Southwest Biological Science Center
Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, which may affect soil organisms in ways that cause surfaces to become lighter in color and thus reflect more sunlight, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
Several news sources have reported on a recently published paper by Travis Nauman and Mike Duniway titled, “Disturbance automated reference toolset (DART): assessing patterns in ecological recovery from energy development on the Colorado Plateau”.
A new scientific approach can now provide regional assessments of land recovery following oil and gas drilling activities, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
A video put out by CBS discusses some of the ecological issues of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in UT such as nonnative annual grasses, disturbance caused by cattle grazing, and the difficulty of getting native, perennial grasses established. The video focuses on the research of SBSC’s Rebecca Mann and Mike Duniway, who are studying the use connectivity modifiers (ConMods) in restoration.
National Geographic posted a video on their webpage titled, “At 17 Million Years Old, Grand Canyon Still Has Lessons to Teach”. The video focuses on the importance of the Colorado River, mostly from the perspective of participants in the Grand Canyon Youth program, a partner of the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC) (part the Southwest Biological Science Center).
In 2014, a large pulse of water was released into the mostly dry delta of the Colorado River along the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. Geological Survey scientists are studying the effects of the pulse on the environment as part of a historic, bi-national collaborative effort. The pulse flow and the need to study its effects were accepted as part of the Minute 319 of the 1944 U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty.
Biocrust 3 Conference Begins Next Week in Moab, Utah.
Alternative Flows Might Mitigate Negative Impacts
A new U.S. Geological Survey study shows how plants’ vulnerability to drought varies across the landscape; factors such as plant structure and soil type where the plant is growing can either make them more vulnerable or protect them from declines.
The U.S. Geological Survey has named ecologist David Lytle the director of its Southwest Biological Science Center, headquartered in Flagstaff.
“Rapid growth, changes in land use, and limited rainfall in the southwest region of the U.S. create challenges for natural resource management,” remarked USGS director Marcia McNutt.