Yolanda Wiersma

Yolanda Wiersma
Memorial University of Newfoundland · Department of Biology

PhD, University of Guelph

About

153
Publications
47,374
Reads
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2,545
Citations
Introduction
Currently doing research related to terrestiral forest landscape ecology in the boreal region with a special interest in lichens. Involved in research on distribution modelling, and investigations of connectivity, and model systems. Have also been involved in a project investigating Information Quality in online citizen science.
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2012 - June 2013
Technical University of Munich
Position
  • Visiting Fellow
August 2006 - August 2012
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 2002 - May 2003
Duke University
Field of study
  • landscape ecology
September 1999 - March 2006
University of Guelph
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 1996 - April 1997
University of Toronto
Field of study
  • Science/Math Education

Publications

Publications (153)
Article
Full-text available
Context Understanding how rare species are distributed can be difficult due to heterogeneity between landscape units. Lack of statistical replication of landscapes can make it difficult to carry out testing. Model systems may be a solution. Objectives We test whether lichen thalli along the trunk of a tree are analogous to habitat patches in a kil...
Article
Full-text available
The restoration of four partial stream barriers was evaluated in watersheds of Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland, Canada from 2009 to 2011. Brook trout (n = 462) were tagged and tracked moving through our study sites using PIT telemetry and the restoration actions were assessed using three different measures: passage success rates; the range o...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities are altering the fundamental geography of biogeochemicals. Yet we lack an understanding of how the spatial patterns in organismal stoichiometry affect biogeochemical processes and the tools to predict the impacts of global changes on biogeochemical processes. In this contribution we develop stoichiometric distribution models (StDMs...
Article
Percentage targets for conservation have become a popular tool (advocated in both the scientific literature and the conservation community) for setting minimum goals for the amount of land to be set aside as protected areas. However, there is little literature to support a consistent percentage target that might be widely applied. Moreover, most pe...
Article
Arboreal lichens have a wide range of tolerance to habitat disturbance. As a result, they have been used globally as bioindicators of environmental change, particularly for monitoring atmospheric pollution. Here, we use lichens to monitor air quality and ecological integrity (EI) at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Nova Scotia...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in foliar elemental niche properties, defined by axes of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) concentrations, reflect how species allocate resources under different environmental conditions. For instance, elemental niches may differ in response to large‐scale latitudinal temperature and precipitation regimes that occur between ecore...
Article
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Purpose of Review Ecologists frequently must sample and do experiments at smaller scales than the processes of interest. Microlandscape experiments are one potential tool in landscape ecology, because these allow researchers to test hypotheses experimentally, something that is generally not possible in kilometer-extent landscapes. Another tool is t...
Article
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Background One way in which we make inferences about ecological processes is via experimentation. Many ecological processes happen at landscape extents and it is at this extent that experimentation is more challenging. This review explores the intersection between experimentation, ecological processes and landscape ecology. Specifically, this revie...
Article
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Calicioids are a group of lichenized and non-lichenized fungi that are superficially similar to each other in appearance. Many members of this group tend to be restricted to old-growth forests, for which they have been used as indicators. However, the definition of old-growth varies among jurisdictions and forest types. In addition, variables other...
Article
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Intraspecific feeding choices comprise a large portion of herbivore foraging decisions. Plant resource quality is heterogeneously distributed, affected by nutrient availability and growing conditions. Herbivores navigate landscapes, foraging not only according to food qualities, but also energetic and nutritional demands. We test three non-exclusiv...
Article
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The mobilization of soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is driven by biogeochemical and hydrological processes operating at different temporal and spatial scales. In seasonally snow-covered ecosystems, the snowpack holds both biogeochemical and hydrological significance as insulator of the soil during winter and reservoir of a large proportion of t...
Article
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Context Spatially explicit correlates of foliar elemental, stoichiometric, and phytochemical (ESP) traits represent links to landscape patterns of resource quality. Objectives We investigate spatial correlates for multiple foliar ESP traits at the species level and across species at the trait level for five boreal forest understory plants. Method...
Article
Herbivores making space use decisions must consider the trade-off between perceived predation risk and forage quality. Herbivores, specifically snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), must constantly navigate landscapes that vary in predation risk and food quality, providing researchers with the opportunity to explore the factors that govern their forag...
Article
Full-text available
