Southwest Biological Science Center
Biological soil crusts: Diminutive communities of potential global importance
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are widespread, diverse communities of cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and mosses living on soil surfaces, primarily in drylands. Biocrusts can locally govern primary production, soil fertility, hydrology, and surface energy balance, with considerable variation in these functions across alternate community states...Ferrenberg, Scott; Tucker, Colin; Reed, Sasha C.
Climate change may restrict dryland forest regeneration in the 21st century
The persistence and geographic expansion of dryland forests in the 21st century will be influenced by how climate change supports the demographic processes associated with tree regeneration. Yet, the way that climate change may alter regeneration is unclear. We developed a quantitative framework that estimates forest regeneration potential (RP) as...Petrie, M.D.; Bradford, John B.; Hubbard, R.M.; Lauenroth, W.K.; Andrews, Caitlin; Schlaepfer, D.R.
The evolution of different maternal investment strategies in two closely related desert vertebrates
We compared egg size phenotypes and tested several predictions from the optimal egg size (OES) and bet-hedging theories in two North American desert-dwelling sister tortoise taxa, Gopherus agassizii and G. morafkai, that inhabit different climate spaces: relatively unpredictable and more predictable climate spaces, respectively. Observed...Ennen, Joshua R.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Agha, Mickey; Loughran, Caleb; Tennant, Laura A.; Sinervo, Barry
Unusual population attributes of invasive red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) in Japan: do they have a performance advantage?
The slider turtle (Trachemys scripta Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) is native to the USA and Mexico. Due to the popularity of their colorful hatchlings as pets, they have been exported worldwide and are now present on all continents, except Antarctica. Slider turtles are well-established in Japan and occupy aquatic habitats in urban and agricultural...Taniguchi, Mari; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Mine, Kanako; Ueno, Shintaro; Kamezaki, Naoki
Deleterious effects of net clogging on the quantification of stream drift
Drift studies are central to stream and river ecological research. However, a fundamental aspect of quantifying drift — how net clogging affects the accuracy of results — has been widely ignored. Utilizing approaches from plankton and suspended sediment studies in oceanography and hydrology, we examined the rate and dynamics of net clogging across...Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D.; Kennedy, Theodore A.; Copp, Adam J.; Sabol, Thomas
Trends in Rainbow Trout recruitment, abundance, survival, and growth during a boom-and-bust cycle in a tailwater fishery
Data from a large-scale mark-recapture study was used in an open population model to determine the cause for long-term trends in growth and abundance of a Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss population in the tailwater of Glen Canyon Dam, AZ. Reduced growth affected multiple life stages and processes causing negative feedbacks that regulated the...Korman, Josh; Yard, Micheal D.; Kennedy, Theodore A.
Turbid releases from Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona, following rainfall-runoff events of September 2013
Glen Canyon Dam is a large dam on the Colorado River in Arizona. In September 2013, it released turbid water following intense thunderstorms in the surrounding area. Turbidity was >15 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) for multiple days and >30 NTU at its peak. These unprecedented turbid releases impaired downstream fishing activity and...Wildman, Richard A.; Vernieu, William
Variation in species-level plant functional traits over wetland indicator status categories
Wetland indicator status (WIS) describes the habitat affinity of plant species and is used in wetland delineations and resource inventories. Understanding how species-level functional traits vary across WIS categories may improve designations, elucidate mechanisms of adaptation, and explain habitat optima and niche. We investigated differences in...McCoy-Sulentic, Miles E.; Kolb, Thomas E.; Merritt, David M.; Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara; Sarr, Daniel A.
Is GPS telemetry location error screening beneficial?
The accuracy of global positioning system (GPS) locations obtained from study animals tagged with GPS monitoring devices has been a concern as to the degree it influences assessments of movement patterns, space use, and resource selection estimates. Many methods have been proposed for screening data to retain the most accurate positions for...Ironside, Kirsten E.; Mattson, David J.; Arundel, Terry; Hansen, Jered R.
Potential human impacts of overlapping land-use and climate in a sensitive dryland: a case study of the Colorado Plateau, USA
Climate and land-use interactions are likely to affect future environmental and socioeconomic conditions in drylands, which tend to be limited by water resources and prone to land degradation. We characterized the potential for interactions between land-use types and land-use and climate change in a model dryland system, the Colorado Plateau, a...Copeland, Stella; Bradford, John B.; Duniway, Michael C.; Schuster, Rudy
Variable terrestrial GPS telemetry detection rates: Addressing the probability of successful acquisitions
Studies using global positioning system (GPS) telemetry rarely result in 100% fix success rates (FSR), which may bias datasets because data loss is systematic rather than a random process. Previous spatially explicit models developed to correct for sampling bias have been limited to small study areas, a small range of data loss, or were study-area...Ironside, Kirsten E.; Mattson, David J.; Choate, David; Stoner, David; Arundel, Terry; Hansen, Jered R.; Theimer, Tad; Holton, Brandon; Jansen, Brian; Sexton, Joseph O.; Longshore, Kathleen; Edwards, Thomas C.; Peters, Michael
Climate legacy and lag effects on dryland plant communities in the southwestern U.S.
Climate change effects on vegetation will likely be strong in the southwestern U.S., which is projected to experience large increases in temperature and changes in precipitation. Plant communities in the southwestern U.S. may be particularly vulnerable to climate change as the productivity of many plant species is strongly water-limited. This...Bunting, Erin; Munson, Seth M.; Villarreal, Miguel