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Bryans Road, MD, United States

Frye C.T.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Tessel S.M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Castanea | Year: 2012

Harperella (Ptilimnium nodosum) is a federally endangered plant species with a large population along Sideling Hill Creek, Allegany and Washington Counties, Maryland. Monitoring of this species is difficult owing to the unpredictable flood events that change the distribution and composition of stream substrates of its rocky shoal habitat. We characterized substrate types in 80 quadrats using two methods of nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS and MDS). We employed multiple-response permutation procedure (MRPP) to examine differences in substrate composition between habitats occupied (N = 52) and unoccupied (N = 28) by Harperella. The NMS and MDS ordinations show that Harperella cover and amount of fine sediments are positively associated. Harperella occupies specific microhabitat with high cover of fine sediments, often held in crevices of exposed bedrock. The MRPP results demonstrated that substrate composition in occupied versus unoccupied habitats differ significantly. This difference is chiefly attributable to cover of fine sediments in occupied habitats and cobble, gravel, and sand in unoccupied habitats. We conclude that the local distribution and abundance of Harperella patches in Sideling Hill Creek is constrained by the abundance of appropriate substrate microhabitat in any given year and recommend that annual census be modified to focus on large persistent patches. © 2012 Southern Appalachian Botanical Society.

Smith W.B.,Salisbury University | Frye C.T.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Veliz E.,Salisbury University | Hiebler S.,Salisbury University | And 2 more authors.
Northeastern Naturalist | Year: 2015

Riparian landscapes are dynamic systems and exhibit considerable spatio-temporal variation in stream flow and physical composition of stream substrates that provide habitats for many species. We investigated genetic diversity and population genetic structure of Harperella nodosa (Harperalla; Apiaceae), a federally endangered semi-aquatic plant. We employed a unique study design that involved sampling at regional, stream, and fine scales in 3 riverine systems in Maryland and West Virginia. Using intersimple sequence repeats (ISSRs), we found high levels of genetic diversity at all scales and pronounced fine-scale genetic structure. Pairwise correlation between geographic and genetic distance was scale-dependent. This study illustrates that temporal monitoring and multiple-scale plans are essential for conservation management programs for Harperella.

Hindman L.J.,Wildlife and Heritage Service
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2015

Egg carrying by female ducks has been reported for several species around the world. The first record of a male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) carrying an egg herein is reported. This is only the second documented account of a male of any waterfowl species carrying an egg or eggshell. © 2015 The Wilson Ornithological Society.

Research of the morphologic variation within Juncus (Juncaceae) sect. Ozophyllum has revealed the need for a new combination, Juncus fascinatus. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses show that J. fascinatus is morphologically distinct from J. validus. Juncus fascinatus is described, illustrated, and compared to the superficially similar species J. paludosus, J. polycephalos, and J. validus. Juncus fascinatus is endemic to 25 counties in north-central and southeastern Texas whereas J. validus is more widespread and weedy. Juncus fascinatus is distinguished from J. validus by a united capsule apex at dehiscence, capsule length, inner and outer tepal length, length by which the capsule exceeds the tepals, and inflorescence length and width. Juncus validus is ecologically distinct from J. fascinatus and has shown a rapid range expansion throughout the southeastern United States and into the Mid-atlantic. Juncus validus is most likely non-native west of the Mississippi River. The morphologically similar J. paludosus is reported from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and South Carolina for the first time. Juncus polycephalos is reported from Kansas. © 2014 Magnolia Press.

Bronson E.,Maryland Zoo in Baltimore | Spiker H.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Driscoll C.P.,Cooperative Oxford Laboratory
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2014

American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA, live in forested areas in close proximity to humans and their domestic pets. From 1999 to 2011, we collected 84 serum samples from 63 black bears (18 males; 45 females) in five Maryland counties and tested them for exposure to infectious, including zoonotic, pathogens. A large portion of the bears had antibody to canine distemper virus and Toxoplasma gondii, many at high titers. Prevalences of antibodies to zoonotic agents such as rabies virus and to infectious agents of carnivores including canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus were lower. Bears also had antibodies to vector-borne pathogens common to bears and humans such as West Nile virus, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Antibodies were detected to Leptospira interrogans serovars Pomona, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, and Bratislava. We did not detect antibodies to Brucella canis or Ehrlichia canis. Although this population of Maryland black bears demonstrated exposure to multiple pathogens of concern for humans and domesticated animals, the low levels of clinical disease in this and other free-ranging black bear populations indicate the black bear is likely a spillover host for the majority of pathogens studied. Nevertheless, bear populations living at the human–domestic-wildlife interface with increasing human and domestic animal exposure should continue to be monitored because this population likely serves as a useful sentinel of ecosystem health. © Wildlife Disease Association 2014.

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