Environments Program

Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems are critical for supporting global fisheries, decreasing storm energy, biodiversity, and is home to the 39% of the US population.  Yet these systems are vulnerable to changes at the ocean interface such as sea level rise, as well as to those in the watershed such as urbanization, pollution, water diversion, and erosion.

USGS scientists predict how these changes will affect coastal ecosystems and the downstream impacts of those changes on biodiversity and coastal processes.  We provide cutting-edge scientific information for the decisions made along our coastlines by natural resource managers, agencies, engineers, community planners and residents. 

Mangrove Science Network

Mangrove Science Network

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Current Science

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Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: April 9, 2019
Status: Active

Deepwater Atlantic Habitats II: Continued Atlantic Research and Exploration in Deepwater Ecosystems with Focus on Coral, Canyon, and Seep Communities. Part II: Genetic Connectivity and Oceanomic Studies

This study utilizes genetics and genomics techniques to characterize biodiversity and genetic connectivity among deep-sea coral habitats and cold seeps in and near submarine canyons and will use environmental DNA techniques to characterize plankton diversity and to identify key contributors to carbon export from surface waters that sustain sensitive benthic communities. The proposed genetics...

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Active

Marine Ecosystems

The USGS conducts research on marine wildlife, habitats, and processes to provide science to inform our partners as they make decisions relative to species status, resource use, and human activities.

Date published: May 11, 2016
Status: Active

Rate and Process of Mangrove Forest Expansion on Carbon Relations in Coastal Louisiana

Field observations over recent decades have confirmed mangrove expansion landward in tropical zones and poleward in temperate saltmarsh settings around the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Date published: April 17, 2016
Status: Active

Macroclimatic Controls of Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Structure and Function

At the global-scale, macroclimatic drivers govern ecosystem structure and function in tidal saline wetlands (e.g., salt marshes, mangrove forests, salt flats). However, global reviews and models for these ecosystems typically do not directly include climatic drivers. The objective of this research is to examine and forecast the effects of macroclimatic drivers on wetland ecosystem structure...

Date published: April 16, 2016
Status: Active

Climate Change Effects on Coastal Marsh Foundation Species

Mangrove forests have migrated inland over the past few decades at many locations along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. This expansion has been attributed to factors associated with climate change, such as increased salinity resulting from sea-level rise and longer intervals between winter freezes, which can kill cold-intolerant mangrove species. 

Date published: April 8, 2016
Status: Active

Dynamics and Fluxes of Nutrients along Environmental Gradients in the Florida Everglades, USA

USGS research in the Florida Everglades will provide information on how environmental conditions and disturbances impact carbon storage in mangrove systems.

Date published: February 26, 2016
Status: Active

Life on the Edge: Can Corals Thriving in Mangroves Provide Insights into Climate Change?

On an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, USGS scientists discover corals are seeking refuge from climate change in mangroves.