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: 742
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.

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Pacific Islands Invasive Species

Find out more about invasive species in the Pacific islands such as brown treesnake, invasive mammals (mouflon, feral pigs, rats, and mongoose), plants, ants, and yellowjacket wasps.

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Invasive Species in the West

Find out more about invasive species in the western U.S. such as cheatgrass, tamarisk, and buffelgrass.

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Early Detection and Rapid Response

USGS research focuses on developing and enhancing capabilities to forecast and predict invasive species establishment and spread. Early detection helps resource managers identify and report new invasive species, especially for cryptic species and those in very low abundance, to better assess risks to natural areas. 

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Threat Forecasting and Decision Support

Tracking the establishment and spread of existing and new invasive species is critical to effectively manage invasive species.

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

Invasive Species in the Midwest

Find out more about invasive species in the midwest such as asian carp, sea lamprey, and phragmites.

Filter Total Items: 4,619
Year Published: 2018

Fatality estimator user’s guide

This publication is the User's Guide for software developed to estimate wildlife fatalities at wind-power facilities, although the software is applicable to a variety of circumstances in which the objective is to estimate the size of a superpopulation and the probability of detection of the individuals is less than one. Simple counts of carcasses...

Huso, Manuela M.; Som, Nicholas; Ladd, Lew
Huso, Manuela, Som, Nicholas, and Ladd, Lew, 2018, Fatality estimator user’s guide (ver. 1.2, December 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 729, 22 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds729.

Year Published: 2017

Reproductive success of Mariana swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu

Mariana Swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) are federally listed as endangered, with populations currently limited to just three islands in the Mariana Islands plus an introduced population on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Before efforts are made to reintroduce Mariana Swiftlets to other islands in the Mariana archipelago, additional information is...

Johnson, Nathan C.; Haig, Susan M.; Mosher, Stephen M.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.
Johnson, N.C., Haig, S.M., Mosher, S.M., Hollenbeck, J.P., 2017, Reproductive success of Mariana swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu: Journal of Field Ornithology, v. 88, p. 362–373, https://doi.org/10.1111/jofo.12236.

Year Published: 2017

Effectiveness of common fish screen materials for protecting lamprey ammocoetes—Influence of sweeping velocities and decreasing flows

In previous tests of the effectiveness of four common fish screen materials for excluding lamprey ammocoetes, we determined that woven wire (WW) allowed substantially more entrainment than perforated plate (PP), profile bar (PB), or Intralox (IL) material. These tests were simplistic because they used small vertically-oriented screens positioned...

Mesa, Matthew G.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Weiland, Lisa K.; Christiansen, Helena E.
Mesa, M.G., Liedtke, T.L., Weiland, L.K., and Christiansen, H.E., 2017, Effectiveness of common fish screen materials for protecting lamprey ammocoetes—Influence of sweeping velocities and decreasing flows: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017-1163, 19 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171163.

Year Published: 2017

Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

The Hawaiian Islands are well known for their unique ecosystem assemblages that have a high proportion of endemic flora and fauna. However, since human colonization of this archipelago—starting with the arrival of Polynesian sailors approximately 1,200 years ago, and particularly following western contact in 1778—thousands of non-native species...

Jacobi, James D.; Stock, Jonathan
Jacobi, J.D., and Stock, J., 2017, Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5136, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175136.

Year Published: 2017

Increased sediment load during a large-scale dam removal changes nearshore subtidal communities

The coastal marine ecosystem near the Elwha River was altered by a massive sediment influx—over 10 million tonnes—during the staged three-year removal of two hydropower dams. We used time series of bathymetry, substrate grain size, remotely sensed turbidity, scuba dive surveys, and towed video observations collected before and during dam removal...

Rubin, Stephen P.; Miller, Ian M.; Foley, Melissa M.; Berry, Helen D.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Hudson, Benjamin; Elder, Nancy E.; Beirne, Matthew M.; Warrick, Jonathan A.; McHenry, Michael L.; Stevens, Andrew W.; Eidam, Emily; Ogston, Andrea; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Pedersen, Rob
Rubin, S.P., I.M. Miller, M.M. Foley, H.D. Berry, J.J. Duda, B. Hudson, N.E. Elder, M.M. Beirne, J.A. Warrick, M.L. McHenry, A.W. Stevens, E.F. Eidam, A.S. Ogston, G. Gelfenbaum, and R. Pedersen. 2017. Increased sediment load during a large-scale dam removal changes nearshore subtidal communities. PloS ONE 12(12): e0187742. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187742.

