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The Ecosystems Mission Area provides impartial science information and tools to the Nation’s natural resource managers, with particular focus on the science needs of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and DOI bureaus to manage species, lands and priority ecosystems; fulfill treaty obligations; respond to and reduce threats to natural resources; and manage mineral and energy resources.
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Winter climate change has the potential to have a large impact on coastal wetlands in the southeastern United States.
The largemouth bass is a highly managed sport fish. Detailed genetic information on the fish at the gene level can provide researchers insight into genomic control of phenotypic expression of life-history traits, core physiological functions, and other aspects of biology.
Population Demography and Food Web Analysis of Large Aquatic Salamanders (Siren and Amphiuma) in North Florida
Understanding amphibian's life-histories can help predict how they may persist in aquatic habitats in the face of droughts and other climate change-associated events.
Peninsular Florida has a high density of species and ecosystems of conservation concern, as well as many threats to the persistence of native species and their habitats. USGS worked closely with the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative to define conservation targets to help meet conservation goals.
Climate Envelope Modeling for Evaluating Anticipated Effects of Climate Change on Threatened and Endangered Species
Modeling both potential changes in climate and responses of species and habitats can increase certainty in management decisions by helping managers to understand the range of possible species and habitat responses under different alternative futures. Climate envelope modeling is one type of modeling that can be useful in understanding species and habitat responses to climate change because it...
Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC) Climate Scenarios and Species Vulnerability Assessment
Peninsular Florida is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in the United States. With complex socioeconomic and ecology dynamics and a large number of governing agencies involved in conservation planning, USGS worked to created an appropriate framework for landscape conservation cooperative-scale decision-making across current conservation planning agencies and jurisdictions...
Winter Manatee Foraging Behavior and the Decline of Seagrass Beds in the Northern Indian River Lagoon
With high numbers of manatees using the Florida Power and Light power plant warm water refuge during winter, their impact on the seagrass beds in the Indian River Lagoon is considered an important indicator of the long-term capacity of the area to support the manatees. USGS is working with partners to investigate the spatial extent and intensity of manatee use of seagrass beds in the area. ...
Severe coral bleaching in 2005, followed by a disease outbreak, resulted in severe reef degradation in the US Virgin Islands; the amount of living coral cover at long-term monitoring sites decreased an average of 60%. With climate change, high seawater temperatures are expected to lead to more frequent bleaching episodes and possibly more disease outbreaks.
At the poleward marsh-mangrove ecotone, mangrove abundance and coverage is winter temperature-sensitive in that it oscillates in response to the frequency, duration, and/or intensity of extreme winter temperatures. Future winter climate change is expected to facilitate poleward mangrove range expansion at the expense of salt marshes in Texas, Louisiana, and parts of Florida.
When it comes to freshwater wetlands, hydrology plays a large role in nutrient stoichiometry and sensitivity to nutrient inputs. Although wetland biogeochemists intuitively understand these important relationships between landscape position, hydrology, and sensitivity to nutrient inputs, these relationships have never been quantified using geospatial data. The objective of this project will be...
Incorporating Future Change into Current Conservation Planning: Evaluating Wetland Migration along the Gulf of Mexico under Alternative Sea-Level Rise and Urbanization Scenarios
More than half of contiguous U.S. coastal wetlands are located along the Gulf of Mexico coast. These highly-productive wetlands support many ecosystem goods and services and fish and wildlife habitat. Historically, coastal wetlands have adapted to sea-level changes via lateral and vertical movement on the landscape. As sea levels rise in the future, coastal wetlands will adapt and migrate...
At the global-scale, macroclimatic drivers govern ecosystem structure and function in tidal saline wetlands (e.g., salt marshes, mangrove forests, salt flats). However, global reviews and models for these ecosystems typically do not directly include climatic drivers. The objective of this research is to examine and forecast the effects of macroclimatic drivers on wetland ecosystem structure...
Genetic diversity of Wolbachia endosymbionts in Culex quinquefasciatus from Hawai`i, Midway Atoll, and Samoa
Incompatible insect techniques are potential methods for controlling Culex quinquefasciatus and avian disease transmission in Hawai‘i without the use of pesticides or genetically modified organisms. The approach is based on naturally occurring sperm-egg incompatibilities within the Culex pipiens complex that are controlled by different...Atkinson, Carter T.; Watcher-Weatherwax, William; Lapointe, Dennis
Efficiency of portable antennas for detecting passive integrated transponder tags in stream-dwelling salmonids
Portable antennas have become an increasingly common technique for tracking fish marked with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. We used logistic regression to evaluate how species, fish length, and physical habitat characteristics influence portable antenna detection efficiency in stream-dwelling brown trout (Salmo trutta), bull trout (...Banish, Nolan P.; Burdick, Summer M.; Moyer, Katherine R.
Reconstruction of late Holocene climate based on tree growth and mechanistic hierarchical models
Reconstruction of pre-instrumental, late Holocene climate is important for understanding how climate has changed in the past and how climate might change in the future. Statistical prediction of paleoclimate from tree ring widths is challenging because tree ring widths are a one-dimensional summary of annual growth that represents a multi-...Tipton, John; Hooten, Mevin B.; Pederson, Neil; Tingley, Martin; Bishop, Daniel
Population connectivity and genetic structure of burbot (Lota lota) populations in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming
Burbot (Lota lota) occur in the Wind River Basin in central Wyoming, USA, at the southwestern extreme of the species’ native range in North America. The most stable and successful of these populations occur in six glacially carved mountain lakes on three different tributary streams and one large main stem impoundment (Boysen Reservoir)...Underwood, Zachary E.; Mandeville, Elizabeth G.; Walters, Annika W.
Body size and condition influence migration timing of juvenile Arctic grayling
Freshwater fishes utilising seasonally available habitats within annual migratory circuits time movements out of such habitats with changing hydrology, although individual attributes of fish may also mediate the behavioural response to environmental conditions. We tagged juvenile Arctic grayling in a seasonally flowing stream on the Arctic Coastal...Heim, Kurt C.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Whitman, Matthew S.; Seitz, Andrew C.
Stable isotope evaluation of population- and individual-level diet variability in a large, oligotrophic lake with non-native lake trout
Non-native piscivores can alter food web dynamics; therefore, evaluating interspecific relationships is vital for conservation and management of ecosystems with introduced fishes. Priest Lake, Idaho, supports a number of introduced species, including lake troutSalvelinus namaycush, brook trout S. fontinalis and opossum shrimp ...Ng, Elizabeth L.; Fredericks, Jim P.; Quist, Michael C.
Governance principles for wildlife conservation in the 21st century
Wildlife conservation is losing ground in the U.S. for many reasons. The net effect is declines in species and habitat. To address this trend, the wildlife conservation institution (i.e., all customs, practices, organizations and agencies, policies, and laws with respect to wildlife) must adapt to contemporary social–ecological conditions....Decker, Daniel J.; Smith, Christian; Forstchen, Ann; Hare, Darragh; Pomeranz, Emily; Doyle-Capitman, Catherine; Schuler, Krysten; Organ, John F.
Innate and adaptive immune responses in migrating spring-run adult chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) migrate from salt water to freshwater streams to spawn. Immune responses in migrating adult salmon are thought to diminish in the run up to spawning, though the exact mechanisms for diminished immune responses remain unknown. Here we examine both adaptive and innate immune responses as well as...Dolan, Brian P.; Fisher, Kathleen M.; Colvin, Michael E.; Benda, Susan E.; Peterson, James T.; Kent, Michael L.; Schreck, Carl B.
Critical assessment and ramifications of a purported marine trophic cascade
When identifying potential trophic cascades, it is important to clearly establish the trophic linkages between predators and prey with respect to temporal abundance, demographics, distribution, and diet. In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, the depletion of large coastal sharks was thought to trigger a trophic cascade whereby predation release...Grubbs, R. Dean; Carlson, John K; Romine, Jason G.; Curtis, Tobey H; McElroy, W. David; McCandless, Camilla T; Cotton, Charles F; Musick, John A.
