Navigation Links
American pika are thriving in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Great Basin
Date:3/4/2010

ALBANY, Calif., March 1, 2010New research addressing climate change questions, a priority focus of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, documents that American pika in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Great Basin are thriving and persist in a wider range of temperatures than previously discovered. Results were recently published in a paper titled "Distribution and Climatic Relationships of the American Pika (Ochotona princeps) in the Sierra Nevada and Western Great Basin, U.S.A.; Periglacial Landforms as Refugia in Warming Climates," by Constance Millar and Robert Westfall in the February 2010 issue of the journal Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research.

A small mammalian relative of rabbits and hares, the American pika inhabits rocky slopes of western North American mountains. Pikas tolerate cold climate environments through a combination of physiological and behavioral adaptations where these same adaptations may make them sensitive to even mildly warm climates.

Vulnerability of pika habitat to global warming has been an escalating concern, causing speculation that the range of suitable pika habitat will contract upward in elevation as lower elevation site temperatures increase.

Millar and Westfall developed and used a rapid assessment method to detect recent presence of American pika in 94 percent of 420 sites in the Sierra Nevada, California, southwestern Great Basin, central Great Basin and central Oregon Cascades ranges. Occurrence and non-detection sites were then compared to pika's habitat affinities to rock formation types and the climatic features of those sites. Rock-ice feature landforms are important habitat components providing insulation and refugia from outside air temperature increases and accounted for 83 percent of the sites. Site climate data indicate that in this study region, pika tolerate a wider range of temperatures and precipitation than previously interpreted.

Low elevation populations are usually in relatively warmer locations, so have been thought to be at risk due to rising 20th-21st century temperatures. Millar & Westfall found, however, that 12% of their occupied sites were lower in elevation than the historic (early 20th century) records indicate, revealing that pika live 500 meters (1640 feet) below what was previously known for this region.

Results of this study suggest that pikas in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Great Basin appear to be thriving and tolerating a wide range of thermal environments. This study also suggests a greater distribution in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin than has been found in other studies in these regions, and provides important baseline surveys that can be used in future pika ecology and population studies.


'/>"/>

Contact: Allison Kolbe
akolbe@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. American Society for Microbiology honors Samuel L. Katz
2. American Society for Microbiology honors Renato J. Aguilera
3. American Society for Microbiology honors Patrick R. Murray
4. American Society for Microbiology honors J. Michael Miller
5. American Society for Microbiology honors Hans Wolf-Watz
6. American Society for Microbiology honors Thomas M. Schmidt
7. American Society for Microbiology honors Sara W. Rothman
8. American Society for Microbiology honors Paul D. Bieniasz
9. American Society for Microbiology honors J. Stephen Dumler
10. American Society for Microbiology honors Lucy Shapiro
11. American Society for Microbiology honors Gene M. Shearer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar 24, 2017 Research ... Vehicle Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to ... ... poised to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a provider ... today announced the release of the SentiVeillance ... improved facial recognition using up to 10 surveillance, ... computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based facial ... it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... March 20, 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor ... biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with ... this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the ... fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/26/2017)... July 26, 2017  Nurse practitioners play a crucial role ... of a Merck Manuals survey released today. The ... revealed that most (88 percent) believe they spend at least ... prescriptions. ... Merck Manuals survey of 210 nurse practitioners finds ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... MA (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 , ... Charm ... has been accepted by the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) Laboratory Committee ... Pilot Program, set to launch July 1, 2017. , The NCIMS voted at its ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... The Arnold and Mabel ... Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ... award recognizes an individual who has made and is continuing to make significant ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... AR (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... Rogers is joining the company’s board of directors. This addition continues to strengthen ... board," said Calvin Goforth, CEO and Chairman. “He is a highly accomplished business executive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: