Southwest Biological Science Center

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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

Dryland agriculture in the Northwestern Great Plains ecoregion.
October 17, 2017

Future high temperature extremes and soil moisture conditions may cause some regions to become more suitable for rainfed, or non-irrigated, agriculture, while causing other areas to lose suitable farmland, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.  

A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image: Burning Sagebrush
September 6, 2017

An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern United States are increasingly large, expensive and related to fire and invasive species control.

Publications

Year Published: 2017

Building capacity in biodiversity monitoring at the global scale

Human-driven global change is causing ongoing declines in biodiversity worldwide. In order to address these declines, decision-makers need accurate assessments of the status of and pressures on biodiversity. However, these are heavily constrained by incomplete and uneven spatial, temporal and taxonomic coverage. For instance, data from regions...

Schmeller, Dirk S.; Bohm, Monika; Arvanitidis, Christos; Barber-meyer, Shannon; Brummitt, Neil; Chandler, Mark; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Costello, Mark J.; Ding, Hui; García-Moreno, Jaime; Gill, Mike; Haase, Peter; Jones, Miranda; Juillard, Romain; Magnusson, William E.; Martin, Corinne S.; McGeoch, Melodie A.; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Proença, Vânia; Peng, Cui; Regan, Eugenie; Schmiedel, Ute; Simsika, John P.; Weatherdon, Lauren; Waterman, Carly; Xu, Haigen; Belnap, Jayne
Schmeller, D.S., Böhm, M., Arvanitidis, C., Barber-Meyer, S., Brummitt, N., Chandler, M., Chatzinikolaou, E., Costello, J.J., Ding, H., Garcia-Moreno, J., Gill, M., Haase, P., Jones, M., Julliard, R., Magnusson, W.E., Martin, C.S., McGeoch, M., Mihoub, J-B., Pettorelli, N., Proenca, V., Peng, C., Regan, E., Schmiedel, U., Simaika, J.P., Weatherdon, L., Waterman, C., Xu, H., Belnap, J., 2017, Building capacity in biodiversity monitoring at the global scale: Biodiversity and Conservation, v. 26, no. 12, p. 2765-2790, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-017-1388-7.

Year Published: 2017

Short-term and long-term evapotranspiration rates at ecological restoration sites along a large river receiving rare flow events

Many large rivers around the world no longer flow to their deltas, due to ever greater water withdrawals and diversions for human needs. However, the importance of riparian ecosystems is drawing increasing recognition, leading to the allocation of environmental flows to restore river processes. Accurate estimates of riparian plant...

Shanafield, Margaret; Jurado, Hugo Gutierrez; Burgueño, Jesús Eliana Rodríguez; Hernández, Jorge Ramírez; Jarchow, Christopher; Nagler, Pamela L.
Shanafield, Margaret, Hugo Gutierrez Jurado, , J. Eliana Rodriguez-Burgueño,, Jorge Ramírez-Hernández,, Christopher J. Jarchow, Pamela L .Nagler, (2017). Short-term and long-term evapotranspiration rates at ecological restoration sites along a large river receiving rare flow events. Hydrological Processes. . 10.1002/hyp.11359.

Year Published: 2017

The concurrent use of novel soil surface microclimate measurements to evaluate CO2 pulses in biocrusted interspaces in a cool desert ecosystem

Carbon cycling associated with biological soil crusts, which occupy interspaces between vascular plants in drylands globally, may be an important part of the coupled climate-carbon cycle of the Earth system. A major challenge to understanding CO2 fluxes in these systems is that much of the biotic and biogeochemical activity occurs in the...

Tucker, Colin; McHugh, Theresa A.; Howell, Armin; Gill, Richard; Weber, Bettina; Belnap, Jayne; Grote, Ed; Reed, Sasha C.
Tucker, C.L., McHugh, T.A., Howell, A., Gill, R., Weber, B., Belnap, J., Grote, E., and Reed, S.C., 2017, The concurrent use of novel soil surface microclimate measurements to evaluate CO2 pulses in biocrusted interspaces in a cool desert ecosystem: Biogeochemistry, v. 135, no. 3, p. 239-249, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10533-017-0372-3.