ResearchPad - canyons https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Development and evaluation of habitat suitability models for nesting white-headed woodpecker (<i>Dryobates albolarvatus</i>) in burned forest]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14713 Salvage logging in burned forests can negatively affect habitat for white-headed woodpeckers (Dryobates albolarvatus), a species of conservation concern, but also meets socioeconomic demands for timber and human safety. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models can inform forest management activities to help meet habitat conservation objectives. Informing post-fire forest management, however, involves model application at new locations as wildfires occur, requiring evaluation of predictive performance across locations. We developed HSI models for white-headed woodpeckers using nest sites from two burned-forest locations in Oregon, the Toolbox (2002) and Canyon Creek (2015) fires. We measured predictive performance by developing one model at each of the two locations and quantifying discrimination of nest from reference sites at two other wildfire locations where the model had not been developed (either Toolbox or Canyon Creek, and the Barry Point Fire [2011]). We developed and evaluated Maxent models based on remotely sensed environmental metrics to support habitat mapping, and weighted logistic regression (WLR) models that combined remotely sensed and field-collected metrics to inform management prescriptions. Both Maxent and WLR models developed either at Canyon Creek or Toolbox performed adequately to inform management when applied at the alternate Toolbox or Canyon Creek location, respectively (area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve [AUC] range = 0.61–0.72) but poorly when applied at Barry Point (AUC = 0.53–0.57). The final HSI models fitted to Toolbox and Canyon Creek data quantified suitable nesting habitat as severely burned or open sites adjacent to lower severity and closed canopy sites, where foraging presumably occurs. We suggest these models are applicable at locations similar to development locations but not at locations resembling Barry Point, which were characterized by more (pre-fire) canopy openings, larger diameter trees, less ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), and more juniper (Juniperus occidentalis). Considering our results, we recommend caution when applying HSI models developed at individual wildfire locations to inform post-fire management at new locations without first evaluating predictive performance.

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<![CDATA[Cold-Water Corals and Anthropogenic Impacts in La Fonera Submarine Canyon Head, Northwestern Mediterranean Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9fab0ee8fa60ba51da

We assess the occurrence and extent of cold-water coral (CWC) species Madrepora oculata and Dendrophyllia cornigera, as well as gorgonian red coral Corallium rubrum, in La Fonera canyon head (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea), as well as human impacts taking place in their habitats. Occurrence is assessed based on Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging. Terrain classification techniques are applied to high-resolution swath bathymetric data to obtain semi-automatic interpretative maps to identify the relationship between coral distribution patterns and canyon environments. A total of 21 ROV immersions were carried out in different canyon environments at depths ranging between 79 and 401 m. Large, healthy colonies of M. oculata occur on abrupt, protected, often overhanging, rocky sections of the canyon walls, especially in Illa Negra branch. D. cornigera is sparser and evenly distributed at depth, on relatively low sloping areas, in rocky but also partially sedimented areas. C. rubrum is most frequent between 100 and 160 m on highly sloping rocky areas. The probable extent of CWC habitats is quantified by applying a maximum entropy model to predict habitat suitability: 0.36 km2 yield M. oculata occurrence probabilities over 70%. Similar predictive models have been produced for D. cornigera and C. rubrum. All ROV transects document either the presence of litter on the seafloor or pervasive trawling marks. Nets and longlines are imaged entangled on coral colonies. Coral rubble is observed at the foot of impacted colonies. Some colonies are partially covered by sediment that could be the result of the resuspension generated by bottom trawling on neighbouring fishing grounds, which has been demonstrated to be responsible of daily increases in sediment fluxes within the canyon. The characteristics of the CWC community in La Fonera canyon are indicative that it withstands high environmental stress of both natural and human origin.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal monitoring of deep-sea megabenthos in Barkley Canyon cold seep by internet operated vehicle (IOV)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be00bb

Knowledge of the processes shaping deep-sea benthic communities at seasonal scales in cold-seep environments is incomplete. Cold seeps within highly dynamic regions, such as submarine canyons, where variable current regimes may occur, are particularly understudied. Novel Internet Operated Vehicles (IOVs), such as tracked crawlers, provide new techniques for investigating these ecosystems over prolonged periods. In this study a benthic crawler connected to the NEPTUNE cabled infrastructure operated by Ocean Networks Canada was used to monitor community changes across 60 m2 of a cold-seep area of the Barkley Canyon, North East Pacific, at ~890 m depth within an Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). Short video-transects were run at 4-h intervals during the first week of successive calendar months, over a 14 month period (February 14th 2013 to April 14th 2014). Within each recorded transect video megafauna abundances were computed and changes in environmental conditions concurrently measured. The responses of fauna to environmental conditions as a proxy of seasonality were assessed through analysis of abundances in a total of 438 video-transects (over 92 h of total footage). 7698 fauna individuals from 6 phyla (Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Mollusca, and Chordata) were logged and patterns in abundances of the 7 most abundant taxa (i.e. rockfish Sebastidae, sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria, hagfish Eptatretus stoutii, buccinids (Buccinoidea), undefined small crabs, ctenophores Bolinopsis infundibulum, and Scyphomedusa Poralia rufescens) were identified. Patterns in the reproductive behaviour of the grooved tanner crab (Chionnecetes tanneri) were also indicated. Temporal variations in biodiversity and abundance in megabenthic fauna was significantly influenced by variabilities in flow velocity flow direction (up or down canyon), dissolved oxygen concentration and month of study. Also reported here for the first time are transient mass aggregations of grooved tanner crabs through these depths of the canyon system, in early spring and likely linked to the crab’s reproductive cycle.

