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J Environ Manage ; 278(Pt 2): 111486, 2021 Jan 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33157463


Increased flooding, droughts, and sediment transport are watershed-scale problems negatively impacting agriculture and ecosystems in drylands worldwide. Vegetation loss in upland watersheds is leading to scouring floods, which in turn decreases infiltration, soil moisture levels, and downstream groundwater recharge. Management to confront these intractable problems has been hindered by a lack of accessible decision support tools for both land and water managers that synthesize the watershed processes that buffer against dryland disturbances. Flood flow connectivities across the landscape create buffer zones through replenishing soil moisture and reducing flood energy, which in turn support multiple functions. This study developed a decision support tool, the Flood Flow Connectivity to the Landscape (FlowCon) framework that quantifies the most efficient management efforts to increase the key watershed buffering functions of increasing infiltration and reducing flow energy. FlowCon links three spatially explicit, process-based, and predictive models to answer two critical management questions: what key processes acting in what optimal areas are drivers of infiltration dynamics and what roles do peak flows of differing scales of energy play. The spatial models delineated the buffer zone to characterize the heterogeneous and optimal infiltration dynamics across the landscape. The hydrologic process model, using a curve number technique, identified the key ecohydrologic processes that affect infiltration and characterized peak flows and flow regime variability. The predictive flood routing model quantified the potential management benefits. We calibrated the models with measured runoff and the corresponding rainfall events for a six-year period, which included thirty-six flow events. The synthesized ecohydrologic indicators provided critical calibrations, improving the relationship between the hydrologic modeling results and observed data by 12% for the linear regression R2 and 69% for the root mean square error (RMSE). Implementation of prioritized management is estimated to reduce peak flow by half, with interventions focused on 24% of floodplains that infiltrate three times the flow volume per area than the floodplain average. FlowCon provides an efficient assessment framework that integrates watershed process understanding in an accessible decision support tool to achieve tangible improvements in dryland watershed management.

Inundações , Água Subterrânea , Ecossistema , Hidrologia , Solo
Ecol Evol ; 8(20): 9962-9974, 2018 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30397439


Effective mentoring is a key component of academic and career success that contributes to overall measures of productivity. Mentoring relationships also play an important role in mental health and in recruiting and retaining students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields. Despite these clear and measurable benefits, faculty generally do not receive mentorship training, and feedback mechanisms and assessment to improve mentoring in academia are limited. Ineffective mentoring can negatively impact students, faculty, departments, and institutions via decreased productivity, increased stress, and the loss of valuable research products and talented personnel. Thus, there are clear incentives to invest in and implement formal training to improve mentorship in STEM fields. Here, we outline the unique challenges of mentoring in academia and present results from a survey of STEM scientists that support both the need and desire for more formal mentorship training. Using survey results and the primary literature, we identify common behaviors of effective mentors and outline a set of mentorship best practices. We argue that these best practices, as well as the key qualities of flexibility, communication, and trust, are skills that can be taught to prospective and current faculty. We present a model and resources for mentorship training based on our research, which we successfully implemented at the University of Colorado, Boulder, with graduate students and postdocs. We conclude that such training is an important and cost-effective step toward improving mentorship in STEM fields.

PeerJ ; 4: e2545, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27761333


BACKGROUND: Understanding patterns of biodiversity is a longstanding challenge in ecology. Similar to other biotic groups, arthropod community structure can be shaped by deterministic and stochastic processes, with limited understanding of what moderates the relative influence of these processes. Disturbances have been noted to alter the relative influence of deterministic and stochastic processes on community assembly in various study systems, implicating ecological disturbances as a potential moderator of these forces. METHODS: Using a disturbance gradient along a 5-year chronosequence of insect-induced tree mortality in a subalpine forest of the southern Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA, we examined changes in community structure and relative influences of deterministic and stochastic processes in the assembly of aboveground (surface and litter-active species) and belowground (species active in organic and mineral soil layers) arthropod communities. Arthropods were sampled for all years of the chronosequence via pitfall traps (aboveground community) and modified Winkler funnels (belowground community) and sorted to morphospecies. Community structure of both communities were assessed via comparisons of morphospecies abundance, diversity, and composition. Assembly processes were inferred from a mixture of linear models and matrix correlations testing for community associations with environmental properties, and from null-deviation models comparing observed vs. expected levels of species turnover (Beta diversity) among samples. RESULTS: Tree mortality altered community structure in both aboveground and belowground arthropod communities, but null models suggested that aboveground communities experienced greater relative influences of deterministic processes, while the relative influence of stochastic processes increased for belowground communities. Additionally, Mantel tests and linear regression models revealed significant associations between the aboveground arthropod communities and vegetation and soil properties, but no significant association among belowground arthropod communities and environmental factors. DISCUSSION: Our results suggest context-dependent influences of stochastic and deterministic community assembly processes across different fractions of a spatially co-occurring ground-dwelling arthropod community following disturbance. This variation in assembly may be linked to contrasting ecological strategies and dispersal rates within above- and below-ground communities. Our findings add to a growing body of evidence indicating concurrent influences of stochastic and deterministic processes in community assembly, and highlight the need to consider potential variation across different fractions of biotic communities when testing community ecology theory and considering conservation strategies.