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Wednesday, April 11 • 10:45am - 11:00am
RARITY, BIODIVERSITY AND SPECIES DISTRIBUTION: Human-induced Rapid Environmental Change and Spatial Mismatches in Species Distribution

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AUTHORS: Erica F. Stuber*, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Joseph J. Fontaine, U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

ABSTRACT: Environmental change is an ongoing global stressor that impacts the distribution and abundance of species. Cohesive shifts in distribution through habitat matching reveal the scope of such landscape-level change. Spatial mismatches may occur when environmental change outpaces the ability of populations to adjust, for example through dispersal. From 2012-2014 agricultural commodities prices and land values in Nebraska rose dramatically, resulting in rapid and expansive land-use conversion. Using two classified remote-sensing derived landuse products from 2011, before conversion, and 2016, after conversion, we document this land use change over time. We use hierarchical abundance models to estimate species-habitat relationships in a relatively dispersal-limited species, the ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), across the state of Nebraska during time periods coinciding with landcover products. Prior to landcover conversion into agriculture we find strong relationships between pheasant counts and the amount of various important habitat-types in the surrounding matrix. However, after rapid landuse conversion these relationships dissolve, and we can no longer predict pheasant abundance using previously identified habitat relationships. These results highlight the importance of considering temporal dynamics in species-habitat relationships, particularly when developing species distribution models, and the potential consequences of human-induced rapid environmental change on future evolution and species persistence.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 10:45am - 11:00am CDT
LaSalle 2 (7th Floor)