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Ecological research is largely concerned with the system levels beyond that of the organism. An ecological community is all the animal and plant populations occupying a given area. Research to understand ecosystem use by humans has led to the development of sub-disciplines such as sustainable development, resilience theory, restoration ecology, and ecosystem services.

Ecosystems Research
Filter Total Items: 57
Date published: April 27, 2016

Mangrove Science Network

The Mangrove Science Network is a collaboration of USGS scientists focused on working with natural resource managers to develop and conduct research whose findings will support and evaluate decisions made in mangrove management and restoration.
USGS research on mangrove ecosystem biology includes mangrove regeneration, tree growth, sedimentation, and early seedling development.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Wildland Fire Research

Wildfires are a natural hazard in most regions of the United States. They serve a vital role in nature but can also be unusually intense, widespread, or frequent. As a result, response and recovery costs are increasing because of the increased risks to firefighters, homes and property, and threats to communities, landscapes, and species are increasing.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Ecosystem Management and Restoration

USGS scientists assist partners who manage ecosystems by conducting research which leads to innovative management options, a better understanding of how the system responds to management, and the design of robust monitoring frameworks. USGS scientists also work with decision makers and stakeholders to develop decision analytic frameworks.

Date published: April 26, 2016

Society of Wetland Scientists Virtual Booth

Contact information for our researchers and examples of products they would like to share with you.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Deserts

Deserts are areas of the country which receive less than 10 in (250 mm) annual precipitation. In the United States, we have four distinct major deserts. Three are “hot deserts” because they receive precipitation in the summer months (Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan) and one “cold desert” because it receives precipitation during the winter (Great Basin).

Date published: February 26, 2016

Ecological Stressors

Ecological Stressors are physical, chemical, and biological factors that impact the condition and integrity of ecosystems and can change the trajectories of species and ecosystems. Stressors can be natural (fire, storms, insect outbreaks), or anthropogenic (e.g., climate change, fire, energy development).

Date published: February 26, 2016

Wetlands

USGS research on wetlands spans the range from freshwater alpine lakes in the Western United States to salt marshes along the Gulf; from the coastline of Alaska to the Southeastern US, and from vernal pools to the Great Lakes. Our scientists conduct research at local, national and international scales.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Oceans

Both the ocean and coastal ecosystems are experiencing changes.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Priority Ecosystems Science Projects

Focused ecosystem research and restoration.

Filter Total Items: 64
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Year Published: 2013

Wetland fire scar monitoring and analysis using archival Landsat data for the Everglades

The ability to document the frequency, extent, and severity of fires in wetlands, as well as the dynamics of post-fire wetland land cover, informs fire and wetland science, resource management, and ecosystem protection. Available information on Everglades burn history has been based on field data collection methods that evolved through time and...

Jones, John W.; Hall, Annette E.; Foster, Ann M.; Smith, Thomas J.
Wetland fire scar monitoring and analysis using archival Landsat data for the Everglades; 2013; Article; Journal; Fire Ecology; Jones, John W.; Hall, Annette E.; Foster, Ann M.; Smith, Thomas J., III

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Year Published: 2012

Production and disposal of waste materials from gas and oil extraction from the Marcellus Shale Play in Pennsylvania

The increasing world demand for energy has led to an increase in the exploration and extraction of natural gas, condensate, and oil from unconventional organic-rich shale plays. However, little is known about the quantity, transport, and disposal method of wastes produced during the extraction process. We examined the quantity of waste produced by...

Maloney, Kelly O.; Yoxtheimer, David A.
Production and disposal of waste materials from gas and oil extraction from the Marcellus Shale Play in Pennsylvania; 2012; Article; Journal; Environmental Practice; Maloney, Kelly O.; Yoxtheimer, David A.

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Year Published: 2011

Structured decision making as a proactive approach to dealing with sea level rise in Florida

Sea level rise (SLR) projections along the coast of Florida present an enormous challenge for management and conservation over the long term. Decision makers need to recognize and adopt strategies to adapt to the potentially detrimental effects of SLR. Structured decision making (SDM) provides a rigorous framework for the management of natural...

Martin, Julien; Fackler, Paul L.; Nichols, James D.; Lubow, Bruce C.; Eaton, Mitchell J.; Runge, Michael C.; Stith, Bradley M.; Langtimm, Catherine A.
Structured decision making as a proactive approach to dealing with sea level rise in Florida; 2011; Article; Journal; Climatic Change; Martin, Julien ; Fackler, Paul L.; Nichols, James D.; Lubow, Bruce C.; Eaton, Mitchell J.; Runge, Michael C.; Stith, Bradley M.; Langtimm, Catherine A.

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Year Published: 2011

A decision-analytic approach to the optimal allocation of resources for endangered species consultation

The resources available to support conservation work, whether time or money, are limited. Decision makers need methods to help them identify the optimal allocation of limited resources to meet conservation goals, and decision analysis is uniquely suited to assist with the development of such methods. In recent years, a number of case studies have...

