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Southwest Biological Science Center

Welcome to the Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC)! We conduct quality, objective research on the terrestrial and aquatic systems of the Colorado Plateau, Colorado River and its tributaries, drylands across the larger Southwest US, and beyond.

News

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SBSC’s restoration research featured in the 2023 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report

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SBSC scientists publish one of the longest water quality records for any reservoir

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JOB ALERT! Post-doc position open for highly motivated algal or macrophyte ecologist to study diatom community dynamics and ecosystem metabolism in a regulated river

Publications

Livestock removal increases plant cover across a heterogeneous dryland landscape on the Colorado Plateau

Livestock removal is increasingly used as a management option to mitigate the negative impacts of grazing-related disturbances on rangelands. Removal generally increases plant cover, but it is unclear when, where, and by how much plant and soil cover changes can be expected. On the Colorado Plateau, complex geology, topography, soils, and climate all interact to mediate the relationship between la

Over half a century record of limnology data from Lake Powell, desert southwest United States: From reservoir filling to present day (1964–2021)

Lake Powell is a large water storage reservoir in the arid southwestern United States. Here, we present a 58-yr limnology dataset that captures water quality parameters from reservoir filling to present day (temperature, salinity, major ions, total suspended solids), as well as a 38-yr record of Secchi depth, and a ~ 30-yr record of nutrients, phytoplankton, and zooplankton assemblages. The datase

Taxonomic identity, biodiversity, and antecedent disturbances shape the dimensional stability of stream invertebrates

The “dimensional stability” approach measures different components of ecological stability to investigate how they are related. Yet, most empirical work has used small-scale and short-term experimental manipulations. Here, we apply this framework to a long-term observational dataset of stream macroinvertebrates sampled between the winter flooding and summer monsoon seasons. We test hypotheses that

Science

Informing seed transfer guidelines and native plant materials development: Research supporting restoration across the Colorado Plateau and beyond

As restoration needs for natural landscapes grow due to higher frequency and/or intensity disturbances, pressure from invasive species, and impacts resulting from changing climates, considerable time and resources are being invested to guide the development and deployment of native plant materials (NPMs). Across lower elevations of the Colorado Plateau, a region composed primarily of public land...
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Informing seed transfer guidelines and native plant materials development: Research supporting restoration across the Colorado Plateau and beyond

As restoration needs for natural landscapes grow due to higher frequency and/or intensity disturbances, pressure from invasive species, and impacts resulting from changing climates, considerable time and resources are being invested to guide the development and deployment of native plant materials (NPMs). Across lower elevations of the Colorado Plateau, a region composed primarily of public land...
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Genomic Research Supporting Western Conservation

In the western United States (U.S.), there are many regionally restricted, rare species resulting from complex demographic and ecological processes through time. In addition to the inherent risks associated with being rare (i.e., having few individuals spread over a limited area that could be disproportionately affected by chance events), anthropogenic disturbances are increasing in magnitude...
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Genomic Research Supporting Western Conservation

In the western United States (U.S.), there are many regionally restricted, rare species resulting from complex demographic and ecological processes through time. In addition to the inherent risks associated with being rare (i.e., having few individuals spread over a limited area that could be disproportionately affected by chance events), anthropogenic disturbances are increasing in magnitude...
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Genetics for Western Restoration and Conservation (GWRC)

Research using genetic principles, methods, and data provides critical information for restoration and conservation science. Genetic research may rely only upon genomic sequencing techniques, which generate abundant, genome-wide DNA sequences that can provide a glimpse into a species’ evolutionary history and adaptations. Genetic research may also look at an organism’s physical traits to...
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Genetics for Western Restoration and Conservation (GWRC)

Research using genetic principles, methods, and data provides critical information for restoration and conservation science. Genetic research may rely only upon genomic sequencing techniques, which generate abundant, genome-wide DNA sequences that can provide a glimpse into a species’ evolutionary history and adaptations. Genetic research may also look at an organism’s physical traits to...
Learn More