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Morristown, TN, United States

Jones J.W.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Neves R.J.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Ahlstedt S.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Hubbs D.,Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency | And 3 more authors.
American Midland Naturalist | Year: 2010

The life history and population demography of the endangered birdwing pearlymussel (Lemiox rimosus) were studied in the Clinch and Duck rivers, Tennessee. Reproducing populations of L. rimosus now occur only in the Clinch, Duck and Powell rivers, as the species is considered extirpated from the remaining portions of its range in the Tennessee River drainage. Females are long-term winter brooders, typically gravid from Oct. to May. Glochidia are contained in the outer gills and are released in association with a mantle-lure that resembles a small freshwater snail. Estimated fecundity, based on 8 gravid females collected from the Clinch and Duck rivers, ranged from 4132 to 58,700 glochidia/mussel. Seven fish species were tested for suitability as hosts for glochidia, and five darter species were confirmed through induced infestations: Etheostoma blennioides, E. camurum, E. rufilineatum, E. simoterum and E. zonale. Ages of L. rimosus shells were determined by thin-sectioning and ranged from 3 to 15 y in both rivers. Shell growth was higher and maximum size greater in males than females in both rivers. Shell growth was greatest in the Duck River. Densities of L. rimosus in the Clinch River were maintained at seemingly stable but low levels ranging from 0.07 to 0.27 m-2 from 20042007, and in the Duck River at similar but higher levels ranging from 0.6 to 1.0 m -2 from 20042006. In the latter river, abundance has increased since 1988, likely due to improved minimum flows and dissolved oxygen levels in water releases from a reservoir upstream. © 2010, American Midland Naturalist. Source

Twedt D.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Somershoe S.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Somershoe S.G.,Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency | Hazler K.R.,University of Georgia | Cooper R.J.,University of Georgia
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

Forest restoration has been undertaken on >200,000 ha of agricultural land in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, USA, during the past few decades. Decisions on where and how to restore bottomland forests are complex and dependent upon landowner objectives, but for conservation of silvicolous (forest-dwelling) birds, ecologists have espoused restoration through planting a diverse mix of densely spaced seedlings that includes fast-growing species. Application of this planting strategy on agricultural tracts that are adjacent to extant forest or within landscapes that are predominately forested has been advocated to increase forest area and enhance forested landscapes, thereby benefiting area-sensitive, silvicolous birds. We measured support for these hypothesized benefits through assessments of densities of breeding birds and reproductive success of 9 species on 36 bottomland forest restoration sites. Densities of thamnic (shrubscrub dwelling) and silvicolous birds, such as yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens), indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea), and white-eyed vireo (Vireo griseus) were positively associated with 1) taller trees, 2) greater stem densities, and 3) a greater proportion of forest within the landscape, whereas densities of birds associated with grasslands, such as dickcissel (Spiza americana) and red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), were negatively associated with these variables. Vegetation structure, habitat edge, and temporal effects had greater influence on nest success than did landscape effects. Taller trees, increased density of woody stems, greater vegetation density, and more forest within the landscape were often associated with greater nest success. Nest success of grassland birds was positively related to distance from forest edge but, for thamnic birds, success was greater near edges. Moreover, nest success and estimated fecundity of thamnic species suggested their populations are self-sustaining on forest restoration sites, whereas these sites are likely population sinks for grassland and open-woodland species. We recommend restoration strategies that promote rapid development of dense forest stands within largely forested landscapes to recruit breeding populations of thamnic and silvicolous birds that have reproductive success sufficient to sustain their populations. © The Wildlife Society. Source

Bettoli P.W.,U.S. Geological Survey | Scholten G.D.,Wallace State Office Building | Hubbs D.W.,Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2010

