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Journals & Publications
Owners of domestic cats (Felis catus) express diverse perspectives on their pets’ hunting behaviors and access to the outdoors. In some regions, policies focused on confining cats indoors, or otherwise regulating ownership, can lead to noncompliance and at worst may contribute to conflict. In the December issue of Frontiers, Crowley et al. explain how tailoring communications and management approaches to better align with owners’ perspectives could increase participation in attempts to reduce their pets’ impacts on wildlife.
There is fundamental disagreement about whether increasing precipitation intensity will increase or decrease plant growth. In the January issue of Ecology, Holdrege et al. use 8 m by 8 m rain-out shelters in a sagebrush system in northern Utah, USA, to show that larger rain and snow events can contribute to shrub encroachment by pushing water deeper into the soil.
Wolves and coyotes, such as the eastern wolf (Canis lycaon) pups pictured here in Ontario, Canada, give birth and begin raising oﬀspring in dens that are critical to successful reproduction. Oliveira et al. modeled resource selection by wolves, coyotes, and admixed canids at dens and other pup-rearing sites in a hybrid zone where canids were legally shot and trapped by humans. Their results, reported in the December issue of Ecosphere, found that wolves and coyotes exhibited diﬀerent patterns of resource selection, but that all canids strongly avoided roads, presumably to reduce human-caused mortality. Importantly, pups survived better in packs that selected habitat types associated with abundant prey.
The Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) of southeastern Australia is world-renowned for its spectacular courtship displays. Lesser known is the lyrebird’s role in moderating litter and soil habitats, caused by the extensive foraging pits dug on the forest ﬂoor while searching for invertebrates. Maisey et al. show that lyrebirds alter litter depth and soil compaction, and displace more material, per unit area, than for any other animal recorded in terrestrial ecosystems, worldwide. Their results are presented in the January issue of Ecological Applications.
Finzi et al. synthesized hundreds of thousands of carbon observations collected over the last quarter century at the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site. They found that increasing oak (Quercus) dominance and climate change, particularly longer growing seasons, have accelerated the rate at which the forest is capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Their findings are presented in the November issue of Ecological Monographs.