Southwest Biological Science Center


The Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC) conducts quality, objective research on the lands and aquatic systems of the Southwest. This research can assist those who manage, conserve, and rehabilitate the arid regions of the nation. Click on SCIENCE in the sidebar to the left to explore SBSC science in more detail.

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Terrestrial Dryland Ecology Branch

Terrestrial Dryland Ecology Branch

The Terrestrial Dryland Ecology (TDE) Branch of the SBSC studies the biology, ecology,and processes of semi-arid and arid lands (known as drylands). TDE researchers study plant-soil-water relationships and the wildlife found in drylands.

TDE Science

River Ecosystem Science Branch & GCMRC

River Ecosystem Science Branch & GCMRC

The River Ecosystem Science (RES) Branch of the SBSC, which includes the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC), studies the biology, ecology, and processes of rivers in the western United States, with an emphasis on the Southwest.

GCMRC & RES Science


Date published: May 27, 2021

RAMPS NEWSLETTER - Spring 2021 Edition

Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS)

A Program of the Southwest Biological Science Center & Ecosystems Mission Area

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Date published: May 24, 2021

Aerial Mapping of the Colorado River over Memorial Day Weekend

The USGS will collect high-resolution aerial imagery over Grand Canyon National Park for approximately one week beginning Saturday, May 29, to document, observe and track long-term ecosystem changes in the Colorado River. Visitors along the Colorado River in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park may see and hear aircraft more frequently during this time.


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Year Published: 2021

Drivers of seedling establishment success in dryland restoration efforts

Restoration of degraded drylands is urgently needed to mitigate climate change, reverse desertification and secure livelihoods for the two billion people who live in these areas. Bold global targets have been set for dryland restoration to restore millions of hectares of degraded land. These targets have been questioned as overly ambitious, but...

Shackelford, Nancy; Paterno, Gustavo B.; Winkler, Daniel E.; Erickson, Todd E.; Leger, Elizabeth A.; Svejcar, Lauren N.; Breed, Martin F.; Faist, Akasha M.; Harrison, Peter L.; Curran, Michael F.; Guo, Qinfeng; Kirmer, Anita; Law, Darin J.; Mganga, Kevin; Munson, Seth M.; Porensky, Lauren M.; Quiroga, Raul Emiliano; Török, Péter; Wainwright, Claire E.; Abdullahi, Ali; Bahm, Matt A.; Ballenger, Elizabeth A.; Barger, Nichole; Baughman, Owen W.; Becker, Carina; Lucas-Borja, Manuel Esteban; Boyd, Chad S.; Burton, Carla M.; Burton, Philip J.; Calleja, Eman; Carrick, Peter J.; Caruana, Alex; Clements, Charlie D.; Davies, Kirk W.; Deák, Balázs; Drake, Jessica; Dullau, Sandra; Eldridge, Joshua; Espeland, Erin; Finn, Carol A.; Fick, Stephen E.; Garbowski, Magda; de la Riva, Enrique G.; Golos, Peter J.; Grey, Penelope A.; Heydenrych, Barry; Holmes, Patricia M.; James, Jeremy J.; Jonas-Bratten, Jayne; Kiss, Réka; Kramer, Andrea T.; Larson, Julie E.; Lorite, Juan; Mayence, C. Ellery; Merino-Martín, Luis; Miglécz, Tamás; Milton, Suanne Jane; Monaco, Thomas A.; Montalvo, Arlee M.; Navarro-Cano, Jose A.; Paschke, Mark W.; Peri, Pablo Luis; Pokorny, Monica L.; Rinella, Matthew J.; Saayman, Nelmarie; Schantz, Merilynn C.; Parkhurst, Tina; Seabloom, Eric W.; Stuble, Katharine L.; Uselman, Shauna M.; Valkó, Orsolya; Veblen, Kari E.; Wilson, Scott D.; Wong, Megan; Xu, Zhiwei; Suding, Katharine L.

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Year Published: 2021

Instruments, methods, rationale, and derived data used to quantify and compare the trapping efficiencies of four types of pressure-difference bedload samplers

Bedload and ancillary data were collected to calculate and compare the bedload trapping efficiencies of four types of pressure-difference bedload samplers as part of episodic, sediment-recirculating flume experiments at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in January–March 2006. The bedload-sampler experiments,...

Gray, John R.; Schwarz, Gregory E.; Dean, David J.; Czuba, Jonathan A. ; Groten, Joel T.
Gray, J.R., Schwarz, G.E., Dean, D.J., Czuba, J.A., and Groten, J.T., 2021, Instruments, methods, rationale, and derived data used to quantify and compare the trapping efficiencies of four types of pressure-difference bedload samplers: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1064, 61 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Shrub influence on soil carbon and nitrogen in a semi-arid grassland is mediated by precipitation and largely insensitive to livestock grazing

Dryland (arid and semi-arid) ecosystems globally provide more than half of livestock production and store roughly one-third of soil organic carbon (SOC). Biogeochemical pools are changing due to shrub encroachment, livestock grazing, and climate change. We assessed how vegetation microsite, grazing, and precipitation interacted to affect SOC and...

Throop, Heather L.; Munson, Seth M.; Hornslein, Nicole; McClaran, Mitchel P