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Find out more about the Land Management Research Program through our publications.

The U.S. Geological Survey Landscape Science Strategy 2020-2030 gives an in-depth explanation of the focus and vision for USGS landscape science.

Filter Total Items: 252

Demography with drones: Detecting growth and survival of shrubs with unoccupied aerial systems

Large-scale disturbances, such as megafires, motivate restoration at equally large extents. Measuring the survival and growth of individual plants plays a key role in current efforts to monitor restoration success. However, the scale of modern restoration (e.g., >10,000 ha) challenges measurements of demographic rates with field data. In this study, we demonstrate how unoccupied aerial system (UAS

Peter J. Olsoy, Andrii Zaiats, Donna M. Delparte, Matthew Germino, Bryce Richardson, Anna V. Roser, Jennifer S. Forbey, Megan E Cattau, Trevor Caughlin

Functional gene composition and metabolic potential of deep-sea coral-associated microbial communities

Over the past decade, an abundance of 16S rRNA gene surveys have provided microbiologists with data regarding the prokaryotes present in a coral-associated microbial community. Functional gene studies that provide information regarding what those microbes might do are fewer, particularly for non-tropical corals. Using the GeoChip 5.0S microarray, we present a functional gene study of microbiomes f

Zoe A. Pratte, Frank J. Stewart, Christina A. Kellogg

Ecological effects of pinyon-juniper removal in the Western United States—A synthesis of scientific research, January 2014–March 2021

Executive SummaryIncreasing density of pinyon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands (hereinafter “pinyon-juniper”), as well as expansion of these woodlands into adjacent shrublands and grasslands, has altered ecosystem function and wildlife habitat across large areas of the interior western United States. Although there are many natural and human-caused drivers of woodland infilling
Douglas J. Shinneman, Susan K. McIlroy, Sharon A Poessel, Rosemary L. Downing, Tracey N. Johnson, Aaron C. Young, Todd E. Katzner

Northwest Forest Plan — The first 25 years (1994–2018): Watershed condition status and trends

This report describes status and trends in watershed condition across the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) area over the first 25 years since its inception in 1994. The program charged with this task is the Aquatic and Riparian Effectiveness Monitoring Program (AREMP), which has assembled information from field data collection, spatial datasets, and a host of landscape models to evaluate the status an
Jason B. Dunham, Christine Hirsch, Sean Gordon, Rebecca L. Flitcroft, Nathan Chelgren, Marcía N. Snyder, David P Hockman-Wert, Gordon H. Reeves, Heidi V. Andersen, Scott K. Anderson, William A. Battaglin, Tom A. Black, Jason Brown, Shannon Claeson, Lauren Hay, Emily D. Heaston, Charles H. Luce, Nathan Nelson, Colin Penn, Mark Raggon

Implications of tree expansion in shrubland ecosystems for two generalist avian predators

Shrublands globally have undergone structural changes due to plant invasions, including the expansion of native trees. Removal of native conifer trees, especially juniper (Juniperus spp.), is occurring across the Great Basin of the western U.S. to support declining sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats and associated wildlife species, such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). One just
Aaron C. Young, Todd E. Katzner, Douglas J. Shinneman, Tracey N. Johnson

Forecasting natural regeneration of sagebrush after wildfires using population models and spatial matching

ContextAddressing ecosystem degradation in the Anthropocene will require ecological restoration across large spatial extents. Identifying areas where natural regeneration will occur without direct resource investment will improve scalability of restoration actions.ObjectivesAn ecoregion in need of large scale restoration is the Great Basin of the Western US, where increasingly large and frequent w
Andrii Zaiats, Megan E Cattau, David Pilliod, Liu Rongsong, Juan M. Requena-Mullor, Trevor Caughlin

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation does not stimulate soil phosphatase activity under temperate and tropical trees

Symbiotic nitrogen (N)-fixing plants can enrich ecosystems with N, which can alter the cycling and demand for other nutrients. Researchers have hypothesized that fixed N could be used by plants and soil microbes to produce extracellular phosphatase enzymes, which release P from organic matter. Consistent with this speculation, the presence of N-fixing plants is often associated with high phosphata
Emily Jager, Andrew Quebbeman, Amelia A. Wolf, Steven Perakis, Jennifer L. Funk, Duncan N.L. Menge

Experimental manipulation of soil-surface albedo alters phenology and growth of Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass)

PurposeThe sensitivity of wildland plants to temperature can be directly measured using experimental manipulations of temperature in situ. We show that soil surface temperature and plant density (per square meter) have a significant impact on the germination, growth, and phenology of Bromus tectorum L., cheatgrass, a short-statured invasive winter-annual grass, and assess a new experimental temper
Toby M. Maxwell, Matthew Germino, Seth Romero, Lauren M. Porensky, Dana M. Blumenthal, Cynthia S. Brown, Peter B. Adler

Effects of structure and volcanic stratigraphy on groundwater and surface water flow: Hat Creek basin, California, USA

Hydrogeologic systems in the southern Cascade Range in California (USA) develop in volcanic rocks where morphology, stratigraphy, extensional structures, and attendant basin geometry play a central role in groundwater flow paths, groundwater/surface-water interactions, and spring discharge locations. High-volume springs (greater than 3 m3/s) flow from basin-filling (<800 ka) volcanic rocks in the
Marina Francesca Marcelli, Erick R. Burns, L. J. Patrick Muffler, Andrew J Meigs, Jennifer A. Curtis, Christian E. Torgersen

Spatial models can improve the experimental design of field-based transplant gardens by preventing bias due to neighborhood crowding

Field-based transplant gardens, including common and reciprocal garden experiments, are a powerful tool for studying genetic variation and gene-by-environment interactions. These experiments assume that individuals within the garden represent independent replicates growing in a homogenous environment. Plant neighborhood interactions are pervasive across plant populations and could violate assumpti
Andrii Zaiats, Juan M. Requena-Mullor, Matthew Germino, Jennifer S. Forbey, Bryce A. Richardson, T. Trevor Caughlin

Extent, patterns, and drivers of hypoxia in the world's streams and rivers

Hypoxia in coastal waters and lakes is widely recognized as a detrimental environmental issue, yet we lack a comparable understanding of hypoxia in rivers. We investigated controls on hypoxia using 118 million paired observations of dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration and water temperature in over 125,000 locations in rivers from 93 countries. We found hypoxia (DO < 2 mg L−1) in 12.6% of all river
Joanna R Blaszczak, Lauren E Koenig, Francine H. Mejia, Alice M. Carter, Lluis Gómez-Gener, Christoper L Dutton, Nancy B. Grimm, Judson Harvey, Ashley M. Helton, Matthew J. Cohen

Future direction of fuels management in sagebrush rangelands

Sagebrush ecosystems in the United States have been declining since EuroAmerican settlement, largely due to agricultural and urban development, invasive species, and altered fire regimes, resulting in loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitat. To combat continued conversion to undesirable ecological states and loss of habitat to invasive species fueled by frequent fire, a variety of fuel treatment
Douglas J. Shinneman, Eva Strand, Mike Pellant, John T. Abatzoglou, Mark W. Brunson, Nancy Glenn, Julie A. Heinrichs, Mojtaba Sadegh, Nicole Vaillant