Eastern Ecological Science Center

Freshwater and Coastal Ecology

Filter Total Items: 24
Date published: April 10, 2020
Status: Active

The response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise: Understanding how macroscale drivers influence local processes and feedbacks

The purpose of this work is to advance our understanding of how coastal wetland responses to SLR within the conterminous United States are likely to vary as a function of local, regional, and macroscale drivers, including climate. Based on our interactions with managers and decision makers, as well as our knowledge of the current state of the science, we propose to (a) conduct a national...

Date published: April 2, 2020
Status: Active

Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research VII

The highly protected Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) is the largest undeveloped region along the Atlantic seaboard.The VCR is managed by the Nature Conservancy, and was designated a Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1979, providing a unique environment for which to study coastal impacts of climate change on a variety of coastal ecosystems from barrier islands across back barrier lagoons, mudflats...

Date published: April 2, 2020
Status: Active

Assessing Faunal Recovery in a Headwater Stream

A catastrophic fish-kill in a small tributary stream of the Etowah River system (Dawson County, Georgia) has created the opportunity to assess faunal recovery, including recolonization by a federally-listed fish species (the Cherokee darter Etheostoma scotti).  Fishes are expected to recolonize Flat Creek by moving upstream from downstream sources.  In particular, Flat Creek flows...

Date published: March 30, 2020
Status: Active

Seagrass Vulnerability to Environmental Conditions Under Changing Temperature Regimes

Seagrasses are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Water quality degradation and direct human disturbance have caused loss of nearly a third of the seagrass habitat worldwide. These threats are exacerbated by stresses associated with a changing global climate. Predicting how seagrass distribution, abundance, and species composition will change in response to increased...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Mapping riverine habitats of the Delaware River using bathymetric LiDAR

Ecosystem management and assessment of rivers requires detailed data on bathymetry before estimates of aquatic habitats can be determined. However, mapping bathymetry in shallow rivers is challenging due to river depth limitations for watercraft.  Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology has revolutionized aerial mapping of topography and vegetation, but the infrared lasers used on these...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing stream health and fish habitat in streams of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Streams and rivers provide habitat for a diverse array of aquatic and semi-aquatic species. However, human alteration to landscapes and riverscapes has affected this habitat resulting in its degradation and thus loss of habitat and associated sensitive aquatic species.  While this relationship has been known for many years, only recently has the availability of data and analytical capabilities...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Exploring the potential effects of shale oil and gas development on freshwaters

Widespread shale oil and gas (unconventional oil and gas, UOG) has only recently begun and many gaps in our knowledge of its potential effects to freshwaters exist. We conducted several studies aimed at filling these gaps, providing data on the rates and volumes of materials spilled, proximity of spills to important ecosystems, and overall production of wastes. These data together with current...

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Brook trout vulnerability to drought: eastern component of USGS national integrated ecohydrological research and monitoring plans

There is a growing and urgent need to develop and implement innovative strategies to research, monitor, and manage freshwater resources as societal demands escalate simultaneously with climate-driven changes in water availability. Over the past several years, many regions have experienced extreme droughts, fueled by prolonged periods of reduced precipitation and exceptionally warm temperatures...

Date published: April 16, 2019
Status: Active

A hydrological framework to improve precision of Vital Signs metrics in the Appalachian highlands

Stream flow is a fundamental driver of ecological structure and function, but its influence on bioassessment measures is poorly understood. Although extreme flow conditions (e.g., floods and droughts) have long been known to play a central role in structuring stream communities, a mechanistic understanding of the linkages between flow variables, landscape and local physical characteristics,...

Date published: April 15, 2019
Status: Active

Fish locomotion and biomechanics as limiting and optimizing factors in fish passage

Swimming ability determines how well fish are able to access habitat, and is a fundamental design consideration for passing fish at dams, road crossings, etc.  The purpose of this study plan is to improve understanding of how fish are able to negotiate zones of high velocity and turbulent flow, such as are found in fishways, culverts, as well as in natural areas.   Swimming performance is...

Date published: April 11, 2019
Status: Active

Effects of temperature and energy use on fish passage and spawning success of American shad

American Shad are the most numerous and economically important anadromous species on the east coast of the United States.  Yet in many river systems their populations have experienced declines, primarily due to the impacts of dams and habitat loss.  Although fish passage facilities have been constructed to mitigate the impacts of dams, many of these have not provided adequate passage success...

Date published: April 9, 2019
Status: Active

Deepwater Atlantic Habitats II: Continued Atlantic Research and Exploration in Deepwater Ecosystems with Focus on Coral, Canyon, and Seep Communities. Part II: Genetic Connectivity and Oceanomic Studies

This study utilizes genetics and genomics techniques to characterize biodiversity and genetic connectivity among deep-sea coral habitats and cold seeps in and near submarine canyons and will use environmental DNA techniques to characterize plankton diversity and to identify key contributors to carbon export from surface waters that sustain sensitive benthic communities. The proposed genetics...