We developed an anchoring system for submersible ultrasonic receivers (SURs) that we placed on the bottom of the riverine reaches of three main-stem reservoirs in the upper Tennessee River. Each anchor consisted of a steel tube (8.9 × 35.6 cm) welded vertically to a round plate of steel (5.1×40.6 cm). All seven SURs and their 57-kg anchors were successfully deployed and retrieved three times over 547 d by a dive team employing surface air-breathing equipment and a davitequipped boat. All of the anchors and their SURs remained stationary over two consecutive winters on the hard-bottom, thalweg sites where they were deployed. The SUR and its anchor at the most downriver site experienced flows that exceeded 2,100 m3/s and mean water column velocities of about 0.9 m3/s. © by the American Fisheries Society 2010. Source

Murphy S.M.,University of Kentucky | Cox J.J.,University of Kentucky | Clark J.D.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Augustine B.C.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2015

Animal reintroductions are important tools of wildlife management to restore species to their historical range, and they can also create unique opportunities to study population dynamics and genetics from founder events. We used non-invasive hair sampling in a systematic, closed-population capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study design at the Big South Fork (BSF) area in Kentucky during 2010 and Tennessee during 2012 to estimate the demographic and genetic characteristics of the black bear (Ursus americanus) population that resulted from a reintroduced founding population of 18 bears in 1998. We estimated 38 (95% CI: 31-66) and 190 (95% CI: 170-219) bears on the Kentucky and Tennessee study areas, respectively. Based on the Tennessee abundance estimate alone, the mean annual growth rate was 18.3% (95% CI: 17.4-19.5%) from 1998 to 2012. We also compared the genetic characteristics of bears sampled during 2010-2012 to bears in the population during 2000-2002, 2-4 years following reintroduction, and to the source population. We found that the level of genetic diversity since reintroduction as indicated by expected heterozygosity (HE) remained relatively constant (HE(source, 2004) = 0.763, HE(BSF, 2000-2002) = 0.729, HE(BSF, 2010-2012) = 0.712) and the effective number of breeders (NB) remained low but had increased since reintroduction in the absence of sufficient immigration (NB(BSF, 2000-2002) = 12, NB(BSF, 2010-2012) = 35). This bear population appears to be genetically isolated, but contrary to our expectations, we did not find evidence of genetic diversity loss or other deleterious genetic effects typically observed from small founder groups. We attribute that to high initial genetic diversity in the founder group combined with overlapping generations and rapid population growth. Although the population remains relatively small, the reintroduction using a small founder group appears to be demographically and genetically sustainable. © 2015 The Wildlife Society. Source

Habera J.W.,Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency | Kulp M.A.,Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Moore S.E.,Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Henry T.B.,University of Plymouth | Henry T.B.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2010

We evaluated three-pass depletion sampling for both AC and pulsed-DC electrofishing for estimating the population size of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss in a representative low-conductivity (20-μS/cm) southern Appalachian stream with limited habitat complexity. Trout capture efficiencies in such streams could be expected to exceed those observed in streams in which habitat is more complex; thus, depletion estimates could be much more accurate in the former. We also compared the results for two trout length-groups to investigate size-related differences. Measured capture efficiency was 0.88 ± 0.04 (95% confidence interval) for trout greater than 100 mm (typically adults) and 0.65 ± 0.09 for trout less than 100 mm (age 0). Population size was underestimated in each depletion sample. The errors for trout over 100 mm were generally small (mean, 12%; range, 3-23%), and the upper 95% confidence limits were usually within 10% of the true population size (N). Underestimates of N were larger for trout under 100 mm (mean, 32%; range, 5-60%), although the upper 95% confidence limits were within 20% of the N for half of the samples. The results of a laboratory study confirmed that trout over 100 mm were immobilized at significantly lower voltage gradients than were smaller trout in both electric fields. We conclude that three-pass depletion sampling is relatively accurate in typical southern Appalachian trout streams and that the underestimation errors for rainbow trout larger than 100 mm would be acceptable given basic inventory and monitoring goals. © American Fisheries Society 2010. Source

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