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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.

News

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How the Rio Grande changed: 100 years of history

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Friday's Findings - January 14th 2022

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National Seed Strategy Provides Native Seed Progress

Publications

Applied citizen science in freshwater research

Worldwide, scientists are increasingly collaborating with the general public. Citizen science methods are readily applicable to freshwater research, monitoring, and education. In addition to providing cost-effective data on spatial and temporal scales that are otherwise unattainable, citizen science provides unique opportunities for engagement with local communities and stakeholders in resource ma

Nutrient identity modifies the destabilising effects of eutrophication in grasslands

Nutrient enrichment can simultaneously increase and destabilise plant biomass production, with co-limitation by multiple nutrients potentially intensifying these effects. Here, we test how factorial additions of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium with essential nutrients (K+) affect the stability (mean/standard deviation) of aboveground biomass in 34 grasslands over 7 years. Destabilisatio

Biocrusts mediate a new mechanism for land degradation under a changing climate

Global concerns for desertification have focused on the slow recovery of extensive and expanding drylands following disturbance, which may be exacerbated by climate change. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are photosynthetic soil communities found in drylands worldwide, which are central to the stability and resilience of dryland ecosystems, but vulnerable to global change. Here we use multiple

Science

The Gemini Solar Project

The United States is developing renewable energy resources, especially solar, at a rapid rate. Although renewable energy development is widely perceived by the public as “green technology,” construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning of facilities all have known and potential negative impacts to natural resources, including plant communities and wildlife. This is especially...
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The Gemini Solar Project

The United States is developing renewable energy resources, especially solar, at a rapid rate. Although renewable energy development is widely perceived by the public as “green technology,” construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning of facilities all have known and potential negative impacts to natural resources, including plant communities and wildlife. This is especially...
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Drought & Grazing Experiment: Understanding Impacts and Identifying Mitigation Strategies

Drylands (sometimes called ‘deserts’ or ‘arid and semi-arid' ecosystems) are defined by water scarcity. Understanding how land-use activities may effect dryland ecosystems and dryland ecological processes is a high priority for land conservation and management. Grazing by domestic livestock (typically cattle but also sheep and goats) is the most widespread land-use in drylands globally and a large...
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Drought & Grazing Experiment: Understanding Impacts and Identifying Mitigation Strategies

Drylands (sometimes called ‘deserts’ or ‘arid and semi-arid' ecosystems) are defined by water scarcity. Understanding how land-use activities may effect dryland ecosystems and dryland ecological processes is a high priority for land conservation and management. Grazing by domestic livestock (typically cattle but also sheep and goats) is the most widespread land-use in drylands globally and a large...
Learn More

Bug Flows: Improving Food Web Health by Giving Bugs the Weekends Off

Native and desired nonnative fish downstream of Glen Canyon Dam are food limited—meaning that if more or larger invertebrate food items were available, there would be more and larger fish. Aquatic insects have complex life cycles that include egg, larvae, and pupal stages that are aquatic while adults have wings and are typically terrestrial. Aquatic insects are a fundamental component of river...
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Bug Flows: Improving Food Web Health by Giving Bugs the Weekends Off

Native and desired nonnative fish downstream of Glen Canyon Dam are food limited—meaning that if more or larger invertebrate food items were available, there would be more and larger fish. Aquatic insects have complex life cycles that include egg, larvae, and pupal stages that are aquatic while adults have wings and are typically terrestrial. Aquatic insects are a fundamental component of river...
Learn More