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 & 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

News

Date published: July 25, 2019

USGS Press Release: Plant age drives mortality, reproductive success and population dynamics

A USGS press release was published today highlighting a paper describing possible limitations of big sagebrush restoration in the American West after wildfires.   

Date published: June 27, 2019

Why Sagebrush Re-establishment After Fire is so Difficult

Big sagebrush ecosystems are particularly sensitive to wildfires and life history information on big sagebrush is scarce and vital for restoration success.

Date published: June 21, 2019

SBSC Research on Barred and Spotted Owls Covered by Ecological Society of America

The Ecological Society of America put out a press release on a paper that investigated the relative importance of barred owl competition and habitat on northern spotted owls in an effort to assist managers. The lead author of the paper is Charles Yackulic of the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Book review of rattlesnakes of the Grand Canyon, by Schuett, G.W., Smith, C.F., and Ashley, B.

No abstract available.

Nowak, Erika M.; Drost, Charles A.

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Year Published: 2019

Assessing plant production responses to climate across water-limited regions using Google Earth Engine

(Munson) Climate variability and change acting at broad scales can lead to divergent changes in plant production at local scales. Quantifying how production responds to variation in climate at local scales is essential to understand underlying ecological processes and inform land management decision-making, but has historically been limited in...

Bunting, Erin L.; Munson, Seth M.; Bradford, John

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Year Published: 2019

Evolutionary history predicts high-impact invasions by herbivorous insects

A long‐standing goal of invasion biology is to identify factors driving highly variable impacts of non‐native species. Although hypotheses exist that emphasize the role of evolutionary history (e.g., enemy release hypothesis & defense‐free space hypothesis), predicting the impact of non‐native herbivorous insects has eluded scientists for over...

Mech, Angela M.; Thomas, Kathryn A.; Marsico, Travis D.; Herms, Daniel A.; Allen, Craig; Ayres, Matthew P.; Gandhi, Kamal J.K.; Gurevitch, Jessica; Havill, Nathan P.; Hufbauer, Ruth A.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Raffa, Kenneth F.; Schulz, Ashley N.; Uden, Daniel R.; Tobin, Patrick C.