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: 759
Date published: March 15, 2018
Status: Active

Conservation of Rare Vegetation Communities of the Atlantic Coastal Barrier Islands

The Challenge: A synthesis of the role of disturbance, in all of its manifestations, on the establishment and development of the American Holly forest is required to guide future conservation measures. Because many forest fragments have already endured >30 years of chronic deer herbivory, a legitimate question of how much more impact by deer can be tolerated and still conserve the essential...

Date published: March 15, 2018
Status: Active

Development of a Multimetric Index for Integrated Assessment of Salt Marsh Condition in the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network

Salt marsh ecosystems along all US coastlines have been altered, degraded, and destroyed by human activities, including ditching and drainage of the marsh platform, tidal restrictions, discharge of pollutants, and introduction of invasive species. The National Park Service conducts long-term monitoring of salt marsh vegetation and nekton (fish and free-swimming crustaceans) to provide...

Date published: March 15, 2018
Status: Active

Recovery of Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in Casco Bay, Maine, Following Destruction by European Green Crabs

Eelgrass provides essential functions to the ecology and economy of Maine’s coastal zone. When over half the eelgrass in Casco Bay, Maine, disappeared between 2012 and 2013, USGS experimental evidence identified disturbance from invasive European green crabs as the leading cause. Natural revegetation is occurring, but there is interest in learning whether restoration may hasten recover.

Date published: March 15, 2018
Status: Active

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Seaduck Challenge Study

This project seeks to improve our understanding of the susceptibility and pathogenesis of pertinent strains of avian influenza viruses in diving duck species.

Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Integrating Estuarine Water-Quality Data in Northeastern National Parks

Estuaries worldwide are threatened by nutrient over-enrichment from watershed development. USGS led development of a regional protocol to monitor estuarine nutrient status in northeastern coastal National Parks. Synthesis and reporting of monitoring results at local and regional scales allows park managers to identify changing nutrient loads and susceptibility to eutrophication. 

Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Variation in Nitrogen Isotope Ratios of Eelgrass to Detect Trends in Estuarine Nutrient Status

Seagrasses are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Worldwide losses of this important habitat have been caused by water quality degradation association with watershed development. Improved approaches to detect threats of nutrient enrichment are paramount to seagrass conservation.

Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

American Black Duck and Threat of Avian Influenza

The Challenge: The genomic revolution is giving wildlife biologists new tools to assess the role of wildlife in spreading diseases that affect human populations.   Peptide arrays are a high throughput technology that gives unprecedented breadth and depth of information about the immune system.  We are using peptide arrays to assess the immune responses of Chesapeake Bay waterfowl to avian...

Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Disease Resistance of Wildlife Species: how the immune system evolves and adapts

The Challenge: In an era when emerging infectious diseases are steadily increasing, human populations are exposed to virulent new pathogens.  Insight into the human system can be gained from understanding the variety of immune adaptations of wildlife species.  The vertebrate immune system is not static.  Rather, it involves in response to the environment.

Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Shoreline Changes and Impacts to Natural Resources in Chesapeake Bay

This project aims to improve our understanding of the impacts of shoreline hardening on aquatic ecosystems.

Date published: March 13, 2018
Status: Completed

A Vaccination Program to Protect Endangered Whooping Cranes from Encephalitis Virus

The Challenge: In eastern North America there is a viral disease called Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE. This virus is transmitted among native bird species by the mosquito, Culiseta melanura, but does not cause disease in these passerine species. However, the virus is capable of causing severe disease or death in horses, some game bird species, humans and whooping cranes. In the fall of...

Date published: March 13, 2018
Status: Active

Use of Structured Decision Making to Optimize Salt Marsh Management Decisions at Northeastern National Wildlife Refuges

A regional assessment of salt marsh integrity (SMI) has been completed on 15 National Wildlife Refuges/Refuge Complexes in the northeastern US. Developed within a structured decision making (SDM) framework, the SMI assessment provides essential baseline data on salt marsh condition relative to regional management objectives. These data now provide the basis for applying the SDM framework to...

