Benjamin Zuckerberg

Benjamin Zuckerberg
University of Wisconsin–Madison | UW · Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Ph.D.

About

128
Publications
30,754
Reads
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4,496
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2011 - present
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2008 - August 2011
Cornell University
Position
  • Research Associate
August 2004 - August 2008
State University of New York
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (128)
Article
The complex ecological and socioeconomic interactions that exist in urban areas create novel abiotic environments and novel ecosystems. Microclimates in urban areas have been studied during the summer months; however, climate change is also increasing the frequency of extreme cold outbreaks during winter. Quantifying microclimatic variation in soil...
Article
Microclimates play a prominent role in efforts to conserve species in the face of climate change. However, climate-change research often relies on macroclimate data to predict species’ responses to climate change and may not accurately represent the temperatures actually experienced by organisms. Our objective was to characterize microclimates near...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Human modification has profound effects on the diversity of ecological communities. Yet, surprisingly little is known about how abiotic novelty due to human modification relates to biological novelty as measured by shifts in species composition from historical baselines. Using space-for-time substitution, we ask a) whether high human modificati...
Article
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Animal behaviors are often modified in urban settings due to changes in species assemblages and interactions. The ability of prey to respond to a predator is a critical behavior, but urban populations may experience altered predation pressure, food supplementation, and other human‐mediated disturbances that modify their responsiveness to predation...
Article
The real‐world application of climate change adaptation practices in terrestrial wildlife conservation has been slowed by a lack of practical guidance for wildlife managers. Although there is a rapidly growing body of literature on the topic of climate change adaptation and wildlife management, the literature is weighted towards a narrow range of a...
Article
The aim was to derive global indices of winter conditions and examine their relationships with species richness patterns outside of the tropics. All extratropical areas (>25° N and 25° S latitudes), excluding islands. 2000–2018. Amphibians, birds and mammals. We mapped three global indices of winter conditions [number of days of frozen ground (leng...
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Context Variability in temperature and snow cover are characteristics of high-latitude environments that impose significant pressures on overwintering species. To cope with increased energetic demands and decreased resources, species occupying seasonal environments often seek out refugia that buffer them from inclement conditions. Ruffed grouse (Bo...
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For ~100 years, the continental patterns of avian migration in North America have been described in the context of three or four primary flyways. This spatial compartmentaliza-tion often fails to adequately reflect a critical characterization of migration-phenology. This shortcoming has been partly due to the lack of reliable continental-scale data...
Article
Climate change is altering interspecific interactions globally, yet community‐level responses are difficult to predict due to both the direct and indirect effects of changing abiotic and biotic conditions. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) are particularly vulnerable to decreasing snow cover and resultant camouflage mismatch. This species shares a...
Article
In North America, winters are becoming more variable such that warm and cold extremes are increasingly common. Refugia (in time or space) can reduce the exposure animals experience to extreme temperatures. However, animals must be able to adjust their behavior to capitalize on refugia. Our goal was to identify the behavioral mechanisms that grant a...
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Extensive restoration and translocation efforts beginning in the mid‐20th century helped to reestablish eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) throughout their ancestral range. The adaptability of wild turkeys resulted in further population expansion in regions that were considered unfavorable during initial reintroductions across th...
Article
Aim Variation in the relationship between variables across space, known as spatial non-stationarity, is a common phenomenon in ecology. Species distribution models (SDMs), however, typically assume stationarity in species–environment relationships across space. Spatial non-stationarity may be particularly apparent in populations along range boundar...
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Grassland birds are among the most globally threatened bird groups due to substantial degradation of native grassland habitats. However, the current network of grassland conservation areas may not be adequate for halting population declines and biodiversity loss. Here, we evaluate a network of grassland conservation areas within Wisconsin, U.S.A.,...
Article
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Biological data collection is entering a new era. Community science, satellite remote sensing (SRS), and local forms of remote sensing (e.g., camera traps and acoustic recordings), have enabled biological data to be collected at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales and resolution. There is growing interest in developing observation networks to...
Article
Wildlife managers need reliable information on species distributions (i.e. patterns of occurrence and abundance) to make effective decisions. Historically, managers have relied on harvest records (collected at broad spatial extents but coarse resolution) to monitor wildlife populations. However, emerging citizen-science datastreams can potentially...