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<![CDATA[Morphometry of Concepcion Bank: Evidence of Geological and Biological Processes on a Large Volcanic Seamount of the Canary Islands Seamount Province]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9feab0ee8fa60b72f30

Concepcion Bank is the largest seamount in the Canary Islands Seamount Province (CISP), an oceanic area off NW Africa including 16 main seamounts, the Canaries archipelago and the Selvagens subarchipelago. The Bank is located 90 km northeast of Lanzarote Island and has been identified as a candidate Marine Protected Area (MPA) to be included in the Natura 2000 network. A compilation of complementary datasets consisting of multibeam bathymetry, TOPAS seismic reflection profiles, side scan sonar sonographs, Remotely Operated Vehicle video records and seafloor samples allowed describing in detail and ground truthing the submarine landforms and bioconstructions exhibited by the bank. The Concepcion Bank presently rises up to 2,433 m above the adjacent seafloor and exhibits two main domains: an extensive summit plateau and steep flanks. The sub-round summit plateau is 50km by 45 km and ranges from 158 to 1,485 m depth. The steep flanks that bound it descend to depths ranging between 1,700 and 2,500 m and define a seamount base that is 66km by 53 km. This morphology is the result of constructive and erosive processes involving different time scales, volumes of material and rates of change. The volcanic emplacement phase probably lasted 25–30 million years and was likely responsible for most of the 2,730 km3 of material that presently form the seamount. Subsequently, marine abrasion and, possibly, subaerial erosion modulated by global sea level oscillations, levelled the formerly emerging seamount summit plateau, in particular its shallower (<400 m), flatter (<0.5°) eastern half. Subsidence associated to the crustal cooling that followed the emplacement phase further contributed the current depth range of the seamount. The deeper and steeper (2.3°) western half of Concepcion Bank may result from tectonic tilting normal to a NNE-SSW fracture line. This fracture may still be expressed on the seafloor surface at some scarps detected on the seamount’s summit. Sediment waves and cold-water coral (CWC) mounds on the bank summit plateau are the youngest features contributing to its final shaping, and may be indicative of internal wave effects. Numerous submarine canyons generally less than 10 km in length are incised on the bank’s flanks. The most developed, hierarchized canyon system runs southwest of the bank, where it merges with other canyons coming from the southern bulges attached to some sections of the seamount flanks. These bulges are postulated as having an intrusive origin, as no major headwall landslide scars have been detected and their role as deposition areas for the submarine canyons seems to be minor. The results presented document how geological processes in the past and recent to subrecent oceanographic conditions and associated active processes determined the current physiography, morphology and sedimentary patterns of Concepcion Bank, including the development and decline of CWC mounds The setting of the seamount in the regional crustal structure is also discussed.

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<![CDATA[Habitat selection by two beluga whale populations in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbc15

There has been extensive sea ice loss in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas where two beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) populations occur between July-November. Our goal was to develop population-specific beluga habitat selection models that quantify relative use of sea ice and bathymetric features related to oceanographic processes, which can provide context to the importance of changing sea ice conditions. We established habitat selection models that incorporated daily sea ice measures (sea ice concentration, proximity to ice edge and dense ice) and bathymetric features (slope, depth, proximity to the continental slope, Barrow Canyon, and shore) to establish quantitative estimates of habitat use for the Eastern Chukchi Sea (‘Chukchi’) and Eastern Beaufort Sea (‘Beaufort’) populations. We applied ‘used v. available’ resource selection functions to locations of 65 whales tagged from 1993–2012, revealing large variations in seasonal habitat selection that were distinct between sex and population groups. Chukchi whales of both sexes were predicted to use areas in close proximity to Barrow Canyon (typically <200 km) as well as the continental slope in summer, although deeper water and denser ice were stronger predictors for males than females. Habitat selection differed more between sexes for Beaufort belugas. Beaufort males selected higher ice concentrations (≥40%) than females (0–40%) in July-August. Proximity to shore (<200 km) strongly predicted summer habitat of Beaufort females, while distance to the ice edge was important for male habitat selection, especially during westward migration in September. Overall, our results indicate that sea ice variables were rarely the primary drivers of beluga summer-fall habitat selection. While diminished sea ice may indirectly affect belugas through changes in the ecosystem, associations with bathymetric features that affect prey availability seemed key to habitat selection during summer and fall. These results provide a benchmark by which to assess future changes in beluga habitat use of the Pacific Arctic.

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