If you build it, they will come is a cliche, to say the least. In the context of parks, recreation trails, and conservation of biodiversity, Marty Pfeiffer offers a new twist on the old cliche: If they come, can you still conserve biodiversity?
Biodiversity is threatened, and conservation is urgent. The reality of limited resources for conservation requires prioritization among actions, species, and places, and the building of capacity in countries where threats are high.
Institutional change and logging in post-Soviet Russia
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, privatization of timber firms was expected to provide an efficient mechanism for the management of forest resources in Russia. Kelly Wendland analyzes how economic factors have impacted harvesting since transition and explores whether weak governance effected investment decisions in European Russia.
Bird habitat and land use
Trends in land use, and in turn wildlife habitat loss, are closely interlinked with economics. Predicting forest bird diversity under different simulated land use scenarios, including both ecological and economic parameters, improves our understanding of the effects and drivers of habitat loss.
Texture, phenology and bird species
Vegetation structure is an important habitat attribute characterizing bird habitat. Measuring vegetation structure in the field is time consuming and thus inefficient across large scales. Eric Wood is exploring whether use of a metric called image texture derived from satellite and aerial images can potentially streamline the process of assessing vegetation structure and facilitate prediction of bird distribution across large areas.
Siberian Cranes and China's Poyang Lake
Poyang Lake, one of China’s most diverse wildlife areas, increasingly faces shifting use patterns and new threats to the wildlife and human communities who call it home. Ph.D. candidate James Burnham seeks to understand how changing lake hydro-dynamics and human impacts affect the local wildlife, particularly the critically endangered Siberian Crane.
Simulating future land use across the United States
Dave Helmers and collaborators are using Open Source software tools in an NSF funded study predicting future land use change across the U.S.
Forest disturbance, birds, and the shifting baseline syndrome
Can a bumper sticker inspire innovative research? In the case of Chad Rittenhouse PhD, a chance sighting motivated an innovative line of research that questions how changes occur in the natural world and how we perceive and measure these changes.
Plant Invasions and Urban Sprawl
Plant invasions often occur near human settlements, but how can we quantify them? Gregorio Gavier Pizarro mapped the expansion of Glossy privet, an invasive tree, over a period of 23 years in central Argentina. He found that this species has been spreading rapidly, and urban sprawl has a major role in this process.
Wood Warblers and Oak Decline
The woodlands of the upper Midwest are undergoing a major transformation as oak forests and savannas are being replaced by maples. How will this transformation affect Wisconsin wildlife, such as our colorful migrant wood warblers? A field team led by SILVIS researcher and graduate student Eric Wood is trying to find out.