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Ecosystems Mission Area

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.

News

Fire, Ecosystems, Climate: It’s Complicated

Fire, Ecosystems, Climate: It’s Complicated

Friday's FIndings - May 24, 2024

Friday's FIndings - May 24, 2024

Living with Wildfire: The Wildfire Research Team adds new USGS-led collaborator report to their series on projects informing community wildfire risk mitigation

Living with Wildfire: The Wildfire Research Team adds new USGS-led collaborator report to their series on projects informing community wildfire risk mitigation

Publications

READI-Net—Providing tools for the early detection and management of aquatic invasive species

OverviewEarly detection of biological threats, such as invasive species, increases the likelihood that control efforts will be successful and cost-effective. Environmental deoxyribonucleic acid (eDNA) sampling is an established method for the efficient and sensitive early detection of new biological threats. The Rapid eDNA Assessment and Deployment Initiative & Network (READI-Net) is a project des
Authors
Lisa McKeon, Todd Wojtowicz

U.S. Geological Survey Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center science highlights for fiscal year 2023

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center is based in Bozeman, Montana, and has field offices in Glacier National Park, Mont.; Missoula, Mont.; and Knoxville, Tennessee. Our scientists respond to the natural resource management needs of Federal, Tribal, and State partners—directly engaging in the coproduction and application of integrated, interdisciplinary science—a
Authors
Todd Wojtowicz

Interdisciplinary science approach for harmful algal blooms (HABs) and algal toxins—A strategic science vision for the U.S. Geological Survey

Executive SummaryAlgal blooms in water, soils, dusts, and the environment have captured national attention because of concerns associated with exposure to algal toxins for humans and animals. Algal blooms naturally occur in all surface-water types and are important primary producers for aquatic ecosystems. However, excessive algae growth can be associated with many harmful effects ranging from aes
Authors
Victoria G. Christensen, Christopher J. Crawford, Robert J. Dusek, Michael J. Focazio, Lisa Reynolds Fogarty, Jennifer L. Graham, Celeste A. Journey, Mari E. Lee, James H. Larson, Sarah M. Stackpoole, Viviana Mazzei, Emily J. Pindilli, Barnett A. Rattner, E. Terrence Slonecker, Kristen B. McSwain, Timothy J. Reilly, Ashley E. Lopez

Science

Can ruderal components of biocrust (mosses and cyanobacteria) be maintained under increasing threats of drought, grazing and feral horses?

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are a community of living organisms, like moss, lichen, and algae, covering soils in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, providing important ecological functions like carbon cycling and soil stabilization. Analyses show that biocrusts are negatively associated with the abundance of invasive annual grasses that are responsible for increasing fire across the Great Basin...
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Can ruderal components of biocrust (mosses and cyanobacteria) be maintained under increasing threats of drought, grazing and feral horses?

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are a community of living organisms, like moss, lichen, and algae, covering soils in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, providing important ecological functions like carbon cycling and soil stabilization. Analyses show that biocrusts are negatively associated with the abundance of invasive annual grasses that are responsible for increasing fire across the Great Basin...
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U.S. Geological Survey Develops Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Sampling Guide

USGS scientist’s published a Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) sampling guide for personnel involved with Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) activities. This guide introduces individuals involved in NRDAR efforts and other investigators to key concepts and considerations when sampling different environmental media for PFAS.
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U.S. Geological Survey Develops Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Sampling Guide

USGS scientist’s published a Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) sampling guide for personnel involved with Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) activities. This guide introduces individuals involved in NRDAR efforts and other investigators to key concepts and considerations when sampling different environmental media for PFAS.
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North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) contains survey transect data designed and conducted by numerous partners primarily to census seabirds at sea. The NPPSD includes more than 486,000 transect segments and includes observations of over 20 million birds of 258 species collected over the span of 50 years (from 1973 to 2022).
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North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) contains survey transect data designed and conducted by numerous partners primarily to census seabirds at sea. The NPPSD includes more than 486,000 transect segments and includes observations of over 20 million birds of 258 species collected over the span of 50 years (from 1973 to 2022).
Learn More