Southwest Biological Science Center

Filter Total Items: 56
Date published: December 21, 2017
Status: Active

Mountain Lions of the Intermountain West

The presence of top predators is considered an indication of ecosystem health and can play a vital role in ecosystem functioning by promoting biodiversity, and can contribute to regulating prey species abundance, and herbivory.  In the intermountain west, the largest mammalian predator and obligate carnivore is the mountain lion, Puma concolor.  This elusive and wide-ranging predator...

Date published: August 5, 2017

Distributed Field Trial Network for Dryland Restoration

Recovery from disturbance represents a substantial challenge to agencies that manage large tracts of land in the Southwest. Despite the demand for restoration and rehabilitation, little information is available to help managers effectively reestablish native perennial vegetation and stabilize soils, especially given changing climate and disturbance regimes.

Forestry and agriculture have...

Contacts: Molly McCormick, Seth Munson, Brad Butterfield
Date published: May 14, 2017

Rainbow Trout Abundance and Movement in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon

Just below Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River is a very popular Blue Ribbon trout fishery known for its rainbow trout. However, approximately 78 miles downstream, near were the Little Colorado River flows into the Colorado River, is a population of endangered humpback chub. The introduced rainbow trout can negatively affect native humpback chub by competing with them for food (immature...

Contacts: Charles Yackulic, Josh Korman
Date published: April 24, 2017

Colorado Plateau Futures: Understanding Agents of Change on the Colorado Plateau to Facilitate Collaborative Adaptation

The objective of this interdisciplinary research effort is to 1) characterize agents of change important to land management decision makers on the Colorado Plateau; 2) identify and analyze relationships between agents of change and key landscape attributes and processes; 3) collectively assess the influence of agents of change and attributes and processes on the services provided by the...

Date published: February 28, 2017

Southwest Energy Development and Drought (SWEDD)

Deserts of the southwestern US are replete with oil and gas deposits as well as sites for solar, wind, and geothermal energy production. In the past, many of these resources have been too expensive to develop, but increased demand and new technologies have led to an increase in exploration and development. However, desert ecosystems generally have low resilience to disturbance. More frequent,...

Date published: February 28, 2017

Amazon Dams Network: Advancing Integrative Research and Adaptive Management of Social-Ecological Systems Transformed by Hydroelectric Dams

The overall goal of this project is to advance inter- and trans-disciplinary research coordination, focusing on the transformation of social-ecological systems by hydroelectric dam construction in the Amazon and the United States. The experience gained by Southwest Biological Science Center researchers working on the...

Contacts: Theodore Melis, Simone Athyade, Bette Loiselle, David Kaplan, Stephanie Bohlmann
Date published: February 14, 2017

Informing Renewable Energy Development Siting Decisions with Vertebrate Biodiversity Measures

Renewable energy development is expanding in southwestern deserts, including in Arizona. Energy developers look to resource management agencies to provide siting guidance on public lands where there might be conflicts with wildlife. Often, agency guidance considers species of conservation concern and economic importance, but information on comprehensive vertebrate biodiversity has been hard to...

Date published: February 13, 2017

Predicting the Next High-Impact Insect Invasion

Although most introduced insects are relatively benign, some become high-impact pests causing widespread ecological and economic damage. Introduced insects that are specialists and feed on a single genus of plants can be high-impact as they can potentially eliminate an entire native plant genus over large areas. Luckily, most introduced insects with this feeding behavior do not become high-...

Date published: February 9, 2017

Invertebrate Drift Downstream of Colorado River Basin Dams

Aquatic invertebrates are critical food for fish and other species that inhabit large rivers. In the Colorado River Basin, invertebrates that get transported down the river (“in the drift”) are particularly important to rainbow trout and other species of interest to recreational users. This research seeks to compare rivers downstream of large dams throughout the Colorado River Basin in order...

Date published: January 18, 2017

Citizen Science Light Trapping in Grand Canyon

Aquatic insects are commonly used to gauge the health of stream and river ecosystems, yet collecting enough samples to adequately characterize a river segment as long as the Colorado River through Grand Canyon (> 250 miles) would be essentially impossible using traditional sampling methods. Since 2012, our group has been collaborating with river guides, private boaters, and educational...

Date published: January 18, 2017

Uncovering the Base of the Food Web: Primary Production Dynamics in the Colorado River

Algae, phytoplankton, and rooted macrophytes represent the base of many aquatic food webs and are known as primary producers. Through photosynthesis, these organisms convert sunlight energy into chemical energy (i.e., carbon) that in turn fuels the growth of animals such as macroinvertebrates and fish. This project uses high frequency measurements of dissolved oxygen, which is a by-product of...

Date published: December 30, 2016

River Sediment Dynamics

Sediment controls the physical habitat of river ecosystems.  Changes in the amount and areal distribution of different sediment types cause changes in river-channel form and river habitat.  The amount and type of sediment suspended in the water column determines water clarity.  Understanding sediment transport and the conditions under which sediment is deposited or eroded from the various...