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: 33
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,...

Date published: June 29, 2016
Status: Active

Global Evaluation of the Impacts of Storms on freshwater Habitat and Structure of phytoplankton Assemblages (GEISHA)

Climate change is expected to cause more intense and frequent extreme weather events, but we only have a basic understanding of how these events might alter freshwater systems. Storms are likely to impact lake systems through delivery of sediments from watersheds and mixing of the water column, both of which could have important consequences for phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are the base of the...

Contacts: Vijay P Patil
Date published: June 29, 2016
Status: Active

Completing the dryland puzzle: creating a predictive framework for biological soil crust function and response to climate change

Drylands are integral to the Earth system and the present and future of human society. Drylands encompass more than 40% of the terrestrial landmass and support 34% of the world’s human population. Biocrusts are the “living skin” of Earth’s drylands, sometimes dominating the ground cover and figuring prominently in ecosystem structure and function. Biocrusts are a biological aggregate of...

Date published: November 2, 2015
Status: Active

NEON Workshop: Operationalizing Ecological Forecasts

Ecosystems are changing worldwide and critical decisions that affect ecosystem health and sustainability are being made every day. As ecologists, we have a responsibility to ensure that these decisions are made with access to the best available science. However, to bring this idea into practice, ecology needs to make a substantial leap forward towards becoming a more predictive science....

Date published: November 2, 2015
Status: Active

NEON Workshop: Harmonizing eco-informatics approaches to facilitate data integration

There is a wealth of biodiversity and environmental data that can provide the basis for addressing global scale questions of societal concern. However, our ability to access and integrate this data is hampered by the lack of standardized languages and systems to make this information accessible through the Internet. New tools (e.g. ontologies, standards, integration tools, unique identifiers)...

Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

Local-scale ecosystem resilience amid global-scale ocean change: the coral reef example

Coral reefs are massive, wave resistant structures found throughout the tropics, where they have long attracted attention for their beauty, ecological importance, and rich biological diversity. However, in recent years attention to these systems has focused on their downturn in health and the potential that they effectively could disappear within a century. Yet while many coral reefs have...

Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

River Corridor hot spots for biogeochemical processing: a continental scale synthesis

Rivers are the veins of the landscape, providing environmental benefits that are disproportionately high relative to their aerial extent; shedding flood waters, hosting aquatic ecosystems, transporting solutes and energy-rich materials, and storing and transforming pollutants into less harmful forms. From uplands to the coasts, rivers facilitate key biogeochemical reactions that cumulatively...

Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

What lies below? Improving quantification and prediction of soil carbon storage, stability, and susceptibility to disturbance.

Soils are a vast reservoir of organic carbon (C), rendering the fate of soil C an important control on the global climate system. Widespread changes in soil C storage capacity present a potentially strong feedback to global change. Yet, a comprehensive understanding of how soil C will respond to climate and/or land use disturbance remains illusive, resulting in major uncertainties in global...

Contacts: Corey Lawrence
Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

Predicting the next high-impact insect invasion: Elucidating traits and factors determining the risk of introduced herbivorous insects on North American native plants

Non-native insect invasions increasingly cause widespread ecological and economic damage in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Non-native insects specialized for feeding on specific plant groups are particularly problematic as they can potentially eliminate an entire genus of native plant species across a wide area. For example, emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees...