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.
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
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
SBSC Quick Links
Use the links below as shortcutsSBSC Science
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.
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.
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.
Biological soil crusts: Diminutive communities of potential global importance
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are widespread, diverse communities of cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and mosses living on soil surfaces, primarily in drylands. Biocrusts can locally govern primary production, soil fertility, hydrology, and surface energy balance, with considerable variation in these functions across alternate community states...Ferrenberg, Scott; Tucker, Colin; Reed, Sasha C.
Climate change may restrict dryland forest regeneration in the 21st century
The persistence and geographic expansion of dryland forests in the 21st century will be influenced by how climate change supports the demographic processes associated with tree regeneration. Yet, the way that climate change may alter regeneration is unclear. We developed a quantitative framework that estimates forest regeneration potential (RP) as...Petrie, M.D.; Bradford, John B.; Hubbard, R.M.; Lauenroth, W.K.; Andrews, Caitlin; Schlaepfer, D.R.
The evolution of different maternal investment strategies in two closely related desert vertebrates
We compared egg size phenotypes and tested several predictions from the optimal egg size (OES) and bet-hedging theories in two North American desert-dwelling sister tortoise taxa, Gopherus agassizii and G. morafkai, that inhabit different climate spaces: relatively unpredictable and more predictable climate spaces, respectively. Observed...Ennen, Joshua R.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Agha, Mickey; Loughran, Caleb; Tennant, Laura A.; Sinervo, Barry