Article
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Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity as a result of modern climate change. During winter, species may be especially vulnerable to extreme weather as they are surviving on scarce resources and living at the edge of their thermal limits. We compiled data from eBird, a global citizen science initiative, to examine how 41 ea...
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Repeat digital photography at or near ground-level is a proven and efficient approach for tracking plant phenology. Here, we explored the potential to monitor phenology using the Snapshot Wisconsin (SW) trail camera network, a citizen science program. Using three curve-fitting methods for characterizing phenological transition dates, we assessed th...
Article
The subnivium is the seasonal microhabitat at the snow–ground interface and serves as a refuge for a diversity of species. Increasingly warmer winters are disrupting the continuity of snow cover, and likely the stability of the subnivium. To examine how the extent and duration of this sensitive and widespread below‐snow habitat will shift under war...
Article
Mast seeding in conifers is characterized by the spatially synchronous and temporally variable production of seed cone crops. Large mast seeding events (known as “mast years”) can be a visually stunning and ecologically important phenomenon, supporting trophic interactions and survival of seed predators as well as forest regeneration. Documenting p...
Article
The seasonal dynamics of snow cover strongly affect ecosystem processes and winter habitat, making them an important driver of terrestrial biodiversity patterns. Snow cover data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua and Terra satellites can capture these dynamics over large spatiotemporal scales, allowing for the devel...
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Purpose of Review Identifying the spatial scale at which a species or population most strongly responds to habitat composition and configuration is known as scale-of-effect and is a fundamental pursuit of landscape ecology. In conducting scale-of-effect studies, it is common to measure habitat in landscape buffers of varying sizes surrounding sampl...
Article
Detection/non‐detection data are widely collected by ecologists interested in estimating species distributions, abundances, and phenology, and are often subject to imperfect detection. Recent model development has focused on accounting for both false positive and false negative errors given evidence that misclassification is common across many samp...
Article
Global biodiversity is in unprecedented decline and on‐the‐ground solutions are imperative for conservation. Although there is a large volume of evidence related to climate change effects on wildlife, research on climate adaptation strategies is lagging. To assess the current state of knowledge in climate adaptation, we conducted a comprehensive li...
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Grassland birds have exhibited dramatic and widespread declines since the mid‐20th century. Greater prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) are considered an umbrella species for grassland conservation and are frequent targets of management, but their responses to land use and management can be quite variable. We used data collected during 2...
Article
For overwintering species, individuals' ability to find refugia from inclement weather and predators probably confers strong fitness benefits. How animals use their environment can be mediated by their personality (e.g. risk-taking), but does personality mediate how overwintering species select refugia? Snow cover is a dynamic winter characteristic...
Article
Changes in land use and climate are among the main drivers of range shifts for multiple species and taxa. While such distributional changes are often observed at broad scales, the processes driving them – colonization and extinction along range boundaries – occur at local scales. There is a need then, to identify whether these local drivers are con...
Article
Winter climate warming is rapidly leading to changes in snow depth and soil temperatures across mid‐ and high‐latitude ecosystems, with important implications for survival and distribution of species that overwinter beneath the snow. Amphibians are a particularly vulnerable group to winter climate change because of the tight coupling between their...
Article
Climate change and habitat loss pose the greatest contemporary threats to biodiversity, but their impacts on populations largely vary across species. These differential responses could be caused by complex interactions between landscape and climate change and species‐specific sensitivities. Understanding the factors that determine which species are...
Article
For overwintering species, individuals' ability to find refugia from inclement weather and predators probably confers strong fitness benefits. How animals use their environment can be mediated by their personality (e.g. risk-taking), but does personality mediate how overwintering species select refugia? Snow cover is a dynamic winter characteristic...
Preprint
The emergence of citizen science, passive sensors (e.g., trail cameras and acoustic monitoring), and satellite remote sensing have enabled biological data to be collected at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. There is growing interest in networking these data streams to expedite the collection and synthesis of environmental and biological d...
Article
Extreme weather, including heat waves, droughts, and high rainfall, is becoming more common and affecting a diversity of species and taxa. However, researchers lack a framework that can anticipate how diverse species will respond to weather extremes spanning weeks to months. Here we used high‐resolution occurrence data from eBird, a global citizen...
