Trisha B. Atwood's research while affiliated with Utah State University and other places

Publications (55)

Article
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Wetland plants tolerate potentially hazardous metals through a variety of strategies, including exclusion or accumulation. Whether plants sequester metals and where they store them in their tissues is important for understanding the potential role of plants as remediators or vectors of metals to terrestrial food webs. Here we evaluate metal sequest...
Preprint
Natural climate solutions are being advanced as cost-effective and safe ways to achieve net-zero emissions by protecting and enhancing carbon capture and storage in plants, and in soils and sediments in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Current thinking holds that these solutions have the added benefit of protecting habitats and landscapes to rest...
Article
Animal community responses to extreme climate events can be predicted from the functional traits represented within communities. However, it is unclear whether geographic variation in the response of functional community structure to climate change is primarily driven by physiological matching to local conditions (local adaptation hypothesis) or by...
Article
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Seed dispersal is critical to the ecological performance of sexually reproducing plant species and the communities that they form. The Mammalian order Carnivora provide valuable and effective seed dispersal services but tend to be overlooked in much of the seed dispersal literature. Here we review the literature on the role of Carnivorans in seed d...
Article
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Herbivory can have strong impacts on greenhouse gas fluxes in high-latitude ecosystems. For example, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta in western Alaska, migratory goose grazing affects the magnitude of soil carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes. However, the underlying drivers of this relationship are unclear, as few studies systematicall...
Article
Blue carbon ecosystems (BCEs), including mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and tidal marshes, store carbon and provide co-benefits such as coastal protection and fisheries enhancement. Blue carbon sequestration has therefore been suggested as a natural climate solution. In this Review, we examine the potential for BCEs to act as carbon sinks and t...
Article
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Members of the order Carnivora are a unique and important seed disperser who consume and deposit undamaged seeds while providing regular long‐distance seed dispersal opportunities. Some members of Carnivora, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), are undergoing range expansions which may help the plant species they consume colonize new locations or repla...
Article
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Benthic animals profoundly influence the cycling and storage of carbon and other elements in marine systems, particularly in coastal sediments. Recent climate change has altered the distribution and abundance of many seafloor taxa and modified the vertical exchange of materials between ocean and sediment layers. Here, we examine how climate change...
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03496-1.
Article
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The ocean contains unique biodiversity, provides valuable food resources and is a major sink for anthropogenic carbon. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an effective tool for restoring ocean biodiversity and ecosystem services1,2, but at present only 2.7% of the ocean is highly protected³. This low level of ocean protection is due largely to confli...
Article
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Seagrasses are among the Earth’s most efficient ecosystems for sequestering carbon, but are also in global decline, risking carbon they have accumulated over geological timescales. One contributor to this global decline is seagrass overgrazing by sea urchins; however, it is unknown how this may affect stocks of “blue carbon” by damaging the seagras...
Article
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As a result of their extensive home ranges and slow population growth rates, predators have often been perceived to suffer higher risks of extinction than other trophic groups. Our study challenges this extinction-risk paradigm by quantitatively comparing patterns of extinction risk across different trophic groups of mammals, birds, and reptiles. W...
Article
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Like many wetlands worldwide, Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetlands have been declining. Yet, little is known about the ecosystem functions provided by the different GSL wetland plant species. This knowledge gap hinders predictions of the effects of species loss and restoration practices on ecosystem functioning. To better understand how the loss of diffe...
Article
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Crucial to the successful conservation of endangered species is the overlap of their ranges with protected areas. We analyzed protected areas in the continental USA to assess the extent to which they covered the ranges of endangered tetrapods. We show that in 80% of ecoregions, protected areas offer equal (25%) or worse (55%) protection for species...
Article
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Changes in global and regional precipitation regimes are among the most pervasive components of climate change. Intensification of rainfall cycles, ranging from frequent downpours to severe droughts, could cause widespread, but largely unknown, alterations to trophic structure and ecosystem function. We conducted multi-site coordinated experiments...
Article
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To develop more accurate global carbon (C) budgets and to better inform management of human activities in the ocean, we need high-resolution estimates of marine C stocks. Here we quantify global marine sedimentary C stocks at a 1-km resolution, and find that marine sediments store ∼ 3117 (3006–3209) Pg C in the top 1 m (more than twice that of terr...
Article
There is growing recognition that ecosystems may be more impacted by infrequent extreme climatic events than by changes in mean climatic conditions. This has led to calls for experiments that explore the sensitivity of ecosystems over broad ranges of climatic parameter space. However, because such response surface experiments have so far been limit...
