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Denton J.C.,Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Roy C.L.,Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Roy C.L.,Wetland Wildlife Population and Research Group | Soulliere G.J.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Potter B.A.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management | Year: 2012

During the past century, clear-cut hardwood forests of the north central United States have regenerated, and trees have matured into size classes increasingly capable of producing cavities suitable for nesting ducks. We determined the density of natural cavities suitable for cavity-nesting ducks, compared suitable cavity-tree distribution by size class and species, and assessed how forest maturation impacted suitable cavity density and distribution over time at four sites in the north central United States. During 2006-2008, cavities suitable for nesting ducks occurred at densities of 1.76, 1.40, 1.84, and 0.92/ha at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Missouri, Shiawassee NWR in Michigan, Muscatatuck NWR in Indiana, and a study site including Mead State Wildlife Area in Wisconsin, respectively. Suitable nest-cavity densities increased at Mingo NWR (+300%) since 1965 and Shiawassee NWR (+900%) since 1973, but they remained similar at study sites examined during the mid-1980s (Muscatatuck NWR and Mead Wildlife Area) when previous site-specific cavity-suitability criteria were applied to our cavity data. Differences among sites were due to variation in tree species composition, stage of forest maturation, and potentially forest harvest regimes. Comparison of size distributions of all trees and those with suitable nest cavities indicated these forests have yet to mature into the most prolific cavity-producing size classes. Our findings suggest nest sites are not limiting duck populations at these four sites and hardwood forests with similar composition and structure. Rather than using the traditional practice of supplementing duck nest sites, wildlife managers in the North Central region should assess actual limiting factors before developing habitat management prescriptions for local cavity-nesting duck populations. Source


Kissoon L.T.T.,North Dakota State University | Jacob D.L.,North Dakota State University | Hanson M.A.,Wetland Wildlife Population and Research Group | Herwig B.R.,Wetland Wildlife Population and Research Group | And 2 more authors.
Aquatic Botany | Year: 2013

We examined macrophyte-environment relationships in shallow lakes located within the Prairie Parkland and Laurentian Mixed Forest provinces of Minnesota. Environmental variables included land cover within lake watersheds, and within-lake, water and sediment characteristics. CCA indicated that sediment fraction smaller than 63. μm (f<. 63), open water area, turbidity, and percent woodland and agricultural cover in watersheds were significant environmental variables explaining 36.6% of variation in macrophyte cover. When Province was added to the analysis as a spatial covariate, these environmental variables explained 30.8% of the variation in macrophyte cover. CCA also indicated that pH, f<. 63, percent woodland cover in watersheds, open water area, emergent vegetation area, and organic matter content were significant environmental variables explaining 43.5% of the variation in macrophyte biomass. When Province was added to the analysis as a spatial covariate, these environmental variables explained 39.1% of the variation in macrophyte biomass. The f<. 63 was the most important environmental variable explaining variation for both measures of macrophyte abundance (cover and biomass) when Province was added as a spatial covariate to the models. Percent woodland in watersheds, turbidity, open water area, and Ca. +. Mg explained 34.5% of the variation in macrophyte community composition. Most species showed a negative relationship with turbidity and open water area except for Potamogeton richardsonii, Stuckenia pectinata, and filamentous algae. Our study further demonstrates the extent to which macrophyte abundance and community composition are related to site- and watershed-scale variables including lake morphology, water and sediment characteristics, and percent land cover of adjacent uplands. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Kissoon L.T.T.,North Dakota State University | Jacob D.L.,North Dakota State University | Hanson M.A.,Wetland Wildlife Population and Research Group | Herwig B.R.,Wetland Wildlife Population and Research Group | And 2 more authors.
Wetlands | Year: 2015

We measured concentrations of multiple elements, including rare earth elements, in waters and sediments of 38 shallow lakes of varying turbidity and macrophyte cover in the Prairie Parkland (PP) and Laurentian Mixed Forest (LMF) provinces of Minnesota. PP shallow lakes had higher element concentrations in waters and sediments compared to LMF sites. Redundancy analysis indicated that a combination of site- and watershed-scale features explained a large proportion of among-lake variability in element concentrations in lake water and sediments. Percent woodland cover in watersheds, turbidity, open water area, and macrophyte cover collectively explained 65.2 % of variation in element concentrations in lake waters. Sediment fraction smaller than 63 μm, percent woodland in watersheds, open water area, and sediment organic matter collectively explained 64.2 % of variation in element concentrations in lake sediments. In contrast to earlier work on shallow lakes, our results showed the extent to which multiple elements in shallow lake waters and sediments were influenced by a combination of variables including sediment characteristics, lake morphology, and percent land cover in watersheds. These results are informative because they help illustrate the extent of functional connectivity between shallow lakes and adjacent lands within these lake watersheds. © 2015, Society of Wetland Scientists. Source

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