Robert Scott Winton

Robert Scott Winton
Stanford University | SU · Earth System Science

PhD

About

38
Publications
7,326
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328
Citations
Introduction
R. Scott Winton is a research scientist at the Stanford University Department of Earth System Science. Scott does research on the Ecology, Biogeochemistry and conservation of wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems.

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic herbivores impose top-down control on the structure of wetland ecosystems, but the biogeochemical consequences of herbivory on methane (CH4) and nitrogen (N) are poorly known. To investigate the top-down effects of waterfowl on wetland biogeochemistry we implemented exclosure experiments in a major waterfowl overwintering wetland in the Sou...
Article
Gulls have long been observed concentrating in flocks of tens to hundreds of thousands at the anthropogenic food sources provided by landfills. Yet, the biogeochemical implications of the landfill gull phenomenon have been largely ignored. This study has two goals: 1) to understand the magnitude and geographic extent of landfill gulls in North Amer...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical wetlands are thought to be the most important source of interannual variability in atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations, yet sparse data prevents them from being incorporated into Earth system models. This problem is particularly pronounced in the neotropics where bottom-up models based on water table depth are incongruent with top-dow...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of large dams is a popular topic in environmental science, but the importance of altered water quality as a driver of ecological impacts is often missing from such discussions. This is partly because information on the relationship between dams and water quality is relatively sparse and fragmentary, especially for low-latitude developing...
Article
Peatlands store large amounts of soil carbon and freshwater, constituting an important component of the global carbon and hydrologic cycles. Accurate information on the global extent and distribution of peatlands is presently lacking but is needed by Earth system models (ESMs) to simulate the effects of climate change on the global carbon and hydro...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Tropical Andes is a biodiversity hotspot facing pressure from planned and ongoing hydropower development. However, the effects of dams on river ecosystems of the region as mediated by physico-chemical changes to water quality are poorly known. Colombia is unique among its peers in South America for managing central public environmental database...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the change in the fish community of the Porce River in Magdalena River Basin, Colombia, following the construction of the Porce III hydropower reservoir based on 13 years of monitoring data. The results show a clear reduction of the number of native species, which have been supplanted by colonizing non-native species, especially in the...
Preprint
Peatlands store large amounts of soil carbon and freshwater, constituting an important component of the global carbon and hydrologic cycles. Accurate information on the global extent and distribution of peatlands is presently lacking but is needed by Earth System Models (ESMs) to simulate the effects of climate change on the global carbon and hydro...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies show that tropical hydroelectric reservoirs may be responsible for substantial greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, yet emissions from the surface of released water downstream of the dam are poorly characterized if not neglected entirely from most assessments. We found that carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emission downstream of Kariba...
Article
Full-text available
The Zambezi River Basin in Southern Africa is undergoing rapid development and population growth. Agricultural intensification, urbanization and future development of hydropower dams will likely lead to a degradation of surface water quality, but there have been few formal assessments of where, how and why these changes impact specific water qualit...
Article
Full-text available
One prominent effect of nutrient pollution of surface waters is the mass invasion of floating plants, which can clog waterways, disrupting human use of aquatic systems. These plants are widely vilified and motivate expensive control campaigns, but their presence may be providing a poorly recognized function in the cycling of excess nutrients. The c...
Article
Full-text available
Invasions of water bodies by floating vegetation, including water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), are a huge global problem for fisheries, hydropower generation, and transportation. We analyzed floating plant coverage on 20 reservoirs across the world’s tropics and subtropics, using >30 year time-series of LANDSAT remote-sensing imagery. Despite d...
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide, regularly recurring wildfires shape many peatland ecosystems to the extent that fire‐adapted species often dominate plant communities, suggesting that wildfire is an integral part of peatland ecology rather than an anomaly. The most destructive blazes are smoldering fires that are usually initiated in periods of drought and can combust e...
Chapter
Wetland ecosystems comprise only 3–5 percent of the world’s land surface, but their unique habitats and specialized and rare species have garnered the attention of biologists for centuries. The use of wetlands in Europe and Asia has a deep history, as draining peat bogs, marshes, mires, and swamps for fuel, timber, and agricultural crops was common...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of large dams is a popular topic in environmental science, but the importance of altered water quality as a driver of ecological impacts is often missing from such discussions. This is partly because information on the relationship between dams and water quality is relatively sparse and fragmentary, especially for low latitude developing...
Article
Full-text available
Bird collisions with windows are an important conservation concern. Efficient mitigation efforts should prioritize retrofitting sections of glass exhibiting the highest mortality of birds. Most collision studies, however, record location meta-data at a spatial scale too coarse (i.e., compass direction of facing façade) to be useful for large buildi...
Data
