Mission Areas

Ecosystems

The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of biological resources in wild and urban spaces, and places in between. Ecosystems scientists examine consequences of climate and environmental change; effects of management actions on communities, lands, and species; and risks and solutions to harmful invasive species, wildlife diseases, and contaminants in the environment.

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Newsletter - EcoNews

Newsletter - EcoNews

This quarterly newsletter highlights ecosystems science and activities coming out of our Science Centers and Cooperative Research Units across the Nation. 

EcoNews Issues

Webinar - Friday's Findings

Webinar - Friday

A public webinar series meant to offer our audience an opportunity to discover the Ecosystems science capacity within the USGS.

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Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

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News

Date published: October 27, 2021

Friday's Findings - November 5 2021

What is a glacier? Defining ice dynamic thresholds for regional assessments of glacier mass change

Date: November 5, 2021 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: Caitlyn Florentine, Research Physical Scientist, USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: October 18, 2021

Extreme Rainfall and Flooding Contributes to Sudden Vegetation Dieback in Texas Salt Marsh

Sudden vegetation dieback events in salt marshes have historically been linked to severe drought, but a new U.S. Geological Survey study reports the first documented example of such an event being triggered by extreme rainfall and flooding.

Date published: October 13, 2021

Wildfire Smoke Disrupts Bird Migration in the West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Early fall wildfires in the western states and the smoke they generate pose a risk to birds migrating in the Pacific Flyway, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. GPS data from the 2020 wildfire season indicate that at least some migratory birds may take longer and use more energy to avoid wildfire smoke.

Publications

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Year Published: 2022

Vertical movement of soluble carbon and nutrients from biocrusts to subsurface mineral soils

Dryland ecosystems can be constrained by low soil fertility. Within drylands, the soil nutrient and organic carbon (C) cycling that does occur is often mediated by soil surface communities known as biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which cycle C and nutrients in the top ca. 0–2 cm of soil. However, the degree to which biocrusts are...

Young, Kristina E.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Reibold, Robin H.; Reed, Sasha; Swenson, Tami; Northen, Trent; Darrouzet-Nardi, Anthony

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Year Published: 2022

Post-fire temporal trends in soil-physical and -hydraulic properties and simulated runoff generation: Insights from different burn severities in the 2013 Black Forest Fire, CO, USA

Burn severity influences on post-fire recovery of soil-hydraulic properties controlling runoff generation are poorly understood despite the importance for parameterizing infiltration models. We measured soil-hydraulic properties of field-saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs), sorptivity (S), and wetting front potential (ψf) for four years after...

Ebel, Brian A.; Moody, John A.; Martin, Deborah A.

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Year Published: 2022

Evidence for interannual persistence of infectious influenza A viruses in Alaska wetlands

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) deposited by wild birds into the environment may lead to sporadic mortality events and economically costly outbreaks among domestic birds. There is a paucity of information, however, regarding the persistence of infectious IAVs within the environment following deposition. In this investigation, we assessed the...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Lagassé, Benjamin Joel; Patil, Vijay P.; Hubbard, Laura E.; Kolpin, Dana W.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Repert, Deborah A.; Stallknecht, David E.; Poulson, Rebecca L.