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Department ofBotany

No. 238
October 2004

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In This Issue

Gurney's Pitta Rediscovered in Burma Lowland Forests

Widespread loss of lowland Sundaic forests in Thailand, as the land is converted to oil palm and rubber plantations and other crops, has been the principal reason for the decline of Gurney's Pitta (Pitta gurneyi). Found only in Peninsular Thailand and in Burma's Tanintharyi Division, this endemic bird species was thought to be at the brink of extinction, with only 11 pairs known to occur in Thailand's dwindling lowland Sundaic forests. In Burma, only historical records of the species existed, and it was thought the species probably had already vanished.

In 2003, a team of Burmese and British ornithologists working with Birdlife International rediscovered Gurney's Pitta during a preliminary survey of Burma's Sundaic forests in the Tanintharyi Division. The onset of the rainy season and the lack of accurate maps of the distribution of remaining lowland forests, however, made a full-scale assessment of the remaining population impossible.

Following up on this work, Birdlife International joined forces with the Conservation GIS Lab at Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo to map remaining Gurney's Pitta habitat and repeat a survey. National Zoo researcher Peter Leimgruber and his graduate students had recently completed a three-year assessment of Burma's forest cover, based on comparisons of Landsat satellite imagery from the 1990s and 2000s. Their analyses revealed that Burma, a recognized biodiversity hotspot in Southeast Asia, has more remaining forest cover than all other countries in mainland Southeast Asia combined. These forests may not only harbor large populations of Gurney's Pitta, but may also be the last strongholds for many of the larger endangered mammal species of Asia, including tiger and elephant species. However, detailed maps of remaining Gurney's Pitta habitat were still missing.

Using the data from Birdlife's first preliminary survey in the Tanintharyi Division, Leimgruber and student Dan Kelly developed a GIS model to identify Burma's remaining lowland Sundaic forests and the associated Gurney's Pitta habitat. They combined their Landsat satellite data with a global elevation data set, developed during NASA's Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission.

They found large areas of lowland Sundaic forests remaining at the southern tip of Burma's Tanintharyi Division, covering 4,705 km2. Of this area, 3,496 km2 were suitable for supporting 5,152 to 8,586 pairs of Gurney's Pitta. Much of the remaining habitat, however, was threatened by plantation development, with losses in some areas being as high as 30 percent in 10 years. Many of the remaining habitat areas were restricted to small and fragmented patches of less than 1 km2.

In early 2004, Birdlife's team returned to the region with the Smithsonian maps, and found over 100 pairs of the endangered birds. While much of the habitat mapped by Leimgruber and his team is already being converted into oil palm plantations, two of the largest patches remain virtually untouched, one of which is adjacent to a proposed Burmese National Park. Birdlife has petitioned the Burmese government to establish the park quickly and to include within its bounds the newly recognized Gurney's Pitta populations and their habitat.

Information Highway Hi-Lites

The Indonesian Nature Conservation Database project <> was created by Indonesian conservation enthusiast Ed Colijn with contributions from members of organizations like the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Wildlife Conservation Society, Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance, and many more. The site provides descriptions of various National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Nature Reserves and Recreation Parks in Indonesia. It also contains checklists for mammal and bird species that occur in Indonesia offering information on scientific and common name, Indonesian distribution, status, and more. Checklists for reptiles, amphibians, and freshwater fish will be provided in the future as well. Additionally, the site provides links to related organizations and resources, and a list of site references.

-from The NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences
Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2004.

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Gregg, K.B. 2004. Recovery of showy lady's slippers (Cypripedium reginae Walter) from moderate and severe herbivory by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman). Nat. Areas J. 24(3):232-241.

Hambler, C. 2004. Virgin rainforests and conservation. Science 305(5686):943.

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Harte, J., Ostling, A., Green, J.L., and Kinzig, A. 2004. Biodiversity conservation - climate change and extinction risk. Nature 430(6995):xiii.

