Victoria M. Donovan

Victoria M. Donovan
University of Nebraska at Lincoln | NU · Department of Agronomy and Horticulture

Doctor of Philosophy

About

26
Publications
3,207
Reads
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206
Citations
Introduction
Victoria M. Donovan currently works at the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Victoria does research in landscape and disturbance ecology.
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2016 - December 2019
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Complex-adaptive system response to transformations driven by wildfire, including multi-scaled ecosystem response to disturbance, wildlife distributions in relation to landscape heterogeneity, spatial resilience, and the adaptive cycle.
September 2013 - October 2015
Laurentian University
Position
  • Master's Student
Description
  • Spatial behavioral response of woodland caribou to patch features and landscape distributions of forest harvesting

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
Wildfire activity has surged in North America's temperate grassland biome. Like many biomes, this system has undergone drastic land-use change over the last century; however, how various land-use types contribute to wildfire patterns in grassland systems is unclear. We determine if certain land-use types have a greater propensity for large wildfire...
Article
Human alteration of fire regimes is a hallmark of the Anthropocene; yet few studies have fully explored the implications of utilizing high-intensity fires in grasslands and savannas to manage shrub encroachment. Decades of fire research in South Africa inspired a unique convergence of high-intensity fire experiments in the USA. In the Great Plains...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing wildfire activity has spurred ecological resilience‐based management that aims to reduce the vulnerability of forest stands to wildfire by reducing the probability of crown fire. Targeted grazing is increasingly being used to build forest resilience to wildfire, either on its own or in combination with treatments such as mechanical thinn...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires are ecosystem-level drivers of structure and function in many vegetated biomes. While numerous studies have emphasized the benefits of fire to ecosystems, large wildfires have also been associated with the loss of ecosystem services and shifts in vegetation abundance. The size and number of wildfires are increasing across a number of regi...
Article
Rapid changes in wildfire patterns are documented globally, increasing pressure to identify regions that may experience increases in wildfire in future decades. Temperate grassland and savanna biomes were some of the most frequently burned regions on Earth; however, large wildfires have been largely absent from the Great Plains of North America over t...
Article
A key pursuit in contemporary ecology is to differentiate regime shifts that are truly irreversible from those that are hysteretic. Many ecological regime shifts have been labeled as irreversible without exploring the full range of variability in stabilizing feedbacks that have the potential to drive an ecological regime shift back towards a desira...
Article
Full-text available
The identity of an ecological regime is central to modern resilience theory and our understanding of how systems collapse and reorganize following disturbance. However, resilience-based models used in ecosystem management have been criticized for their failure to integrate disturbance outcomes into regime identity. Assessments are needed to underst...
Article
Patterns in disturbance severity and time since fire can drive landscape heterogeneity that is critical to conservation; however, there is limited understanding of how wildlife interact with the spatial–temporal complexities of disturbance outcomes and at what scales. We conducted multiscale modeling of habitat selection for male and female Rocky M...
Article
Full-text available
Woody encroachment is a global driver of grassland loss and management to counteract encroachment represents one of the most expensive conservation practices implemented in grasslands. Yet, outcomes of these practices are often unknown at large scales and this constrains practitioner's ability to advance conservation. Here, we use new monitoring da...
Article
In rangelands, monitoring spatial regime boundaries (i.e., boundaries between ecological states) could provide early warnings of state transitions, elucidate the spatial nature of state transitions, and quantify management outcomes. Here, we test the ability of established regime shift detection methods and traditional, local-scale rangeland monito...
Article
Species conservation requires monitoring and management that extends beyond the local population, yet studies evaluating population trends and management outcomes across the spatial range of a species remain rare. We conducted the first range-wide assessment of population trends for the iconic Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensi...
Article
Globally, savanna ecosystems are shifting outside of “safe operating spaces” due to removal of their primary self-reinforcing feedback—fire—and subsequent erosion of disturbance legacies. Restoring savannas will require reinstating fire feedbacks. But knowledge gaps in the nature of historic fire regimes and how mechanisms such as time-since-fire a...
Article
Understanding the capacity of ecosystems to adapt and to cope (i.e. adaptive capacity) with change is crucial to their management. However, definitions of adaptive capacity are often unclear and confusing, making application of this concept difficult. In this paper, we revisit definitions of adaptive capacity and operationalize the concept. We defi...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing wildfires in western North American conifer forests have led to debates surrounding the application of post-fire management practices. There is a lack of consensus on whether (and to what extent) post-fire management assists or hinders managers in achieving goals, particularly in under-studied regions like eastern ponderosa pine forests....
Article
Full-text available
The rapid pace of global climate change necessitates tools for prioritizing limited climate-adaptation resources in the face of imperfect knowledge regarding plant community responses to changing climate. In addition, global climate change often leads to novel shifts in plant communities which are difficult to anticipate with detailed models based...
Article
Full-text available
Disturbance legacies structure communities and ecological memory, but due to increasing changes in disturbance regimes, it is becoming more difficult to characterize disturbance legacies or determine how long they persist. We sought to quantify the characteristics and persistence of material legacies (e.g., biotic residuals of disturbance) that ari...
Article
Historically, eastern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests were described as sparse patches of old-growth trees maintained by frequent, low-severity fires; however, in recent decades, there have been a number of large mixed-severity wildfires throughout the range of these forests. Wildlife responses to severe fire disturbance in eastern pondero...
Article
Full-text available
Afforestation is often viewed as the purposeful planting of trees in historically nonforested grasslands, but an unintended consequence is woody encroachment, which should be considered part of the afforestation process. In North America's temperate grassland biome, Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) is a native species used in tree plantin...
Article
Full-text available
New concepts have emerged in theoretical ecology with the intent to quantify complexities in ecological change that are unaccounted for in state-and-transition models and to provide applied ecologists with statistical early warning metrics able to predict and prevent state transitions. With its rich history of furthering ecological theory and its r...
Article
Full-text available
Loss or alteration of forest ecosystems due to anthropogenic activities has prompted the need for mitigation measures aimed at protecting habitat for forest-dependent wildlife. Understanding how wildlife respond to such management efforts is essential for achieving conservation targets. Boreal caribou are a species of conservation concern due to th...
Data
Harvest and caribou behaviour data. A data file containing raw data for caribou behaviour model inputs and annual harvesting data for both study areas. (XLSX)
Data
Candidate models of caribou spatial behaviour. Candidate models for caribou spatial behaviour response to forest harvesting among region-period classes. (PDF)
Article
Roads have become a major concern for wildlife managers. Determining if fine-scale features influence wildlife road use is crucial information when developing management strategies to protect species at risk or to assist in preventing negative trophic interactions. We investigated the effects of fine-scale habitat and road-related features on the t...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Characterize spatial and temporal wildfire trends across the Great Plains
Project
Characterizing wildfire patterns and outcomes, along with their relation to ecological resilience in eastern ponderosa pine forests