Status and Trends Program

Natural Stressors

The status and trends of organisms, habitats and ecosystems is often controlled by environmental and anthropogenic stressors that have the potential to impact the health and productivity of lands and waters of management concern.

Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Interaction of land use and wet/dry cycles on invertebrate populations of northern prairie wetlands: implications for waterbird habitat conservation

This effort is aimed at understanding how productivity of larger and more permanent wetlands is influenced by a combination of inter-annual hydrological dynamics and land-use impacts. Historically, aquatic-invertebrates productivity and abundance was driven by inter-annual hydrological dynamics because drying periods allow for nutrient cycling and a subsequent pulse of productivity when wet...

Contacts: Michael Anteau
Date published: March 6, 2018
Status: Active

Alpine Wildlife and Snowpack Dynamics in the North Cascades

Mountain ecosystems are expected to change with continued reductions in annual snowpack that have been observed worldwide over the past half-century. Recent snow droughts in North America have been attributed to unusually warm temperatures that cause winter precipitation to fall as rain, rather than snow. Many species of alpine wildlife depend on snowpack for insulation from extreme cold and...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Fire Severity Trends in the Western U.S.

How will increased drought affect forest fire severity? WERC’s Dr. Phil van Mantgem is testing the idea increased drought stress may affect forest fire severity independent of fire intensity. Drought stress prior to fire can affect tree health, potentially resulting in a higher sensitivity to fire-induced damage. Thus, with drought there may be ongoing increases in fire severity (the number of...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecological Stressors - Rocky Coastlines, Mangroves, Marshes, Droughts, and Storms

Coastal estuaries that contain marshes and mangroves are currently being reshaped by changing ocean and atmospheric conditions through prolong drought, sea-level rise and increased extreme storm events. Many projected increases in sea-level are expected to result in loss of tidal wetlands and their component species. In addition, changing sediment loads, extreme tide and storm events, and...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Drought and Western Forests

USGS WERC's Dr. Phil van Mantgem and his collaborators are using plot-based methods to describe change and vulnerability to drought in the forests of the western United States. A focus of this work is the installation and maintenance of large (1 ha) monitoring plots. Many other vegetation monitoring strategies are based on small (0.1 ha) plots, which may not be sufficient to detect changes in...

Date published: June 14, 2017
Status: Active

Stressors to Greater Sage-Grouse

The Greater Sage-grouse is a small bird found only in the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin. Invasions of non-native grasses, evolving wildfire patterns, grazing from livestock, and human land uses are changing this unique ecosystem. WERC’s Dr. Pete Coates studies sage-grouse populations to determine how these influences could affect the bird and other wildlife in the future.

Contacts: Peter Coates
Date published: December 9, 2016
Status: Active

RAMPS: Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest

The Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) seeks to assist U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other land management agencies in developing successful techniques for improving land condition in dryland ecosystems of the southwestern United States. Invasion by non-native species, wildfire, drought, and other disturbances are growing...