Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Explore WARC's science publications.
Evaluating GPS biologging technology for studying spatial ecology of large constricting snakes
Background: GPS telemetry has revolutionized the study of animal spatial ecology in the last two decades. Until recently, it has mainly been deployed on large mammals and birds, but the technology is rapidly becoming miniaturized, and applications in diverse taxa are becoming possible. Large constricting snakes are top predators in their...Smith, Brian; Hart, Kristen M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Basille, Mathieu; Romagosa, Christina M.
Molecular and morphological data reveal non-monophyly and speciation in imperiled freshwater mussels (Anodontoides and Strophitus)
Accurate taxonomic placement is vital to conservation efforts considering many intrinsic biological characteristics of understudied species are inferred from closely related taxa. The rayed creekshell, Anodontoides radiatus (Conrad, 1834), exists in the Gulf of Mexico drainages from western Florida to Louisiana and has been petitioned for listing...Smith, Chase; Johnson, Nathan A.; Pfeiffer, John M.; Gangloff, Michael M.
Consortial brown tide − picocyanobacteria blooms in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
A brown tide bloom of Aureoumbra lagunensis developed in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba during a period of drought in 2013 that followed heavy winds and rainfall from Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012. Based on satellite images and water turbidity measurements, the bloom appeared to initiate in January 2013. The causative species (A. lagunensis...Hall, Nathan S; Litaker, R. Wayne; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Vandersea, Mark W.; Sunda, William G.; Reid, James P.; Slone, Daniel H.; Butler, Susan M.
Vegetation cover, tidal amplitude and land area predict short-term marsh vulnerability in Coastal Louisiana
The loss of coastal marshes is a topic of great concern, because these habitats provide tangible ecosystem services and are at risk from sea-level rise and human activities. In recent years, significant effort has gone into understanding and modeling the relationships between the biological and physical factors that contribute to marsh stability....Schoolmaster, Donald; Stagg, Camille L.; Sharp, Leigh Anne; McGinnis, Tommy S.; Wood, Bernard; Piazza, Sarai
Salinity tolerance of non-native suckermouth armoured catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys sp.) from Kerala, India
Loricariid catfishes of the genus Pterygoplichthys are native to South America and have been introduced in many localities around the world. They are freshwater fishes, but may also use low-salinity habitats such as estuaries for feeding or dispersal. Here we report results of a field survey and salinity-tolerance experiments for a population of...Kumar, A. Biju; Schofield, Pam; Raj, Smrithy; Satheesh, Sima
Making ecological models adequate
Critical evaluation of the adequacy of ecological models is urgently needed to enhance their utility in developing theory and enabling environmental managers and policymakers to make informed decisions. Poorly supported management can have detrimental, costly or irreversible impacts on the environment and society. Here, we examine common issues in...Getz, Wayne M.; Marshall, Charles R.; Carlson, Colin J.; Giuggioli, Luca; Ryan, Sadie J.; Romanach, Stephanie; Boettiger, Carl; Chamberlain, Samuel D.; Larsen, Laurel; D'Odorico, Paolo; O'Sullivan, David
The impact of lidar elevation uncertainty on mapping intertidal habitats on barrier islands
While airborne lidar data have revolutionized the spatial resolution that elevations can be realized, data limitations are often magnified in coastal settings. Researchers have found that airborne lidar can have a vertical error as high as 60 cm in densely vegetated intertidal areas. The uncertainty of digital elevation models is often left...Enwright, Nicholas M.; Wang, Lei; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard H.; Feher, Laura C.; Osland, Michael J.
Time series sightability modeling of animal populations
Logistic regression models—or “sightability models”—fit to detection/non-detection data from marked individuals are often used to adjust for visibility bias in later detection-only surveys, with population abundance estimated using a modified Horvitz-Thompson (mHT) estimator. More recently, a model-based alternative for analyzing combined...ArchMiller, Althea A.; Dorazio, Robert; St. Clair, Katherine; Fieberg, John R.
Development and validation of quantitative PCR assays to measure cytokine transcript levels in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)
Cytokines have important roles in the mammalian response to viral and bacterial infections, trauma, and wound healing. Because of early cytokine production after physiologic stresses, the regulation of messenger RNA (mRNA) transcripts can be used to assess immunologic responses before changes in protein production. To detect and assess early...Ferrante, Jason; Hunter, Margaret; Wellehan, James F.X.
Resource competition model predicts zonation and increasing nutrient use efficiency along a wetland salinity gradient
A trade-off between competitive ability and stress tolerance has been hypothesized and empirically supported to explain the zonation of species across stress gradients for a number of systems. Since stress often reduces plant productivity, one might expect a pattern of decreasing productivity across the zones of the stress gradient. However, this...Schoolmaster, Donald; Stagg, Camille L.
Sirenian life history
Sirenians, including the manatees and dugongs, are large herbivorous mammals that have evolved to an aquatic form since the Eocene epoch. Sirenians have unique adaptations, including dense bone for ballast and a longitudinal hemidiaphragm separating paired lungs (which aid in maintaining a horizontal posture in the water column), species-specific...Bonde, Robert K.
Strengthening links between waterfowl research and management
Waterfowl monitoring, research, regulation, and adaptive planning are leading the way in supporting science-informed wildlife management. However, increasing societal demands on natural resources have created a greater need for adaptable and successful linkages between waterfowl science and management. We presented a special session at the 2016...Roberts, Anthony J.; Eadie, John M.; Howerter, David; Johnson, Fred A.; Nichols, James; Runge, Michael C.; Vrtiska, Mark; Williams, Byron K.