Effects of climate change and anthropogenic modification on a disturbance-dependent species in a large riverine system

dc.contributor.authorZeigler, Sara L.en
dc.contributor.authorCatlin, Daniel H.en
dc.contributor.authorBrown, Mary Bombergeren
dc.contributor.authorFraser, James D.en
dc.contributor.authorDinan, Lauren R.en
dc.contributor.authorHunt, Kelsi L.en
dc.contributor.authorJorgensen, Joel G.en
dc.contributor.authorKarpanty, Sarah M.en
dc.contributor.departmentFish and Wildlife Conservationen
dc.description.abstractHumans have altered nearly every natural disturbance regime on the planet through climate and land-use change, and in many instances, these processes may have interacting effects. For example, projected shifts in temperature and precipitation will likely influence disturbance regimes already affected by anthropogenic fire suppression or river impoundments. Understanding how disturbance-dependent species respond to complex and interacting environmental changes is important for conservation efforts. Using field-based demographic and movement rates, we conducted a metapopulation viability analysis for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), a threatened disturbance-dependent species, along the Missouri and Platte rivers in the Great Plains of North America. Our aim was to better understand current and projected future metapopulation dynamics given that natural disturbances (flooding or high-flow events) have been greatly reduced by river impoundments and that climate change could further alter the disturbance regime. Although metapopulation abundance has been substantially reduced under the current suppressed disturbance regime (high-flow return interval similar to 20 yr), it could grow if the frequency of high-flow events increases as predicted under likely climate change scenarios. We found that a four-year return interval would maximize metapopulation abundance, and all subpopulations in the metapopulation would act as sources at a return interval of 15 yr or less. Regardless of disturbance frequency, the presence of even a small, stable source subpopulation buffered the metapopulation and sustained a low metapopulation extinction risk. Therefore, climate change could have positive effects in ecosystems where disturbances have been anthropogenically suppressed when climatic shifts move disturbance regimes toward more historical patterns. Furthermore, stable source populations, even if unintentionally maintained through anthropogenic activities, may be critical for the persistence of metapopulations of early-successional species under both suppressed disturbance regimes and disturbance regimes where climate change has further altered disturbance frequency or scope.en
dc.description.notesFunding was provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Nebraska State Wildlife Grant Program, the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the USFWS North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and Virginia Tech. We thank C. Aron, K. Brennan, R. Cobb, K. Crane, E. Dowd-Stukel, C. Huber, K. Kreil, C. Kruse, G. Pavelka, G. Wagner, W. Werkmeister, S. Wilson, L. Yager, and cooperators from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and the Missouri River Institute for support throughout the project. We would like to thank sand and gravel mining companies and lakeshore housing development communities for access to property. We acknowledge the tireless efforts of our many technicians from 2005 to 2013. We also thank five anonymous reviewers, T. Simmons, and C. McGowan (USGS) for their comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. This work was conducted under Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee permits 877 and 14-003, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Threatened and Endangered Species Permits TE070027-0 and TE103272-3. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.en
dc.description.sponsorshipNebraska Environmental Trusten
dc.description.sponsorshipNebraska State Wildlife Grant Programen
dc.description.sponsorshipNebraska Wildlife Conservation Funden
dc.description.sponsorshipU.S. Army Corps of Engineersen
dc.description.sponsorshipU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)en
dc.description.sponsorshipUSFWS North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperativeen
dc.description.sponsorshipVirginia Techen
dc.publisherEcological Society of Americaen
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalen
dc.subjectCharadrius melodusen
dc.subjectendangered species conservationen
dc.subjectglobal changeen
dc.subjectland-use changeen
dc.subjectpiping ploversen
dc.subjectpopulation viability analysisen
dc.titleEffects of climate change and anthropogenic modification on a disturbance-dependent species in a large riverine systemen
dc.typeArticle - Refereeden


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