Article
• Understanding changes in macroinvertebrate communities is important because they play a large role in stream ecosystem functioning, and they are an important food resource for fish. Beaver‐induced changes to stream morphology could alter macroinvertebrate communities, which in turn could affect food webs and ecosystem function. However, studies i...
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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.
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Policies aiming to preserve vegetated coastal ecosystems (VCE; tidal marshes, mangroves and seagrasses) to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions require national assessments of blue carbon resources. Here, we present organic carbon (C) storage in VCE across Australian climate regions and estimate potential annual CO2 emission benefits of VCE conservati...
Article
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The term Blue Carbon (BC) was first coined a decade ago to describe the disproportionately large contribution of coastal vegetated ecosystems to global carbon sequestration. The role of BC in climate change mitigation and adaptation has now reached international prominence. To help prioritise future research, we assembled leading experts in the fie...
Article
Seagrass meadows store globally-significant quantities of organic 'blue' carbon. These blue carbon stocks are potentially vulnerable to anthropogenic stressors (e.g. coastal development, climate change). Here, we tested the impact of oxygen exposure and warming (major consequences of human disturbance) on rates of microbial carbon break-down in sea...
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How species interactions shape habitat structure is a longstanding question in ecology. A curious phenomenon reflecting ecological self-organization around reef habitat structures exists on coral reefs: large-scale (hundreds to hundreds of thousands of m2) halo-like patterns surrounding patch reefs, i.e., individual coral reefs that are often separ...
Article
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Marine reserves can effectively restore harvested populations, and ‘mega-reserves’ increasingly protect large tracts of ocean. However, no method exists of monitoring ecological responses at this large scale. Herbivory is a key mechanism structuring ecosystems, and this consumer–resource interaction's strength on coral reefs can indicate ecosystem...
Article
Arguments for the need to conserve aquatic predator (AP) populations often focus on the ecological and socioeconomic roles they play. Here, we summarize the diverse ecosystem functions and services connected to APs, including regulating food webs, cycling nutrients, engineering habitats, transmitting diseases/parasites, mediating ecological invasio...
Article
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Vegetated coastal habitats (VCHs), such as mangrove forests, salt marshes and seagrass meadows, have the ability to capture and store carbon in the sediment for millennia, and thus have high potential for mitigating global carbon emissions. Carbon sequestration and storage is inherently linked to the geochemical conditions created by a variety of m...
Article
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Predicting and managing the global carbon cycle requires scientific understanding of ecosystem processes that control carbon uptake and storage. It is generally assumed that carbon cycling is sufficiently characterized in terms of uptake and exchange between ecosystem plant and soil pools and the atmosphere. We show that animals also play an import...
Article
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Consensus has emerged in the literature that increased biodiversity enhances the capacity of ecosystems to perform multiple functions. However, most biodiversity/ecosystem function studies focus on a single ecosystem, or on landscapes of homogenous ecosystems. Here, we investigate how increased landscape‐level environmental dissimilarity may affect...
Data
Federal land management agencies listed in the Federal and Indian Lands datasets of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Map program. Table includes the total approximate area of the lands for which each agency is designated as the primary administrator (within the contiguous 48 United States). (DOCX)
Article
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In the United States, the Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes water quality standards important for maintaining healthy freshwater ecosystems. Within the CWA framework, states define their own water quality criteria, leading to a potential fragmentation of standards between states. This fragmentation can influence the management of shared water resou...
Data
Broad categories of local owners of state lands, as designated in the Protected Areas Database of the United States. The “Other or Unknown” classification primarily consists of all the state lands of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, as well as various lands including certain State Parks, Resource Management Areas, Conservation Areas, Marine Protected...
Article
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Food web theory predicts that current global declines in marine predators could generate unwanted consequences for many marine ecosystems. In coastal plant communities (kelp, seagrass, mangroves, and salt marsh), several studies have documented the far-reaching effects of changing predator populations. Across coastal ecosystems, the loss of marine...
Article
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Trophic cascade theory predicts that predator effects should extend to influence carbon cycling in ecosystems. Yet, there has been little empirical evidence in natural ecosystems to support this hypothesis. Here, we use a naturally-occurring trophic cascade to provide evidence that predators help protect sedimentary organic carbon stocks in coral r...