Article
The rapid improvement of camera traps in recent decades has revolutionized biodiversity monitoring. Despite clear applications in conservation biology, camera traps have seldom been used to model the abundance of unmarked animal populations. The goals of this review are to summarize the challenges facing abundance estimation of unmarked animals, pr...
Article
Ecological processes, such as migration and phenology, are strongly influenced by climate variability. Studying these processes often relies on associating observations of animals and plants with climate indices, such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). A common characteristic of climate indices is the simultaneous emergence of opposite ext...
Article
Emerging technologies make it increasingly straightforward for scientists to collect data that are fine in scale, broad in scope, and transparent with open access. However, the resulting datasets may contain sensitive information such as location information about endangered resources or private landowners. These tensions are particularly relevant...
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Substantial effort has been dedicated to developing reliable monitoring schemes for North American bird populations, but our ability to monitor bird populations in the boreal forest remains limited because of the sparsity of long-term data sets, particularly in northerly regions. Given the importance of the boreal forest for many migratory birds, w...
Chapter
Understanding and predicting future ecological impacts of climate change, and then developing a conservation strategy to minimize the negative impacts on biodiversity, remains one of the greatest environmental challenges of the twenty-first century. We lack a robust understanding of how climate variability (e.g., temperature, precipitation) itself...
Article
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Many animals depend on stable below‐the‐snow (subnivium) conditions to survive winter in seasonally cold regions. Freeze‐tolerant ectotherms may experience increased ice content and/or energy expenditure in suboptimal subnivium conditions, with implications for overwinter survival and body reserves available for spring reproduction. We used a novel...
Article
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Animals in temperate northern regions employ a variety of strategies to cope with the energetic demands of winter. Behavioral plasticity may be important, as winter weather conditions are increasingly variable as a result of modern climate change. If behavioral strategies for thermoregulation are no longer effective in a changing environment, anima...
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Projected increases in the variability of both temperature and precipitation will result in the greater likelihood and magnitude of extreme weather (e.g., cold snaps, droughts, heat waves) with potential implications for animal populations. Despite the ecological consequences of extreme weather, there are several challenges in identifying extreme e...
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1.The recovery of piscivorous birds around the world is touted as one of the great conservation successes of the 21st century, but for some species, this success was short‐lived. Bald eagles, ospreys, and great blue herons began repatriating Voyageurs National Park, USA, in the mid‐20th century. However, after 1990, only eagles continued their reco...
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Understanding and accurately modeling species distributions lies at the heart of many problems in ecology, evolution, and conservation. Multiple sources of data are increasingly available for modeling species distributions, such as data from citizen science programs, atlases, museums, and planned surveys. Yet reliably combining data sources can be...
Article
We provide program managers insight into considerations for launching and running a large‐scale, long‐term citizen science project, using the Snapshot Wisconsin trail‐camera project as a case study. Many citizen science projects are undertaken with a “learn as you go” approach, so there is room to better prepare program managers from the outset. We...
Article
Measurement or observation error is common in ecological data: as citizen scientists and automated algorithms play larger roles as processors of growing volumes of data to address problems at large scales, concerns about data quality and strategies for improving it have received greater focus. However, practical guidance pertaining to fundamental d...
Article
Urbanization causes the simplification of natural habitats, resulting in animal communities dominated by exotic species with few top predators. In recent years, however, many predators such as hawks, and in the US coyotes and cougars, have become increasingly common in urban environments. Hawks in the Accipiter genus, especially, are recovering fro...
Article
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Conservation for species impacted by climate change often occurs at scales impractical for local land managers. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) are one of the most well‐documented species declining from climate change–specifically a reduction in snowcover–yet clear management strategies have yet to emerge. To test whether camouflage mismatch is r...
Preprint
Full-text available
Spatially indexed repeated detection-nondetection data is widely collected in ecological studies in order to estimate parameters such as species distribution, relative abundance, density, richness, or phenology while accounting for imperfect detection. Given growing evidence that false positive error is also present within most data, more recent mo...
Article
Establishing protected areas, where human activities and land cover changes are restricted, is one of the most widely used strategies for biodiversity conservation. This practice is based on the assumption that protected areas buffer species from processes that drive extinction. However, the ability of protected areas to maintain biodiversity in th...