Home range size of consumers varies with food quality, but the many ways of defining food quality hamper comparisons across studies. Ecological stoichiometry studies the elemental balance of ecological processes and offers a uniquely quantitative, transferrable way to assess food quality using elemental ratios, e.g., carbon (C):nitrogen (N). Here,...
Article
Premise: Populations of species with large spatial distributions are shaped by complex forces that differ throughout their ranges. To maintain the genetic diversity of species, genepool-based subsets of widespread species must be considered in conservation assessments. Methods: The population genetics of the lichenized fungus Lobaria pulmonaria...
Preprint
Full-text available
Intraspecific feeding choices account for a large portion of herbivore foraging in many ecosystems. Plant resource quality is heterogeneously distributed, affected by nutrient availability and growing conditions. Herbivores navigate landscapes, making feeding decisions according to food qualities, but also energetic and nutritional demands. We test...
Article
Full-text available
It is because of the growth in citizen science activities across the breadth of ecology and environmental studies, and increasing attention in the social sciences, that the BES launched an open call for papers to this Special Feature on citizen science across six of the BES journals in October 2019. In this Editorial, we discuss the papers and topi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Context Spatially explicit drivers of foliar chemical traits link plants to ecosystem processes to reveal landscape functionality. Specifically, foliar elemental, stoichiometric, and phytochemical (ESP) compositions represent key indicator traits. Objectives Here, we investigate the spatial drivers of foliar ESP at the species level and across spe...
Article
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There is debate about what drives and maintains the structure of arboreal lichen communities and what the relative importance of substrate vs. local environment is. Here, we aim to determine which lichen species are unique to two trees species (Abies balsamea and Betula alleghaniensis) in the boreal forests of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, and w...
Article
Aims Intraspecific variation in plant traits has important consequences for individual fitness and herbivore foraging. For plants, trait variability across spatial dimensions is well documented. However, temporal dimensions of trait variability are less well known, and may be influenced by seasonal differences in growing degree days, temperature, a...
Article
Forested wetlands provide ecosystem services and often support elevated levels of biodiversity and rare species. However, forested wetlands are understudied and face threats such as logging and land conversion. Epiphytic lichens are abundant in forested wetlands and may be useful to help delineate microhabitats across wetland–upland gradients. We i...
Article
Full-text available
• Herbivores consider the variation of forage qualities (nutritional content and digestibility) as well as quantities (biomass) when foraging. Such selection patterns may change based on the scale of foraging, particularly in the case of ungulates that forage at many scales. • To test selection for quality and quantity in free‐ranging herbivores ac...
Article
Full-text available
Background Landscape genetics is an interdisciplinary field that combines tools and techniques from population genetics with the spatially explicit principles from landscape ecology. Spatial variation in genotypes is used to test hypotheses about how landscape pattern affects dispersal in a wide range of taxa. Lichens, symbiotic associations betwee...
Preprint
Full-text available
Consumers make space use decisions based on resource quality. Most studies that investigate the influence of resource quality on the spatial ecology of consumers use diverse proxies for quality including measures based on habitat classification, forage species diversity and abundance, and nutritional indicators, e.g., protein. Ecological stoichiome...
Article
Large herbivores can have substantial effects on carbon (C) cycling, yet these animals are often overlooked in C budgets. Zoogeochemical effects may be particularly important in boreal forests, where diverse human activities are facilitating the expansion of large herbivore populations. Here, we argue that considering trophic dynamics is necessary...
Article
Forested wetlands are ecologically and economically important, but many are poorly understood. A robust inventory of species is important for sound management in these ecosystems, particularly ones that include cryptogams such as arboreal lichens, which are rich and abundant in forested wetlands. On the island of Newfoundland, Canada, little is kno...
Article
Full-text available
In conservation biology there have been varying answers to the question of “How much land to protect?” Simulation models using decision-support software such as Marxan show that the answer is sensitive to target type and amount, and issues of scale. We used a novel model system for landscape ecology to test empirically whether the minimum conservat...
Article
Full-text available
Intraspecific variability in ecological traits is widespread in nature. Recent evidence, mostly from aquatic ecosystems, shows individuals differing at the most fundamental level, that of their chemical composition. Age, sex, or body size and condition may be key drivers of intraspecific variability in the body concentrations of carbon (C), nitroge...
Article
When doing inventory for cryptic and rare species, it can be difficult to determine with great confidence that a sampled area has no occurrences of the target species. Boreal Felt lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum (Hue.) P.M.Jørg.) and Vole Ears lichen (Erioderma mollissimum (G.Sampaio) Du Rietz) are two rare species of cyanolichens that have several...
Article
When doing inventory for cryptic and rare species, it can be difficult to determine with great confidence that a sampled area has no occurrences of the target species. Boreal Felt lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum (Hue.) P.M.Jørg.) and Vole Ears lichen (Erioderma mollissimum (G.Sampaio) Du Rietz) are two rare species of cyanolichens that have several...
Article
Full-text available
