Conservation Colloquium Presentation Abstracts


Session A: Species and Ecosystem Conservation

Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program
Lisa Dabek: Woodland Park Zoo
The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) has been working with indigenous landowners in Papua New Guinea for 14 years to create and manage the country’s first Conservation Area (CA) encompassing 180,000 acres of cloud forest, habitat of the endangered tree kangaroo. TKCP facilitates ecological and social monitoring of the CA and promotes scientific research. TKCP is helping to form a local community-based organization that will manage the CA and associated community projects over the long-term. TKCP helps build local capacity to address needs in conservation, education, healthcare, and community livelihood. TKCP can serve as a model for other conservation programs.


The Penguin Project: The Next 25 Years
Eric Wagner: UW Biology
Co-Author: P. Dee Boersma, Biology
For over 25 years, members of the Boersma lab have worked on the conservation of the Magellanic penguin colony at Punta Tombo, Argentina, under the auspices of the Penguin Project. Among other endeavors, we use mathematical modeling techniques to figure out penguin movement patterns and behavior at sea, and how best to mitigate current and potential conflicts between penguins and humans. One product of the Project’s research efforts is the newly-formed Global Penguin Society, which will develop and advocate solutions for sustainable marine activities and management.


Assessing the Vulnerability to Climate Change of the Species and Ecological Systems of the Pacific Northwest
Josh Lawler: UW School of Forest Resources
Co-Author: Michael Case, Forest Resources
The successful management of natural resources in a changing climate requires an understanding  of the relative vulnerability to climate change of the species and systems being managed.  Here, we describe an ongoing research effort to assess the relative vulnerability of species and systems of the Pacific Northwest to climate change.  The project involves: 1) the development of an on-line database documenting species sensitivities to climate change and 2) climate impact projections including down-scaled climate-change forecasts, simulated vegetation changes, and projected shifts in species distributions.  Project partners include: The Nature Conservancy, USGS, NPS, National Wildlife Federation, and OR, WA, and ID fish and wildlife agencies.


Regional Strategies for Restoring Native Prairies
Peter Dunwiddie: UW Biology
Co-Authors: Amanda G. Stanley &  Thomas N. Kaye: Institute for Applied Technology
Significant future growth in restoration ecology will come from studies designed to look broadly across ecosystems to identify trends, understand patterns, and draw conclusions that can be generalized. We undertook such a study to examine prairie restoration strategies at 10 sites across the Pacific Northwest. Five multi-year treatments were tested in replicated plots over five years. Primary conclusions include: 1) Invasive control requires multiple treatments that are selected based on interactions of species biology, treatment effects, and site conditions, and 2) Native species are strongly seed-limited, and restoring diverse assemblages will require significant additions of native seed.

Restoration of Montane Meadows Following Conifer Invasion
Ryan Haugo: UW School of Forest Resources
Co-Author: Charles Halpern, Forest Resources
Mountain meadows across North America have experienced widespread invasion by conifers. Faced with the potential loss of these unique habitats, land managers are beginning to use tree removal and prescribed burning as restoration tools. We examine the ability of these techniques to restore invaded meadows.  With or without fire, tree removal benefited meadow species at the expense of forest herbs.  While the decline of forest herbs has been greatest with fire, meadow species have made a stronger recovery in the absence of fire.  While conclusive results are not yet available, current trends toward the recovery of meadow habitat are promising.


Session B: Economics and Politics of Marine Conservation

The Global Fisheries Crisis: Ecological, Economic, and Social Dimensions
Nicolas Gutierrez, Olaf Jensen, Michael Melnychuk, & Suresh Sethi: UW School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences
Co-Authors: Daniel Schindler, Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences/Biology; Trevor Branch, Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences
Fish are a critical natural resource, yet global catches have peaked while human populations and demand for seafood continue to rise.  This increasing pressure has coincided with the widely reported collapse of fisheries around the world.  There is, however, cause for optimism as many fishery management systems have achieved a balance between human needs and ecological limits.  Here we review the status of world fisheries and examine ecological and economic patterns of global fishery development.  We find that resilient fisheries depend on biological diversity as well as management systems that build from existing social networks and align profit with stewardship.