Date published: March 13, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Influenza Surveillance in Waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway

This project seeks to quantify the strains and prevalence of avian influenza viruses circulating in wild waterfowl across the Atlantic Flyway, and allow comparison with the nations other flyways.

Filter Total Items: 30,911
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Year Published: 2019

Phylogeography and evolution of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus in China

Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a well-known rhabdoviral pathogen of salmonid fish. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of 40 IHNV viruses isolated from thirteen fish farms in nine geographically dispersed Chinese provinces during 2012 to 2017 is presented. Identity of nucleotide and amino acid sequences among all the...

Xu, Liming; Zhao, Jingzhuang; Liu, Miao; Kurath, Gael; Breyta, Rachel B.; Ren, Guangming; Yin, Jiasheng; Liu, Hongbai; Lu, Tongyan

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Year Published: 2019

Occupancy models for citizen-science data

Large‐scale citizen‐science projects, such as atlases of species distribution, are an important source of data for macroecological research, for understanding the effects of climate change and other drivers on biodiversity, and for more applied conservation tasks, such as early‐warning systems for biodiversity loss.However, citizen‐science data...

Altwegg, Res; Nichols, James D.

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Year Published: 2019

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in plasma of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus)

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous, synthetic anthropogenic chemicals known to infiltrate and persist in biological systems as a result of their stability and bioaccumulation potential. This study investigated 15 PFAS, including short-chain carboxylic and sulfonic acids, and their presence in a threatened herbivore...

Palmer, Kady; Bangma, Jacqueline T.; Reiner, Jessica L.; Bonde, Robert K.; Korte, Jeffrey E.; Boggs, Ashley S. P.; Bowden, John A.

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Year Published: 2019

Estimating uncertainty of North American landbird population sizes

An important metric for many aspects of species conservation planning and risk assessment is an estimate of total population size. For landbirds breeding in North America, Partners in Flight (PIF) generates global, continental, and regional population size estimates. These estimates are an important component of the PIF species assessment process...

Stanton, Jessica C.; Blancher, Peter J.; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

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Year Published: 2019

Water column nutrient processing rates in rivermouths of Green Bay (Lake Michigan)

Understanding the quantity and form of nutrient loads to large lakes is necessary to understand controls over primary production, phytoplankton community composition and the production of phytotoxins. Nutrient loading estimates to large lakes are primarily made at stream gages that are deliberately placed outside the direct influence of lake...

Larson, James H.; Evans, Mary Anne; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Frost, Paul C.; Bailey, Sean; Kennedy, Robert J.; James, William F.; Richardson, William B.; Reneau, Paul C.

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Year Published: 2019

Description of disparate responses of two indoor feral bee colonies

As is sometimes the case, field research does not always go according to plan. This is especially true when the research involves free-ranging animals. We recently conducted a preliminary field study that involved placing a beehive in a tent and individually releasing marked honey bees (Apis mellifera) outdoors to study their ability to locate...

Vyas, Nimish B.; Plunkett, Amanda D.

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Year Published: 2019

Simulating demography, genetics, and spatially explicit processes to inform reintroduction of a threatened char

The success of species reintroductions can depend on a combination of environmental, demographic, and genetic factors. Although the importance of these factors in the success of reintroductions is well‐accepted, they are typically evaluated independently, which can miss important interactions. For species that persist in metapopulations, movement...

Mims, Meryl C.; Day, Casey C.; Burkhart, Jacob J.; Fuller, Matthew R.; Hinkle, Jameson; Bearlin, Andrew; Dunham, Jason B.; DeHaan, Patrick W.; Holden, Zachary A.; Landguth, Erin L.

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Year Published: 2019

River‐valley morphology, basin size, and flow‐event magnitude interact to produce wide variation in flooding dynamics

Inundation dynamics are a key driver of ecosystem form and function in river‐valley bottoms. Inundation itself is an outcome of multi‐scalar interactions and can vary strongly within and among river reaches. As a result, establishing to what degree and how inundation dynamics vary spatially both within and among river reaches can be challenging....

