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Faaborq J.,University of Missouri | Holmes R.T.,Dartmouth College | Anders A.D.,Clancy Environmental Consultants | Bildstein K.L.,Acopian Center for Conservation Learning | And 17 more authors.
Ecological Monographs | Year: 2010

Our understanding of migratory birds' year-round ecology and evolution remains patchy despite recent fundamental advances. Periodic reviews focus future research and inform conservation and management; here, we take advantage of our combined experiences working on Western Hemisphere avian migration systems to highlight recent lessons and critical gaps in knowledge. Among topics discussed are: (1) The pipeline from pure to applied researchers leaves room for improvement. (2) Population limitation and regulation includes both seasonal and between-season interactions. (3) The study of movements of small-bodied species remains a major research frontier. (4) We must increase our understanding of population connectivity. (5) With few exceptions, population regulation has barely been investigated. (6) We have increasingly integrated landscape configuration of habitats, large-scale habitat disturbances, and habitat quality impacts into models of seasonal and overall demographic success. (7) The post-breeding season (late summer for latitudinal migrants) is increasingly appreciated for its impacts on demography. (8) We recognize the diverse ways that avian brood parasites, nest predators, and food availability affect demography. (9) Source-sink and meta-population models help us understand migratory avian distributions among fragmented habitats. (10) Advances in modeling have improved estimates of annual survival and fecundity, but for few species. (11) Populations can be limited by ecological conditions in winter, but habitat needs are poorly known for most species at this time. (12) Migration tends to occupy broad spatial fronts that may change seasonally or when migrants cross major barriers. (13) En route conditions can limit migrant populations; linking migration habitat quality indicators to fitness or population consequences presents a major challenge. (14) A variety of intra-tropical Neotropical migration patterns are recognizable, but almost nothing is known about these systems beyond descriptions of a few typical species' movements. (15) Global climate change scenarios predict range and phenology shifts of Neotropical migrant bird populations that must be considered in conservation plans. Future studies will depend on new technologies and the integration of modeling with sophisticated, large-spatial-scale measurement and parameter estimation; whether the pace of research and management involving migratory birds can match the growth of environmental threats remains to be seen. © 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.


Faaborg J.,University of Missouri | Holmes R.T.,Dartmouth College | Anders A.D.,Clancy Environmental Consultants | Bildstein K.L.,Acopian Center for Conservation Learning | And 17 more authors.
Ecological Applications | Year: 2010

Migratory bird needs must be met during four phases of the year: breeding season, fall migration, wintering, and spring migration; thus, management may be needed during all four phases. The bulk of research and management has focused on the breeding season, although several issues remain unsettled, including the spatial extent of habitat influences on fitness and the importance of habitat on the breeding grounds used after breeding. Although detailed investigations have shed light on the ecology and population dynamics of a few avian species, knowledge is sketchy for most species. Replication of comprehensive studies is needed for multiple species across a range of areas. Information deficiencies are even greater during the wintering season, when birds require sites that provide security and food resources needed for survival and developing nutrient reserves for spring migration and, possibly, reproduction. Research is needed on many species simply to identify geographic distributions, wintering sites, habitat use, and basic ecology. Studies are complicated, however, by the mobility of birds and by sexual segregation during winter. Stable-isotope methodology has offered an opportunity to identify linkages between breeding and wintering sites, which facilitates understanding the complete annual cycle of birds. The twice-annual migrations are the poorest-understood events in a bird's life. Migration has always been a risky undertaking, with such anthropogenic features as tall buildings, towers, and wind generators adding to the risk, Species such as woodland specialists migrating through eastern North America have numerous options for pausing during migration to replenish nutrients, but some species depend on limited stopover locations. Research needs for migration include identifying pathways and timetables of migration, quality and distribution of habitats, threats posed by towers and other tall structures, and any bottlenecks for migration. Issues such as human population growth, acid deposition, climate change, and exotic diseases are global concerns with uncertain consequences to migratory birds and even lesscertain remedies. Despite enormous gaps in our understanding of these birds, research, much of it occurring in the past 30 years, has provided sufficient information to make intelligent conservation efforts but needs to expand to handle future challenges. © 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.


Soller J.A.,Soller Environmental LLC | Bartrand T.,Clancy Environmental Consultants | Ashbolt N.J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Ravenscroft J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Wade T.J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Water Research | Year: 2010

Epidemiology studies of recreational waters have demonstrated that swimmers exposed to faecally-contaminated recreational waters are at risk of excess gastrointestinal illness. Epidemiology studies provide valuable information on the nature and extent of health effects, the magnitude of risks, and how these risks are modified or associated with levels of faecal contamination and other measures of pollution. However, such studies have not provided information about the specific microbial agents that are responsible for the observed illnesses in swimmers. The objective of this work was to understand more fully the reported epidemiologic results from studies conducted on the Great Lakes in the US during 2003 and 2004 by identifying pathogens that could have caused the observed illnesses in those studies. We used a Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) approach to estimate the likelihood of pathogen-induced adverse health effects. The reference pathogens used for this analysis were Norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia lamblia, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella enterica, and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Two QMRA-based approaches were used to estimate the pathogen combinations that would be consistent with observed illness rates: in the first, swimming-associated gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses were assumed to occur in the same proportion as known illnesses in the US due to all non-foodborne sources, and in the second, pathogens were assumed to occur in the recreational waters in the same proportion as they occur in disinfected secondary effluent. The results indicate that human enteric viruses and in particular, Norovirus could have caused the vast majority of the observed swimming-associated GI illnesses during the 2003/2004 water epidemiology studies. Evaluation of the time-to-onset of illness strongly supports the principal finding and sensitivity analyses support the overall trends of the analyses even given their substantial uncertainties. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Soller J.A.,Soller Environmental LLC | Schoen M.E.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Bartrand T.,Clancy Environmental Consultants | Ravenscroft J.E.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Ashbolt N.J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Water Research | Year: 2010

This work was conducted to determine whether estimated risks following exposure to recreational waters impacted by gull, chicken, pig, or cattle faecal contamination are substantially different than those associated with waters impacted by human sources such as treated wastewater. Previously published Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) methods were employed and extended to meet these objectives. Health outcomes used in the analyses were infection from reference waterborne pathogens via ingestion during recreation and subsequent gastrointestinal (GI) illness. Illness risks from these pathogens were calculated for exposure to faecally contaminated recreational water at the U.S. regulatory limits of 35 cfu 100 mL-1 enterococci and 126 cfu 100 mL-1 Escherichia coli. The probabilities of GI illness were calculated using pathogen dose-response relationships from the literature and Monte Carlo simulations. Three scenarios were simulated, representing a range of feasible interpretations of the available data. The primary findings are that: 1) GI illness risks associated with exposure to recreational waters impacted by fresh cattle faeces may not be substantially different from waters impacted by human sources; and 2) the risks associated with exposure to recreational waters impacted by fresh gull, chicken, or pig faeces appear substantially lower than waters impacted by human sources. These results suggest that careful consideration may be needed in the future for the management of recreational waters not impacted by human sources. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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