Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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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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Filter Total Items: 810
Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Active

Vulnerability Assessments of Aquatic Species

The USGS Fisheries Program develops valuable tools for assessing species’ vulnerability to environmental stressors, focusing on 3 critical elements: exposure (magnitude of change), sensitivity (likelihood of adverse impacts), and adaptive capacity (species’ ability to cope with change). For example, our scientists develop the tools and science to help water managers evaluate tradeoffs in...

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Active

Aquatic Toxicology

The USGS investigates pathogens and other environmental factors that affect aquatic organism health to  support the management, conservation, and restoration of aquatic species.

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Health

USGS investigates pathogen discovery, causes, and drivers; researches disease ecology and immunology; and develops advanced tools for surveillance, risk assessment, and control of diseases that impact aquatic organism health to support the management, conservation, and restoration of aquatic species.

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Physiology and Behavior

USGS research focuses on fish physiology and behavioral characteristics, vulnerability assessments, and development of indicator tools that can be used to inform decisions with the goal of sustaining and enhancing fisheries resources in concert with human uses.

Date published: April 25, 2018
Status: Active

Imperiled Aquatic Species

Forty percent of all fish species in North America are at risk of extinction. USGS research is crucial to protect and manage at-risk species and healthy fish populations into the future. Species management research encompasses threatened and endangered species, Interior trust species protected by law, sensitive species that are declining, rare, or uncommon that may be candidates for future...

Date published: April 25, 2018
Status: Active

Freshwater Species

USGS research and technology provides the scientific basis for the adaptive management of aquatic species and aquatic habitats in the United States. The USGS examines the physiology, life history, reproduction, and habitat needs of specific life stages of fish and other aquatic organisms to assist fishery managers to develop techniques to understand, conserve, and restore fish species and...

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Habitats

USGS scientists quantify and describe functional relationships among aquatic species in coastal habitats to characterize aquatic community structure, function, adaptation, and sustainability.

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Wetlands and Ponds

USGS research to assess wetland habitats and ecological functions are critical for restoration activities.

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Deepwater Habitats

Deepwater habitats, such as the Great Lakes, are a key strategic resource and driver of economic vitality that are threatened by multiple stressors, including overfishing, invasions of exotic species, habitat degradation, pollution, climate change, and harmful algal blooms. Under the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, the Department of Interior is responsible for conducting a...

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Streams and Rivers

USGS studies the ecology and biodiversity of streams, rivers, and aquatic ecosystems to understand impacts of changing land and water use on fish species and aquatic communities. We research critical fish and aquatic habitats and develop techniques to understand, conserve, and restore fish communities.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) Surveillance

Scientists of the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) in collaboration with partners have developed risk assessments for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) in the United States and have begun sampling high-risk locations for the fungus.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal)

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is an emerging pathogen capable of causing significant morbidity and mortality in salamanders.

Filter Total Items: 30,689
Year Published: 2019

Modeling the relationship between water level, wild rice abundance, and waterfowl abundance at a central North American wetland

Recent evidence suggests wild rice (Zizania palustris), an important resource for migrating waterfowl, is declining in parts of central North America, providing motivation to rigorously quantify the relationship between waterfowl and wild rice. A hierarchical mixed-effects model was applied to data on waterfowl abundance for 16 species, wild rice...

Aagaard, Kevin; Eash, Josh D.; Ford, Walt; Heglund, Patricia J.; McDowell, Michelle; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

Year Published: 2019

Ethanol and sodium acetate as a preservation method to delay degradation of environmental DNA

Environmental DNA (eDNA) samples that are collected from remote locations depend on rapid stabilization of the DNA. The degradation of eDNA in water samples is minimized when samples are stored at ≤ 4 °C. Developing a preservation technique to maintain eDNA integrity at room temperature would allow a wider range of locations to be sampled. We...

Ladell, Bridget A.; Walleser, Liza R.; McCalla, S. Grace; Erickson, Richard A.; Amberg, Jon J.

