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A biological condition gradient for Caribbean coral reefs: Part II. Numeric rules using sessile benthic organisms

The Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) is a conceptual model used to describe incremental changes in biological condition along a gradient of increasing anthropogenic stress. As coral reefs collapse globally, scientists and managers are focused on how to sustain the crucial structure and functions, and the benefits that healthy coral reef ecosystems provide for many economies and societies. We de

Ambystoma opacum (marbled salamander). Atypical nest sites

The discovery of inconspicuous nests in secretive species not only expands knowledge but can reveal previously unknown behaviors and ecological consequences of those behaviors. Marbled salamanders exhibit the unusual strategy of laying their eggs terrestrially under cover. Here we report multiple occurrences of A. opacum nesting inside logs, which may be atypical for this species.

Using fish community and population indicators to assess the biological condition of streams and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA

The development of indicators to assess relative freshwater condition is critical for management and conservation. Predictive modeling can enhance the utility of indicators by providing estimates of condition for unsurveyed locations. Such approaches grant understanding of where “good” and “poor” conditions occur and provide insight into landscape contexts supporting such conditions. However, as a

Juvenile African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) express growth, metamorphosis, mortality, gene expression, and metabolic changes when exposed to thiamethoxam and clothianidin

Neonicotinoids (NEO) represent the main class of insecticides currently in use, with thiamethoxam (THX) and clothianidin (CLO) primarily applied agriculturally. With few comprehensive studies having been performed with non-target amphibians, the aim was to investigate potential biomarker responses along an adverse outcome pathway of NEO exposure, whereby data were collected on multiple biological

Evaluating establishment success of non-native fishes introduced to inland aquatic habitats of tropical Pacific islands

An information-theoretic approach was used to evaluate non-native freshwater fish species introduced to insular habitats of Hawaii and Guam comparing successful establishments vs. failures. Since the late 1800s, as many as 81 non-native freshwater fish species have been recorded as introduced to Hawaii and Guam (combined) and 50 (62%) of these are documented as having one or more established popul

A characterization of deep-sea coral and sponge communities along the California and Oregon coast using a remotely operated vehicle on the EXPRESS 2018 expedition

Deep-sea coral and sponge (DSCS) communities serve as essential fish habitats (EFH) by providing shelter and nursery habitat, increasing diversity, and increasing prey availability (Freese and Wing, 2003; Bright, 2007; Baillon et al., 2012; Henderson et al., 2020). Threats to these long-lived, fragile organisms from bottom contact fishing gear, potential offshore renewable energy development, and

Capacity assessment for Earth Monitoring, Analysis, and Prediction (EarthMAP) and future integrated monitoring and predictive science at the U.S. Geological Survey

Executive SummaryManagers of our Nation’s resources face unprecedented challenges driven by the convergence of increasing, competing societal demands and a changing climate that affects the stability, vulnerability, and predictability of those resources. To help meet these challenges, the scientific community must take advantage of all available technologies, data, and integrative Earth systems mo

U.S. Geological Survey invasive species research—Improving detection, awareness, decision support, and control

More than 6,500 nonindigenous species are now established in the United States, posing risks to human and wildlife health, native plants and animals, and our valued ecosystems. The annual environmental, economic, and health-related costs of invasive species are substantial. Invasive species can drive native species onto the endangered species list, resulting in associated regulatory costs; exacerb

Environmental DNA surveys of Burmese pythons in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem

Improving the probability of detecting invasive giant snakes is vital for the management of emerging or established populations. Burmese pythons occupy thousands of square kilometers of mostly inaccessible habitats in Florida. Environmental DNA (eDNA) methods have been shown to be time and cost effective in a number of systems and may be preferable to traditional detection methods for constrictor

Similarities and differences between two deadly Caribbean coral diseases: White plague and stony coral tissue loss disease

For several decades, white plagues (WPDs: WPD-I, II and III) and more recently, stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) have significantly impacted Caribbean corals. These diseases are often difficult to separate in the field as they produce similar gross signs. Here we aimed to compare what we know about WPD and SCTLD in terms of: (1) pathology, (2) etiology, and (3) epizootiology. We reviewed ov

Carbon fluxes and potential soil accumulation within Greater Everglades cypress and pine forested wetlands

In forested wetlands, accumulation of organic matter in soil is partly governed by carbon fluxes where photosynthesis, respiration, lateral advection of waterborne carbon, fire-derived carbon emissions, and methanogenesis are balanced by changes in stored carbon. Stored carbon can eventually accumulate as soil over time if net primary productivity exceeds biomass decomposition. For this study, pot

Summary of wetland carbon and environmental management: Path forward

Wetlands around the world are under pressure from both anthropogenic sources such as land-use change and accelerating climate change (Erwin, 2009; Moomaw et al., 2018). Storage of carbon resources is a key ecosystem service of wetlands and offer natural solutions to climate change mitigation; policies and management actions could determine the fate of these resources and their contributions to cli