Publications by authors named "Thomas E Lacher"

10 Publications

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Support for rodent ecology and conservation to advance zoonotic disease research.

Conserv Biol 2021 08 11;35(4):1061-1062. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Channel Islands, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13763DOI Listing
August 2021

A metric for spatially explicit contributions to science-based species targets.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 06 8;5(6):836-844. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

IUCN, Cambridge, UK.

The Convention on Biological Diversity's post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will probably include a goal to stabilize and restore the status of species. Its delivery would be facilitated by making the actions required to halt and reverse species loss spatially explicit. Here, we develop a species threat abatement and restoration (STAR) metric that is scalable across species, threats and geographies. STAR quantifies the contributions that abating threats and restoring habitats in specific places offer towards reducing extinction risk. While every nation can contribute towards halting biodiversity loss, Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, Madagascar and Brazil combined have stewardship over 31% of total STAR values for terrestrial amphibians, birds and mammals. Among actions, sustainable crop production and forestry dominate, contributing 41% of total STAR values for these taxonomic groups. Key Biodiversity Areas cover 9% of the terrestrial surface but capture 47% of STAR values. STAR could support governmental and non-state actors in quantifying their contributions to meeting science-based species targets within the framework.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01432-0DOI Listing
June 2021

Author Correction: Climate change, range shifts, and the disruption of a pollinator-plant complex.

Sci Rep 2019 Nov 20;9(1):17503. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, 534 John Kimbrough Blvd., TAMU 2258, College Station, TX, 77843-2258, USA.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-53670-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6863842PMC
November 2019

Climate change, range shifts, and the disruption of a pollinator-plant complex.

Sci Rep 2019 Oct 1;9(1):14048. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, 534 John Kimbrough Blvd., TAMU 2258, College Station, TX, 77843-2258, USA.

Climate change has significant impacts on the distribution of species and alters ecological processes that result from species interactions. There is concern that such distribution shifts will affect animal-plant pollination networks. We modelled the potential future (2050 and 2070) distribution of an endangered migratory bat species (Leptonycteris nivalis) and the plants they pollinate (Agave spp) during their annual migration from central Mexico to the southern United States. Our models show that the overlap between the Agave and the endangered pollinating bat will be reduced by at least 75%. The reduction of suitable areas for Agave species will restrict the foraging resources available for the endangered bat, threatening the survival of its populations and the maintenance of their pollination service. The potential extinction of the bat L. nivalis will likely have negative effects on the sexual reproduction and genetic variability of Agave plants increasing their vulnerability to future environmental changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-50059-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6773846PMC
October 2019

Species Identity Supersedes the Dilution Effect Concerning Hantavirus Prevalence at Sites across Texas and México.

ILAR J 2017 12;58(3):401-412

Matthew T. Milholland, PhD, is a Postdoctoral fellow with Texas State University's Department of Biology in San Marcos, Texas. Iván Castro-Arellano, PhD, is an Associate Professor with Texas State University's Department of Biology in San Marcos, Texas. Elizabeth Arellano, PhD, is a Professor at Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Conservación, at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Cuernavaca, México. Elizabeth Nava-García is a graduate student at Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Conservación, at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Cuernavaca, México. Guadalupe Rangel-Altamirano is an Academic Technitian at Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Conservación, at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Cuernavaca, México. Francisco X. Gonzalez-Cozatl, PhD, is a Professor at Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Conservación, at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Cuernavaca, México. Gerardo Suzán is a Professor at Departamento de Etología y Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de México. Tony Schountz, PhD, is an Associate Professor with the Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. Shiara González-Padrón is a graduate student at the Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias de la Sostenibilidad, Instituto de Ecología at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de México. Ana Vigueras is a graduate student del Departamento de Etología y Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de México. André V. Rubio, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Nuñoa, Chile. Troy J. Maikis is a Biologist living in Elko, Nevada. Bradford J. Westrich is Assistant Furbearer Biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Bloomington, Indiana. Jose A. Martinez III is a graduate student with Texas State University's Department of Biology, San Marcos, Texas. Maria D. Esteve-Gasent, PhD, is an Assistant Professor with the Departament of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Madison Torres is a graduate student with Texas State University's Department of Biology, San Marcos, Texas. Erick R. Rodriguez-Ruiz is a graduate student at Divison de Posgrado, Instituto Tecnólogico de Ciudad Victoria, México. Dittmar Hahn, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Texas State University's Department of Biology, San Marcos, Texas. Thomas E. Lacher, Jr. is a Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, and Associate Conservation Scientist at Global Wildlife Conservation, Austin, Texas.

