Erik Beever, Ph.D.
Ph.D. 1999. University of Nevada, Reno. Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.
B.S. 1993. University of California, Davis. Biological Sciences.
Dr. Erik Beever has published over 75 articles in diverse scientific journals and in numerous subdisciplines of biology. He has performed field research on plants, soils, amphibians, birds, reptiles, fishes, and insects, as well as small, medium, and large mammals. His work has spanned salt-scrub, sagebrush-steppe, alpine, subalpine, subarctic, riparian, primary and secondary temperate and tropical forest, and coastal ecosystems of the western hemisphere. In addition to seeking to understand mechanisms of biotic responses to long-term weather patterns and variability, he has also focused on disturbance ecology and monitoring in conservation reserves, all at community to landscape scales, as well as other topics of conservation ecology, wildlife biology, and landscape ecology. He is interested in questions at the nexus of basic and applied science, especially those that also inform management and conservation efforts for species, communities, and ecosystems. He is a member of the IUCN Protected Areas Specialist Group, the IUCN Lagomorph Specialist Group, as well as The Wildlife Society, Society for Conservation Biology, American Society of Mammalogists, and Sigma Xi.
Science and Products
Adaptive Capacity: the linchpin for understanding and addressing species vulnerability to climate-change impacts
When prioritizing natural resource management activities, managers need to understand how plant and animal species differ in terms of their vulnerability to variation in environmental conditions caused by climate change. Species vulnerability to climate change is controlled by (1) exposure to changing environmental conditions, (2) sensitivity to direct and indirect effects of those changing...
There is increasing recognition that the spatial context in which any ecological process or phenomenon occurs has great bearing on the outcome of that process. Since 1994, we have been working on numerous field investigations and conceptual developments to inform how ecological resources can be managed and conserved across jurisdictional boundaries and broad spatial extents. Because such...
We work with a diverse collection of other researchers and resource managers, at local to national and international levels, to address ways in which herbivory and grazing systems interact with the broader ecosystems in which they occur. We investigate whether long-term weather patterns may interact synergistically to affect how soils, vegetation, and other animals respond to grazing or...
We work with a diverse collection of researchers, resource managers, and conservation practitioners to address the “how” and “why” questions that underlie species-and ecosystem-level responses to long-term weather patterns. Although it is more challenging, this level of more-mechanistic understanding is critical for informing climate-adaptation actions and strategies. We use a diversity of...
Adaptive population divergence and directional gene flow across steep elevational gradients in a climate‐sensitive mammal
The American pika is a thermally sensitive, alpine lagomorph species. Recent climate-associated population extirpations and genetic signatures of reduced population sizes range-wide indicate the viability of this species is sensitive to climate change. To test for potential adaptive responses to climate stress, we sampled pikas along two...Waterhouse, Matthew D.; Erb, Liesl P.; Beever, Erik; Russello, Michael A.
Vegetation responses to sagebrush-reduction treatments measured by satellites
Time series of vegetative indices derived from satellite imagery constitute tools to measure ecological effects of natural and management-induced disturbances to ecosystems. Over the past century, sagebrush-reduction treatments have been applied widely throughout western North America to increase herbaceous vegetation for livestock and wildlife....Johnston, Aaron; Beever, Erik; Merkle, Jerod A.; Chong, Geneva W.
Species account: Lepus californicus (Black-tailed jackrabbit)
No abstract available.Beever, Erik
Species account: Lepus townsendii (White-tailed jackrabbit)
No abstract available.Beever, Erik
Species account: Ochotona princeps (American pika)
No abstract available.Beever, Erik; Ray, Chittaranjan; Smith, Andrew T.
Species account: Sylvilagus nuttallii (Mountain cottontail)
No abstract available.Beever, Erik; Larrucea, Eveline A.
Behavioral flexibility as a mechanism for coping with climate change
Of the primary responses to contemporary climate change – “move, adapt, acclimate, or die” – that are available to organisms, “acclimate” may be effectively achieved through behavioral modification. Behavioral flexibility allows animals to rapidly cope with changing environmental conditions, and behavior represents an important component of a...Beever, Erik; Hall, L. Embere; Varner, Johanna; Loosen, Anne E.; Dunham, Jason B.; Gahl, Megan K.; Smith, Felisa A.; Lawler, Joshua J.
Mechanistic variables can enhance predictive models of endotherm distributions: The American pika under current, past, and future climates
How climate constrains species’ distributions through time and space is an important question in the context of conservation planning for climate change. Despite increasing awareness of the need to incorporate mechanism into species distribution models (SDMs), mechanistic modeling of endotherm distributions remains limited in this literature....Mathewson, Paul; Moyer-Horner, Lucas; Beever, Erik; Briscoe, Natalie; Kearney, Michael T.; Yahn, Jeremiah; Porter, Warren P.
Predictors of current and longer-term patterns of abundance of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) across a leading-edge protected area
American pikas (Ochotona princeps) have been heralded as indicators of montane-mammal response to contemporary climate change. Pikas no longer occupy the driest and lowest-elevation sites in numerous parts of their geographic range. Conversely, pikas have exhibited higher rates of occupancy and persistence in Rocky Mountain and Sierra Nevada...Moyer-Horner, Lucas; Beever, Erik A.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Beil, Mark; Belt, Jami
Microrefuges and the occurrence of thermal specialists: implications for wildlife persistence amidst changing temperatures
BackgroundContemporary climate change is affecting nearly all biomes, causing shifts in animal distributions, phenology, and persistence. Favorable microclimates may buffer organisms against rapid changes in climate, thereby allowing time for populations to adapt. The degree to which microclimates facilitate the local persistence of climate-...Hall, L. Embere; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Beever, Erik; Loosen, Anne E.
Pika (Ochotona princeps) losses from two isolated regions reflect temperature and water balance, but reflect habitat area in a mainland region
Although biotic responses to contemporary climate change are spatially pervasive and often reflect synergies between climate and other ecological disturbances, the relative importance of climatic factors versus habitat extent for species persistence remains poorly understood. To address this shortcoming, we performed surveys for American pikas (...Beever, Erik A.; Perrine, John D.; Rickman, Tom; Flores, Mary; Clark, John P.; Waters, Cassie; Weber, Shana S.; Yardley, Braden; Thoma, David P.; Chesley-Preston, Tara; Goehring, Kenneth E.; Magnuson, Michael; Nordensten, Nancy; Nelson, Melissa; Collins, Gail H.
Distribution of a climate-sensitive species at an interior range margin
Advances in understanding the factors that limit a species’ range, particularly in the context of climate change, have come disproportionately through investigations at range edges or margins. The margins of a species’ range might often correspond with anomalous microclimates that confer habitat suitability where the species would otherwise fail...Ray, Chris; Beever, Erik; Rodhouse, Thomas J.