Hays, G.C. 2004. Good news for sea turtles. TREE 19(7):349-351.

Hazell, D., Hero, J.M., Lindenmayer, D., and Cunningham, R. 2004. A comparison of constructed and natural habitat for frog conservation in an Australian agricultural landscape. Biol. Conserv. 119(1):61-71.

Heenan, P.B. 2004. Gingidia grisea (Apiaceae), a new species from north-east Otago, South Island, New Zealand. New Zeal. J. Bot. 42(2):175-180.

Heenan, P.B., Mitchell, A.D., and de Lange, P.J. 2004. Arthropodium bifurcatum (Asparagaceae), a new species from northern New Zealand. New Zeal. J. Bot. 42(2):233-246.

Heitzman, E., Shelton, M.G., and Grell, A. 2004. Species composition, size structure, and disturbance history of an old growth bottomland hardwood-loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) - forest in Arkansas, USA. Nat. Areas J. 24(3):177-187.

Hill, J.K., and Hamer, K.C. 2004. Determining impacts of habitat modification on diversity of tropical forest fauna: the importance of spatial scale. J. Appl. Ecol. 41(4):744-754.

Hingston, A.B., Potts, B.M., and McQuillan, P.B. 2004. The swift parrot, Lathamus discolor (Psittacidae), social bees (Apidae) and native insects as pollinators of Eucalyptus globulus ssp. globulus (Myrtaceae). Aust. J. Bot. 52(3):371-379.

Hogan, Z.S. 2004. Threatened fishes of the world: Pangasianodon gigas Chevey, 1931 (Pangasiidae). Environ. Biol. Fish. 70(3):210.

Holland, B.S., and Hadfield, M.G. 2004. Origin and diversification of the endemic Hawaiian tree snails (Achatinellidae: Achatinellinae) based on molecular evidence. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 32(2):588-600.

Hooson, S., and Jamieson, I.G. 2004. Variation in breeding success among reintroduced island populations of South Island saddlebacks Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus. Ibis 146(3):417-426.

Hoskin, C.J. 2004. Australian microhylid frogs (Cophixalus and Austrochaperina): phylogeny, taxonomy, calls, distributions and breeding biology. Aust. J. Zool. 52(3):237-269.

Huffman, J.M., Platt, W.J., Grissino-Mayer, H., and Boyce, C.J. 2004. Fire history of a barrier island slash pine (Pinus elliottii) savanna. Nat. Areas J. 24(3):258-268.

Humphrey, L.D., and Schupp, E.W. 2004. Competition as a barrier to establishment of a native perennial grass (Elymus elymoides) in alien annual grass (Bromus teetorum) communities. J. Arid Environ. 58(4):405-422.

Huspeni, T.C., and Lafferty, K.D. 2004. Using larval trematodes that parasitize snails to evaluate a saltmarsh restoration project. Ecol. Appl. 14(3):795-804.

Iguchi, K., and Yodo, T. 2004. Impact of indigenous egg eaters on the early survival of exotic smallmouth bass. Ecol. Res. 19(5):469-474.

Iguchi, K., Yodo, T., and Matsubara, N. 2004. Spawning and brood defense of smallmouth bass under the process of invasion into a novel habitat. Environ. Biol. Fish. 70(3):219-225.

Jax, K., and Rozzi, R. 2004. Ecological theory and values in the determination of conservation goals: examples from temperate regions of Germany, United States of America, and Chile. Rev. Chil. Hist. Nat. 77(2):349-366.

Johnson, R.N., and Starks, P.T. 2004. A surprising level of genetic diversity in an invasive wasp: Polistes dominulus in the northeastern United States. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 97(4):732-737.

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Joshi, V.C., and Janarthanam, M.K. 2004. The diversity of life-form type, habitat preference and phenology of the endemics in the Goa region of the Western Ghats, India. J. Biogeogr. 31(8):1227-1237.

Kaczensky, P., Blazic, M., and Gossow, H. 2004. Public attitudes towards brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Slovenia. Biol. Conserv. 118(5):661-674.

Kappes, H., and Topp, W. 2004. Emergence of Coleoptera from deadwood in a managed broadleaved forest in central Europe. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(10):1905-1924.

Kelmo, F., Attrill, M.J., Gomes, R.C.T., and Jones, M.B. 2004. El Niño induced local extinction of coral reef bryozoan species from Northern Bahia, Brazil. Biol. Conserv. 118(5):609-617.

Kennett, R., Munungurritj, N., and Yunupingu, D. 2004. Migration patterns of marine turtles in the Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia: implications for Aboriginal management. Wildlife Res. 31(3):241-248.

Kerr, J.T., and Cihlar, J. 2004. Patterns and causes of species endangerment in Canada. Ecol. Appl. 14(3):743-753.

Koehn, J.D. 2004. Carp (Cyprinus carpio) as a powerful invader in Australian waterways. Freshwater Biol. 49(7):882-894.

Koh, L.P., Sodhi, N.S., and Brook, B.W. 2004. Co-extinctions of tropical butterflies and their hostplants. Biotropica 36(2):272-274.

Kossowska, M., and Fabiszewski, J. 2004. Threatened lichens of Lower Silesia, Poland. Acta Soc. Bot. Pol. 73(2):139-150.

Krabbe, N. 2004. Pale-headed brush-finch Atlapetes pallidiceps: notes on population size, habitat, vocalizations, feeding, interference competition and conservation. Bird Conserv. Int. 14(2):77-86.

Kramer-Schadt, S., Revilla, E., Wiegand, T., and Breitenmoser, U. 2004. Fragmented landscapes, road mortality and patch connectivity: modelling influences on the dispersal of Eurasian lynx. J. Appl. Ecol. 41(4):711-723.

Krausman, P.R., Harris, L.K., Blasch, C.L., Koenen, K.K.G., and Francine, J. 2004. Effects of military operations on behavior and hearing of endangered Sonoran pronghorn. Wildlife Monogr. 157:1-41.

Krebs, J., Lofroth, E., Copeland, J., Banci, V., Cooley, D., Golden, H., Magoun, A., Mulders, R., and Shults, B. 2004. Synthesis of survival rates and causes of mortality in North American wolverines. J. Wildlife Manag. 68(3):493-502.

Krishnayya, N.S.R., Sreehari, M., Pandya, B., and Kadam, S. 2004. Population viability analysis for herbaceous vegetation: a stochastic model and projections by simulation. Curr. Sci. 86(11):1534-1538.

Kuhn, I., Brandl, R., and Klotz, S. 2004. The flora of German cities is naturally species rich. Evol. Ecol. Res. 6(5):749-764.

Kulkarni, A.R., and Mulani, R.M. 2004. Indigenous palms of India. Curr. Sci. 86(12):1598-1603.

Laiolo, P., Caprio, E., and Rolando, A. 2004. Can forest management have season-dependent effects on bird diversity? Biodivers. Conserv. 13(10):1925-1941.

Leung, B., Drake, J.M., and Lodge, D.M. 2004. Predicting invasions: propagule pressure and the gravity of Allee effects. Ecology 85(6):1651-1660.

Linkie, M., Smith, R.J., and Leader-Williams, N. 2004. Mapping and predicting deforestation patterns in the lowlands of Sumatra. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(10):1809-1818.

Lopez, R.R., Silvy, N.J., Pierce, B.L., Frank, P.A., Wilson, M.T., and Burke, K.M. 2004. Population density of the endangered Florida key deer. J. Wildlife Manag. 68(3):570-575.

Luiselli, L., Akani, G.C., Politano, E., Odegbune, E., and Bello, O. 2004. Dietary shifts of sympatric freshwater turtles in pristine and oil-polluted habitats of the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria. Herp. J. 14(2):57-64.

Lykke, A.M., Kristensen, M.K., and Ganaba, S. 2004. Valuation of local use and dynamics of 56 woody species in the Sahel. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(10):1961-1990.

Maehr, D.S., and Larkin, J.L. 2004. Do prescribed fires in south Florida reduce habitat quality for native carnivores? Nat. Areas J. 24(3):188-197.

Maron, M., and Lill, A. 2004. Discrimination among potential buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii) feeding trees by the endangered south-eastern red-tailed black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne). Wildlife Res. 31(3):311-317.

Martel, C., Viard, F., Bourguet, D., and Garcia-Meunier, P. 2004. Invasion by the marine gastropod Ocinebrellus inornatus in France I. Scenario for the source of introduction. J. Exp. Marine Biol. Ecol. 305(2):155-170.

Martin, K., Brown, G.A., and Young, J.R. 2004. The historic and current distribution of the Vancouver Island white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus saxatllis). J. Field Ornithol. 75(3):239-256.

Martinez-Jeronimo, F., Elias-Gutierrez, M., and Suarez-Morales, E. 2004. A redescription of Moina hutchinsoni, a rare cladoceran (Branchiopoda: Anomopoda) found in remnants of a Mexican saline lake, with notes on its life history. J. Crustracean Biol. 24(2):232-245.

Mas, A.H., and Dietsch, T.V. 2004. Linking shade coffee certification to biodiversity conservation: butterflies and birds in Chiapas, Mexico. Ecol. Appl. 14(3):642-654.

Masters, P., Duka, T., Berris, S., and Moss, G. 2004. Koalas on Kangaroo Island: from introduction to pest status in less than a century. Wildlife Res. 31(3):267-272.

May, P.H., and Barata, L.E.S. 2004. Rosewood exploitation in the Brazilian Amazon: options for sustainable production. Econ. Bot. 58(2):257-265.

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McCreary, D. 2004. Managing and restoring California's oak woodlands. Nat. Areas J. 24(3):269-275.

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Peltzer, P.M., and Lajmanovich, R.C. 2004. Anuran tadpole assemblages in riparian areas of the Middle Paraná River, Argentina. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(10):1833-1842.

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Peterson, D.P., Fausch, K.D., and White, G.C. 2004. Population ecology of an invasion: effects of brook trout on native cutthroat trout. Ecol. Appl. 14(3):754-772.

Petram, W., Knauer, F., and Kaczensky, P. 2004. Human influence on the choice of winter dens by European brown bears in Slovenia. Biol. Conserv. 119(1):129-136.

Pfab, M.F., and Scholes, M.A. 2004. Is the collection of Aloe peglerae from the wild sustainable? An evaluation using stochastic population modelling. Biol. Conserv. 118(5):695-701.

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Quilichini, A., Debussche, M., and Thompson, J.D. 2004. Geographic differentiation of morphological traits and isozymes in the Mediterranean island endemic Anchusa crispa: implications for the conservation of a protected species. Biol. Conserv. 118(5):651-660.

Quist, M.C., Hubert, W.A., and Rahel, F.J. 2004. Relations among habitat characteristics, exotic species, and turbid-river cyprinids in the Missouri River drainage of Wyoming. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 133(3):727-742.

Rand, T.A., and Louda, S.M. 2004. Exotic weed invasion increases the susceptibility of native plants attack by a biocontrol herbivore. Ecology 85(6):1548-1554.

Ranius, T., and Kindvall, O. 2004. Modelling the amount of coarse woody debris produced by the new biodiversity-oriented silvicultural practices in Sweden. Biol. Conserv. 119(1):51-59.

Ratz, H., Darby, J.T., Edge, K.A., and Thompson, C. 2004. Survival and breeding of yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes), at two locations on Otago Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand, 1991-96. New Zeal. J. Zool. 31(2):133-147.

