Robert Douglas Cox

Robert Douglas Cox
Texas Tech University | TTU · Department of Natural Resources Management

About

38
Publications
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619
Citations

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Background Airborne environmental DNA (eDNA) research is an emerging field that focuses on the detection of species from their genetic remnants in the air. The majority of studies into airborne eDNA of plants has until now either focused on single species detection, specifically only pollen, or human health impacts, with no previous studies surveyi...
Article
Full-text available
With invasive grasses increasing wildfire occurrence worldwide, a better understanding of the relationships between native plants, fire, and invasive grass is needed to help restoration plans facilitate ecosystem resilience. Invasive grasses are particularly problematic for altering fire regimes in the tropics, yet in Hawaiʻi, restoration sites are...
Preprint
Five millennia ago, the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) was extirpated from the Southern High Plains by droughts. Beaver were found to be largely absent from the Llano Estacado, despite exhaustive search efforts. Here we report the first definitive evidence of an extant C. canadensis population recolonizing the Llano Estacado. We further...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Airborne environmental DNA (eDNA) research is an emerging field that focuses on the detection of species from their genetic remnants in the air. The study of airborne eDNA of plants has until now focused on single species detection, with no previous studies examining the entire plant community through metabarcoding. We therefore conducte...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research on environmental DNA (eDNA), genetic material shed by organisms into their environment that can be used for sensitive and species-specific detection, has focused on the ability to collect airborne eDNA released by plants and carried by the wind for use in terrestrial plant populations, including detection of invasive and endangered...
Article
In Texas, mesquite and yellow-bluestem invasions are widespread. Identifying and monitoring juvenile and adult plants using high-resolution imagery from airborne sensors while they colonize new areas across the landscape can help land managers prioritize locations for treatment and eradication. In this study, we evaluated how data collection design...
Article
Huisache (Vachellia farnesiana [L.] Wight & Arn.) is a woody species native to the western hemisphere that can invade a variety of native rangeland habitats around the world. In South Texas, it is native yet increasing in density and range while displacing more desirable forage plants, and because it resprouts prolifically it has been difficult to...
Article
Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) survival and population growth in north-central New Mexico, USA, was previously reported to be limited by nutritional constraints due to poor forage conditions in degraded habitats. Management recommendations suggested thinning of pinyon-juniper to improve habitat quality for mule deer. To evaluate the influence of t...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic analysis of airborne plant material has historically focused (generally implicitly rather than as a stated goal) on pollen from anemophilous (wind-pollinated) species, such as in multiple studies examining the relationship of allergens to human health. Inspired by the recent influx of literature applying environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches...
Article
Full-text available
Place-based instruction allows students to explore learned concepts while building emotional connections with the location in which they are studying. Furthermore, the case for experiential science education continues to grow, and such pedagogy may be particularly beneficial to learning in ecology and environmental science. We present an experienti...
Article
Full-text available
Place-based instruction allows students to explore learned concepts while building emotional connections with the location in which they are studying. Furthermore, the case for experiential science education continues to grow, and such pedagogy may be particularly beneficial to learning in ecology and environmental science. We present an experienti...
Article
Full-text available
Airborne environmental DNA (eDNA) research has typically focused on the detection of pollen from anemophilous terrestrial plant species; however, recent findings have expanded the definition of airborne eDNA to include a variety of eDNA sources, such as leaf and flower fragments. While methods for capturing pollen are well studied, there is less kn...
Article
Full-text available
We used the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), an iconic grouse species that exhibits a boom-bust life history strategy, on the Southern High Plains, USA, as a bioindicator of main and interactive effects of severe drought and grazing. This region experienced the worst drought on record in 2011. We surveyed lesser prairie-chicken...
Article
Full-text available
Although organisms make resource selection decisions at multiple spatiotemporal scales, not all scales are ecologically relevant to any given organism. Ecological patterns and rhythms such as behavioral and climatic patterns may provide a consistent method for identifying ecologically relevant scales of habitat selection. Using elk (Cervus canadens...
Article
Full-text available
The increase of tree density in forests of the American Southwest promotes extreme fire events, understory biodiversity losses, and degraded habitat conditions for many wildlife species. To ameliorate these changes, managers and scientists have begun planning treatments aimed at reducing fuels and increasing understory biodiversity. However, spatia...
Article
Wildfires in the Great Basin have resulted in widespread loss of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young), an ecologically important shrub that has proven difficult to establish from seed. We sought to identify optimal seeding practices for Wyoming big sagebrush in the context of postfire seeding operation...
Article
Exposure to smoke can influence the germination of seeds in many fire-prone ecosystems, but this effect is not well studied in grasslands. Smoke treatments such as smoke water could be useful as management and restoration tools if the response of target species in natural settings is well understood. We tested eight species native to the southern H...