Van Appledorn, Molly; Baker, Matthew E.; Miller, Andrew J.

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Year Published: 2019

Research priorities for freshwater mussel conservation assessment

Freshwater mussels are declining globally, and effective conservation requires prioritizing research and actions to identify and mitigate threats impacting mussel species. Conservation priorities vary widely, ranging from preventing imminent extinction to maintaining abundant populations. Here, we develop a portfolio of priority research topics...

Ferreira-Rodríguez, Noé ; Akiyama, Yoshihiro B.; Aksenova, Olga V.; M. Christopher Barnhart; Bespalaya, Yulia V.; Bogan, Arthur E.; Bolotov, Ivan N; Budha, Prem B.; Clavijo, Cristhian; Clearwater, Susan J.; Darrigran, Gustavo; Tu Do, Van ; Douda, Karel ; Froufe, Elsa ; Gumpinger, Clemens ; Henrikson, Lennart ; Humphrey, Chris L. ; Johnson, Nathan A.; Klishko, Olga; Klunzinger, Michael W. ; Kovitvadhi, Satit ; Kovitvadhi, Uthaiwan ; Lajtner, Jasna ; Lopes-Lima, Manuel ; Moorkens, Evelyn A. ; Nagayama, Shigeya ; Nagel, Karl-Otto ; Nakano, Mitsunori ; Negishi, Junjiro N. ; Ondina, Paz ; Oulasvirta, Panu ; Prié, Vincent ; Riccardi, Nicoletta ; Rudzīte, Mudīte ; Sheldon, Fran ; Sousa, Ronaldo ; Strayer, David L.; Takeuchi, Motoi ; Taskinen, Jouni ; Teixeira, Amilcar ; Tiemann, Jeremy S.; Urbańska, Maria ; Varandas, Simone ; Vinarski, Maxim V. ; Wicklow, Barry J.; Zając, Tadeusz ; Vaughn, Caryn C.

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Year Published: 2019

Burmese Python (Python bivittatus)

No abstract available.

Krysko, Kenneth L.; Reed, Robert; Rochford, Michael R.; Nunez, Leroy P.; Enge, Kevin M.

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Year Published: 2019

Population connectivity of pelagic megafauna in the Cuba-Mexico-United States triangle

The timing and extent of international crossings by billfishes, tunas, and sharks in the Cuba-Mexico-United States (U.S.) triangle was investigated using electronic tagging data from eight species that resulted in >22,000 tracking days. Transnational movements of these highly mobile marine predators were pronounced with varying levels of bi- or...

Rooker, Jay R.; Dance, Michael A.; Wells, R. J. David; Ajemian, Matthew J.; Block, Barbara A.; Castleton, Michael R.; Drymon, J. Marcus; Falterman, Brett J.; Franks, James S.; Hammerschlag, Neil; Hendon, Jill M.; Hoffmayer, Eric R.; Kraus, Richard T.; McKinney, Jennifer A.; Secor, David H.; Stunz, Gregory W.; Walter, John F.

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Year Published: 2019

Economical environmental sampler designs for detecting airborn spread of fungi responsible for rapid `Ōhi` death

We designed two new samplers for monitoring airborne particulates that rely on either natural wind currents (Passive Environmental Sampler) or a battery-operated fan (Active Environmental Sampler). Both samplers are significantly less expensive than commercial devices such as Rotorod® and Burkard Samplers that are used in the agricultural and...

Atkinson, Carter T.; Roy, Kylle; Granthon, Carolina

Filter Total Items: 749
August 25, 2016

E2 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: E2 West Transect; Depth: 14.6 Meters (47.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-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. A few small red and brown seaweeds, mainly acid kelp

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August 25, 2016

Eagle Tracking

Cell phone video of USGS biologist Diego Johnson releasing a golden eagle that had just been fitted with a tracking device.  The work is informing land managers on eagle movements in the southwest, an area of expanding renewable energy development.

August 24, 2016

J1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: J1 West Transect; Depth: 9.8 Meters (32.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.6 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13607725,-123.48002186; Site Description: This site is medium depth. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:25 seconds) and brown seaweed growth is dense and appears to be

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August 24, 2016

D2 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: D2 West Transect; Depth: 12.8 Meters (41.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56896603; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel with some cobble. Dead clam shells are scattered everywhere (2:14 seconds).

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August 23, 2016

GP2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP2 East Transect; Depth: 13.2 Meters (43.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.7 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31645664; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel sand mixture. A few large boulders are located off

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August 23, 2016

GP1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP1 West Transect; Depth: 7.9 m (25.9 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31605203; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding

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August 23, 2016

Golden Eagle Flight

Golden eagles can be killed by colliding with a number of human-made objects, including wind turbines. USGS research wildlife biologist Todd Katzner describes his studies of golden eagle flight. This research is being done to model flight behavior which might help managers understand how placement of wind turbines might pose significant risks to golden eagles.

 

August 23, 2016

GP2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Control Site: GP2 West Transect; Depth: 13.0 Meters (42.6 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31712832; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding boulders. This year red

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August 23, 2016

GP1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP1 East Transect; Depth: 7.5 m (24.7 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long:; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding numerous large boulders. Red (1

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Fort Collins Science Center
August 23, 2016

Fort Collins Science Center

Fort Collins Science Center

August 12, 2016

H1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: H1 West Transect; Depth: 5.7 Meters (18.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14803012,-123.53535558; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate is still

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Filter Total Items: 307
Date published: May 6, 2015

Asian Carp Would Have Adequate Food to Survive in Lake Erie

If invasive bighead carp and silver carp spread into Lake Erie, there would be enough food available for these species of Asian carp to survive, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: May 5, 2015

Seasonal Habitat Quality and Landscape Characteristics Explain Genetic Differences Between Greater Sage-grouse Populations in Wyoming

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Low-quality nesting and winter seasonal habitats are strong predictors of reduced gene flow between greater sage-grouse breeding locations, according to research just published in Ecology and Evolution and authored by the U.S. Geological Survey and their colleagues at the University of Waterloo.

Date published: May 4, 2015

Shorebird Science? iPlover is the App for That

RESTON, Va.-- The latest tool designed to help manage the threatened piping plover is only a download away; iPlover is the first smartphone data collection application developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and will help those managing plover populations.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: April 28, 2015

Burmese Python Habitat Use Patterns May Help Control Efforts

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla.— The largest and longest Burmese Python tracking study of its kind -- here or in its native range -- is providing researchers and resource managers new information that may help target control efforts of this invasive snake, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: April 16, 2015

Model Offers More Ease, Precision for Managing Invasive Asian Carp

The likelihood of Asian carp eggs being kept in suspension and hatching in the St. Joseph River in Michigan has been further evaluated using a model that examines a range of multiple flow and water temperature scenarios. Results illustrate the highest percentage of Asian carp eggs at risk of hatching occurs when the streamflow is low and when the water temperature is high.

Date published: April 16, 2015

Genetics Provides New Clues about Lionfish Invasion

New genetic data suggest the red lionfish invasion in the Caribbean Basin and Western Atlantic started in multiple locations, not just one as previously believed, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: April 10, 2015

Climate Change May Pose Substantial Future Risk to Sagebrush Habitat in Southwestern Wyoming

Sioux Falls, SD. — Climate change may pose a substantial future risk for sagebrush habitat in southwestern Wyoming, and thus adversely affect the regional summer habitat and nesting areas of sage-grouse, according to a new study by the United States Geological Survey.

Date published: April 2, 2015

Circulation of Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu in North American Birds

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 viruses of Eurasian origin continue to circulate and evolve in North American wild birds.

Date published: April 1, 2015

Polar Bears Unlikely to Thrive on Land-based Foods

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A team of scientists led by the U.S. Geological Survey found that polar bears, increasingly forced on shore due to sea ice loss, may be eating terrestrial foods including berries, birds and eggs, but any nutritional gains are limited to a few individuals and likely cannot compensate for lost opportunities to consume their traditional, lipid-rich prey—ice seals.

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.