Integrated Coastal Management: Addressing and Adapting to Contemporary Conservation Issues in the Central Philippines
Chelsea Combest-Friedman, Cirse Gonzalez, Ethan Lucas, & Kathryn Schleit: UW School of Marine Affairs
Co-Author: Turner Pittkin
Integrated Coastal Management efforts have been underway in the Philippines for over 30 years.  Substantial progress has been made towards creating comprehensive and integrated solutions to the problems faced by coastal communities and resource managers.  This presentation will address five case studies that portray how contemporary challenges and opportunities in integrated coastal management are being addressed in the Central Philippines. The case study topics are: adapting to climate change, ecosystem-based management, financial sustainability, social networking and marine protected area networks. Implications for integrated coastal management are stated while recommendations for all five areas are provided. 


Session C: Public Involvement in Conservation
Design Systems for Sustainability
Joyce Cooper: UW Mechanical Engineering, David Miller: UW Architecture, Elaine Oneil: UW School of Forest Resources, Dorothy Reed: UW Civil and Environmental Engineering
Co-Authors: Sergey Rabotyagov, Forest Resources; Bruce Lippke, Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials
Carbon mitigation requires life cycle inventory and assessment methods (LCI/LCA) to reduce environmental burdens. Resilient buildings that are energy efficient and have low or carbon-neutral footprints over their lifetime can be achieved with negative carbon footprint materials, energy-efficient cladding, and construction methods that increase product life and recyclability. UW has been a national consortium leader in developing LCI data for building materials and assessing alternatives. To formulate scientifically ratable buildings constructed from sustainable support systems a multi-disciplinary research and education team is being supported by the School of Forest Resources and Architecture.


Energizing the Public to Conserve Aquatic Resources on the Kitsap Peninsula
Jeff Adams: Washington Sea Grant
Board a car ferry from downtown Seattle and you'll land in Kitsap County, the lovely patch of green that appears to be only foothills of the Olympic Mountains. In Kitsap and other coastal counties, Washington Sea Grant field staff combine science resource management and use to energize and engage the public in actions that conserve aquatic resources. Field staff activities vary with individual expertise, but in Kitsap County, WSU Extension and Washington Sea Grant work intimately together to bring the state of the knowledge directly to citizen volunteers through the Kitsap Rain Garden Mentor and Beach Watchers programs. These programs develop citizen leaders who then extend their experience to the public with direct implementation of stormwater treatment and infiltration measures and through engagement on a variety of shoreline and marine water quality and habitat conservation issues. Washington Sea Grant field staff evaluate and adapt their programs to meet specific conservation needs in their geographic areas - keeping pollutants out of the Salish Sea and increasing the community's knowledge and appreciation of the value of and threats to aquatic resources in their backyard. 

Cap and Sacrifice
Andy Meyer: UW English/Program on the Environment
Considering Aldo Leopold’s notion of “The Land Ethic,” in which the community of life to which ethics apply is extended from human communities to the biotic community of soils, flora, and fauna, this presentation suggests the degree to which “the land” can express itself in the body politic.  Briefly tracing ideas of political representation from Rousseau to Coleridge to Leopold and further, I argue that, given the limitations of representative government, we can no longer afford to seek solutions to ecological problems and "land sicknesses" that do not embody significant sacrifice on individual, local, regional, and vaster structural levels.


Washington Forest Stewardship Education
Kevin Zobrist: WSU & UW Forest Resources
Co-Author: Dave Peterson, USFS
Washington’s family forest owners provide key ecosystem services including clean water, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. Education and technical assistance are needed to sustain these services. Multi-disciplinary faculty and experts from WSU, UW, USFS, DNR, and other agencies collaborate to offer the Coached Forest Stewardship Planning program to “coach” landowners in the development of stewardship plans and implementation of best management practices. The majority of participants actively implement new stewardship practices to enhance habitat and reduce forest health risks. The program qualifies participants for tax reduction and cost share programs, providing incentives to offset conversion pressures.


Growing Sustainability at the UW Farm
Elizabeth Wheat: UW Biology
Co-Author: Brady Ryan, Math
What role can urban agriculture play in the conservation of living systems?   The expansion of industrial agricultural is a major threat to many endangered ecosystems.     Consequently, working to create sustainable local food systems is an act of conservation.  How can an urban dweller participate in a local food system?  Students on the University of Washington student farm will present on how they are confronting this question head-on by utilizing marginalized urban spaces to produce high quality, sustainably grown produce.   Through their participation on the farm, UW students are practicing 'conservation in action', reducing their ecological footprint and raising awareness about the potential of the urban environment to be a productive landscape.


