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Columbus, OH, United States

Loughman Z.J.,West Liberty University | Fagundo R.A.,West Liberty University | Lau E.,U.S. Geological Survey | Welsh S.A.,West Liberty University | Thoma R.F.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute

Cambarus (Cambarus) hatfieldi is a stream-dwelling crayfish that appears to be endemic to the Tug Fork River system of West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky. Within this region, it is prevalent in all major tributaries in the basin as well as the Tug Fork River's mainstem. The new species is morphologically most similar to Cambarus sciotensis and Cambarus angularis. It can be differentiated from C. sciotensis by its squamous, subtrinagular chelae compared to the elongate triangular chelae of C. sciotensis; its shorter palm length/palm depth ratio (1.9) compared to C. sciotensis (2.3); and a smaller areola length/total carapace length ratio (30.4% vs.36.5% respectively). Cambarus hatfieldi can be differentiated from C. angularis by its smaller areola length/total carapace length ratio (30.4% vs. 36.7% respectively); a smaller rostrum width/ rostral length ratio (59.4% vs. 67.2% respectively); its rounded abdominal pleura as compared to the subtruncated pleura of C. angularis; the length of the central projection and mesial process of C. hatfieldi which both extend to the margin of the gonopod shaft or slightly beyond the margin compared to the central projection of C. sciotensis and C. angularis where both extend well beyond the margin of the gonopod shaft. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Stapanian M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | MacK J.,Cleveland Metroparks | Adams J.V.,U.S. Geological Survey | Gara B.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Micacchion M.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute
Ecological Indicators

Indices of biological integrity of wetlands based on vascular plants (VIBIs) have been developed in many areas in the USA. Knowledge of the best predictors of VIBIs would enable management agencies to make better decisions regarding mitigation site selection and performance monitoring criteria. We use a novel statistical technique to develop predictive models for an established index of wetland vegetation integrity (Ohio VIBI), using as independent variables 20 indices and metrics of habitat quality, wetland disturbance, and buffer area land use from 149 wetlands in Ohio, USA. For emergent and forest wetlands, predictive models explained 61% and 54% of the variability, respectively, in Ohio VIBI scores. In both cases the most important predictor of Ohio VIBI score was a metric that assessed habitat alteration and development in the wetland. Of secondary importance as a predictor was a metric that assessed microtopography, interspersion, and quality of vegetation communities in the wetland. Metrics and indices assessing disturbance and land use of the buffer area were generally poor predictors of Ohio VIBI scores. Our results suggest that vegetation integrity of emergent and forest wetlands could be most directly enhanced by minimizing substrate and habitat disturbance within the wetland. Such efforts could include reducing or eliminating any practices that disturb the soil profile, such as nutrient enrichment from adjacent farm land, mowing, grazing, or cutting or removing woody plants. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Loughman Z.J.,West Liberty University | Thoma R.F.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute | Fetzner J.W.,Jr. | Stocker G.W.,Denison University

Cambarus (Jugicambarus) dubius Faxon, 1884 is a polychromatic montane burrowing crayfish with a long, turbulent taxonomic history since its original description by Walter Faxon in 1884. Over the years, many distinct color phases have been identified, with the majority of these being confined to a specific geographic or physiographic region in the central and southern Appalachians. Previous investigations of this species (e.g., Dewees 1972) were unable to discover consistent morphological differences among the various groups, and thus were unable to clarify what has long been considered a species complex. Due to lingering taxonomic issues, we herein re-describe, delimit and restrict the concept of C. dubius. We also describe a new species, Cambarus (Jugicambarus) pauleyi, from the same complex, which can be identified through the use of geographic distribution, coloration, and distinct morphological characters. Cambarus dubius sensu stricto, as defined here, is restricted to the "typical form" which has an overall orang-ish color pattern on the dorsal and lateral sides, with cream ventrally. The distribution of C. dubius s.s. is limited to the central and northern portions of the Allegheny Mountains and high elevations of the Appalachian Plateau in central West Virginia, western Maryland, and southcentral Pennsylvania. In contrast, C. pauleyi is endemic to high elevation wetlands (>700 m) in the Meadow and Greenbrier River basins in Greenbrier and Monroe counties, West Virginia. Cambarus pauleyi can be differentiated from C. dubius s.s. by 1) its blue dorsal coloration compared to the orange coloration of C. dubius s.s., 2) its large (palm depth/(palm length) ratio, and 3) its smaller (rostral width)/(rostral length) ratio. Cambarus pauleyi can be separated from other peripatric populations of C. dubius sensu lato that occur in the Meadow and Greenbrier River drainage by its 1) blue coloration compared to the orange and black coloration of the latter, 2) the smaller (palm depth)/(palm length) ratio in C. pauleyi, and 3) the deeply excavated rostrum of C. dubius compared to the moderately excavated rostrum of C. pauleyi. Cambarus pauleyi can be easily differentiated from both taxa by the presence of two subpalmer tubercles. Both C. dubius s.s and peripatric C. dubius lack subpalmer tubercles. Cambarus pauleyi has an extremely narrow geographic distribution and has possibly experienced a significant range reduction due to the conversion of wetlands into pastures, and should be considered "Endangered" according to American Fisheries Society listing criteria (Taylor et al. 2007). Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press. Source

Stapanian M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Micacchion M.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute | Adams J.V.,U.S. Geological Survey
Ecological Indicators

Regression and classification trees were used to identify the best predictors of the five component metrics of the Ohio Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity (AmphIBI) in 54 wetlands in Ohio, USA. Of the 17 wetland- and surrounding landscape-scale variables considered, the best predictor for all AmphIBI metrics was habitat alteration and development within the wetland. The results were qualitatively similar to the best predictors for a wetland vegetation index of biotic integrity, suggesting that similar management practices (e.g., reducing or eliminating nutrient enrichment from agriculture, mowing, grazing, logging, and removing down woody debris) within the boundaries of the wetland can be applied to effectively increase the quality of wetland vegetation and amphibian communities. Source

Stapanian M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Adams J.V.,U.S. Geological Survey | Fennessy M.S.,Kenyon College | Mack J.,Cleveland Metroparks | Micacchion M.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute

A persistent question among ecologists and environmental managers is whether constructed wetlands are structurally or functionally equivalent to naturally occurring wetlands. We examined 19 variables collected from 10 constructed and nine natural emergent wetlands in Ohio, USA. Our primary objective was to identify candidate indicators of wetland class (natural or constructed), based on measurements of soil properties and an index of vegetation integrity, that can be used to track the progress of constructed wetlands toward a natural state. The method of nearest shrunken centroids was used to find a subset of variables that would serve as the best classifiers of wetland class, and error rate was calculated using a five-fold cross-validation procedure. The shrunken differences of percent total organic carbon (% TOC) and percent dry weight of the soil exhibited the greatest distances from the overall centroid. Classification based on these two variables yielded a misclassification rate of 11 % based on cross-validation. Our results indicate that % TOC and percent dry weight can be used as candidate indicators of the status of emergent, constructed wetlands in Ohio and for assessing the performance of mitigation. The method of nearest shrunken centroids has excellent potential for further applications in ecology. © 2013 US Government. Source

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