Year Published: 2017

Observations and first reports of saprolegniosis in Aanaakłiq, broad whitefish (Coregonus nasus), from the Colville River near Nuiqsut, Alaska

We report the first confirmed cases (2013–2016) of saprolegniosis caused by water mold from the genus Saprolegnia in Aanaakłiq, broad whitefish (Coregonus nasus), from the Colville River near Nuiqsut, Alaska. While this mold is known to be worldwide, these instances represent the first cases in Nuiqsut and only the second instance on a...

Sformo, Todd L.; Adams, Billy; Seigle, John C.; Ferguson, Jayde A.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Stimmelmayr, Raphaela; Welch, Joseph H.; Ellis, Leah M.; Leppi, Jason C.; George, John C.
Sformo, T.L., B. Adams, J.C. Seigle, J.A. Ferguson, M.K. Purcell, R. Stimmelmayr, J.H. Welch, L.M. Ellis, J.C. Leppi, and J.C. George. 2017. Observations and first reports of saprolegniosis in Aanaakłiq, broad whitefish (Coregonus nasus), from the Colville River near Nuiqsut, Alaska. Polar Sci. 14: 78-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.polar.2017.07.002.

Year Published: 2017

A statistical method to predict flow permanence in dryland streams from time series of stream temperature

Intermittent and ephemeral streams represent more than half of the length of the global river network. Dryland freshwater ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in human-related water uses as well as shifts in terrestrial climates. Yet, the description and quantification of patterns of flow permanence in these systems is challenging...

Arismendi, Ivan; Dunham, Jason B.; Heck, Michael; Schultz, Luke; Hockman-Wert, David
Arismendi, I., Dunham, J.B., Heck, M.P., Schultz, L.D., Hockman-Wert, D.P., 2017, A statistical method to predict flow permanence in dryland streams from time series of stream temperature: Water, v. 9, no. 12, p. 946, https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120946.

Year Published: 2017

Energetic requirements of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) feeding on burrowing shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis) in estuaries: importance of temperature, reproductive investment, and residence time

Habitat use can be complex, as tradeoffs among physiology, resource abundance, and predator avoidance affect the suitability of different environments for different species. Green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris), an imperiled species along the west coast of North America, undertake extensive coastal migrations and occupy estuaries during the...

Borin, Joshua M.; Moser, Mary L.; Hansen, Adam G.; Beauchamp, David A.; Corbett, Stephen C.; Dumbauld, Brett R.; Pruitt, Casey; Ruesink, Jennifer L.; Donoghue, Cinde
Borin, J.M., M.L. Moser, A.G. Hansen, D.A. Beauchamp, S.C. Corbett, B.R. Dumbauld, C. Pruitt, J.L. Ruesink, and C. Donoghue. 2017. Energetic requirements of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) feeding on burrowing shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis) in estuaries: importance of temperature, reproductive investment, and residence time. Environ. Biol. Fish. (2017): 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-017-0665-3.

Year Published: 2017

Heterogeneous responses of temperate-zone amphibian populations to climate change complicates conservation planning

The pervasive and unabated nature of global amphibian declines suggests common demographic responses to a given driver, and quantification of major drivers and responses could inform broad-scale conservation actions. We explored the influence of climate on demographic parameters (i.e., changes in the probabilities of survival and recruitment)...

Muths, Erin L.; Chambert, Thierry A.; Schmidt, B. R.; Miller, D. A. W.; Hossack, Blake R.; Joly, P.; Grolet, O.; Green, D. M.; Pilliod, David S.; Cheylan, M.; Fisher, Robert N.; McCaffery, R. M.; Adams, M. J.; Palen, W. J.; Arntzen, J. W.; Garwood, J.; Fellers, Gary M.; Thirion, J. M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Besnard, A.

Year Published: 2017

How many Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis are on Midway Atoll? Methods for monitoring abundance after reintroduction

Wildlife managers often request a simple approach to monitor the status of species of concern. In response to that need, we used eight years of monitoring data to estimate population size and test the validity of an index for monitoring accurately the abundance of reintroduced, endangered Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis. The population was...

Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen; Hatfield, Jeffrey
Reynolds, M. H., K. N. Courtot, and J. S. Hatfield. 2017. How many Laysan teal Anas laysanensis are on Midway Atoll? Methods for monitoring abundance after reintroduction. Wildfowl 67:60–71. Available: https://wildfowl.wwt.org.uk/index.php/wildfowl/article/view/2664/1781

Year Published: 2017

Interactions among invasive plants: Lessons from Hawai‘i

Most ecosystems have multiple-plant invaders rather than single-plant invaders, yet ecological studies and management actions focus largely on single invader species. There is a need for general principles regarding invader interactions across varying environmental conditions, so that secondary invasions can be anticipated and managers can...