Methane emissions and dissolved methane in porewater at 10 to 15 cm depth from three sites at the CICRA Peatland in Madre de Dios, Peru. (XLSX)
Data
Soil chemistry data from three sites at the CICRA in Madre de Dios, Peru. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing conflict resolution in Colombia brings an opportunity for economic development of impoverished communities and a conservation threat of deforestation in newly accessible rural areas. Ecotourism is often proposed as a ''win-win'' solution for developing countries to meet both economic and conservation needs. With the highest number of bird s...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on bird-window collisions have generally drawn inferences about species’ differential vulnerability from collision tallies. However, this common methodology is potentially biased because the number of collisions may simply reflect prevalence of species at the study site rather than species-specific vulnerability. Building on recent studies...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrologically controlled moist-soil impoundment wetlands provide critical habitat for high densities of migratory bird populations. Nutrients exported from heavily used impoundments by prescribed seasonal drawdown of surface water may contribute to the eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems. To investigate the relative importance of nutrient export...
Article
Full-text available
Static chambers used for sampling methane (CH4) in wetlands are highly sensitive to soil disturbance. Temporary compression around chambers during sampling can inflate the initial chamber CH4 headspace concentration and/or lead to generation of non-linear, unreliable flux estimates that must be discarded. In this study, we tested an often-used rubb...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Impounded and hydrologically managed ‘moist-soil’ wetlands built to support migratory bird populations have been overlooked as potential hotspots for methane (CH4) emission and nitrogen pollution. Through two years of field investigation we found that a moist-soil impoundment at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina emits more CH4...
Article
Full-text available
Bird-window collisions cause an estimated one billion bird deaths annually in the United States. Building characteristics and surrounding habitat affect collision frequency. Given the importance of collisions as an anthropogenic threat to birds, mitigation is essential. Patterned glass and UV-reflective films have been proven to prevent collisions....
Data
Newspaper and TV stories about bird-window collisions at Duke University
Data
Duke University collision data 2014–2015 Carcass survey data for Spring and Fall 2014, and Spring 2015 for Duke University’s West Campus. Study buildings information for 6 structures.
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests that bird elevational ranges may be shifting upslope because of deforestation, habitat fragmentation or climate change. I present observations of four bird species that were encountered at a private reserve in Ecuador more than 300 meters above their known maximum altitudes in Colombia and Ecuador, including two that were recorded...
Article
Full-text available
There is concern that widespread restoration and/or creation of freshwater wetlands may present a radiative forcing hazard because of the potential for methane (CH4) emissions. Yet data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from restored wetlands are sparse and there has been little investigation into the GHG effects of amending wetland soils with orga...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Wetland habitats for migratory waterfowl provide a myriad of ecosystem services, but potentially represent a significant source of the greenhouse gas, methane (CH4). Remote sensing studies implicate freshwater wetlands of the neotropics as major contributors to global CH4, but field data remains insufficient to corroborate. Furthermore there is lit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Herbivorous waterfowl exert consumptive control on aquatic vegetation, serve as nutrient vectors linking agricultural and wetland systems, and bioturbate wetland sediments. Yet there has been little investigation into how waterfowl influence the emissions of greenhouse gases from wetlands. We tested for the effects of waterfowl activity on methane...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Methane (CH<sub>4</sub>) flux from freshwater wetlands has been linked to primary production and is greatly enhanced by the presence of aerenchymous emergent vegetation. Migratory waterfowl are capable of enhancing primary productivity by providing nutrient subsidies, and drastically altering the density and community structure of vegetation throug...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Addition of organic matter (OM) to created wetlands has been shown to increase soil C, N, P, microbial biomass and denitrification enzyme activity. But few studies have measured its impact on greenhouse gas fluxes. Our objective was to determine how emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O vary with respect to different loading rates (0, 56, 112, 224 or 336 M...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Addition of organic matter (OM) to created wetlands has been shown to increase soil C, N, P, microbial biomass and denitrification enzyme activity. But few studies have measured its impact on greenhouse gas fluxes. Our objective was to determine how emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O vary with respect to different loading rates (0, 56, 112, 224 or 336 M...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It was hypothesized that restoration of degraded riparian wetlands in the Duke University Wetland Center's Stream and Wetland Assessment and Management Park (SWAMP) should increase bird density and diversity due to improved habitat. To test this assumption point counts were conducted at four Sandy Creek sites that have been restored within the past...

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Project (1)
Project
The main question we addressed is how southern peatlands continue to store carbon and release lower amounts of greenhouse gases compared to northern peatlands, even under climate-driven increases in temperature and extended droughts. We focus on the role of phenolics and black carbon, both antibacterial carbon compounds, as biogeochemical controls on peat decomposition along a latitudinal gradient from Minnesota to Panama) http://www.nacarbon.org/cgi-bin/web/investigations/inv_display_abstract.pl?ab_id=779