Converse, Sarah J.; Shelley, Kevin J.; Morey, Steve; Chan, Jeffrey; LaTier, Andrea; Scafidi, Carolyn; Crouse, Deborah T.; Runge, Michael C.
A decision-analytic approach to the optimal allocation of resources for endangered species consultation; 2011; Article; Journal; Biological Conservation; Converse, S. J.; Shelley, K. J.; Morey, S.; Chan, J.; LaTier, A.; Scafidi, C.; Crouse, D. T.; Runge, M. C.

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Year Published: 2011

Design of ecoregional monitoring in conservation areas of high-latitude ecosystems under contemporary climate change

Land ownership in Alaska includes a mosaic of federally managed units. Within its agency’s context, each unit has its own management strategy, authority, and resources of conservation concern, many of which are migratory animals. Though some units are geographically isolated, many are nevertheless linked by paths of abiotic and biotic flows...

Beever, Erik A.; Woodward, Andrea
Design of ecoregional monitoring in conservation areas of high-latitude ecosystems under contemporary climate change; 2011; Article; Journal; Biological Conservation; Beever, E. A.; Woodward, A.

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Year Published: 2011

Geographic profiling to assess the risk of rare plant poaching in natural areas

We demonstrate the use of an expert-assisted spatial model to examine geographic factors influencing the poaching risk of a rare plant (American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius L.) in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA. Following principles of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), we identified a hierarchy of 11 geographic factors...

Young, J.A.; Van Manen, F.T.; Thatcher, C.A.

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Year Published: 2010

Optimal control of native predators

We apply decision theory in a structured decision-making framework to evaluate how control of raccoons (Procyon lotor), a native predator, can promote the conservation of a declining population of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our management objective was to maintain Oystercatcher productivity...

Martin, Julien; O'Connell, Allan F.; Kendall, William L.; Runge, Michael C.; Simons, Theodore R.; Waldstein, Arielle H.; Schulte, Shiloh A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Smith, Graham W.; Pinion, Timothy; Rikard, Michael; Zipkin, Elise F.
Optimal control of native predators; 2010; Article; Journal; Biological Conservation; Martin, Julien; O'Connell, Allan F. Jr.; Kendall, William L.; Runge, Michael C.; Simons, Theodore R.; Waldstein, Arielle H.; Schulte, Shiloh A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Smith, Graham W.; Pinion, Timothy ; Rikard, Michael ; Zipkin, Elise F.

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Year Published: 2010

Long-term persistence of spent lead shot in tundra wetlands

We seeded experimental plots with number 4 lead pellets and sampled these plots for 10 years to assess the settlement rate of pellets in tundra wetland types commonly used by foraging waterfowl. After 10 years, about 10% of pellets remained within 6 cm of the surface, but >50% remained within 10 cm. We predict that spent lead pellets will...

Flint, Paul L.; Schamber, Jason L.
Long-term persistence of spent lead shot in tundra wetlands; 2010; Article; Journal; The Journal of Wildlife Management; Flint, Paul L.; Schamber, Jason L.

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Year Published: 2010

Framework for ecological monitoring on lands of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and their partners

National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska and throughout the U.S. have begun developing a spatially comprehensive monitoring program to inform management decisions, and to provide data to broader research projects. In an era of unprecedented rates of climate change, monitoring is essential to detecting, understanding, communicating and mitigating...

Woodward, Andrea; Beever, Erik A.
Framework for ecological monitoring on lands of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and their partners, Anchorage, Alaska; 2010; OFR; 2010-1300; Add Authors from IPDS Emails

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Year Published: 2010

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Western Region: Coastal ecosystem responses to influences from land and sea, Coastal and Ocean Science

Sea otters and the nearshore ecosystems they inhabit-from highly urbanized California to relatively pristine Alaska-are the focus of a new multidisciplinary study by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and a suite of international, academic and government collaborators. The Coastal Ecosystem Responses to Influences from Land and Sea...

Bodkin, James L.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Western Region: Coastal ecosystem responses to influences from land and sea, Coastal and Ocean Science; 2010; FS; 2010-3099; Bodkin, James L.

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Year Published: 2010

Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas

The Arctic region is warming faster than most regions of the world due in part to increasing greenhouse gases and positive feedbacks associated with the loss of snow and ice cover. One consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades?a decline that is projected to continue by state-of-the-art models. Many stakeholders...

Douglas, David C.
Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas; 2010; OFR; 2010-1176; Douglas, D. C.

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Year Published: 2010

Iceberg calving during transition from grounded to floating ice: Columbia Glacier, Alaska

The terminus of Columbia Glacier, Alaska, unexpectedly became ungrounded in 2007 during its prolonged retreat. Visual observations showed that calving changed from a steady release of low-volume bergs, to episodic flow-perpendicular rifting, propagation, and release of very large icebergs - a style reminiscent of calving from ice shelves. Here, we...

Walter, Fabian; O'Neel, Shad; McNamara, Daniel; Pfeffer, W.T.; Bassis, Jeremy N.; Fricker, Helen Amanda
Iceberg calving during transition from grounded to floating ice: Columbia Glacier, Alaska; 2010; Article; Journal; Geophysical Research Letters; Walter, Fabian; O'Neel, Shad; McNamara, Daniel; Pfeffer, W.T.; Bassis, Jeremy N.; Fricker, Helen Amanda