D'Antonio, Carla M.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Cordell, Susan; Yelenik, Stephanie G.
D’Antonio, C. M., R. Ostertag, S. Cordell, and S. Yelenik. 2017. Interactions among invasive plants: lessons from Hawai‘i. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 48:521–541. Available: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110316-022620

Year Published: 2017

National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Inventory Program: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Vegetation Mapping Project

The National Park Service, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science office in Fort Collins, Colorado, publishes a range of reports that address natural resource topics. These reports are of interest and applicability to a broad audience in the National Park Service and others in natural resource management, including scientists, conservation and...

Hop, Kevin D.; Strassman, Andrew C.; Sattler, Stephanie; Pyne, Milo; Teague, Judy; White, Rickie; Ruhser, Janis; Hlavacek, Enrika; Dieck, Jennifer
Hop, K., A. Strassman, S. Sattler, M. Pyne, J. Teague, R. White, J. Ruhser, E. Hlavacek, and J. Dieck. 2017. National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Inventory Program: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve vegetation mapping project. Natural Resource Report NPS/GULN/NRR-2017/1528. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Filter Total Items: 689
February 8, 2016

Evidence of Absence

This is a recorded presentation describing a statistical software package called "Evidence of Absence" that can be used to provide evidence of compliance with incidental take permits. It will be useful to wildlife managers and wind energy operators to estimate, with reasonable certainty, that a certain number of birds or bats have been killed at wind energy facilities,

...
Grizzly bear on a remote camera.
February 3, 2016

Grizzly bear on a remote camera.

When looking for a place to set up a capture location, biologists look for existing bear sign such as scratches on trees and bear scat.  Sometimes traps are set in areas that have no obvious bear sign to determine if indeed bears are present.

January 30, 2016

Magical Manatees

This video was shot in Three Sisters Springs at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. The footage was captured using a GoPro while conducting health check-ups and taking photography for population research on Jan. 30, 2014.

Special Thanks
Dr. Bob Bonde, USGS and the dozens of volunteers who conduct annual manatee health

...
January 8, 2016

USGS Pollinator Research and Monitoring

The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, located in the Northern Great Plains state of North Dakota highlights their current and ongoing research on land use and pollinator health.

This part of the country represents critical summer forage habitat for commercial beekeepers and their honey bees. Colonies located here in the summer produce honey and go on

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Collecting permafrost information on the Tahana River
December 31, 2015

Collecting permafrost information on the Tahana River

David Pelunis-Messier and Milton Roberts navigating on the Tanana River, a main tributary of the Yukon River. The two are taking part in the Yukon River permafrost study. 

Researcher takes winter water chemistry samples on the Yukon River
December 31, 2015

Researcher takes winter water chemistry samples on the Yukon River

Researcher Carol Hasburgh taking winter water chemistry samples on the Yukon River for a permafrost loss study. 

Whitefish drying on a fish rack in Pilot Station, AK
December 31, 2015

Whitefish drying on a fish rack in Pilot Station, AK

Whitefish drying on a fish rack in Pilot Station, AK, in the Yukon River Basin. 

Image: Endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat
December 31, 2015

Hawaiian Hoary Bats Hunting Insects

The sound of Hawaiian hoary bats hunting insects.

Attribution: Ecosystems
USGS researcher gets ready to take water samples in the Yukon River Basin
December 31, 2015

USGS researcher gets ready to take water samples in the Yukon River Ba

Charles Couvillion (USGS Alaska Science Center) at Pilot Station, AK, getting ready to take water samples and discharge measurements for a permafrost study in the Yukon River Basin.   

December 31, 2015

Permafrost Study in the Yukon River Basin

Jay Hootch, former employee of Yupitt of Andreafski, drills to take winter chemistry samples to be used in a permafrost loss study in the Yukon River Basin. 
 

December 31, 2015

Permafrost Study in the Yukon River Basin

Heading out to take water chemistry samples for a study on permafrost in the Yukon River Basin. The study examined the chemical and hydrological changes occurring in the basin due to permafrost loss. 
 

Monarchs
December 31, 2015

Monarchs

The Eastern, migratory population of monarch butterflies has declined by about 80 percent over the last decade.