Southwest Biological Science Center

Home

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.

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

River Ecosystem Science Branch

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 the rivers in the Southwest.

RES (GCMRC) Science

News

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 23, 2017

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.

A radio-tracked adult desert tortoise basks in the sun among the wind turbines at a wind energy facility
May 3, 2017

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

6" tall hardware cloth connectivity modifier (ConMod) used to provide a safe space for native plant seedling establishment
April 18, 2017

Mike Duniway and Becky Mann were interviewed by KZMU, a community radio station located in Moab, UT. They discussed a strategy that uses 6" tall structures to provide safe places for native plant seed germination and seedling survival, and should benefit restoration efforts in water-limited systems.

Publications

Deleterious effects of net clogging on the quantification of stream drift
Year Published: 2017

Deleterious effects of net clogging on the quantification of stream drift

Drift studies are central to stream and river ecological research. However, a fundamental aspect of quantifying drift — how net clogging affects the accuracy of results — has been widely ignored. Utilizing approaches from plankton and suspended sediment studies in oceanography and hydrology, we examined the rate and dynamics of net clogging across a range of conditions. We found that nets clog...

Trends in Rainbow Trout recruitment, abundance, survival, and growth during a boom-and-bust cycle in a tailwater fishery
Year Published: 2017

Trends in Rainbow Trout recruitment, abundance, survival, and growth during a boom-and-bust cycle in a tailwater fishery

Data from a large-scale mark-recapture study was used in an open population model to determine the cause for long-term trends in growth and abundance of a Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss population in the tailwater of Glen Canyon Dam, AZ. Reduced growth affected multiple life stages and processes causing negative feedbacks that regulated the abundance of the population, including: higher...

Turbid releases from Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona, following rainfall-runoff events of September 2013
Year Published: 2017

Turbid releases from Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona, following rainfall-runoff events of September 2013

Glen Canyon Dam is a large dam on the Colorado River in Arizona. In September 2013, it released turbid water following intense thunderstorms in the surrounding area. Turbidity was >15 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) for multiple days and >30 NTU at its peak. These unprecedented turbid releases impaired downstream fishing activity and motivated a rapid-response field excursion. At 5...