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1.Climate change vulnerability assessments are commonly used to identify species or populations at risk from global climate change, but few translate impact assessments to climate change adaptation actions. Furthermore, most climate change adaptation efforts emphasize where to implement management actions, whereas timing remains largely overlooked....
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The subnivium is a seasonal refuge that exists at the interface between the snowpack and the ground, and provides a haven for a diversity of species to survive extreme winter temperatures. Due to the fitness of many plants and animals being strongly influenced by winter conditions, much attention has been given to changes in the timing of snow cove...
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Recent advancements in information technology and data acquisition have created both new research opportunities and new challenges for using big data in ornithology. We provide an overview of the past, present, and future of big data in ornithology, and explore the rewards and risks associated with their application. Structured data resources (e.g....
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Allen's rule predicts that homeotherms inhabiting cooler climates will have smaller appendages, while those inhabiting warmer climates will have larger appendages relative to body size. Birds’ bills tend to be larger at lower latitudes, but few studies have tested whether modern climate change and urbanization affect bill size. Our study explored w...
Article
Grassland birds are declining faster than any other bird guild across North America. Shrinking ranges and population declines are attributed to widespread habitat loss and increasingly fragmented landscapes of agriculture and other land uses that are misaligned with grassland bird conservation. Concurrent with habitat loss and degradation, temperat...
Article
In regions where snowfall historically has been a defining seasonal characteristic of the landscape, warming winters have reduced the depth, duration, and extent of snowpack. However, most management and conservation has focused on how aboveground wildlife will be affected by altered snow conditions, even though the majority of species that persist...
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Understanding how individual differences in physiological performance modify behavioral responses to environmental variability and its fitness consequences is key to predicting the vulnerability of species and populations to environmental change. For many species, summit metabolic rate (MSUM; the upper limit to heat production) and basal metabolic...
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Translocations have become an increasingly valuable tool for conservation in recent years, but assessing the successfulness of translocations and identifying factors that contribute to their success continue to challenge biologists. As a unique class of translocation, population reinforcements have received relatively little attention despite repre...
Article
Threatened species are managed using diverse conservation tactics implemented at multiple scales ranging from protecting individuals, to populations, to entire species. Individual protection strives to promote recovery at the population- or species-level, although this is seldom evaluated. After decades of widespread declines, bald eagles, Haliaeet...
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* Since the 1960s, periodic outbreaks of avian botulism type E have contributed to large-scale die-offs of thousands of waterbirds throughout the Great Lakes of the United States. In recent years, these events have become more common and widespread. Occurring during the summer and autumn months, the prevalence of these die-offs varies across years...
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Global changes are modifying the structure of species assemblages, but the generality of resulting diversity patterns and of their drivers is poorly understood. Any such changes can be detected and explained by comparing temporal trends in taxonomic and functional diversity over broad spatial extents. In this study, we addressed three complementary...
Article
Selecting a sampling design to monitor multiple species across a broad geographical region can be a daunting task, and often involves tradeoffs between limited resources and the accurate estimation of population abundance and occurrence. Since the 1950s, biological atlases have been implemented in various regions to document the occurrence of plant...
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ContextTemperate grasslands and their dependent species are exposed to high variability in weather and climate due to the lack of natural buffers such as forests. Grassland birds are particularly vulnerable to this variability, yet have failed to shift poleward in response to recent climate change like other bird species in North America. However,...
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There is mounting concern that climate change will lead to the collapse of cyclic population dynamics, yet the influence of climate variability on population cycling remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that variability in survival and fecundity, driven by climate variability at different points in the life cycle, scales up from local populat...
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The book consists of two equally substantive parts. Part I, “Impacts,” is a balanced overview of the biological impacts of climate change on birds, including changes in the timing of migration, breeding phenology, phenological mismatches, geographic ranges, demographic and population impacts, and community dynamics. Importantly, the authors avoid t...
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Context Climate change is not occurring over a homogeneous landscape and the quantity and quality of available land cover will likely affect the way species respond to climate change. The influence of land cover on species’ responses to climate change, however, is likely to differ depending on habitat type and composition. Objectives Our goal was t...
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With over half of earth's terrestrial biota living beneath forest canopies, our ability to accurately capture organism-climate relationships in forested ecosystems is imperative for predicting species' vulnerability to future climate change. Assessing the vulnerability of forest dependent species, however, hinges on quantifying microclimates that e...