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  1. The relationship between (a) the structure and composition of the landscape around an individual's home and (b) environmental perceptions and health outcomes has been well demonstrated (eg the value of vegetation cover to well‐being). Few studies, however, have examined how multiple landscape features (eg vegetation and water cover) relate to perceptions of multiple environmental problems (eg air or water quality) and whether those relationships hold over time. We utilized a long‐term dataset of geolocated telephone surveys in Baltimore, Maryland, to identify relationships between residents’ perceptions of environmental problems and nearby landcover. Residents of neighborhoods with more vegetation or located closer to water were less likely to perceive environmental problems. Water quality was one exception to this trend, in that people were more likely to perceive water‐quality problems when nearby water cover was greater. These trends endured over time, suggesting that these relationships are stable and therefore useful for informing policy aimed at minimizing perceived environmental problems.

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  2. null (Ed.)
  3. Abstract

    All animals carry specialized microbiomes, and their gut microbiota are continuously released into the environment through excretion of waste. Here we propose themeta-gutas a novel conceptual framework that addresses the ability of the gut microbiome released from an animal to function outside the host and alter biogeochemical processes mediated by microbes. We demonstrate this dynamic in the hippopotamus (hippo) and the pools they inhabit. We used natural field gradients and experimental approaches to examine fecal and pool water microbial communities and aquatic biogeochemistry across a range of hippo inputs. Sequencing using 16S RNA methods revealed community coalescence between hippo gut microbiomes and the active microbial communities in hippo pools that received high inputs of hippo feces. The shared microbiome between the hippo gut and the waters into which they excrete constitutes ameta-gutsystem that could influence the biogeochemistry of recipient ecosystems and provide a reservoir of gut microbiomes that could influence other hosts. We propose thatmeta-gutdynamics may also occur where other animal species congregate in high densities, particularly in aquatic environments.

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  4. The Baltimore Ecosystem Study stream biofilm bacterial community composition was obtained from 8 long-term sampling network sites in and near the Gwynns Falls watershed to examine how bacterial communities differ along an urban-rural gradient. Sampling was conducted at the same time as stream chemistry sampling on 18 June 2014 and 21 Oct 2014. Note: biofilm samples were taken about 50 meters east from the Carroll Park monitoring station, just under the I95 highway overpass, due to high water depth, high water flow, and lack of rock substrates for sampling. This dataset presents the number of sequences matching the taxonomic classifications in a reference database of 16S rRNA genes. See the full metadata record for detailed methods. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
  6. Abstract

    Animals can impact freshwater ecosystem structure and function in ways that persist well beyond the animal’s active presence. These legacy effects can last for months, even decades, and often increase spatial and temporal heterogeneity within a system. Herein, we review examples of structural, biogeochemical, and trophic legacies from animals in stream and river ecosystems with a focus on large vertebrates. We examine how the decline or disappearance of many native animal populations has led to the loss of their legacy effects. We also demonstrate how anthropogenically altered animal populations, such as livestock and invasive species, provide new legacy effects that may partially replace lost animal legacies. However, these new effects often have important functional differences, including stronger, more widespread and homogenizing effects. Understanding the influence of animal legacy effects is particularly important as native animal populations continue to decline and disappear from many ecosystems, because they illustrate the long-term and often unanticipated consequences of biodiversity loss. We encourage the conservation and restoration of native species to ensure that both animal populations and their legacy effects continue to support the structure and function of river ecosystems.

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