Darius J. Semmens

Darius J. Semmens
United States Geological Survey | USGS · Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center

PhD

About

105
Publications
37,288
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4,031
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
April 2004 - December 2007
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (105)
Article
Managing public lands to maximize societal benefits requires spatially explicit understanding of societal valuation, and public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) are increasingly used in coastal settings to accomplish this task. Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES), a PPGIS tool that systematizes the mapping and modeling...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Migratory species often provide ecosystem service benefits to people in one country while receiving habitat support in other countries. The multinational cooperation that could help ensure continued provisioning of these benefits by migration may be informed by understanding the economic values people in different countries place on the be...
Article
Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) version 4.0 is a fully open-source, GIS-based tool designed to aid in the creation of quantitative, spatially explicit models of the nonmonetary values attributed to cultural ecosystem services, such as aesthetics and recreation, specifically to facilitate their incorporation into larger ecosystem servi...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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A simulation‐based power analysis can be used to estimate the sample sizes needed for a successful monitoring program, but requires technical expertise and sometimes extensive computing resources. We developed a web‐based lookup app, called TrendPowerTool (https://www.usgs.gov/apps/TrendPowerTool/), to provide guidance for ecological monitoring pro...
Article
Full-text available
Investment in conservation and ecological restoration depends on various socioeconomic factors and the social license for these activities. Our study demonstrates a method for targeting management of ecosystem services based on social values, identified by respondents through a collection of social survey data. We applied the Social Values for Ecos...
Article
The consequences of environmental disturbance and management are difficult to quantify for spatially structured populations because changes in one location carry through to other areas due to species movement. We develop a metric, G, for measuring the contribution of a habitat or pathway to network-wide population growth rate in the face of environ...
Article
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Land-use intensification on arable land is expanding and posing a threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide. We develop methods to link funding for avian breeding habitat conservation and management at landscape scales to equilibrium abundance of a migratory species at the continental scale. We apply this novel approach to a harvested...
Article
Large samples and long time series are often needed for effective broad-scale monitoring of status and trends in wild populations. Obtaining those sample sizes can be more feasible when volunteers contribute to the dataset, but volunteer-selected sites are not always representative of a population. Previous work to account for biased site selection...
Article
Full-text available
A basic question concerning the monarch butterflies' fall migration is which monarchs succeed in reaching overwintering sites in Mexico, which fail—and why. We document the timing and pace of the fall migration, ask whether the sun's position in the sky is associated with the pace of the migration, and ask whether timing affects success in completi...
Article
ContextFunding for habitat-management programs to maintain population viability is critical for conservation of migratory species; however, such financial resources are limited and can vary greatly over time. The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America is an excellent system for examining spatiotemporal patterns of funding for waterfowl conse...
Article
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The ability to classify habitats and movement pathways as sources or sinks is an important part of the decision making process for the conservation of spatially structured populations. Diverse approaches have been used to quantify the importance of habitats and pathways in a spatial network; however, these approaches have been limited by a lack of...
Article
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Stabilizing the eastern, migratory population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) is expected to require substantial habitat restoration on agricultural land in their core breeding area, the Upper Midwestern United States. Previous research has considered the potential to utilize marginal land for this purpose because of its low productivity,...
Article
Recreational and aesthetic enjoyment of public lands is increasing across a wide range of activities, highlighting the need to assess and adapt management to accommodate these uses. Despite a growing number of studies on mapping cultural ecosystem services, most are local-scale assessments that rely on costly and time-consuming primary data collect...
Article
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Community science is an increasingly integral part of biodiversity research and monitoring, often achieving broad spatial and temporal coverage but lower sampling intensity than studies conducted by professional scientists. When designing a community‐science monitoring programme, careful assessment of sampling designs that could be both feasible an...
Article
Using contingent valuation, we estimated willingness to pay (WTP) in Canada, Mexico, and the United States to protect habitat for Northern Pintails (hereafter pintails), a migratory waterfowl species that provides benefits to and requires habitat in the three countries. Our study contributes to research on spatial subsidies by measuring the value o...
Poster
Full-text available
The Upper Missouri River Basin (UMRB), which is comprised mostly of South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, is among the least populated regions in the contiguous United States, and it produces large amounts of food, feed, and energy. Therefore, the use of the landscape is foundational to the economy and identities of many of the people i...
Article
Long-term, large-scale monitoring programs are becoming increasingly common to document status and trends of wild populations. A successful program for monitoring population trend hinges on the ability to detect the trend of interest. Power analyses are useful for quantifying the sample size needed for trend detection, given expected variation in t...
