Learn More
Invasion of native ecosystems by exotic species can seriously threaten native biodiversity, alter ecosystem function, and inhibit conservation. Moreover, restoration of native plant communities is often impeded by competition from exotic species. Exotic species invasion may be limited by unfavorable abiotic conditions and by competition with native species,(More)
Connectivity of populations influences the degree to which species maintain genetic diversity and persist despite local extinctions. Natural landscape features are known to influence connectivity, but global anthropogenic landscape change underscores the importance of quantifying how human-modified landscapes disrupt connectivity of natural populations.(More)
Climate may affect the dynamics of infectious diseases by shifting pathogen, vector, or host species abundance, population dynamics, or community interactions. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are highly susceptible to plague, yet little is known about factors that influence the dynamics of plague epizootics in prairie dogs. We investigated(More)
Community assembly theory asserts that the contemporary composition of ecological communities may depend critically on events that occur during the formation of the community; a phenomenon termed "historical contingence." We tested key aspects of this theory using plant communities in over 200 experimentally created vernal pools at a field site in central(More)
We describe the temporal dynamics and spatial distribution of Bartonella in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) based on a longitudinal study conducted in 20 black-tailed prairie dog (BTPD) colonies in Boulder County, CO from 2003 to 2005. Bartonella infection was widely distributed in all colonies with an overall prevalence of 23.1%, but(More)
Introduced diseases can cause dramatic declines in-and even the loss of-natural populations. Extirpations may be followed by low recolonization rates, leading to inbreeding and a loss of genetic variation, with consequences on population viability. Conversely, extirpations may create vacant habitat patches that individuals from multiple source populations(More)
We present a Bayesian hierarchical model for the joint spatial dynamics of a host-parasite system. The model was fitted to long-term data on regional plague dynamics and metapopulation dynamics of the black-tailed prairie dog, a declining keystone species of North American prairies. The rate of plague transmission between colonies increases with increasing(More)
Oropsylla hirsuta is the primary flea of the black-tailed prairie dog and is a vector of the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis. We examined the population genetic structure of O. hirsuta fleas collected from 11 prairie dog colonies, 7 of which had experienced a plague-associated die-off in 1994. In a sample of 332 O. hirsuta collected from 226 host(More)
Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder(More)