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The Eastern Ecological Science Center list of publications.

Filter Total Items: 11141

Microtopographic variation as a potential early indicator of ecosystem state change and vulnerability in salt marshes

As global climate change alters the magnitude and rates of environmental stressors, predicting the extent of ecosystem degradation driven by these rapidly changing conditions becomes increasingly urgent. At the landscape scale, disturbances and stressors can increase spatial variability and heterogeneity — indicators that can serve as potential early warnings of declining ecosystem resilience. Inc
Alexander J. Smith, Glenn R. Guntenspergen, Joel A. Carr, David C Walters, Matthew Kirwan

Identifying the forage base and critical forage taxa for Chesapeake waterbirds

To effectively maximize the conservation value of management plans intended to capture ecosystem-wide health, it is essential to obtain an understanding of emergent patterns in dietary dynamics spanning many species. Chesapeake Bay, USA, is a critical ecosystem used annually by a diverse assortment of waterbird species, including several of conservation concern. However, the ecosystem is threatene
Matthew Hack, Jeffery D. Sullivan, Cody M. Kent, Diann Prosser

Realizing the potential of eDNA biodiversity monitoring tools in the marine environment with application to offshore renewable energy

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researches the biological diversity and distribution of species to support management, conservation, and resource use decisions. USGS scientists advance detection and monitoring technologies to assess changes in fish and wildlife populations, biodiversity, and the health of ecosystems. The United States is planning to install 30 gigawatts of offshore marine and wi
Adam Sepulveda, Cheryl Morrison, Maggie Hunter, Mona Khalil

Thermal transfer rate is slower in bigger fish: How does body size affect response time of small, implantable temperature recording tags?

The recent miniaturisation of implantable temperature recording tags has made measuring the water temperatures fish experience in the wild possible, but there may be a body size-dependent delay in implanted tag response time to changes in external temperature. To determine whether fish body size affects the response rate of implanted temperature tags, we implanted 20 Salvelinus fontinalis (127–228
Matthew J. O'Donnell, Amy M. Regish, Stephen D. McCormick, Benjamin Letcher

Causal inference approaches reveal both positive and negative unintended effects of agricultural and urban management practices on instream biological condition

Agricultural and urban management practices (MPs) are primarily designed and implemented to reduce nutrient and sediment concentrations in streams. However, there is growing interest in determining if MPs produce any unintended positive effects, or co-benefits, to instream biological and habitat conditions. Identifying co-benefits is challenging though because of confounding variables (i.e., those
Sean Cassian Emmons, Taylor E Woods, Matt J. Cashman, Olivia Devereux, Gregory B. Noe, John A. Young, Scott Stranko, Jay V. Kilian, Katherine Hanna, Kelly O. Maloney

Evaluating the effectiveness of joint species distribution modeling for fresh water fish communities within large watersheds

Accurately predicting species’ distributions is critical for the management and conservation of fish and wildlife populations. Joint Species Distribution Models (JSDMs) account for dependencies between species often ignored by traditional species distribution models. We evaluated how a JSDM approach could improve predictive strength for stream fish communities within large watersheds (the Chesapea
Paul McLaughlin, Kevin Krause, Kelly O. Maloney, Taylor E Woods, Tyler Wagner

Updated range map of an endangered salamander and congeneric competitor reveals different niche preferences

Estimating distributions for cryptic and highly range-restricted species induces unique challenges for species distribution modeling. In particular, bioclimatic covariates that are typically used to model species ranges at regional and continental scales may not show strong variation at scales of 100s and 10s of meters. This limits both the likelihood and usefulness of correlated occurrence to dat
Jo Avital Werba, David A. W. Miller, Adrianne Brand, Evan H. Campbell Grant

Effects of episodic stream dewatering on brook trout spatial population structure

Stream dewatering is expected to become more prevalent due to climate change, and we explored the potential consequences for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) within a temperate forest ecosystem in eastern North America.We estimated fish density within stream pools (n = 386) from electrofishing surveys over 10 years (2012–2021) to compare a stream that exhibits episodic dewatering (Paine Run) ag
Nathaniel P. Hitt, Karli M Rogers, Karmann G. Kessler, Martin Briggs, Jennifer Burlingame Hoyle Fair, Andrew C. Dolloff

Translocation in a fragmented river provides demographic benefits for imperiled fishes

Fragmentation isolates individuals and restricts access to valuable habitat with severe consequences for populations, such as reduced gene flow, disruption of recolonization dynamics, reduced resiliency to disturbance, and changes in aquatic community structure. Translocations to mitigate the effects of fragmentation and habitat loss are common, but few are rigorously evaluated, particularly for f
Casey A. Pennock, Brian Daniel Healy, Matthew R. Bogaard, Mark C. McKinstry, Keith B. Gido, C. Nathan Cathcart, Brian Hines

How low is too low? Partnering with stakeholders and managers to define ecologically based low-flow thresholds in a perennial temperate river

Managing aquatic ecosystems for people and nature can be improved by collaboration among scientists, managers, decision-makers, and other stakeholders. Many collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches have been developed to address the management of freshwater ecosystems; however, there are still barriers to overcome. We worked as part of a regional stakeholder group comprising municipal water
Laura Rack, Mary Freeman, Ben N. Emanuel, Laura S. Craig, Stephen W. Golladay, Carol Yang, Seth J. Wenger

Integrated science for the study of microplastics in the environment—A strategic science vision for the U.S. Geological Survey

Executive SummaryEvidence of the widespread occurrence of microplastics throughout our environment and exposure to humans and other organisms over the past decade has led to questions about the possibility of health hazards and mitigation of exposures. This document discusses nanoplastics as well as microplastics (referred to solely as microplastics); the microplastics have a range from 1 micromet
Deborah D. Iwanowicz, Austin K. Baldwin, Larry B. Barber, Vicki S. Blazer, Steven R. Corsi, Joseph W. Duris, Shawn C. Fisher, Michael Focazio, Sarah E. Janssen, Jeramy R. Jasmann, Dana W. Kolpin, Johanna M. Kraus, Rachael F. Lane, Mari E. Lee, Kristen B. McSwain, Timothy D. Oden, Timothy J. Reilly, Andrew R. Spanjer

Genetic evidence for the presence of wild-caught sturgeons in commercial markets in Georgia

Sturgeons (Family: Acipenseridae) are among the most endangered taxa worldwide. Significant resources have been invested into the conservation of global sturgeon populations, including the development of commercial aquaculture programs. These programs are intended to improve conservation outcomes by reducing the harvest of wild populations while still meeting commercial demand for sturgeon product
Tamar Beridze, Shannon L. White, David C. Kazyak, Levan Ninua, Dewayne A. Fox, Arun Sethuraman, Tamar Edisherashvili, Bianca Roberts, Mikheil Potskhishvili, Michelle Klailova, Cort Anderson