of BCS dynamics from a species and community perspective placed in a land use change context. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/13-1416.1Ecological Applications 03/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Protected areas are a cornerstone for biodiversity, but they also provide amenities that attract housing development on inholdings and adjacent private lands. We explored how this development affects biodiversity within and near protected areas among six ecological regions throughout the United States. We quantified the effect of housing density within, at the boundary, and outside protected areas, and natural land cover within protected areas, on the proportional abundance and proportional richness of three avian guilds within protected areas. We developed three guilds from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, which included Species of Greatest Conservation Need, land cover affiliates (e.g., forest breeders), and synanthropic species associated with urban environments. We gathered housing density data for the year 2000 from the U.S. Census Bureau, and centered the bird data on this year. We obtained land cover data from the 2001 National Land Cover Database, and we used single- and multiple-variable analyses to address our research question. In all regions, housing density within protected areas was positively associated with the proportional abundance or proportional richness of synanthropes, and negatively associated with the proportional abundance or proportional richness of Species of Greatest Conservation Need. These relationships were strongest in the eastern-forested regions and the central grasslands, where more than 70% and 45%, respectively, of the variation in the proportional abundance of synanthropes and Species of Greatest Conservation Need were explained by housing within protected areas. Furthermore, in most regions, housing density outside protected areas was positively associated with the proportional abundance or proportional richness of synanthropes and negatively associated with the proportional abundance of land cover affiliates and Species of Greatest Conservation Need within protected areas. However, these effects were weaker than housing within protected areas. Natural land cover was high with little variability within protected areas and consequently was less influential than housing density within or outside protected areas explaining the proportional abundance or proportional richness of the avian guilds. Our results indicate that housing development within, at the boundary, and outside protected areas impacts avian community structure within protected areas throughout the United States.Ecological Applications 01/2014; in press.
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ABSTRACT: The degree to which recent bark beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreaks may influence fire severity and post-fire tree regeneration is of heightened interest to resource managers throughout western North America, but empirical data on actual fire effects are lacking. Outcomes may depend on burning conditions (i.e., weather during fire), outbreak severity, or intervals between outbreaks and subsequent fire. We studied recent fires that burned through green-attack / red-stage (outbreaks < 3 yr before fire) and gray-stage (outbreaks 3-15 yr before fire) subalpine forests dominated by lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) in Greater Yellowstone, Wyoming, USA, to determine if fire severity was linked to pre-fire beetle outbreak severity and whether these two disturbances produced compound ecological effects on post-fire tree regeneration. With field data from 143 post-fire plots that burned under different conditions, we assessed canopy and surface fire-severity, and post-fire tree seedling density against pre-fire outbreak severity. In the green-attack / red stage, several canopy fire-severity measures increased with pre-fire outbreak severity under moderate burning conditions. Under extreme conditions, few fire-severity measures were related to pre-fire outbreak severity, and effect sizes were of marginal biological significance. The percentage of tree stems and basal area killed by fire increased with more green-attack vs. red-stage trees (i.e., the earliest stages of outbreak). In the gray stage, by contrast, most fire-severity measures declined with increasing outbreak severity under moderate conditions, and fire severity was unrelated to outbreak severity under extreme burning conditions. Post-fire lodgepole pine seedling regeneration was unrelated to pre-fire outbreak severity in either post-outbreak stage, but increased with pre-fire serotiny. Results suggest bark beetle outbreaks can affect fire severity in subalpine forests under moderate burning conditions, but have little effect on fire severity under extreme burning conditions when most large wildfires occur in this system. Thus, beetle outbreak severity was moderately linked to fire severity, but the strength and direction of the linkage depended on both endogenous (outbreak stage) and exogenous (fire weather) factors. Closely-timed beetle outbreak and fire did not impart compound effects on tree regeneration, suggesting the presence of a canopy seedbank may enhance resilience to their combined effects.Ecological Applications 01/2014;
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ABSTRACT: In order to sustainably conserve biodiversity, many protected areas, particularly private protected areas, must find means of self-financing. Ecotourism is increasingly seen as a mechanism to achieve such financial sustainability. However there is concern that ecotourism operations are driven to achieve successful game-viewing, influencing the management of charismatic species. An abundance of such species, including the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) has been stocked in protected areas under the assumption that they will increase ecotourism value. At moderate to high densities, the impact of elephants is costly and numerous studies have documented severe changes in biodiversity through the impacts of elephants. Protected areas that focus on maintaining high numbers of elephants may therefore face a conflict between socio-economic demands and the capacity of ecological systems. We address this conflict by analysing tourist elephant sighting records from six private and one statutory protected area, the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa in relation to elephant numbers. We found no relationship between elephant density and elephant viewing success. Even though elephant density in the AENP increased over time, a hierarchical partitioning analysis indicated that elephant density was not a driver of tourist numbers. In contrast, annual tourist numbers for the AENP was positively correlated with general tourist numbers recorded for South Africa. Our results indicate that the social-economic and ecological requirements of protected areas in terms of tourism and elephants, respectively, converge. Thus high elephant densities and their associated ecological costs are not required to support ecotourism operations for financial sustainability. Understanding the social and ecological feedbacks that dominate the dynamics of protected areas, particularly within private protected areas, can help elucidate management challenges of minimising ecological trade-offs while meeting ecotourist demands and achieving sustainability.Ecological Applications 01/2014;
- Ecological Applications 01/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Many protected areas may not be adequately safeguarding biodiversity from human activities on surrounding lands and global change. The magnitude of such change agents and the sensitivity of ecosystems to these agents vary among protected areas. Thus, there is a need to assess vulnerability across networks of protected areas to determine those most at risk and to lay the basis for developing effective adaptation strategies. We conducted an assessment of exposure of U.S. National Parks to climate and land use change and consequences for vegetation communities. We first defined park protected-area centered ecosystems (PACEs) based on ecological principles. We then drew on existing land use, invasive species, climate, and biome data sets and models to quantify exposure of PACEs from 1900 through 2100. Most PACEs experienced substantial change over the 20th century (>740% average increase in housing density since 1940, 13% of vascular plants are presently non-native, +1 0C / 100 years since 1895 in 80% of PACEs), and projections suggest that many of these trends will continue at similar or increasingly greater rates (255% increase in housing density by 2100, +2.5-4.5 0C/ 100 years, 30% of PACE areas may lose their current biomes by 2030). In the coming century, housing densities are projected to increase in PACEs at about 82% of the rate of since 1940. The rate of climate warming in the coming century is projected to be 2.5 - 5.8 times higher than that measured in the past century. Underlying these averages, exposure of individual-park PACEs to change agents differ in important ways. For example, parks such as Great Smoky Mountains exhibit high land use and low climate exposure, others such as Great Sand Dunes exhibit low land use and high climate exposure, and a few such as Point Reyes exhibit high exposure on both axes. The cumulative and synergistic effects of such changes in land use, invasives, and climate are expected to dramatically impact ecosystem function and biodiversity in national parks. These results are foundational to developing effective adaptation strategies and suggest policies to better safeguard parks under broad-scale environmental change. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/13-0905.1Ecological Applications 01/2014; In press.
- Ecological Applications 01/2014; preprint.
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