Extensive dispersal of Roanoke logperch (Percina rex) inferred from genetic marker data
The dispersal ecology of most stream fishes is poorly characterised, complicating conservation efforts for these species. We used microsatellite DNA marker data to characterise dispersal patterns and effective population size (Ne) for a population of Roanoke logperchPercina rex, an endangered darter (Percidae). Juveniles and candidate parents were...Roberts, James H.; Angermeier, Paul; Hallerman, Eric M.
American woodcock migratory connectivity as indicated by hydrogen isotopes
To identify factors contributing to the long-term decline of American woodcock, a holistic understanding of range-wide population connectivity throughout the annual cycle is needed. We used band recovery data and isotopic composition of primary (P1) and secondary (S13) feathers to estimate population sources and connectivity among natal, early...Sullins, Daniel S.; Conway, Warren C.; Haukos, David A.; Hobson, Keith A.; Wassenaar, Leonard I; Comer, Christopher E.; Hung, I-Kuai
An empirical assessment of which inland floods can be managed
Riverine flooding is a significant global issue. Although it is well documented that the influence of landscape structure on floods decreases as flood size increases, studies that define a threshold flood-return period, above which landscape features such as topography, land cover and impoundments can curtail floods, are lacking. Further, the...Mogollón, Beatriz; Frimpong, Emmanuel A.; Hoegh, Andrew B.; Angermeier, Paul
Permanent Site: E2 West Transect; Depth: 14.8 Meters (48.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15653002, -123.56197605; Site Description: This is one of our deeper sites. Substrate is mainly gravel/cobble with scattered boulders (0:25, 0:34, 0:43seconds). Seaweed is abundant,...
Permanent Site: F2 East Transect; Depth: 11.7 Meters (38.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.54969397; Site Description: Substrate is mainly gravel mixed with a little cobble and an occasional boulder. Red (0:50, 1:15 seconds) and brown seaweeds are very abundant,...
Permanent Site: F1 East Transect; Depth: 6.2 Meters (20.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.3 Kilometers (0.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55011402; Site Description: Video is blurry and of poor quality. This is a shallow site with gravel substrate. Algae is abundant, especially three-ribbed kelp Cymathere...
Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: 9.6 Meters (Feet 31.4); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is clean sand with minimal gravel. Algae is absent on first third of transect. Patches of brown seaweed, mainly Alaria marginata (0:43 seconds...
Permanent Site: F1 West Transect; Depth: 6.7 Meters (22 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.3 Kilometers (0.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55078602; Site Description: This is a shallow site with gravel substrate. Algae is abundant, especially three-ribbed kelp Cymathere triplicate (0:17, 0:34 seconds), Alaria...
Permanent Site: A1 East Transect; Depth: 8.2 Meters (27.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.8 Kilometers (1.1 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.5855312; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with an occasional boulder. Both annual and perennial seaweeds...
Permanent Site: A1 West Transect; Depth: 8.2 Meters (27.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.9 Kilometers (1.2 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.586203; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with patches of boulders. Annual and perennial seaweeds are...
Permanent Site: F2 West Transect; Depth: 11.9 Meters (38.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.55036603; Site Description: Substrate is mainly gravel mixed with a little cobble and an occasional boulder. Red (0:47 seconds) and brown seaweeds are very abundant, including...
Permanent Site: H2 East Transect; Depth: 7.9 Meters (25.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53210661; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder (1:38 seconds). Seaweed is dense,...
Permanent Site: A2 East Transect; Depth: 12.5 Meters (Feet 41.1); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.58766124; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Annual seaweeds are present but not abundant. The dominant species this...
Permanent Site: A2 West Transect; Depth: 13.0 Meters (Feet 42.7); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.5883331; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with scattered boulders. Annual species of seaweeds are present. This year...