Reiter, N., Weste, G., and Guest, D. 2004. The risk of extinction resulting from disease caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi to endangered, vulnerable or rare plant species endemic to the Grampians, western Victoria. Aust. J. Bot. 52(3):425-433.

Rhazi, M., Grillas, P., Charpentier, A., and Médail, F. 2004. Experimental management of Mediterranean temporary pools for conservation of the rare quillwort Isoetes setacea. Biol. Conserv. 118(5):675-684.

Rhoades, C.C., Miller, S.P., and Shea, M.M. 2004. Soil properties and soil nitrogen dynamics of prairie-like forest openings and surrounding forests in Kentucky's Knobs Region. Am. Midl. Nat. 152(1):1-11.

Robinson, R.A., Green, R.E., Baillie, S.R., Peach, W.J., and Thomson, D.L. 2004. Demographic mechanisms of the population decline of the song thrush Turdus philomelos in Britain. J. Anim. Ecol. 73(4):670-682.

Rocha, C.D., Del Lama, S.N., and Regitano, L.C.D. 2004. Lack of genetic structuring among tropical Brazilian wood stork populations and low genetic differentiation from North American populations. Biotropica 36(2):248-258.

Roques, S., Godoy, J.A., Negro, J.J., and Hiraldo, F. 2004. Organization and variation of the mitochondrial control region in two vulture species, Gypaetus barbatus and Neophron percnopterus. J. Heredity 95(4):332-337.

Russell-Smith, J., Stanton, P.J., Edwards, A.C., and Whitehead, P.J. 2004. Rain forest invasion of eucalypt-dominated woodland savanna, Iron Range, north-eastern Australia: II. Rates of landscape change. J. Biogeogr. 31(8):1305-1316.

Saeki, M., and Macdonald, D.W. 2004. The effects of traffic on the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus) and other mammals in Japan. Biol. Conserv. 118(5):559-571.

Saint-Germain, M., Drapeau, P., and Hébert, C. 2004. Comparison of Coleoptera assemblages from a recently burned and unburned black spruce forests of northeastern North America. Biol. Conserv. 118(5):583-592.

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Schaub, M., Pradel, R., and Lebreton, J.D. 2004. Is the reintroduced white stork (Ciconia ciconia) population in Switzerland self-sustainable? Biol. Conserv. 119(1):105-114.

Schmieder, K. 2004. European lake shores in danger - concepts for a sustainable development. Limnologica 34(1-2):3-14.

Shanker, K., Ramadevi, J., Choudhury, B.C., Singh, L., and Aggarwal, R.K. 2004. Phylogeography of olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) on the east coast of India: implications for conservation theory. Mol. Ecol. 13(7):1899-1909.

Shanley, P., and Rosa, N.A. 2004. Eroding knowledge: an ethnobotanical inventory in eastern Amazonia's logging frontier. Econ. Bot. 58(2):135-160.

Sharma, B.D., Clevers, J., De Graaf, R., and Chapagaln, N.R. 2004. Mapping Equus kiang (Tibetan wild ass) habitat in Surkhang, Upper Mustang, Nepal. Mtn. Res. Dev. 24(2):149-156.

Sharma, S. 2004. Trade of Cordyceps sinensis from high altitudes of the Indian Himalaya: conservation and biotechnological priorities. Curr. Sci. 86(12):1614-1619.

Sheppard, S.K., Henneman, M.L., Memmott, J., and Symondson, W.O.C. 2004. Infiltration by alien predators into invertebrate food webs in Hawaii: a molecular approach. Mol. Ecol. 13(7):2077-2088.

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Smith, G.F., and Wolfson, M.M. 2004. Mainstreaming biodiversity: the role of taxonomy in bioregional planning activities in South Africa. Taxon 53(2):467-468.

Stallins, J.A., and Griggs, J. 2004. Influence of historic upland silviculture on the composition of ravine forests along the Apalachicola River, Florida, USA. Nat. Areas J. 24(3):242-250.