Session D: Regional Planning and Conservation

Human Wildlife Connectivity: From the Neighborhood Scale to the Ecosystem Scale
Mitch Friedman: Conservation Northwest, Walter Henze; UW Department of Family Medicine and Okanogan Valley Land Council, Grant Jones: Jones and Jones Architects, Roger Rosenblatt: UW Department of Family Medicine
Connectivity is a critical component of maintaining the vitality, diversity, and coherence of all species, from salmon to wolves to human beings. We have been working to maintain and expand connectivity in the Okanogan Highlands of Washington state on two very different scales. Working with the environmental landscape architectural firm of Jones and Jones, and a local landtrust called the Okanogan Valley Land Council, we are developing a "trail" which will tie together critical habitat for native species in an area within the Okanogan Valley watershed, and also facilitate neighbors working together to maintain open space and working landscapes. Working with Conservation Northwest, we are also in the process of expanding wilderness designation to maintain key species integrity in a much larger project that spans an area from the Rockies to Alaska. Our presentation will briefly discuss the theory behind these projects, and will focus on the very real challenges, triumphs, and tribulations of bringing these two innovative projects to life.


Conservation Planning in Practice: Setting Conservation Priorities for the Columbia Plateau
Eileen Burns: UW Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management Program, Michael Case: UW School of Forest Resources, Dan Evans: UW Biology, Eric Larson: UW School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, Hilary Papendick: UW School of Forest Resources and Evans School of Public Affairs
Co-Author: Joshua Lawler, Forest Resources
Over the winter quarter, 13 University of Washington graduate students have been working with The Nature Conservancy to develop a conservation plan for the Columbia Plateau ecoregion.  The project is the basis for one of the first hands-on conservation-learning experiences offered by the Conservation of Living Systems graduate program.  Using projected climate impacts, land-cost models, species distribution data, connectivity models, and optimization routines, we have produced a portfolio of conservation sites prioritized for purchase, easements, and/or restoration.  Here, we report on both the process taken and the conservation products produced by the class.


Climate Smart Landscape Connectivity for the Pacific Northwest
Meade Krosby: UW Biology
Increasing landscape connectivity is the most frequently recommended strategy for biodiversity conservation in a changing climate. Unfortunately, it is also one of the least developed climate adaptation strategies, offering little beyond a basic guiding principle. I am collaborating with scientists and land managers from academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and state and federal agencies to develop rigorous methods for integrating climate change and landscape connectivity into large-scale conservation planning efforts. Ultimately, we will apply these methods toward the development of a climate smart habitat connectivity plan for the Pacific Northwest, USA.


Planning for Natural Resource Conservation Areas: One Class at a Time
Gordon Bradley: UW School of Forest Resources
Linking science to policy and policy to practice is a major goal of environmental education at the University of Washington. While class discussions, seminars and field trips are often used in making the science-policy-practice connection, the actual development of Conservation Area Plans provides a firsthand look at the opportunities and challenges of Conservation Area Planning. This presentation will focus on the work of students in the development of Natural Resource Conservation Area Plans for West Tiger Mountain, Mt. Si and the Rattle Snake Mountain along the Mountains to Sound Greenway.


Session E: Cultures and Conservation

Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wildland Fire Science: Partnerships for Problem-Solving
Ernesto Alvarado: UW School of Forest Resources, Jim Erickson: Intertribal Timber Council, Everett Isaac: Yakama Nation & School of Forest Resources, Larry Mason: Rural Technology Initiative School of Forest Resources
When early European settlers arrived in the Americas, the landscapes they encountered were not virgin wilderness, but were rather shaped by management actions taken by Native Americans over many generations.  Fire was used as a principal tool for management of wildlife, and to produce the foods, medicines, and materials to meet community needs for subsistence and commerce.  As indigenous management practices were replaced by policies of fire exclusion and strategies based on economic extraction of monetary value from natural resources, fire regimes and ecosystem processes have been drastically altered, resulting in vegetation shifts, unprecedented fuels build-up, and increased incidence, intensity, and cost of wildfires.  Investigations are underway to facilitate information exchange and establish enduring partnerships between tribal communities, academic institutions, and agencies involved in wildland fire science and management.  Integration of traditional ecological knowledge with contemporary western science will open new paths to improving understanding of the role of fire in resource management and effects on ecosystems and communities.