Data
Invertebrate abundances with distance away from patch coral reef. Excel file that consists of algal canopy height (mm), grouped invertebrate abundances, mean sediment particle size (μm), carbon to nitrogen ratios (C:N) and diversity (Shannon-Weiner index) at each distance interval away from patch reef (m); 0, 3, 7.5, 15, 22 and 30. (XLSX)
Article
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Benthic fauna play a crucial role in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling at the sediment-water boundary in aquatic ecosystems. In terrestrial systems, grazing herbivores have been shown to influence below-ground communities through alterations to plant distribution and composition, however whether similar cascading effects occur in aq...
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In the version of this Article originally published, the potential carbon loss from soils as a result of mangrove deforestation was incorrectly given as ‘2.0–75 Tg C yr–1’; this should have read ‘2–8 Tg C yr–1’. The corresponding emissions were incorrectly given as ‘~7.3–275 Tg of CO2e’; this should have read ‘~7–29 Tg of CO2e’. The corresponding p...
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Growth and contraction of ecosystem engineers, such as trees, influence ecosystem structure and function. On coral reefs, methods to measure small changes in the structure of microhabitats, driven by growth of coral colonies and contraction of skeletons, are extremely limited. We used 3D reconstructions to quantify changes in the external structure...
Article
The composition of local ecological communities is determined by the members of the regional community that are able to survive the abiotic and biotic conditions of a local ecosystem. Anthropogenic activities since the industrial revolution have increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which have in turn decreased ocean pH and altered carbonate io...
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Mangrove soils represent a large sink for otherwise rapidly recycled carbon (C). However, widespread deforestation threatens the preservation of this important C stock. It is therefore imperative that global patterns in mangrove soil C stocks and their susceptibility to remineralization are understood. Here, we present patterns in mangrove soil C s...
Article
Blue carbon” ecosystems, which include tidal marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows, have large stocks of organic carbon (Corg) in their soils. These carbon stocks are vulnerable to decomposition and – if degraded – can be released to the atmosphere in the form of CO2. We present a framework to help assess the relative risk of CO2 emission...
Article
To promote the sequestration of blue carbon, resource managers rely on best-management practices that have historically included protecting and restoring vegetated coastal habitats (seagrasses, tidal marshes, and mangroves), but are now beginning to incorporate catchment-level approaches. Drawing upon knowledge from a broad range of environmental v...
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Australia’s tidal marshes have suffered significant losses but their recently recognised importance in CO2 sequestration is creating opportunities for their protection and restoration. We compiled all available data on soil organic carbon (OC) storage in Australia’s tidal marshes (323 cores). OC stocks in the surface 1 m averaged 165.41 (SE 6.96) M...
Article
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Seagrasses sequester globally significant amounts of carbon (C), which is stored mainly in the sediment. Both C fixation by the seagrass (autochthonous) and the trapping of organic matter that is derived from outside the ecosystem (allochthonous) contribute to seagrass sediment organic C (OC). However, due to limitations in current methods we do no...
Article
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By acting as novel competitors and predators, a single invasive species can detrimentally affect multiple native species in different trophic levels. Although quantifying invasive effects through single-species interactions is important, understanding their effect on ecosystems as a whole is vital to enable effective protection and management. This...
Article
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Evidence shows the important role biota play in the carbon cycle, and strategic management of plant and animal populations could enhance CO2 uptake in aquatic ecosystems. However, it is currently unknown how managementdriven changes to community structure may interact with climate warming and other anthropogenic perturbations to alter CO2 fluxes. H...
Article
Predators continue to be harvested unsustainably throughout most of the Earth’s ecosystems. Recent research demonstrates that the functional loss of predators could have far-reaching consequences on carbon cycling and, by implication, our ability to ameliorate climate change impacts. Yet the influence of predators on carbon accumulation and preserv...
Article
Predators can have dramatic effects on food web structure and ecosystem processes. However, the total effect of predators will be a combination of prey removal due to consumption and non-consumptive effects (NCEs) mediated through changes to prey behavioral, morphological, or life history traits induced to reduce predation risk. In this study, we e...
Article
1. Predators exert a strong selective force on the ecosystems in which they exist, thereby altering the structure of ecological communities and leading to the evolution of prey defences. However, how interspecific differences in defence ability affect habitat partitioning amongst competing prey species remains unresolved. 2. We examined how prey de...

