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.

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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


Date published: September 20, 2021

RAMPS Newsletter - Summer 2021 Edition

Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS)

A Program of the Southwest Biological Science Center & Ecosystems Mission Area

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Year Published: 2022

Vertical movement of soluble carbon and nutrients from biocrusts to subsurface mineral soils

Dryland ecosystems can be constrained by low soil fertility. Within drylands, the soil nutrient and organic carbon (C) cycling that does occur is often mediated by soil surface communities known as biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which cycle C and nutrients in the top ca. 0–2 cm of soil. However, the degree to which biocrusts are...

Young, Kristina E.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Reibold, Robin H.; Reed, Sasha; Swenson, Tami; Northen, Trent; Darrouzet-Nardi, Anthony

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Year Published: 2021

Staggered-entry analysis of breeding phenology and occupancy dynamics of Arizona toads from historically occupied habitats of New Mexico, USA

For species with variable phenology, it is often challenging to produce reliable estimates of population dynamics or changes in occupancy. The Arizona Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus) is a southwestern USA endemic that has been petitioned for legal protection, but status assessments are limited by a lack of information on population trends. Also,...

Forzley, MJ; Ryan, Mason J.; Latella, IM; Giermakowski, JT; Muths, Erin L.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Hossack, Blake R.

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Year Published: 2021

Economic assessment of surface water in the Harney Basin, Oregon

Executive SummaryThe Harney Basin is a closed river basin in southeastern Oregon. Surface water in the basin is used for a variety of social, economic, and ecological benefits. While some surface water uses compete with one another, others are complementary or jointly produce multiple beneficial outcomes. The objective of this study is to conduct...

Bair, Lucas S.; Flyr, Matthew; Huber, Christopher
Bair, L.S., Flyr, M., and Huber, C., 2021, Economic assessment of surface water in the Harney Basin, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021-1087, 43 p.,