The King’s Forest and Everyman’s Mushroom: Bialowieza, Poland
Eunice Blavascunas: UW Program on the Environment
The Bialowieza Forest in northeastern Poland is frequently heralded as Europe's last 'primeval' forest.  Known in conservation communities for its ancient oaks, free-roaming bison and wolves, the forest is divided between a small strict nature preserve and a large commercial forest.  This presentation will explore the conservation status of the forest highlighting three important issues for conservation in the postsocialist context.


Humans, Culture, Politics and Conservation – Sichuan Province, China
Julie Combs, Tom Hinckley, & Lauren Urgenson: UW School of Forest Resources; Sara Jo Shepler, Environmental Science & Resource Management
Co-Authors: Heather Simmons-Rigdon, Yakama Nation; R. Keala Hagmann, Forest Resources; Stevan Harrell, Anthropology
China’s interactions with its environment have contributed to change in the country’s natural systems, and have resulted in the establishment of patterns strongly influenced by human practices.  China’s forest policies over the past half-century have led to substantial changes in the availability of ecosystem services and the rules governing their use. Interdisciplinary scholars and professionals alike have spent since 2002 studying in two very different parts of Sichuan Province in China trying to unravel the long- and short-term impacts of land use on two very diverse systems: a subsistence village located at 2500 m in SW Sichuan and Jiuzhaigou National Park in northern Sichuan.


Vertebrate conservation in shaded-coffee agroecosystems in Mexico: Importance of considering farmer's perceptions
Ellen Andresen, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
A recent paradigm for rainforest conservation focuses on the importance of complex agricultural matrices, such as shaded coffee plantations. The attitudes that people have towards their surrounding natural environment can favor biodiversity conservation, but they can also act antagonistically. The way animals are perceived by local people will greatly determine the future conservation of animal populations in anthropogenic landscapes. If animals are perceived as neutral or harmful components of the agroecosystem, farmers lack any incentive to conserve them. However, if animals are perceived as being responsible for performing important ecological functions and services, then animal species may face a brighter future.

Johnson’s hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys johnsoni) oviposition patterns in old-growth forest canopies
Ken Bible, Forest Resources
Co-Author: Ray Davis, Umpqua National Forest
Inventories under the Interagency Special Status/Sensitive Species Program
(ISSSSP for Oregon/Washington Bureau of Land Management and Region 6 Forest Service are designed to increase our knowledge of the species listed under this program to inform land managers for species conservation. For the Johnson’s hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys johnsoni), the first step in this process is to compile existing information on its presence and abundance for habitat modeling, based on our current understanding of its ecology. Exploration of habitat factors affecting C. johnsoni in old-growth forests are being conducted at University of Washington’s Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility (WRCCRF

Biodiversity and Sustainability in Peru: An Undergraduate Exploration Seminar in Conservation
Tim Billo & Ursula Valedez: Biology
It is imperative to provide the educational experiences needed to recruit and train future generations of conservation scientists who can work across cultural, political, and disciplinary boundaries in regions of critical conservation importance. We designed and offered a field course providing an intensive international experience in ecology and conservation of a world biodiversity hotspot.
In both 2008 and 2009, twenty UW undergraduates from multiple majors participated in a 21-day expedition to the Andean highlands and Amazonian rainforest of southeastern Peru. Our course goals were 1), to train students in natural history and taxonomy, and quantification techniques in ecology, and 2), to expose students to conservation challenges in the Neotropics.

Conservation and Farmer Practices: sustainable coffee in Tarrazu, Costa Rica
John Banks, Erica Cline, Lisa Hannon, Rebecca Singer: Environmental Science, UW Tacoma
Co-Author: Sebastian Castro, Earthwatch Institute
We are studying the interface of farmer practices, production, sustainability, and conservation of biological diversity in the coffee growing region of Tarrazu, Costa Rica, in collaboration with Earthwatch Institute, the CoopeTarrazu farmers' cooperative, and Costa Rican scientists.   The study explores links among soil conditions, fertilizer & herbicide use, shade trees, and proximity and area of forest fragments to coffee yields and above- and below-ground biological diversity.  We present preliminary results with an emphasis on arthropod biodiversity and mycorrhizal fungi, and discuss impacts on soil fertility and coffee productivity.