Citations

... How such ongoing and projected climatic changes will affect species populations and their distributions has been the central question driving the majority of contemporary ecological studies (Cheung et al., 2009;Pecl et al., 2017;Aguirre-Liguori et al., 2021). Among species of concern, seagrasses are increasingly receiving attention and prioritised for conservation due to their accelerating losses (Short and Neckles, 1999;Waycott et al., 2009;Dunic et al., 2021;Turschwell et al., 2021) and thus significant negative impacts on blue carbon stocks, climate change mitigation (Macreadie et al., 2021) and support of marine biodiversity and human well-being (Jones et al., 2018;Unsworth et al., 2019). ...
... For example, coyotes have been shown to pass other plant seeds up to 24 hours after consumption and deposit them up to 7 km away (Draper et al. 2021). Numerous plants have been documented to germinate from coyote scat prior to this experiment (Cypher and Cypher. ...
... How will benthic communities respond to low oxygen concentrations? A strong decrease in bioturbation intensity and shift in dominant bioturbating fauna has been predicted for upcoming decades (Bianchi et al., 2021). Because macrofaunal reworking and ventilation is a key driver of microbial community structure in continental shelf sediments (Chen X. et al., 2017;Deng et al., 2020), this decrease in bioturbation intensity will likely cause major shifts in surface sedimentary microbial communities, including changes in dominance from aerobic and O 2tolerant to strictly anaerobic taxa. ...
... The results of this study highlight that small coastal MPAs potentially offer protection to species that were previously thought not to receive benefits from MPAs. As such, multipleuse MPAs, including large and adequately managed PPAs, should improve the protection of elasmobranchs through suitable management plans that aim to reduce bycatch and promote a sustainable use of natural resources ensuring we meet conservation goals (e.g., protecting elasmobranchs and ecosystems more widely) whilst, simultaneously, allowing potentially sustainable human uses 82,83 . ...
... The higher geese numbers are closely linked to climate and land-use changes, as food sources are increasing in their overwintering grounds [4,5]. Herbivory-induced changes in vegetation lead to changes in below-ground biota and their productivity [6][7][8] and affect the balance of greenhouse gases in wetlands, with higher methane (CH 4 ) emissions from areas subjected to grazing [8][9][10][11]. The exclusion of herbivores from patches of Arctic peatlands led to the restoration of vascular plant growth [12], and it was shown that higher abundances of vascular plants alter the polysaccharide composition in these soils, further changing the soil microbial community [13]. ...
... Even less scrutiny has been accorded to the potential effects of marine CDR on ocean ecology 14 . Given the growing importance of the oceans to global food security (United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs)) 15,16 , more focus on the ecological effects of marine CDR is essential given the likelihood that perturbation of large ocean regions will be needed by marine CDR methods to help to limit warming 11 . ...
... The term MPA describes an area of the marine environment with restriction on detrimental human activities. MPAs, as they reduce secondary stressors, are assumed to increase resilience to climate change [31][32][33] and are considered to be one of the most effective tools adaptation tools for marine ecosystems facing environmental change [32,34,35]. Evidence from coral reefs suggests MPAs with high levels of protection can decrease the time ecological communities need to recover from disturbance events like bleaching because they are subjected to fewer stressors compared to unprotected surrounding habitat [36]. ...
... However, life-history and ecological theory suggest that additional universal traits exist. For example, extinction risk has been hypothesized to be related to slow life-history traits (Pimm et al., 1988;Purvis et al., 2000b), large body size (Purvis et al., 2000a), narrow habitat, diet, or climatic specialization (McKinney and Lockwood, 1999), poor dispersal ability (McCauley et al., 2014), high trophic level (Atwood et al., 2020;Purvis et al., 2000a), among others (Table 1). But their universality has not been so far properly examined because most studies linking the extinction risk of species to intrinsic and extrinsic factors have focused on few taxonomic groups or their scope is geographically narrow (Chichorro et al., 2019). ...
... Both lakes had extensive natural wetlands. At Great Salt Lake, the three major tributary rivers now flow through diked wildlife refuges with freshwater wetlands that cover 226 km 2 [50,51]. Many of these were developed from the 1920s-1950s to provide nesting and resting habitats for shorebirds, migratory waterfowl, and other birds. ...
... Here, we define "wildlife benefits" as increases in species richness and/or abundance of wildlife of conservation interest. While private lands programs often aim to benefit wildlife across conservation statuses, we focus here on species of conservation interest, for which private lands conservation is considered imperative to their conservation (Clancy et al., 2020). We define "wildlife of conservation interest" as species for which there are concerns about the ability to remain on a landscape for a long period of time (United States Forest Service, 2015). ...