Article
The increasing use of Global Positioning System (GPS) collars in habitat selection studies provides large numbers of precise location data points with reduced field effort. However, inclusion of activity sensors in many GPS collars also grants the potential to remotely estimate behavioral state. Thus, only using GPS collars to collect location data...
Article
Objectives of postfire seeding in the Great Basin include reestablishment of perennial cover, suppression of exotic annual weeds, and restoration of diverse plant communities. Nonconventional seeding techniques may be required when seeding mixes of grasses, forbs, and shrubs containing seeds of different sizes. We conducted an operational-scale exp...
Article
Long-term population and range declines from habitat loss and fragmentation caused the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to be a species of concern throughout its range. Current lesser prairie-chicken range in New Mexico and Texas is partially restricted to sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii; hereafter shinnery oak) prairies, on...
Article
Full-text available
In California, USA, coastal sage scrub (CSS) vegetation is converting to exotic annual grassland, and several causes have been suggested. In order to investigate the importance of environmental variables in the conversion and recovery of CSS, particularly nitrogen deposition within the context of historical fire intervals, we employed an informatio...
Article
Cholla infestations can be problematic on rangelands in North America, Australia, Africa, and Europe, and treatment options for this plant are limited because of its ability to resprout from broken stem fragments. We investigated dragged-rail treatments, where iron rails are dragged across the rangeland by tractor and knock plants over while uproot...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Plant-derived smoke has shown a possibility to stimulate seed germination for decades and its related products have been developed and tested in seed germination as well. In this study, We reviewed every available smoke-treated seed germination test (published 1990 to 2011), to analyze how smoke applications effect seeds...
Article
Smoke or heat from fire can act as a cue that affects seed germination. We examined germination responses of 10 plant species (six forbs, two shrubs, two grasses) native to the southern High Plains in the United States, to smoke, heat, and their interaction ;in a laboratory experiment. Smoke treatments were applied by soaking seeds in 1:5, 1:10, or...
Article
Full-text available
Many semi-arid shrublands in the western US have experienced invasion by a suite of exotic grasses and forbs that have altered community structure and function. The effect of the exotic grasses in this area has been studied, but little is known about how exotic forbs influence the plant community. A 3-year experiment in southern California coastal...
Article
Germination tests of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young [Asteraceae]) seeds often exhibit fungal contamination, but the use of fungicides should be avoided because fungicides may artificially inhibit germination. We tested the effect of seed-applied fungicides on germination of Wyoming big sagebrush a...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Fire-related cues such as smoke and heat can provide an ecological signal that previously existing plants have been cleared from the site, releasing space and nutrients for establishment of new plants. Such signals may alter the germination of some fire-adapted species. We examined the germination responses of 12 speci...
Article
Annual grass invasion in the Great Basin has increased fire size, frequency and severity. Post-fire restoration to provide functional native plant communities is critical to improve resistance to weed invasion. Our ability to successfully re-establish mixtures of native grasses, forbs and shrubs, however, is limited. We examined the effects of the...
Article
Increasing attention, resources and efforts are being focused on the conversion of weedy dominated rangelands back to perennial plant communities that resemble predisturbance communities in form, function and composition. A study was conducted in 1998 and replicated again in 1999 to determine whether native plants could be established through “assi...
Article
Los pastizales dominados por malezas anuales, como el “Cheatgrass” (Bromus tectorum L.), cada vez mas están siendo convertidos a comunidades de plantas que se asemejan en forma, función y composición, a las existentes antes del disturbio. En 1998 se condujo un estudio, que se repitió en 1999, para determinar si las plantas nativas pudieran ser esta...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Many sagebrush plant communities across western North America are being lost through the related processes of annual plant invasion and increasing wildfire frequency. Post-wildfire restoration of these areas may represent the best chance for interrupting the invasive annual/wildfire cycle and maintaining a diverse, nativ...
Article
Summary 1. Restoration of semi-arid shrub ecosystems often requires control of invasive grasses but the effects of these grass-control treatments on native and exotic forbs have not been investigated adequately to assess long-term stability. In southern California, coastal sage scrub (CSS) vegetation is one semi-arid shrub community that has been i...
Article
Full-text available
Soil seed banks are important to many plant communities and are recognized as an important component of management plans. Understanding seed bank composition and density is especially important when communities have been invaded by exotic species and must be managed to promote desirable species. We examined germinable soil seed banks in southern Ca...
Article
Full-text available
A large-scale experiment using 1-ha plots was done to control invasive Mediterra-nean annual grasses, primarily Bromus spp., in farmlands abandoned for 20 years in southern California. Treatments were a grass-specific herbicide, and herbicide plus dethatching. Dethatching was done to improve the contact of herbicide with newly growing grass seedlin...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To assess the habitat of H. lacerata in Texas with historic and current habitat locations in arid grassland systems, identifying land use and species change over time.
Project
To assess the habitat for two reptile species in Texas with historic and current habitat locations in arid grassland systems, identifying land use and species change over time.