John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis

Ecosystems

Powell Center working groups rarely are just one USGS Mission Area and are sorted into these areas by the groups themselves. Projects may be relevant to additional areas.

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Filter Total Items: 41
Date published: October 1, 2020
Status: Active

Using a multi-scale approach to synthesize measurements and models of C4 photosynthesis

Plants convert carbon dioxide into sugars for food during photosynthesis, and this provides food for all animal life. However, photosynthesis is inhibited when a plant’s enzymes use oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. To avoid this use of oxygen, some plants developed a photosynthetic adaptation – called C4 photosynthesis – to concentrate carbon dioxide around the enzymes. While less than 5% of...

Date published: October 1, 2020
Status: Active

Markov decision processes in non-autonomous socio-ecological systems

Our ability to effectively manage natural resources is founded in an understanding of how our actions and the environment influence populations, communities, and ecosystems. Current practices use monitoring data from the past to determine key ecological relationships and make predictions about the future with the assumption that those relationships will remain constant. However, many natural...

Date published: October 1, 2020
Status: Active

Improving representation of groundwater in foundational Great Lakes hydrologic and hydrodynamic models and data sets

Groundwater plays a critical role in the water balance, however the groundwater component of the hydrologic cycle is frequently overlooked at basin scales because it is difficult to observe and quantify. We address this problem through a novel framework that combines existing hydrological models and data sets with groundwater flux estimates across Earth's largest system of lakes; the...

Date published: October 1, 2020
Status: Active

Forecasting Mosquito Phenology in a Shifting Climate: Synthesizing Continental-scale Monitoring Data

Climate change is expected to have significant effects on the phenology of vectors of arthropod-borne diseases, particularly mosquitoes. However, forecasting the direction and magnitude of future phenological shifts requires a more detailed understanding of the climate drivers of mosquito phenology. Addressing this knowledge gap is particularly salient for mosquitoes, as they have the...

Contacts: Daniel A Grear
Date published: October 1, 2020
Status: Active

A global synthesis of multi-year drought effects on terrestrial ecosystems

Drought impacts on terrestrial ecosystems have increased globally in the 21st century, and droughts are expected to become more frequent, extreme, and spatially extensive in the future. Historical site-based observations are inadequate to predict how future extreme water deficits will affect the global terrestrial surface, because future droughts and their impacts may be more extreme than they...

Contacts: Seth Munson
Date published: July 28, 2020
Status: Active

Ecological Forecasting Workshop

Natural resource managers are coping with rapid changes in both environmental conditions and ecosystems. Enabled by recent advances in data collection and assimilation, short-term ecological forecasting may be a powerful tool to help resource managers anticipate impending changes in ecosystem dynamics (that is, the approaching near-term changes in ecosystems). Managers may use the information...

Date published: October 1, 2019
Status: Active

Capture-recapture meets big data: integrating statistical classification with ecological models of species abundance and occurrence

Advances in new technologies such as remote cameras, noninvasive genetics and bioacoustics provide massive quantities of electronic data. Much work has been done on automated (“machine learning”) methods of classification which produce “sample class designations” (e.g., identification of species or individuals) that are regarded as observed data in ecological models. However, these “data” are...

Date published: October 1, 2019
Status: Active

Analyses of contaminant effects in freshwater systems: synthesizing abiotic and biotic stream datasets for long-term ecological research

Fresh water is arguably the most valuable resource on the planet, but human activities threaten freshwater ecosystems. For example, use of synthetic chemicals, such as pesticides, road salts, and nutrients, has led to the ubiquitous contamination of aquatic systems, jeopardizing the integrity of ecological communities. Given the importance biodiversity plays in maintaining ecosystem health and...

Date published: October 1, 2018
Status: Active

Synthesizing Multiple Long-Term Datasets to Test Flow Ecology Relationships for Fishes - Workshop

River ecosystems support a wide diversity of biota, including thousands of fish species, which are variously adapted to the dynamic environments provided by flowing-water habitats. One of the primary ways that human activities diminish the biological capacity of rivers is by altering the natural hydrologic variability of river systems through regulation and diversion of streamflow for other...

Date published: June 5, 2018
Status: Active

Wetland fluxnet synthesis for methane: understanding and predicting methane fluxes at daily to interannual timescales

Wetlands provide many important ecosystem services, including wildlife habitat, water purification, flood protection, and carbon metabolism. Our ability to manage these services and predict the long-term health of wetlands is strongly linked to their carbon fluxes, of which methane (CH4) is a key component. Natural wetlands emit approximately 30% of global CH4 emissions, as their waterlogged...

Date published: June 5, 2018
Status: Active

Novel multi‐scale synthesis of nitrogen fixation rates and drivers across the terrestrial biosphere

Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is a critical biogeochemical process that converts inert atmospheric N2 gas into biologically usable forms of the essential nutrient nitrogen. A variety of free-living and symbiotic organisms carry out BNF, and in most regions worldwide, BNF is the largest source of nitrogen that fuels terrestrial ecosystems. As a result, BNF has far reaching effects on...

Date published: October 1, 2016
Status: Active

Accounting for U.S. ecosystem services at national and subnational scales

Ecosystem services - the benefits that nature provides to society and the economy - are gaining increasing traction worldwide as governments and the private sector use them to monitor integrated environmental and economic trends. When they are well understood and managed, ecosystems can provide these long-term benefits to people - such as clean air and water, flood control, crop pollination,...