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  • Abstracts

To develop the following abstracts, the editorial staff searches more than 100 scientific journals, professional and organizational newsletters, conference proceedings, and other resources for information relevant to ecological restoration practice and research. Please send suggested abstract sources to the editorial staff (

Climate Change

Out of the Weeds? Reduced Plant Invasion Risk with Climate Change in the Continental United States. 2106. Allen, J.M. (University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, and B.A. Bradley. Biological Conservation 203:306–312.

Restoration and management plans are continually being designed and implemented, but with what sort of environment in mind? It is imperative to use the best informed science regarding climate change when considering environmental conditions and plant choices, especially for forest and woodland projects that have long-lived species. Allen and Bradley point out that invasion risks of known pest species in the U.S. need to be assessed and should be considered in all future design plans. In this paper, they attempt to identify and quantify invasion risk given current (1950–2000) and estimated (2040–2060) future climates using MaxEnt species distribution models and data from 33 regions and 896 invasive species in the United States. They examined differences in species richness, invasion debt, range infilling, and potential biodiversity hotspots to identify geographic patterns and intensity of invasions under current conditions and the invasion risk potential and intensity under future models. The good news was that potential species richness was higher than observed, especially in eastern temperate forests, and 80% of plant hotspots remained stable during projected climate change. Also, across most of the continental U.S., potential invasive richness in the future was lower than the current potential richness. Overall, climate change models predicted a reduced risk of known invasive species but early detection and quick response could help stem the spread and areas with high risk potential should prepare for containment and control.

Climate Influences on Whitebark Pine Mortality from Mountain Pine Beetle in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 2016. Buotte, P.C. (Environmental Science Program, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho,, J.A. Hicke, H.K. Preisler, J.T. Abatzoglou, K.F. Raffa and J.A. Logan. Ecological Applications in press. doi:10.1002/eap.1396.

One of the greatest challenges in restoration ecology today is the rapid spread of pests and pathogens. Restoring species when the threat of disease or attack persists is often futile. When we add changing climate to the equation, we are in need of newer and better predictive tools and data to help weigh the options of action and no-action. In this article, Buotte and colleagues present a predictive model using the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem mountain pine beetle—whitebark pine forest as a case study. The whitebark pine is currently under consideration for Endangered Species Act listing; climate change impacts may be influencing mortality caused by the beetle outbreaks. The authors’ model quantifies the climate-beetle relationships by analyzing the effects of temperature and precipitation changes on beetle development, survival, and population size during recent outbreaks, and estimates future climate suitability for future outbreaks. Their models predict a warmer and drier climate in the park, which in turn increases stress for pines and population for beetles. Warmer autumns were found to be most important for the mountain pine beetle outbreak due to life cycle stages of the beetle that are not kept in check by dropping temperatures. This model could be adapted to other pest-host scenarios to help managers prioritize their efforts and funds.

Coastal & Marine Communities

Biodiversity and Food Web Indicators of Community Recovery in Intertidal Shellfish Reefs. 2016. Christianen, M.J.A. (Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands,, T. van der Heide, S.J. Holthuijsenc, K.J. van der Reijden, A.C.W. Borst and H. Olff. Biological Conservation in press.

Throughout the world, human activity has negatively impacted ecosystem diversity, particularly in those systems associated with ecosystem engineers. Methods to assess change in diversity have...


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