Recent models suggest a relationship exists between community diversity and pathogen prevalence, the proportion of individuals in a population that are infected by a pathogen, with most inferences tied to assemblage structure. Two contrasting outcomes of this relationship have been proposed: the "dilution effect" and the "amplification effect." Small mammal assemblage structure in disturbed habitats often differs from assemblages in sylvan environments, and hantavirus prevalence is often negatively correlated with habitats containing high species diversity via dilution effect dynamics. As species richness increases, prevalence of infection often is decreased. However, anthropogenic changes to sylvan landscapes have been shown to decrease species richness and/or increase phylogenetic similarities within assemblages. Between January 2011 and January 2016, we captured and tested 2406 individual small mammals for hantavirus antibodies at 20 sites across Texas and México and compared differences in hantavirus seroprevalence, species composition, and assemblage structure between sylvan and disturbed habitats. We found 313 small mammals positive for antibodies against hantaviruses, evincing an overall prevalence of 9.7% across all sites. In total, 40 species of small mammals were identified comprising 2 taxonomic orders (Rodentia and Eulipotyphla). By sampling both habitat types concurrently, we were able to make real-world inferences into the efficacy of dilution effect theory in terms of hantavirus ecology. Our hypothesis predicting greater species richness higher in sylvan habitats compared to disturbed areas was not supported, suggesting the characteristics of assemblage structure do not adhere to current conceptions of species richness negatively influencing prevalence via a dilution effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ilar/ily001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6279172PMC
December 2017

The impact of conservation on the status of the world's vertebrates.

Science 2010 Dec 26;330(6010):1503-9. Epub 2010 Oct 26.

IUCN SSC Species Survival Commission, c/o United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK.

Using data for 25,780 species categorized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, we present an assessment of the status of the world's vertebrates. One-fifth of species are classified as Threatened, and we show that this figure is increasing: On average, 52 species of mammals, birds, and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. However, this overall pattern conceals the impact of conservation successes, and we show that the rate of deterioration would have been at least one-fifth again as much in the absence of these. Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1194442DOI Listing
December 2010

Survey for antibody to hantaviruses in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

J Wildl Dis 2009 Jan;45(1):207-12

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2258, USA.

Wild rodents (n=248) were trapped in two ecologically distinct sites at El Cielo Biosphere Reserve in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, during the summer of 2003. Samples from 199 individuals were tested for Hantavirus antibodies by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Hantavirus antibodies to recombinant Sin Nombre virus nucleocapsid protein were found in seven rodents (3.5%) of a single species, Peromyscus levipes. Antibody-positive rodents were found only in the Cloud Forest site, which had lower rodent species diversity than the Tropical Subdecidous Forest site. Although the identity of the virus in P. levipes remains to be determined, our study provides further evidence that Hantavirus antibody-positive individuals are prevalent in the rodent fauna of Mexico. This is the first survey for Hantavirus antibodies in the rodent fauna of Tamaulipas and the first report of P. levipes as a potential host for a Hantavirus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-45.1.207DOI Listing
January 2009

The status of the world's land and marine mammals: diversity, threat, and knowledge.

Science 2008 Oct;322(5899):225-30

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Programme, IUCN, 28 Rue Mauverney, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.

Knowledge of mammalian diversity is still surprisingly disparate, both regionally and taxonomically. Here, we present a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status and distribution of the world's mammals. Data, compiled by 1700+ experts, cover all 5487 species, including marine mammals. Global macroecological patterns are very different for land and marine species but suggest common mechanisms driving diversity and endemism across systems. Compared with land species, threat levels are higher among marine mammals, driven by different processes (accidental mortality and pollution, rather than habitat loss), and are spatially distinct (peaking in northern oceans, rather than in Southeast Asia). Marine mammals are also disproportionately poorly known. These data are made freely available to support further scientific developments and conservation action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1165115DOI Listing
October 2008

Home range perturbations in Tamias striatus : Food supply as a determinant of home range and density.

Oecologia 1976 Mar;25(1):1-12

Department of Life Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 15260, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

A 12-week experimental study on the responses of home range size and population density of eastern chipmunks, Tamias striatus, to perturbations in food resources was conducted at the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology in Pennsylvania. The study involved a total of 97 animals and 1,036 captures. Home ranges were determined for all animals marked and captured four or more times. Mean home ranges were calculated for three different experimental periods; a before-seeding period, a seeding period, during which an essentially unlimited supply of a preferred food (sunflower seeds) was available, and a post-seeding period when all seeds were withdrawn. Home ranges during the seeding period contracted in response to the food source supplied in seed trays distributed throughout the plot. The differences between the before and during mean home ranges was significant (P<0.05). Home ranges subsequently expanded after removal of the seeds. The population density also increased over 50% during the seeding period, both in response to the abundant food source and the contraction of resident home ranges. The density subsequently declined to its initial level in the post-seeding period. The replacement of home ranges of chipmunks which died during the study by the establishment of new, similar home ranges by immigrants, and the expansion of existing home ranges by residents into the vacated areas was also observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00345029DOI Listing
March 1976
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