Year Published: 2019

Lethal and sublethal responses of native mussels (Unionidae: Lampsilis siliquoidea and Lampsilis higginsii) to elevated carbon dioxide

Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) that have been proposed for aquatic invasive species control (24 000 – 96 000 μatm partial pressure of CO2 (PCO2); 1 atm = 101.325 kPa) were tested on two juvenile mussels, the fatmucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea) and the US federally endangered Higgins’ eye (Lampsilis higginsii). A suite of responses (survival,...

Waller, Diane L.; Bartsch, Michelle R.; Bartsch, Lynn; Jackson, Craig

Year Published: 2019

Spatial, road geometric, and biotic factors associated with Barn Owl mortality along an interstate highway

Highway programs typically focus on reducing vehicle collisions with large mammals because of economic or safety reasons while overlooking the millions of birds that die annually from traffic. We studied wildlife‐vehicle collisions along an interstate highway in southern Idaho, USA, with among the highest reported rates of American Barn Owl ...

Arnold, Erin M.; Hanser, Steven E.; Regan, Tempe; Thompson, Jeremy; Lowe, Melinda; Kociolek, Angela; Belthoff, James R.
Attribution: Ecosystems

Year Published: 2019

Gene flow connects coastal populations of a habitat specialist, the Clapper Rail Rallus crepitans

Examining population genetic structure can reveal patterns of reproductive isolation or population mixing and inform conservation management. Some avian species are predicted to exhibit minimal genetic differentiation among populations as a result of the species high mobility, with habitat specialists tending to show greater fine‐scale genetic...

Coster, Stephanie S.; Welsh, Amy B.; Costanzo, Gary R.; Harding, Sergio R.; Anderson, James T.; Katzner, Todd E.

Year Published: 2019

Isotopic evidence that nitrogen enrichment intensifies nitrogen losses to the atmosphere from subtropical mangroves

Nitrogen (N) enrichment can have large effects on mangroves’ capacity to provide critical ecosystem services by affecting fundamental functions such as N cycling and primary productivity. However, our understanding of excess N input effects on N cycling in mangroves remains quite limited. To advance our understanding of how N enrichment via water...

Reis, Carla Roberta Gonçalves; Reed, Sasha C.; Oliveira, Rafael Silva; Nardoto, Gabriela Bielefeld

Year Published: 2018

Proposed attributes of national wildlife health programmes

Wildlife health is important for conservation, healthy ecosystems, sustainable development, and biosecurity. It presents unique challenges for national programme governance and delivery because wildlife health crosses not only jurisdictional responsibilities and authorities but also inherently spans multiple sectors of expertise. The World...

Stephen, Craig; Sleeman, Jonathan M.; Nguyen, Natalie T.; Zimmer, P.; Duff, J. P.; Gavier-Widen, D.; Grillo, T.; Lee, H.; Rijks, J.; Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie-Pierre; Tana, T.; Uhart, M.

Year Published: 2018

Improving ecological restoration to curb biotic invasion - A practical guide

Common practices for invasive species control and management include physical, chemical, and biological approaches. The first two approaches have clear limitations and may lead to unintended (negative) consequences, unless carefully planned and implemented. For example, physical removal rarely completely eradicates the targeted invasive species...

Guo, Qinfeng; Brockway, Dale G.; Larson, Diane L.; Wang, Deli; Ren, Hai

Year Published: 2018

Life history with emphasis on geographic variation

Every organism is defined by a set of vital rates that evolve to enhance lifetime reproductive fitness and survival of individuals and their progeny. These traits vary due to the complex but sometimes predictable interactions between individuals, populations and their environments. Collectively, these attributes are referred to as life history...

Roosenburg, Willem M.; Kennedy, Victor S.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Greene, Kathryn
Lovich, J.E., Gibbons, J.W., and Greene, K.M., 2018, Life history with emphasis on geographic variation, in Roosenburg, W.M., and Kennedy, V.S., eds., Ecology and conservation of the diamond-backed terrapin: Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press, p. 63-80.

Year Published: 2018

Effects of ocean acidification on salinity tolerance and seawater growth of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts

Human activity has resulted in increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), which will result in reduced pH and higher levels of CO2 in the ocean, a process known as ocean acidification. Understanding the effects of ocean acidification (OA) on fishes will be important to predicting and mitigating its consequences. Anadromous species such as...

McCormick, Stephen D.; Regish, Amy M.

Year Published: 2018

Taxonomy: A history of controversy and uncertainty

No abstract available. 

Roosenburg, Willem M.; Kennedy, Victor S.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Hart, Kristen

Year Published: 2018

Global conservation status of turtles and tortoises (order Testudines)

We present a review and analysis of the conservation status and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threat categories of all 360 currently recognized species of extant and recently extinct turtles and tortoises (Order Testudines). Our analysis is based on the 2018 IUCN Red List status of 251 listed species, augmented by...

Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Stanford, Craig B.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Eisemberg, Carla; Luiselli, Luca; Mittermeier, Russell A.; Hudson, Rick; Horne, Brian D.; Goode, Eric; Kuchling, Gerald; Walde, Andrew; Baard, Ernst H. W.; Berry, Kristin H.; Bertolero, Albert; Blanck, Torsten E. G.; Bour, Roger; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Cayot, Linda J.; Collett, Sydney; Currylow, Andrea; Das, Indraneil; Diagne, Tomas; Ennen, Joshua R.; Forero-Medina, Germán; Frankel, Matthew G.; Fritz, Uwe; García, Gerardo; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Gibbons, Paul M.; Shiping, Gong; Guntoro, Joko; Hofmeyr, Margaretha D.; Iverson, John B.; Kiester, A. Ross; Lau, Michael; Lawson, Dwight P.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Moll, Edward O.; Páez, Vivian P.; Palomo-Ramos, Rosalinda; Platt, Kalyar; Platt, Steven G.; Pritchard, Peter C. H.; Quinn, Hugh R.; Rahman, Shahriar Caesar; Randrianjafizanaka, Soary Tahafe; Schaffer, Jason; Selman, Will; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Sharma, Dionysius S. K.; Haitao, Shi; Singh, Shailendra; Spencer, Ricky; Stannard, Kahleana; Sutcliffe, Sarah; Thomson, Scott; Vogt, Richard C.

Filter Total Items: 695
August 9, 2016

A1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: A1 West Transect; Depth: 9.0 Meters (29.6 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.9 Kilometers (1.2 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-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. Seaweeds are common this year. Most

...
August 8, 2016

4SP1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: 4SP1 - West Transect; Depth: 6.1 Meters (19.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 3 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.557376; Site Description: The site has converted from gravel/cobble substrate to all sand. Seaweed is completely absent. 
 

August 8, 2016

C1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: Meters (Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. All seaweeds are absent. Woody debris is present (0:26, seconds). Invertebrates are scarce and are almost exclusively the ornate

...
August 8, 2016

C1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: C1 West Transect; Depth: Meters (Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57361291; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. All seaweeds are absent. Woody debris is present (0:12, 1:49 seconds). Invertebrates are scarce and are almost exclusively the ornate

...
August 8, 2016

4SP1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: 4SP1 - East Transect; Depth: 5.2 Meters (17.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.556704; Site Description: The site has converted from gravel/cobble substrate to all sand. Seaweed is completely absent. 
 

Photo of USGS Biologist preparing to artificially spawn a female lake sturgeon.
August 5, 2016

Lake sturgeon at the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center

USGS Biologist prepares to artificially spawn a female lake sturgeon in the laboratory at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.

Photo of USGS biologist preparing to release a reproductive female pallid sturgeon.
August 5, 2016

USGS Biologist prepares to release a reproductive female sturgeon.

USGS Biologist Sabrina Davenport prepares to release a reproductive female pallid sturgeon.

August 3, 2016

Shovelnose Spawning

Video of ARIS Sonar imagery showing a female and two male shovelnose sturgeon over an egg deposition location recorded during controlled experiments to study spawning behavior.
 

Sampling for Bsal
August 1, 2016

Sampling for Bsal

Scientists sample a rough-skinned newt for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bsal, at a pond near Portland, Oregon. Bsal is decimating wild salamander populations in Europe and could emerge in the U.S. through the captive amphibian trade.

August 1, 2016

C1 East Transect – 2013

Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: Meters (Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 2 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. All seaweeds are absent. Invertebrates are scarce and are almost exclusively the ornate tubeworm Diopatra ornata (appears as small

...
July 29, 2016

K1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: K1 West Transect; Depth: 5.6 Meters (18.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.51082988; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:59) and brown seaweed was abundant but this year browns were more abundant

...
Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone
July 29, 2016

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images for a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: 

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Filter Total Items: 286
Date published: March 31, 2015

New Technology Helps Identify Dispersal of Avian Flu Virus between Asia and Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In a new study published today, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service harnessed a new type of DNA technology to investigate avian influenza viruses in Alaska.

Date published: March 25, 2015

National Wetlands Research Center to Merge

The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette and the Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville, Florida will merge under the same leadership effective October 1, 2015.

Attribution: Ecosystems, Southeast
Date published: March 20, 2015

New Study Sheds Light on Mammal Declines in Everglades National Park

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – – Nearly 80 percent of radio-tracked marsh rabbits that died in Everglades National Park in a recent study were eaten by Burmese pythons, according to a new publication by University of Florida and U.S. Geological Survey researchers.

Date published: March 10, 2015

Endangered Flying Squirrel Relegated to Living on Sky-Islands

Habitat loss has fragmented the population of the Carolina northern flying squirrel, an endangered species now living on “sky-islands” on nine isolated mountain peaks in the southern Appalachians.

Date published: March 9, 2015

International Bat Monitoring Research Group Receives

USGS bat conservation researchers and their partners are being recognized today with the U.S. Forest Service Wings Across the Americas Research Award for their contributions to the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat).

Date published: March 3, 2015

Plenty of Potash, but Some Regions Lack Low Cost Sources for Crop Production

While the earth contains enough potash to meet the increased global demand for crop production and U.S. supplies are likely secure, some regions lack potash deposits needed for optimal food crop yields. According to a recent USGS global assessment of potash resources, the costs of importing potash long distances can limit its use and imports are subject to supply disruptions.

Date published: February 10, 2015

Predicting Plant Responses to Drought

A new U.S. Geological Survey study shows how plants’ vulnerability to drought varies across the landscape; factors such as plant structure and soil type where the plant is growing can either make them more vulnerable or protect them from declines.

Date published: February 2, 2015

President’s 2016 Budget Proposes $1.2 Billion for the USGS

The President’s fiscal year 2016 budget request for the U.S. Geological Survey is $1.2 billion, an increase of nearly $150 million above the FY 2015 enacted level.

Date published: February 2, 2015

What’s Being Done to Protect the Great Lakes?

New and improved science tools can help managers and researchers evaluate current threats and develop management strategies to protect and restore the valuable Great Lakes ecosystem.

Date published: January 23, 2015

USGS Statement Regarding Avian Flu Found in Washington State Green-Winged Teal

Some media are reporting that the Asian H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza has now entered the United States. This is incorrect.

Date published: January 23, 2015

Culprit Identified in Decline of Endangered Missouri River Pallid Sturgeon

BOZEMAN – Pallid sturgeon come from a genetic line that has lived on this planet for tens of millions of years; yet it has been decades since anyone has documented any of the enormous fish successfully producing young that survive to adulthood in the upper Missouri River basin.

Date published: January 20, 2015

Melting Glaciers Increase the Flow of Carbon to Downstream Ecosystems

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Melting glaciers are not just impacting sea level, they are also affecting the flow of organic carbon to the world’s oceans, according to new research that provides the first ever global-scale estimates for the storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers.