Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.  For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown

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: 715
Date published: November 28, 2017
Status: Active

FRESC Restoration and Ecology of Arid Lands Team

The focus of our research is on the restoration and monitoring of the plants and soils of the Intermountain West. Our lab is part of the Snake River Field Station, but is located in Corvallis, Oregon. Research topics include fire rehabilitation effects and effectiveness, indicators of rangeland health, invasive species ecology, and restoration of shrub steppe ecosystems.

Contacts: David A Pyke
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Impacts of Disease on Wolves in Yellowstone National Park

In 1995 and 1996, wolves were reintroduced into the Northern Rockies where they have since established and spread. Within Yellowstone National Park, one of the core protected release sites, the unmanaged population steadily increased to high densities, producing a large wolf population susceptible to infections such as canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV) and sarcoptic mange...

Contacts: Paul Cross, Emily Almberg, Doug Smith, Ellen Brandell & Peter Hudson
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Chronic Wasting Disease

Over the past 20 years, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wyoming has been spreading slowly outward from the southeastern corner of the state toward the Greater Yellowstone Area and Wyoming's elk feed grounds, where more than 24,000 elk are supplementally fed each winter.

Contacts: Paul Cross, Angela Brennan & Matt Kauffman
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Pneumonia in Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep populations are often impacted by outbreaks of pneumonia that are suspected to come from domestic sheep and goats.

Contacts: Paul Cross, Frances Cassirer, Raina Plowright, Peter Hudson, Tom Besser & Keiza Manlove, Andrew Dobson
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Quantitative Disease Ecology

Researchers at the USGS are working on developing new quantitative methods to study disease dynamics in wildlife systems as well as systems at the wildlife-domestic-human interface. Much of our work focuses on how host population structure affects disease invasion, persistence and control in wildlife disease systems. We tackle these issues with a combination of simulation and statistical...

Contacts: Paul Cross
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a nationally and internationally regulated disease of livestock with significant consequences for animal health, public health, and international trade.

Contacts: Paul Cross, Emily Almberg, Kelly Proffitt, Brandon Scurlock, & Eric Maichak, Jared Rogerson & Hank Edwards, Mark Drew & Paul Atwood , Eric Cole, Angela Brennan
Date published: November 13, 2017
Status: Active

Restoration of Shrub Steppe Ecosystems

This research theme provides land managers information to help them make restoration decision at local and landscape scales.

Contacts: David A Pyke
Date published: November 13, 2017
Status: Active

Nitrogen Deficiency and Excess in Forests: Patterns, Mechanisms and Management

This research theme facilitates the sound management and restoration of Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir forests, as well as to refine broader-scale predictions of how temperate forests will function in an increasingly nitrogen-rich world.

Date published: November 9, 2017
Status: Active

Fire Effects and Forest Recovery

This research theme examines the impacts of prescribed fire on plant productivity, soil physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, and nutrient leaching. Results from this research will enable improved decision-making of how to manage fire-prone forests to maintain long-term forest fertility and productivity, especially across wide climate gradients characteristic of the Pacific...

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Ecosystem Baselines and Restoration

This research theme coalesces studies of old-growth temperate forests in several major thematic areas including landscape and ecosystem controls on watershed nutrient export, wildfire disturbance legacies on biogeochemical cycling, and the imprint of tree species on soil nutrients in old-growth forests. 

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Fish Slam - November 2017

The Hunt For The Southernmost Snakehead. Thirty-one fishery biologists from eleven agencies participated in a two-day Fish Slam event. Thirty-five sites in Broward and Miami-Dade counties were sampled for non-native fishes.

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Everglades Invasive Species

Find out more about invasive species in the Everglades such as the burmese python and black and white tegus.

Filter Total Items: 2,932
Year Published: 2017

Recent stability of resident and migratory landbird populations in National Parks of the Pacific Northwest

Monitoring species in National Parks facilitates inference regarding effects of climate change on population dynamics because parks are relatively unaffected by other forms of anthropogenic disturbance. Even at early points in a monitoring program, identifying climate covariates of population density can suggest vulnerabilities to future change....

Ray, Chris; Saracco, James; Holmgren, Mandy; Wilkerson, Robert; Siegel, Rodney; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Ransom, Jason I.; Happe, Patricia J.; Boetsch, John; Huff, Mark
Ray, C., Saracco, J.F., Holmgren, A.L., Wilkerson, R.L., Siegel, R.B., Jenkins, K.J., Ransom, J.I., Happe, P.J., Boetsch, J.R., Huff, M.H., 2017, Recent stability of resident and migratory landbird populations in National Parks of the Pacific Northwest: Ecosphere, v. 8, no. 7, p. e01902, http://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1902.

Year Published: 2017

Potential impacts of sea level rise on native plant communities and associated cultural sites in coastal areas of the main Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian coastal vegetation is comprised of plant species that are adapted to growing in extremely harsh conditions (salt spray, wave wash, wind, and substrates with limited nutrients) found in this habitat zone. Prior to human colonization of Hawai‘i coastal vegetation extended as a continuous ring around each of the islands, broken only by...

Jacobi, James D.; Warshauer, Frederick R.
Jacobi, J. D., and F. R. Warshauer. 2017. Potential impacts of sea level rise on native plant communities and associated cultural sites in coastal areas of the main Hawaiian Islands. Final Report to Pacific Islands Climate Science Center. URL: http://piccc.net/project/impacts-of-sea-level-rise-on-native-plant-communities-in-coastal-areas-of-the-main-hawaiian-islands/.

Year Published: 2017

A multi-species synthesis of physiological mechanisms in drought-induced tree mortality

Widespread tree mortality associated with drought has been observed on all forested continents and global change is expected to exacerbate vegetation vulnerability. Forest mortality has implications for future biosphere–atmosphere interactions of carbon, water and energy balance, and is poorly represented in dynamic vegetation models. Reducing...

Adams, Henry D.; Zeppel, Melanie; Anderegg, William R.L.; Hartmann, Henrik; Landhäusser, Simon M.; Tissue, David T.; Huxman, Travis E.; Hudson, Patrick J.; Franz, Trenton E.; Allen, Craig D.; Anderegg, Leander D. L.; Barron-Gafford, Greg A.; Beerling, David; Breshears, David D.; Brodribb, Timothy J.; Bugmann, Harald; Cobb, Richard C.; Collins, Adam D.; Dickman, L. Turin; Duan, Honglang; Ewers, Brent E.; Galiano, Lucia; Galvez, David A.; Garcia-Forner, Núria; Gaylord, Monica L.; Germino, Matthew J.; Gessler, Arthur; Hacke, Uwe G.; Hakamada, Rodrigo; Hector, Andy; Jenkins, Michael W.; Kane, Jeffrey M.; Kolb, Thomas E.; Law, Darin J.; Lewis, James D.; Limousin, Jean-Marc; Love, David; Macalady, Alison K.; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Mitchell, Patrick J.; Muss, Jordan D.; O'Brien, Michael J.; O'Grady, Anthony P.; Pangle, Robert E.; Pinkard, Elizabeth A.; Piper, Frida I.; Plaut, Jennifer; Pockman, William T.; Quirk, Joe; Reinhardt, Keith; Ripullone, Francesco; Ryan, Michael G.; Sala, Anna; Sevanto, Sanna; Sperry, John S.; Vargas, Rodrigo; Vennetier, Michel; Way, Danielle A.; Wu, Chonggang; Yepez, Enrico A.; McDowell, Nate G.
Adams, H.D., Zeppel, M.J.B., Anderegg, W.R.L. et al. (59 more authors) (2017) A multi-species synthesis of physiological mechanisms in drought-induced tree mortality. Nature Ecology and Evolution. (In Press)

Year Published: 2017

At a global scale, do climate change threatened species also face a greater number of non-climatic threats?

For many species the threats of climate change occur in a context of multiple existing threats. Given the current focus of global change ecology in identifying and understanding species vulnerable to climate change, we performed a global analysis to characterize the multi-threat context for species threatened by climate change. Utilizing 30,053...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Dye, Kaipo
Fortini, L. B., and K. Dye. 2017. At a global scale, do climate change threatened species also face a greater number of non-climatic threats? Global Ecology and Conservation 11:207-212. Available: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2017.06.006

Year Published: 2017

Integrating Breeding Bird Survey and demographic data to estimate Wood Duck population size in the Atlantic Flyway

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) uses data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) to assist in monitoring and management of some migratory birds. However, BBS analyses provide indices of population change rather than estimates of population size, precluding their use in developing abundance-based objectives and limiting...

Zimmerman, Guthrie S.; Sauer, John R.; Boomer, G. Scott; Devers, Patrick K.; Garrettson, Pamela R.
Zimmerman, G. S., Sauer, J. R., Boomer, G. S., Devers, P. K., and Garrettson, P. R., 2017, Integrating Breeding Bird Survey and demographic data to estimate Wood Duck population size in the Atlantic Flyway: Condor, v. 119, no. 3, p. 616-628.

Year Published: 2017

Assessing multi-tissue lead burdens in free-flying obligate scavengers in eastern North America

Avian scavengers are regularly exposed to anthropogenic lead. Although many studies evaluate lead concentrations of either blood or tissues of lead-poisoned birds, there is comparatively less research on lead burdens of free-flying, apparently healthy individuals and populations. Here, we address this lack of information by assessing lead levels...

Behmke, Shannon; Mazik, Patricia; Katzner, Todd E.
Behmke, S., Mazik, P. & Katzner, T. Environ Monit Assess (2017) 189: 139. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-017-5855-0

Year Published: 2017

Enhanced precipitation promotes decomposition and soil C stabilization in semiarid ecosystems, but seasonal timing of wetting matters

AimsChanging precipitation regimes in semiarid ecosystems will affect the balance of soil carbon (C) input and release, but the net effect on soil C storage is unclear. We asked how changes in the amount and timing of precipitation affect litter decomposition, and soil C stabilization in semiarid ecosystems.MethodsThe study took place at a long-...

Campos, Xochi; Germino, Matthew J.; de Graaff, Marie-Anne
Campos X., Germino M., de Graaff M.-A. Enhanced precipitation promotes decomposition and soil C stabilization in semiarid ecosystems, but seasonal timing of wetting matters Plant Soil (2017).

Year Published: 2017

Status and trends of adult Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) sucker populations in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2015

Executive SummaryData from a long-term capture-recapture program were used to assess the status and dynamics of populations of two long-lived, federally endangered catostomids in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. Lost River suckers (LRS; Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (SNS; Chasmistes brevirostris) have been captured and tagged with passive...

Hewitt, David A.; Janney, Eric C.; Hayes, Brian S.; Harris, Alta C.
Hewitt, D.A., Janney, E.C., Hayes, B.S., and Harris, A.C., 2017, Status and trends of adult Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) sucker populations in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1059, 38 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171059.

Year Published: 2017

Biological and ecological science for Montana—The Treasure State

Montana is rich in minerals, energy, and soils, as well as prairies, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, fish, and wildlife. Many enterprises that drive the economy are based on natural resources, including tourism, hunting, fishing, agriculture, and energy development. The outdoor-recreation economy alone supports 64,000 Montana jobs and generates...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, Biological and ecological science for Montana—The Treasure State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3052, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173052.

Year Published: 2017

Case studies of riparian and watershed restoration in the southwestern United States—Principles, challenges, and successes

Globally, rivers and streams are highly altered by impoundments, diversions, and stream channelization associated with agricultural and water delivery needs. Climate change imposes additional challenges by further reducing discharge, introducing variability in seasonal precipitation patterns, and increasing temperatures. Collectively, these...

Ralston, Barbara E.; Sarr, Daniel A.; Ralston, Barbara E.; Sarr, Daniel A.
Ralston, B.E., and Sarr, D.A., 2017, Case studies of riparian and watershed restoration in the southwestern United States—Principles, challenges, and successes: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017-1091, 116 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171091.

Year Published: 2017

Research, monitoring, and evaluation of emerging issues and measures to recover the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon ESU, 1/1/2016 - 12/31/2016

The portion of the Snake River fall Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha ESU that spawns upstream of Lower Granite Dam transitioned from low to high abundance during 1992–2016 in association with U.S. Endangered Species Act recovery efforts and other federally mandated actions. This annual report focuses on (1) numeric and habitat use responses...

Connor, William P.; Mullins, Frank L.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Plumb, John M.; Perry, Russell W.; Erhardt, John M.; Hemingway, Rulon J.; Bickford, Brad; Rhodes, Tobyn N.
Connor, W.P., and F.L. Mullins, K.F. Tiffan, J.M. Plumb, R.W. Perry, J.M. Erhardt, R.J. Hemingway, B.K. Bickford, and T.N. Rhodes. 2017. Research, monitoring, and evaluation of emerging issues and measures to recover the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon ESU, January, 2016-December, 2016. Bonneville Power Administration. Project Number 199102900. Contract Numbers 72899, and 72898. 67 p.