Vegetation Monitoring to Improve Conservation
G. Matt Davies, Forest Resources
Protected areas comprise a small proportion of the total landscape. To protect larger-scale ecosystem processes and maintain habitat connectivity conservation must, therefore, incorporate actions on both public and private land. Done well, monitoring can characterize ecosystem dynamics following disturbance and foster an adaptive approach to conservation and management.  ‘Fires@ALE’ is a collaborative project that utilizes long-term vegetation monitoring to understand the effects of wildfire on sagebrush-steppe. Key issues are adequate power to detect change, spatial and temporal replication, and standardized techniques to minimize observer error.  Sustained monitoring on private land requires good communication with landowners and sensitivity to their concerns. 

Graduate Student and Conservation Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Eric Delvin, Forest Resources and The Nature Conservancy
Co-Authors: Jon Bakker, Forest Resources; Peter Dunwiddie, Biology
Restoration of highly endangered Puget Sound prairies has primarily focused on enhancing remnant areas by controlling invasive species and increasing native diversity.  However, effective conservation requires increasing the total acreage of prairie.  Our multi-year research project is developing treatments for restoring native communities in abandoned agricultural fields.  We are using a novel experimental approach that is adaptive and iterative.  Treatments are replicated spatially and temporally to understand when and where they are most effective.  The most successful strategies are retested in increasingly larger areas each year.  The cumulative result is restoration of significant areas of prairie habitat for endangered wildlife.

Does seasonality determine the utility of landscape corridors for promoting seed dispersal by birds?
Daniel Evans, Biology
Co-Author: Josh Tewksbury, Biology
Habitat fragmentation is a leading cause of species decline and extinction. Habitat corridors are a common strategy for mitigating fragmentation and creating connectivity. Plant fitness can hinge upon birds dispersing seeds, yet we know little about the mechanisms by which fragmentation and connectivity impact bird dispersal behavior. Seasonality governs movement and population structure of seed eating birds in many habitats. This study assesses seasonal variation in patterns of seed dispersal in an experimentally fragmented forest in order to compare the utility of corridors for promoting dispersal by birds in summer and winter.

Visualizing and communicating climate change through web-based mapping and analysis: The Climate Wizard tool
Evan Girvetz, Forest Resources & The Nature Conservancy
Co-Author: Joshua Lawler, Forest Resources
Virtually all fields of study and parts of society—from nature conservation and ecological science to global development and multinational corporations—need to know how climate change will impact specific locations of interest. Here, we present a web-mapping application, called the Climate Wizard that allows users to analyze, visualize and explore climate change maps for specific geographic areas of interest throughout the world ( Built on Web 2.0 and “cloud computing” technologies, the Climate Wizard allows anyone with an internet connection to explore climate change maps used by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Physiological Tolerances of Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus Armeniacus) to Flooding and Implications for Wetland Restoration in the Pacific Northwest
Dave Hays, Center for Urban Horticulture
Rubus armeniacus (Himalayan blackberry) is a widespread invasive weed of the Pacific Northwest and is common in disturbed sites west of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington. Because this plant is a common wetland invader, restoration efforts for areas that will flood post-restoration must be conducted with an understanding of R. armeniacus’ response to different potential flooding regimes. This research will determine the tolerance of R. armeniacus to prolonged or variable flooding with or without shading in a greenhouse experiment. Plant biomass and allometry, days until mortality, photosynthetic rate and gas exchange data will be collected. Results will be discussed in light of implications for planning restoration of invaded wetlands and by comparing known flooding tolerances of native plants to R. armeniacus.    

Large Impacts by Small Players: Microbes and Biological Invasions
Claire Horner-Devine, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Co-Author: Jessica Silver, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
We are studying the effect of a non-native eelgrass species on nitrogen-cycling sediment microbial communities and processes compared with a closely related native species in one of the largest remaining eelgrass meadows on the West Coast of North America.  Aquatic invasive species are difficult to eradicate, and thus land managers must evaluate potential ecosystem-level impacts of the non-native eelgrass before planning a management program.  Our research examines basic scientific questions about microbial community ecology and function, but also contributes to a larger effort to quantify the ecosystem-level impacts of non-native species to help inform potential management and control strategies. 

Practical Solutions for Environmental and Social Responsibility Problems: Getting Caught, Paying for It, and Insuring It Doesn't Happen Again
Po Yi Leung, Economics; Dorothy Paun & Robert Schmitt: Forest Resources
This research investigated the relationship among environmental, social responsibility, and financial performance. We collected data from financial and sustainability reports for a sample of 78 firms, representing 12 countries. Environmental performance and social performance refer to pollution/environmental fines/environmental investments and occupational citations/health and safety fines/community investments, respectively. Financial performance refers to annual change in profitability. Findings suggest that financial performance is contingent upon engagement in environmental and social investments, especially for businesses with environmental and social responsibility violations. These relationships among the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social responsibility, and financial performance) have implications for decision-making in the 21st century.

Fire Regimes in Mexico
Diego Perez-Salicrup, Forest Resources
Co-Author: Ernesto Alvarado-Celestino, Forest Resources
Fire is a process which affects most Mexican ecosystems, and that must be reckoned to manage forest ecosystems.  To stir away from the notion that fires must be suppressed, a sound ecological understanding of the effects of fires in different Mexican ecosystems is required.  Yet, Fire Ecology is a field of research still in its infancy in Mexico. To catalyze fire ecology research in Mexico, we have established a collaboration involving faculty and students from two Mexican Universities and the University of Washington.  We have centered our efforts at quantifying fuels and documenting fire regimes in different Mexican ecosystems.  

Conservation successes and failures on Union Bay
Stephen Sulzbacher, Psychiatry; Susan Holliday, Save Union Bay Association; Justin Dayton, Wildlife Services US Department of Agriculture
Pictured is data on management of the 2008 Ravenna Creek/Union bay sewage spill and from a successful one year project to eliminate a destructive invasive species, Nutria (Myocastor coypus), from the Union Bay environment. These animals were destructive to shoreline ecology and UW ball fields. These projects are part of a 30 year effort to maintain the integrity of Union Bay and its environs. Also presented are innovative plans to combat invasive flora, like Eurasian Milfoil, as part of a newly funded (Feb., 2010) Washington Department of Ecology project, managed by Seattle Public Utilities.

Conservation strategies for a changing climate: A case study from Monteverde, Costa Rica
Patricia Townsend, Biology        
Co-Author: Karen Masters, Council on International Education Exchange
Unrivalled in scope, severity, and uncertainty, climate change is the greatest current conservation challenge.  A backdrop of environmental degradation and mounting anthropogenic pressures magnifies the issue. Despite an inadequate understanding of future climate, conservation plans must be specifically tailored to anticipate change. We explain how ecosystems in a complex tropical montane landscape may adapt to, and be buffered from, altered climate under creative management. Connectivity must be enhanced across elevation, and within the same life-zone via a “lattice work corridor system.” Habitat restoration that includes use of species to anticipate climate shifts will be a critical dimension that enhances connectivity. 

Habitat use of forest-falcons in southeastern Amazon forest of Peru
Ursula Valdez, Biology

I studied the movements of Forest-falcons in lowland Amazonian rainforest of southeastern Peru, using radio telemetry to track individuals from 5 coexisting species. I estimated home range size for 10 birds of 4 species using kernel-based estimators. Average home range size ranged from 186.8 ha for Micrastur ruficollis to 971.6 ha for M. mirandollei. Both M. ruficollis and M. gilvicollis used terra firme forest in higher proportion than any other habitat, but M. ruficollis used more palm swamp and less floodplain forest than M. gilvicollis. M. mirandollei used the terra firme forest (less human-disturbed areas) in higher proportion than any other type of habitat, while M. buckleyi showed higher affinity for floodplain forest in the surroundings of human-impacted areas.

Bats as Consumers of Insect Pests in Coffee Agroecosystems
Kimberly Williams-Guillen, Forest Resources
Co-Author: Ivette Perfecto, University of Michigan
By feeding on insects that damage crops, bats provide humans with an important ecosystem service that enhances agricultural production.  However, because bats are difficult to study, we have little information on their diets and their impact on insect pests that damage agricultural crops.  We have been able to demonstrate that bats in coffee plantations consume several insect pests of coffee, through the use of novel molecular techniques: by amplifying insect DNA directly from the feces of wild bats, we have found that bats eat the most damaging insect pests of coffee, providing a powerful rationale for conservation.

Species Conservation on Private Lands
John Withey, Forest Resources
Co-Author: Josh Lawler, Forest Resources

One prominent question in conservation biology is to what extent species can be conserved on the privately-owned "working lands" outside of protected reserves. Such lands are subject to landowner decisions which are in turn influenced by market prices, incentives for conservation, and broad economic policies. Here we describe an interdisciplinary project to use spatially-explicit econometric and ecological modeling to predict 1) how policy incentives and market forces affect land-use decisions, and 2) the consequences of subsequent changes in land-use and land cover for vertebrate diversity.