The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (MACP) is an ecoregion with high biodiversity that is under imminent threat from sea level rise and habitat loss. Previous studies have shown i) the area to be high in lichen biodiversity, including endemic species, ii) the most lichen species-rich sites are the most imperiled by sea-level rise, and iii) common, wides...
Preprint
Full-text available
Intraspecific variability in ecological traits is widespread in nature. Recent evidence, mostly from aquatic ecosystems, shows individuals differing at the most fundamental level, that of their chemical composition. Age, sex, or body size may be key drivers of intraspecific variability in the body concentrations of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and pho...
Article
Forest managers have a responsibility to identify and conserve ecologically exceptional forest stands. In North America, priority areas of old‐growth forest are often identified based primarily on the age of trees within the stand. However, delineating forests with high conservation value based solely on tree age is an oversimplification. Therefore...
Article
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Understanding how conservation of woodland caribou, an at-risk species for which large undisturbed areas are often proposed to maintain viable populations, can contribute to conservation of boreal biodiversity is an important consideration for an ecosystem warming at twice the global average and experiencing rapid resource development. We assess th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Microcosms such as pitcher plants, or patches of mosses on a rock surface, have been used worldwide to allow for manipulative experiments that test hypotheses for patterns observed at larger extents, such as dispersal or community assemblage. Such microcosms can also be applied to questions in landscape ecology, but are limited by their...
Article
Full-text available
As crowdsourced user-generated content becomes an important source of data for organizations, a pressing question is how to ensure that data contributed by ordinary people outside of traditional organizational boundaries is of suitable quality to be useful for both known and unanticipated purposes. This research examines the impact of different inf...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation of Canada’s boreal forest has been tied to various campaigns advocating specific area-based targets as part of a broader Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP) effort. Although target setting is an important component of SCP, it is known that the final outcomes of conservation plans are sensitive to the target chosen. There have been f...
Article
Full-text available
Surveys of rare species are challenging owing to the difficulty of detecting them on a landscape. Survey methods vary, often to achieve different goals. Thus when different survey methods are used in different locations and/or years, it is difficult to compare abundance data between regions or for assessing population trends through time. In many j...
Article
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Most anthropogenic marine debris shoreline studies are conducted on sandy shores, rather than rocky coastlines. We amended a standardized protocol for monitoring marine debris on a high-loading beach composed of small rocks and cobbles in Newfoundland, Canada. Our protocol had two parts: we conducted stratified sampling to a depth of ~ 20 cm below...
Article
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Breeding cavity-nesting seabirds on remote, oceanic islands are threatened largely by destruction of nest cavities and introduced predators. In response, artificial cavities are often implemented as a conservation strategy. Effective artificial cavity programs require recognition of specific nest-site characteristics, which can be major determinant...
Article
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We conducted the first comprehensive floristic study of the lichens and allied fungi of Salmonier Nature Park on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, Canada. By comparing our results to those from other provincial parks in Newfoundland, we show that Salmonier Nature Park has a regionally rich lichen biota that includes several uncommon species. We...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted the first comprehensive floristic study of the lichens and allied fungi of Salmonier Nature Park on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, Canada. By comparing our results to those from other provincial parks in Newfoundland, we show that Salmonier Nature Park has a regionally rich lichen biota that includes several uncommon species. We...
Article
Full-text available
The movements and behavior of many taxa of seabirds during the non-breeding season remain poorly known. For example, although studies conducted in the Pacific and Indian oceans suggest that White-tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus) seldom fly more than a few thousand kilometers from nest colonies after breeding, little is known about the post-br...
Article
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Using long-term data from government, non-government, academic, and industry sources, we developed Species Distribution Models (SDM) to predict priority areas to target and enhance blue whale Balaenoptera musculus and northern bottlenose whale Hyperoodon ampullatus monitoring efforts in eastern Canada. Priority areas for blue whales were located pr...
Article
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This study investigates land cover change near the abandoned Pine Point Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Industrial mineral development transforms local environments, and the effects of such disturbances are often long-lasting, particularly in subarctic, boreal environments where vegetation conversion can take decades. Located in the Boreal...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Online citizen science is a form of crowdsourcing that has received increased attention from researchers. Despite significant potential, a key challenge in leveraging citizens to provide scientific information is the quality of citizen-generated data, a form of user-generated content (UGC). In this work, we present a study in which domain experts i...