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Soil depth and precipitation moderate soil textural effects on seedling survival of a foundation shrub species

In drylands, there is a need for controlled experiments over multiple planting years to examine how woody seedlings respond to soil texture and the potentially interactive effects of soil depth and precipitation. Understanding how multiple environmental factors interactively influence plant establishment is critical to restoration ecology and in this case to broad-scale restoration efforts in west

Decline in biological soil crust N-fixing lichens linked to increasing summertime temperatures

Across many global drylands, biocrusts form a protective barrier on the soil surface and fill many critical roles in these harsh yet fragile environments. Previous short-term research suggests that climate change and invasive plant introduction can damage and alter biocrust communities, yet few long-term observations exist. Using a globally unique long-term record of continuous biocrust surveys fr

Environmental filtering controls soil biodiversity in wet tropical ecosystems

The environmental factors controlling soil biodiversity along resource gradients remain poorly understood in wet tropical ecosystems. Aboveground biodiversity is expected to be driven by changes in nutrient availability in these ecosystems, however, much less is known about the importance of nutrient availability in driving soil biodiversity. Here, we combined a cross-continental soil survey acros

Landscape-scale forest restoration decreases vulnerability to drought mortality under climate change in southwest USA ponderosa forest

Drought-induced tree mortality is predicted to increase in dry forests across the western USA as future projections show hotter, drier climates potentially resulting in large-scale tree die-offs, changes in species composition, and loss of forest ecosystem services, including carbon storage. While some studies have found that forest stands with greater basal areas (BA) have higher drought mortalit

The use of continuous sediment-transport measurements to improve sand-load estimates in a large sand-bedded river: The Lower Chippewa River, WI

Accurately determining sediment loads is necessary for managing river environments but is difficult because multiple processes can lead to large discharge-independent changes in sediment transport. Thus, estimations of sediment load using discharge–sediment rating curves fit to sparse or historical sediment-transport measurements can be inaccurate, necessitating alternative approaches to reduce un

Winter 2020-2021 edition

In this edition: 2021 year in review, native seed development process, RestoreNet protocol published and lots of associated research, a handful of climate change science, and more.

The effects of requested flows for native fish on sediment dynamics, geomorphology, and riparian vegetation for the Green River in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Releases of water from Flaming Gorge Dam together with climate-related variations in runoff determine the streamflow regime of the Green River, which affects the physical characteristics of the channel and riparian ecosystem of the Green River corridor in Canyonlands National Park. The dam has decreased peak streamflows and raised base streamflows, resulting in vegetation encroachment and channel

Comparison of electrofishing and PIT antennas for detection of hatchery-reared Roundtail Chub (Gila robusta) stocked into a desert stream

Stocking of rare native fishes for conservation purposes is a common practice in the southwestern United States. Monitoring typically occurs after hatchery-reared fish are released to assess post-stocking movement and survival. We conducted a two-year study, in which tow-barge electrofishing and portable, flat-bed passive integrated transponder (PIT) antennas were used to monitor PIT-tagged, hatch

Identifying factors linked with persistence of reintroduced populations: Lessons learned from 25 years of amphibian translocations

Conservation translocations are increasingly used to help recover imperiled species. However, success of establishing populations remains low, especially for amphibians. Identifying factors associated with translocation success can help increase efficiency and efficacy of recovery efforts. Since the 1990s, several captive and semi-captive facilities have produced Chiricahua Leopard Frogs (Rana chi

Assessing vegetation recovery from energy development using a dynamic reference approach

Ecologically relevant references are useful for evaluating ecosystem recovery, but references that are temporally static may be less useful when environmental conditions and disturbances are spatially and temporally heterogeneous. This challenge is particularly acute for ecosystems dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), where communities may require decades to recover from disturbance. We demons

Rocky Mountain Region Science Exchange 2020—EarthMAP and the Colorado River Basin

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Rocky Mountain Region (RMR) hosted USGS scientists, managers, program coordinators, and leadership team members for a virtual Science Exchange during September 15–17, 2020. The Science Exchange had 216 registered participants and included 48 talks over the 3-day period. Invited speakers presented information about the novel USGS Earth Monitoring, Analysis, and Pre

Human-in-the-Loop segmentation of earth surface imagery

Segmentation, or the classification of pixels (grid cells) in imagery, is ubiquitously applied in the natural sciences. Manual methods are often prohibitively time-consuming, especially those images consisting of small objects and/or significant spatial heterogeneity of colors or textures. Labeling complicated regions of transition that in Earth surface imagery are represented by collections of mi