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Tooker, J.F., and Hanks, L.M. 2004. Impact of prescribed burning on endophytic insect communities of prairie perennials (Asteraceae: Silphium spp.). Biodivers. Conserv. 13(10):1875-1888.

Tozo, K., Kossi, A.M., Odah, K., Bouchet, P., and Akpagana, K. 2004. Factors controlling seed germination and propagation of Dodonaea viscosa (L) Jacq. (Sapindaceae), a rare and threatened medicinal species in Togo. Acta Bot. Gallica 151(2):197-204.

Turner, W.R., Nakamura, T., and Dinetti, M. 2004. Global urbanization and the separation of humans from nature. BioScience 54(6):585-590.

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Van Balen, S., and Nijman, V. 2004. Biology and conservation of pink-headed fruit-dove Ptilinopus porphyreus. Bird Conserv. Int. 14(2):139-152.

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Vickery, J.A., Bradbury, R.B., Henderson, I.G., Eaton, M.A., and Grice, P.V. 2004. The role of agri-environment schemes and farm management practices in reversing the decline of farmland birds in England. Biol. Conserv. 119(1):19-39.

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Vigilante, T., and Bowman, D.M.J.S. 2004. Effects of fire history on the structure and floristic composition of woody vegetation around Kalumburu, North Kimberley, Australia: a landscape-scale natural experiment. Aust. J. Bot. 52(3):381-404.

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Walker, K.J., Stevens, P.A., Stevens, D.P., Mountford, J.O., Manchester, S.J., and Pywell, R.F. 2004. The restoration and re-creation of species-rich lowland grassland on land formerly managed for intensive agriculture in the UK. Biol. Conserv. 119(1):1-18.

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Watson, A.M., and Ormerod, S.J. 2004. The microdistribution of three uncommon freshwater gastropods in the drainage ditches of British grazing marshes. Aquat. Conserv. 14(3):221-236.

Weishampel, J.F., Bagley, D.A., and Ehrhart, L.M. 2004. Earlier nesting by loggerhead sea turtles following sea surface warming. Global Change Biol. 10(8):1424-1427.

Whaylen, L., Pattengill-Semmens, C.V., Semmens, B.X., Bush, P.G., and Boardman, M.R. 2004. Observations of a Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, spawning aggregation site in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, including multi-species spawning information. Environ. Biol. Fish. 70(3):305-313.

Whiles, M.R., Jensen, J.B., Palis, J.G., and Dyer, W.G. 2004. Diets of larval flatwoods salamanders, Ambystoma cingulatum, from Florida and South Carolina. J. Herpetol. 38(2):208-214.

Whittingham, M.J., Butler, S.J., Quinn, J.L., and Cresswell, W. 2004. The effect of limited visibility on vigilance behaviour and speed of predator detection: implications for the conservation of granivorous passerines. Oikos 106(2):377-385.

Wich, S., Buij, R., and van Schaik, C. 2004. Determinants of orangutan density in the dryland forests of the Leuser Ecosystem. Primates 45(3):177-182.

Wijesinghe, M.R., and Brooke, M.D. 2004. What causes the vulnerability of endemic animals? A case study from Sri Lanka. J. Zool. 263:135-140.

Williams, D.W., Lee, H.P., and Kim, I.K. 2004. Distribution and abundance of Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in natural Acer stands in South Korea. Environ. Entomol. 33(3):540-545.

Willis, K.J., Gillson, L., and Brncic, T.M. 2004. Virgin rainforests and conservation - response. Science 305(5686):944.

Winfield, I.J. 2004. Fish in the littoral zone: ecology, threats and management. Limnologica 34(1-2):124-131.

Woithon, A., and Schmieder, K. 2004. Modelling the breeding habitat of the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus L.) as part of an integrative lake shore management system. Limnologica 34(1-2):132-139.

Wright, G. 2004. Livin on the wildland fire-developed area interface. Nat. Areas J. 24(3):173.

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