Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission

Pine Bush, NY, United States

Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission

Pine Bush, NY, United States
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Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | D'Amico F.,University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour | Samways M.J.,Stellenbosch University
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2012

1.A recent study comparing adult and exuvial odonate richness concluded that adult surveys overestimate the number of species reproducing successfully. The authors called this phenomenon the "dragonfly delusion" and recommended that only exuviae be used for biomonitoring and habitat quality assessment. However, they drew this conclusion from limited surveys and detection-naïve analysis and failed to acknowledge that exuvial richness is typically biased low. 2.Here, we quantify the exuvial bias using two related metrics: (i) species detectability from concurrent adult and exuvial surveys and (ii) estimated exuvial species richness at a site based on imperfect detectability and the regional pool (cumulative total across study sites) of exuvial species observed. 3.Using concurrent adult and exuvial data from lakes in south-west France, we found that detectability was generally lower in 1-h exuvial searches than in 20-min adult searches and that exuvial surveys may lead to strong negative bias in richness estimation. This suggests the alleged delusion of adult surveys was exaggerated. 4.Controlling for species detection probability is crucial in making unbiased inferences on how many odonate species occupy a site and, by extension, comparing adult and exuvial species richness. Exuviae sampling avoids positive bias, not bias in general, and requires either relatively intensive search effort, statistical accounting of false species absences, or acceptance of negatively biased richness. © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

Gifford N.A.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Deppen J.M.,Hudsonia Ltd. | Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2010

Shrubland birds have become one of the most conservation-reliant avian groups in the Northeastern United States. Their contemporary distribution is restricted to regenerating commercial forests, utility rights-of-way, and other types of managed early-successional habitat. This study explored whether a highly fragmented urban pine barrens can have conservation value for shrubland birds. Specifically, we estimated the amount of core early-successional habitat available to shrubland birds in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve (East-central New York State) and quantified bird-habitat associations from systematic point count surveys. This 1255 ha urban preserve contains approximately 150 ha of core early-successional habitat dominated by pitch pine and scrub oaks. Eighty-two species, including 24 shrubland birds, were observed in one breeding season. Many of these birds have shown regional population declines and six are species of greatest conservation need in New York. Two shrubland species previously extirpated were common across the preserve, and on average shrubland species were similarly abundant to non-shrubland species. Several shrubland species were strongly associated with the limited early-successional habitat, and the prairie warbler is recommended as the best potential avian indicator for monitoring ecosystem health and management effectiveness in this globally rare pine barrens. Twenty years of ecosystem restoration, including prescribed fire and invasive plant management, is buffering the effects of fire suppression, habitat loss, and fragmentation on shrubland birds in this landscape. When managed appropriately, urban shrublands can provide suitable breeding habitat and may aid in the regional conservation of early-successional shrubland birds. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Dillon A.M.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2012

1. Little is known about the diversity and land management response of native solitary bees in globally rare barrens restricted to the northeastern United States. Herein we assess solitary bee diversity in a scrub oak barrens 2years after a mow and herbicide treatment. 2. Standard bowl-trap and sweep-net surveys were repeated six times during June-August in four treated scrub oak patches and a nearby untreated scrub oak patch. 3. Bee richness and total abundance (all specimens) did not differ appreciably between the treated and untreated scrub oak. However, analysis of species composition and abundances while controlling for seasonality suggested a treatment effect. 4. Increased apparentness of nectar resources and sandy areas post-treatment may have favoured sand specialist and oligolectic bee species. 5. Although not a surrogate for fire, we expect mow and herbicide treatment to delay the return of closed-canopy thicket, lower the costs of prescribed fire maintenance, and allow bee communities' greater recovery time. © 2011 The Authors Insect Conservation and Diversity © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Jog S.K.,Northeastern State University | Matthews J.W.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2013

