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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. Abstract Animals inhabiting urban areas often experience elevated disease threats, putatively due to factors such as increased population density and horizontal transmission or decreased immunity (e.g. due to nutrition, pollution, stress). However, for animals that take advantage of human food subsidies, like feeder-visiting birds, an additional mechanism may include exposure to contaminated feeders as fomites. There are some published associations between bird feeder presence/density and avian disease, but to date no experimental study has tested the hypothesis that feeder contamination can directly impact disease status of visiting birds, especially in relation to the population of origin (i.e. urban v. rural,more »where feeder use/densities naturally vary dramatically). Here we used a field, feeder-cleaning experimental design to show that rural, but not urban, house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) showed increased infection from a common coccidian endoparasite ( Isospora spp.) when feeders were left uncleaned and that daily cleaning (with diluted bleach solution) over a 5-week period successfully decreased parasite burden. Moreover, this pattern in rural finches was true for males but not females. These experimental results reveal habitat- and sex-specific harmful effects of bird feeder use (i.e. when uncleaned in rural areas). Our study is the first to directly indicate to humans who maintain feeders for granivorous birds that routine cleaning can be critical for ensuring the health and viability of visiting avian species.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  5. Mosquitoes and the pathogens they carry are increasingly common in urban areas throughout the globe. With urban landscapes, the need to manage mosquitoes is driven by the health risks and nuisance complaints associated with mosquitoes. Controlling the number of mosquitoes may reduce the overall risk of disease transmission but may not reduce nuisance complaints. This study focuses on Maricopa County in Arizona, USA, to investigate the relationship between mosquito abundance and landscape-level and sociodemographic factors on resident perceptions of mosquitoes. We used boosted regression trees to compare how mosquito abundance, collected from Maricopa Vector Control, and landscape factors and socialmore »factors, assessed through the Phoenix Area Social Survey, influence survey respondents’ reporting of mosquitoes as a problem. Results show that the landscape and sociodemographic features play a prominent role in how individuals perceive mosquitoes as a problem; specifically, respondents’ perception of their local landscape as messy and the distance to landscape features such as wetlands have more substantial roles in shaping perceptions. This work can highlight how potential mosquito and non-mosquito-related communications and management efforts may improve residents’ satisfaction with mosquito control or other wildlife management efforts, which can help inform best practices for vector control agencies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  8. Abstract Local-scale studies have shown that an overabundance of Cervidae species (deer, elk, moose) impacts forest bird communities. Through meta-analysis, we provide a generalized estimate of the overall direction and magnitude of the indirect effects overabundant cervids have on avian species. We conducted 2 distinct meta-analyses that synthesized data on 130 bird species collected from 17 publications. These analyses compared bird species’ population abundance and/or species richness at sites with overabundant cervids to sites with lower cervid abundance or without cervids. We evaluated whether the impacts of overabundant cervids are generally in the same direction (positive, negative) across avian speciesmore »and locations and if effects vary in magnitude according to avian nesting location and foraging habitat. We found that where cervids were overabundant, there was a significant decrease in mean bird population abundance and species richness. Species that nest in trees, shrubs, and on the ground showed the largest decreases in abundance, as did species whose primary habitat is forest and open woodland and species that are primarily insectivores or omnivores. We did not find significant decreases in abundance for avian species that nest in cavities, whose primary habitat is grassland or scrub, nor for species that mainly eat seeds. Our results indicate that overabundant cervids, likely through their direct effects on vegetation and indirect effects on insects and forest birds, negatively impact individual bird populations and decrease overall avian species richness.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 24, 2022
  9. Green infrastructure (GI) has become a panacea for cities working to enhance sustainability and resilience. While the rationale for GI primarily focuses on its multifunctionality (e.g. delivering multiple ecosystem services to local communities), uncertainties remain around how, for whom, and to what extent GI delivers these services. Additionally, many scholars increasingly recognize potential disservices of GI, including gentrification associated with new GI developments. Building on a novel dataset of 119 planning documents from 19 U.S. cities, we utilize insights from literature on justice in urban planning to examine the justice implications of criteria used in the siting of GI projects.more »We analyze the GI siting criteria described in city plans and how they explicitly or implicitly engage environmental justice. We find that justice is rarely explicitly discussed, yet the dominant technical siting criteria that focus on stormwater and economic considerations have justice implications. We conclude with recommendations for centering justice in GI spatial planning.« less