Book
Full-text available
Increasing interest in measuring, modelling and valuing ecosystem services (ES), the benefits that ecosystems provide to people, has resulted in the development of an array of ES assessment tools in recent years. Selecting an appropriate tool for measuring and modelling ES can be challenging. This document provides guidance for practitioners on exi...
Article
Full-text available
We estimated U.S. and Mexican citizens’ willingness to pay (WTP) for protecting habitat for a transborder migratory species, the Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana), using the contingent valuation method. Few contingent valuation surveys have evaluated whether households in one country would pay to protect habitat in another co...
Article
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Many economic studies value birdwatching in general and often do not account for potential differences in viewers’ benefits from observing different species. But, how different are economic values of viewing various bird species? To answer that question, we surveyed Ducks Unlimited (DU) members using an online questionnaire to estimate trip expendi...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory species provide important benefits to society, but their cross-border conservation poses serious challenges. By quantifying the economic value of ecosystem services (ESs) provided across a species’ range and ecological data on a species’ habitat dependence, we estimate spatial subsidies—how different regions support ESs provided by a spec...
Article
Many metrics exist for quantifying the relative value of habitats and pathways used by highly mobile species. Properly selecting and applying such metrics requires substantial background in mathematics and understanding the relevant management arena. To address this multidimensional challenge, we demonstrate and compare three measurements of habita...
Article
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Migratory species provide ecosystem goods and services throughout their annual cycles, often over long distances. Designing effective conservation solutions for migratory species requires knowledge of both species ecology and the socioeconomic context of their migrations. We present a framework built around the concept that migratory species act as...
Article
Quantification of the economic value provided by migratory species can aid in targeting management efforts and funding to locations yielding the greatest benefits to society and species conservation. Here we illustrate a key step in this process by estimating hunting and birding values of the northern pintail (Anas acuta) within primary breeding an...
Article
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Drivers of environmental change in one location can have profound effects on ecosystem services and human well-being in distant locations, often across international borders. The telecoupling provides a conceptual framework for describing these interactions—for example, locations can be defined as sending areas (sources of flows of ecosystem servic...
Article
This article discusses the conservation challenges of volant migratory transborder species and conservation governance primarily in North America. Many migratory species provide ecosystem service benefits to society. For example, insectivorous bats prey on crop pests and reduce the need for pesticides; birds and insects pollinate food plants; and b...
Article
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Purpose of Review Human perceptions of the landscape can influence land-use and land-management decisions. Recognizing the diversity of landscape perceptions across space and time is essential to understanding land change processes and emergent landscape patterns. We summarize the role of landscape perceptions in the land change process, demonstrat...
Article
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The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population in North America has sharply declined over the last two decades. Despite rising concern over the monarch butterfly’s status, no comprehensive study of the factors driving this decline has been conducted. Using partial least-squares regressions and time-series analysis, we investigated climatic and...
Article
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The eastern migratory population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus plexippus) has declined by >80% within the last two decades. One possible cause of this decline is the loss of ≥1.3 billion stems of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), which monarchs require for reproduction. In an effort to restore monarchs to a population goal established by the US...
Article
In July 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service announced a new policy interpretation for the Endangered Species Act. According to the Act, a species must be listed as threatened or endangered if it is determined to be threatened or endangered in a significant portion of its range. The 1973 law does not define...
Article
Full-text available
Given the rapid population decline and recent petition for listing of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus L.) under the Endangered Species Act, an accurate estimate of the Eastern, migratory population size is needed. Because of difficulty in counting individual monarchs, the number of hectares occupied by monarchs in the overwintering area is...
Article
Significant increases in outdoor recreation participants are projected over the next 50 years for national forests across the United States, with even larger increases possible for forests located in the Southern Rocky Mountains. Forest managers will be challenged to balance increasing demand for outdoor recreation with other ecosystem services. Fu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Given the rapid population decline and recent petition for listing of the monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus L.) under the Endangered Species Act, an accurate estimate of the Eastern, migratory population size is needed. Because of difficulty in counting individual monarchs, the number of hectares occupied by monarchs in the overwintering area is...
Preprint
Full-text available
Given the rapid population decline and recent petition for listing of the monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus L.) under the Endangered Species Act, an accurate estimate of the Eastern, migratory population size is needed. Because of difficulty in counting individual monarchs, the number of hectares occupied by monarchs in the overwintering area is...
Article
Full-text available
Context Data for biophysically modeled and Public Participatory GIS (PPGIS)-derived cultural ecosystem services have potential to identify natural resource management synergies and conflicts, but have rarely been combined. Ecosystem service hot/coldspots generated using different methods vary in their spatial extent and connectivity, with important...
Article
Full-text available
Given rapid changes in agricultural practice, it is critical to understand how alterations in ecological, technological, and economic conditions over time and space impact ecosystem services in agroecosystems. Here, we present a benefit transfer approach to quantify cotton pest-control services provided by a generalist predator, the Mexican free-ta...
Article
Development from extracting oil and gas resources can have unintended effects on multiple ecosystem functions, with cascading effects on wildlife, ecosystem services, and local economies. Big-game hunting opportunities may be closely related to these effects, but empirical analyses of impacts of energy development on hunting are limited. We examine...
Article
Full-text available
The monarch has undergone considerable population declines over the past decade, and the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have agreed to work together to conserve the species. 2. Given limited resources, understanding where to focus conservation action is key for widespread species like monarchs. To support planning for continen...
Article
Full-text available
The Eastern, migratory population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), an iconic North American insect, has declined by ~80% over the last decade. The monarch's multi-generational migration between overwintering grounds in central Mexico and the summer breeding grounds in the northern U.S. and southern Canada is celebrated in all three countr...
Article
Full-text available
Through extensive research, ecosystem services have been mapped using both survey-based and biophysical approaches, but comparative mapping of public values and those quantified using models has been lacking. In this paper, we mapped hot and cold spots for perceived and modeled ecosystem services by synthesizing results from a social-values mapping...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation planning can be challenging due to the need to balance biological concerns about population viability with social concerns about the benefits biodiversity provide to society, often while operating under a limited budget. Methods and tools that help prioritize conservation actions are critical for the management of at-risk species. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory species provide economically beneficial ecosystem services to people throughout their range, yet often, information is lacking about the magnitude and spatial distribution of these benefits at regional scales. We conducted a case study for Northern Pintails (hereafter pintail) in which we quantified regional and sub-regional economic valu...
Article
With growing pressures on ecosystem services, social values attributed to them are increasingly important to land management decisions. Social values, defined here as perceived values the public ascribes to ecosystem services, particularly cultural services, are generally not accounted for through economic markets or considered alongside economic a...
Article
Full-text available
Natural resource planning at all scales demands methods for assessing the impacts of resource development and use, and in particular it requires standardized methods that yield robust and unbiased results. Building from existing probabilistic methods for assessing the volumes of energy and mineral resources, we provide an algorithm for consistent,...
Article
Full-text available
Critics of the market-based, ecosystem services approach to biodiversity conservation worry that volatile market conditions and technological substitutes will diminish the value of ecosystem services and obviate the "economic benefits" arguments for conservation. To explore the effects of market forces and substitutes on service values, we assessed...
Article
Despite widespread recognition that social-value information is needed to inform stakeholders and decision makers regarding trade-offs in environmental management, it too often remains absent from ecosystem service assessments. Although quantitative indicators of social values need to be explicitly accounted for in the decision-making process, they...
Article
Climate change alters the functions of ecological systems. As a result, the provision of ecosystem services and the well-being of people that rely on these services are being modified. Climate models portend continued warming and more frequent extreme weather events across the US. Such weather-related disturbances will place a premium on the ecosys...
Article
The annual migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) has high cultural value and recent surveys indicate monarch populations are declining. Protecting migratory species is complex because they cross international borders and depend on multiple regions. Understanding how much, and where, humans place value on migratory species can facilita...
Article
Full-text available
The migration of animals across long distances and between multiple habitats presents a major challenge for conservation. For the migratory Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana), these challenges include identifying and protecting migratory routes and critical roosts in two countries, the United States and Mexico. Knowledge and c...
Article
Full-text available
To enter widespread use, ecosystem service assessments need to be quantifiable, replicable, credible, flexible, and affordable. With recent growth in the field of ecosystem services, a variety of decision-support tools has emerged to support more systematic ecosystem services assessment. Despite the growing complexity of the tool landscape, thoroug...
Article
Full-text available
Although the number of ecosystem service modeling tools has grown in recent years, quantitative comparative studies of these tools have been lacking. In this study, we applied two leading open-source, spatially explicit ecosystem services modeling tools – Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES) and Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem S...
Article
Full-text available
Species that migrate through protected and wilderness areas and utilize their resources, deliver ecosystem services to people in faraway locations. The mismatch between the areas that most support a species and those areas where the species provides most benefits to society can lead to underestimation of the true value of protected areas such as wi...
Article
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KINEROS (KINematic runoff and EROSion) originated in the 1960s as a distributed event-based model that conceptualizes a watershed as a cascade of overland flow model elements that flow into trapezoidal channel model elements. KINEROS was one of the first widely available watershed models that interactively coupled a finite difference approximation...