A common concern regarding the popular Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) method is whether the site floristic quality scores change with natural temporal and site-specific variability. The more ignored question is whether this background variability will confound the index of human disturbance. Using non-forested seasonal wetlands in the northeastern United States, we tested if two common indices of site floristic quality (FQAI, Mean CoC) provide clear signals of site condition relative to gradients of wetland area and surface water depth, and consistent signals across time of year (early vs. late growing season), geomorphic setting (connected vs. isolated), and vegetation community type (pine barrens vernal pond, wet sedge meadow, shrub swamp). Mean CoC is the coefficient of conservatism (a qualitative estimate of species' sensitivity to human disturbance) averaged across the native and exotic taxa observed at a given site, and FQAI is the traditional Floristic Quality Assessment Index where Mean CoC is multiplied by square root of taxa richness. The FQAI did not linearly correspond to the site condition gradient and thus it could not be evaluated. Mean CoC was clearly associated with site condition, with no interference from wetland area or water level (based on computer-intensive resampling of linear model fit). Mean CoC also varied consistently with site condition between the surveys, geomorphic settings, and community types (based on computer-intensive resampling of linear model slope). However, connected wetlands showed inherently greater Mean CoC than isolated wetlands, suggesting a comparison of floristic quality between these categories would not be prudent. Overall this study suggests that FQA in the form of Mean CoC may withstand natural variability in certain non-forested wetland systems. Instead of assuming FQA is overly sensitive to natural variability, we recommend further efforts to identify situations in which FQA is robust. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Bried J.T.,Oklahoma State University
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2013

Abundance is an important population state variable for monitoring restoration progress. Efficient sampling often proves difficult, however, when populations are sparse and patchily distributed, such as early after restoration planting. Adaptive cluster sampling (ACS) can help by concentrating search effort in high density areas, improving the encounter rate and the ability to detect a population change over time. To illustrate the problem, I determined conventional design sample sizes for estimating abundance of 12 natural populations and 24 recently planted populations (divided among two preserves) of Lupinus perennis L. (wild blue lupine). I then determined the variance efficiency of ACS relative to simple random sampling at fixed effort and cost for 10 additional planted populations in two habitats (field vs. shrubland). Conventional design sample sizes to estimate lupine stem density with 10% or 20% margins of error were many times greater than initial sample size and would require sampling at least 90% of the study area. Differences in effort requirements were negligible for the two preserves and natural versus planted populations. At fixed sample size, ACS equaled or outperformed simple random sampling in 40% of populations; this shifted to 50% after correcting for travel time among sample units. ACS appeared to be a better strategy for inter-seeded shrubland habitat than for planted field habitat. Restoration monitoring programs should consider adaptive sampling designs, especially when reliable abundance estimation under conventional designs proves elusive. © 2012 Society for Ecological Restoration.

Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Hecht J.A.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
Natural Areas Journal | Year: 2011

Clones of mature aspen (Populus grandidentata, P. tremuloides) can rapidly spread and become invasive in the absence of regular fire. Aspen trees resprout vigorously when top-killed by fire in globally rare inland pitch pine (Pinus rigida)/scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia, Q. prinoides) barrens; thus, complete aspen kill (all trees in a clone) is desirable before introducing fire into barrens. Manual girdling may achieve complete kill but the scale of invasion can easily exceed the capacity to girdle. We evaluated dormant-season herbicide treatments by measuring aspen diameters and kill rates in an urban pine barrens preserve in east-central New York State. Chainsaw frill and drill/fill applications of glyphosate clearly outperformed stem injection of glyphosate capsules and basal bark spraying of triclopyr. Chainsaw frill was 95% likely to kill aspen smaller than 18.3 cm diameter whereas drill/fill was 95% likely to kill aspen smaller than 23.6 cm diameter. A single-cut chainsaw frill approach was fastest and incurred the lowest chemical cost, but mortality was limited to smaller trees. Drill and fill was effective regardless of tree size and drill effort, and a 20-cm drill-hole interval may provide the most cost-effective complete kill of mature aspen clones in barrens historically dominated by pitch pine and scrub oak.

Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Mazzacano C.A.,The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2010

1. The overarching goal of United States wildlife action plans is to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered or declining to levels where recovery becomes unlikely. Effective plan implementation depends on establishing Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), defined as wildlife species with small or declining populations or other characteristics that make them vulnerable. 2. Although nearly two-thirds of distinct Odonata species known from the U.S. (441 species as of 2005) were appointed as SGCN, over half the states neglected to assign dragonfly SGCN, damselfly SGCN, or both. Western and southern states listed proportionately fewer odonate SGCN than states of the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions, apparently reflecting geographic patterns of legal authority, available information, and involvement by Odonata specialists. 3. Greater consultation of Odonata specialists is encouraged in any revision of state wildlife action plans, along with increased: (i) use of existing conservation lists, (ii) inferences from field guides and major faunal synopses, (iii) recognition of patterns of endemism, and (iv) application of empirical species distribution modelling. 4. Legal and management restrictions aside, insects and other invertebrates are often neglected in mainstream conservation efforts because they are perceived as understudied. It is erroneous to assume 'not enough information' exists for well-studied microfauna such as Odonata and doing so further undermines the conservation of less conspicuous and charismatic taxa. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society.

Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Pellet J.,A. Maibach Sarl
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2012

Occupancy has several important advantages over abundance methods and may be the best choice for monitoring sparse populations. Here we use simulations to evaluate competing designs (number of sites vs. number of surveys) for occupancy monitoring, with emphasis on sparse populations of the endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis Nabokov). Because conservation planning is usually abundance-based, we also ask whether detection/non-detection data may reliably convert to abundance, hypothesizing that occupancy provides a more dependable shortcut when populations are sparse. Count-index and distance sampling were conducted across 50 habitat patches containing variably sparse Karner blue populations. We used occupancy-detection model estimates as simulation inputs to evaluate primary replication tradeoffs, and used peak counts and population densities to evaluate the occupancy-abundance relationship. Detection probability and therefore optimal design of occupancy monitoring was strongly temperature dependent. Assuming a quality threshold of 0. 075 root-mean square error for the occupancy estimator, the minimum allowable effort was 360 (40 sites × 9 surveys) for spring generation and 200 (20 sites × 10 surveys) for summer generation. A mixture model abundance estimator for repeated detection/non-detection data was biased low for high-density and low-density populations, suggesting that occupancy may not provide a reliable shortcut in abundance-based conservation planning for sparse butterfly populations. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Bried J.T.,Oklahoma State University | Patterson W.A.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Gifford N.A.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2014

Pine barrens include an assortment of pyrogenic plant communities occurring on glacial outwash or rocky outcrops scattered along the Atlantic coastal plain from New Jersey to Maine, and inward across New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and the northern Great Lakes region. At least historically, pine barrens provided some of the highest quality terrestrial shrublands and young forests in the eastern North American sub-boreal and northern temperate region. However, the mosaic open-canopy, sparse-shrub, and grassland early successional state is generally lacking in contemporary pine barrens. Many sites in the northeastern United States have converted to overgrown scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia, Quercus prinoides) thickets and closed canopied pitch pine (Pinus rigida)-dominated forests. Thinning pitch pine is a contentious issue for the imperiled pitch pine-scrub oak barrens community type (G2 Global Rarity Rank, 6-20 occurrences). Here we provide a historical, ecological, and resource management rationale for thinning pitch pine forest to restore savanna-like open barrens with a mosaic of scrub oaks, heath shrubs, and prairie-like vegetation. We postulate that the contemporary dominance of pitch pine forest is largely of recent anthropogenic origin, limits habitat opportunities for at-risk shrubland fauna, and poses a serious wildfire hazard. We suggest maintaining pitch pine-scrub oak barrens at 10-30% average pitch pine cover to simultaneously promote shrubland biodiversity and minimize fire danger. © 2014 Society for Ecological Restoration.

Bried J.T.,Mississippi State University | Bried J.T.,Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission | Ervin G.N.,Mississippi State University
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2011

The quasi-experimental approach of before-after control-impact (BACI) sampling can help decide when changes are due to human activities rather than natural variability. Detailed arguments for and against BACI designs and analytic methods are widespread in the literature, but far less attention has been paid to the mechanics of analyzing a BACI experiment. This paper demonstrates randomized intervention analysis with user-friendly software, where observations are paired in time before and after intervention. We provide examples using dragonfly count data in vegetation removal experiments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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