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

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

Flagstaff Festival of Science 2020

Flagstaff Festival of Science 2020

Join us for the first VIRTUAL Flagstaff Festival of Science! Activities begin Friday, September 18th, 2020. There are many live events, including Keynote Speaker Earth Scientist Christa Sadler, as well as recorded presentations. 

Click Here!


Date published: September 25, 2020

Unfamiliar Territory: Emerging Themes for Ecological Drought Research and Management

Novel forms of drought are emerging globally, due to climate change, shifting teleconnection patterns, expanding human water use, and a history of human influence on the environment that increases the probability of transformational ecological impacts. 

Date published: August 10, 2020

RAMPS Newsletter - Summer 2020 Edition

This season's edition of the Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest Newsletter contains recent program highlights including research updates, new projects, field updates and more.

To subscribe to our newsletter, please visit: ...

Date published: August 3, 2020

National Seed Strategy Report

Federal input requested on accomplishments using locally adapted plants in habitat restoration in the USA. Add your projects to a comprehensive federal activities report for the National Seed Strategy and get recognized for your efforts!


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Year Published: 2020

Changes in prey, turbidity, and competition reduce somatic growth and cause the collapse of a fish population

Somatic growth exerts strong control on patterns in the abundance of animal populations via effects on maturation, fecundity, and survival rates of juveniles and adults. In this paper, we quantify abiotic and biotic drivers of rainbow trout growth in the Colorado River, AZ, and the resulting impact on spatial and temporal variation in abundance....

Korman, Josh; Yard, Mike; Dzul, Maria C.; Yackulic, Charles; Dodrill, Michael; Deemer, Bridget; Kennedy, Theodore

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Year Published: 2020

Nitrogen enrichment reduces nitrogen and phosphorus resorption through changes to species resorption and plant community composition

Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition has affected plant community composition and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. This includes changes to the way plants use and recycle nutrients, including effects on nutrient resorption, which is a key process through which plants recover nutrients from tissue during senescence. Nutrient...

Lü, Xiao-Tao; Hou, Shuang-Li; Reed, Sasha; Yin, Jiang-Xia; Hu, Yan-Yu; Wei, Hai-Wei; Zhang, Zhi-Wei; Yang, Guo-Jiao; Liu, Zhuo-Yi; Han, Xing-Guo

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Year Published: 2020

Post-fire growth of seeded and planted big sagebrush - Strategic designs for restoring Greater Sage-grouse nesting habitat

Wildfires change plant community structure and impact wildlife habitat and population dynamics. Recent wildfire‐induced losses of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in North American shrublands are outpacing natural recovery and leading to substantial losses in habitat for sagebrush‐obligate species such as Greater Sage‐grouse. Managers are...

Pyke, David A.; Shriver, Robert K.; Arkle, Robert; Pilliod, David; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Coates, Peter S.; Germino, Matthew; Heinrichs, Julie Arlene; Ricca, Mark A.; Shaff, Scott