Year Published: 2017

Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon life history investigations

Predation by nonnative fishes is one factor that has been implicated in the decline of juvenile salmonids in the Pacific Northwest. Impoundment of much of the Snake and Columbia rivers has altered food webs and created habitat favorable for species such as Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu. Smallmouth Bass are common throughout the Columbia...

Erhardt, John M.; Bickford, Brad; Hemingway, Rulon J.; Rhodes, Tobyn N.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.
Erhardt, J.M., B.K. Bickford, R.J. Hemingway, T.N. Rhodes, and K.F. Tiffan. 2017. Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigations, 1/1/2016 - 12/31/2016. Bonneville Power Administration. Project Number 2002-032-00, Contract Number 72252. 21 p.

Filter Total Items: 660
February 23, 2016

At the capture site

At capture sites with road access, biologists drive to a trap with a bear inside to set up for collecting biological data. 

February 23, 2016

An immobilized bear.

Biologists use a syringe pole to immobilize the captured grizzly bear.  It takes approximately 10 minutes for a bear to become immobilized.  

February 23, 2016

Ready to remove from the trap

Biologists have immobilized the bear and prepare to lift it out of the trap and onto the tarp for data collection.  Once on the tarp the bear is easier to move. 

February 23, 2016

Preparing for collection of samples

A biologist prepares to collect biological information from the bear they have captured.  Biologists collect hair samples for genetic analysis, weigh the bear,  and gather numerous measurements of the body, such as the head, paws, claws, teeth, etc.  Overall condition of the bear is assessed as well, including a body fat measurement.

February 23, 2016

Getting the bear's weight

One of the first measurements taken is the bear’s weight using a quadpod and electronic scale. 

February 23, 2016

Getting set up

Biologists are very careful to keep the grizzly bear under shade and protected from the elements while they collect biological data.  Vital signs are monitored throughout the handling period. 

February 23, 2016

Close up

The kerchief over the grizzly bear’s eyes protects it from dust and debris and reduces visual stimulation. The small tubing in its nose, known as a nasal cannula, delivers oxygen to the animal while it is tranquilized.  

February 23, 2016

Assessing body fat percentage of grizzly bear

Field personnel use bioelectrical impedance to assess body fat percentage of captured bears.  The procedure is similar to how body fat is measured in humans and is based on the resistance of body tissues to the flow of a small, harmless electrical signal.  The electrical current is impeded more by fat tissues compared with tissues that are composed mostly of water, thus

...
February 23, 2016

Measuring the bear's head length

A biologist measures a grizzly bear’s head length.

February 23, 2016

Measuring the bear's body length

Biologists measure a grizzly bear’s body length.

February 23, 2016

Measuring the bear's paw

Biologists measure a grizzly bear’s paw width. 

February 23, 2016

Fitting a radio collar

Biologists with IGBST and the National Park Service fit a grizzly bear with a radio collar.  Once a bear is radio collared, biologists can track its movements with telemetry.

Filter Total Items: 280
Date published: September 3, 2010

New Report Warns of Expanding Threat of Hypoxia in U.S. Coastal Waters

A report issued today by key environmental and scientific federal agencies assesses the increasing prevalence of low-oxygen “dead zones” in U.S. coastal waters and outlines a series of research and policy steps that could help reverse the decades-long trend.

Date published: September 1, 2010

Are Wolves Saving Yellowstone’s Aspen Trees from Elk?

LARAMIE, Wy. — Previous research has claimed that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 is helping restore quaking aspen in risky areas where wolves prowl. But apparently elk hungry for winter food had a different idea.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: August 30, 2010

Climate Change Implicated in Decline of Horseshoe Crabs

LEETOWN, W. Va. — A distinct decline in horseshoe crab numbers has occurred that parallels climate change associated with the end of the last Ice Age, according to a study that used genomics to assess historical trends in population sizes.  

Date published: August 24, 2010

Rare Tadpoles Released for First Time into Wild Stream

IDYLLWILD, CALIF. — Thirty-six rare tadpoles were released into a wild steam today near Idyllwild, Calif. as part of a program aimed at giving the nearly-extinct, Southern California population of mountain yellow-legged frogs a chance of thriving in the wild again.

Attribution: Ecosystems