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: 809
Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Pollinators

Pollinators are crucial contributors to our environment and society by enhancing plant diversity in wild lands and providing food for humans in agricultural settings. Some three-fourths of all native plants in the world require pollination by an animal, most often an insect, and most often a native bee.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI)

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) is a long-term, science-based program focused on assessing, conserving, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitats while facilitating responsible energy development through local collaboration and partnerships.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 16, 2018
Status: Active

National Phenology Network (NPN)

The USA National Phenology Network is a national-scale science and monitoring initiative focused on phenology, which is the study of seasonal life-cycle events such as leafing, flowering, reproduction and migration, as a tool to understand how plants, animals and landscapes respond to environmental variation and change.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 12, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive pathogens

Streamside salamanders such as this one are susceptible to invasive fungal pathogens of the genus Batrachochytrium.  Two types of emerging fungal agents, B. dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans have been identified as serious risks to our amphibian populations.

Date published: January 12, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive northern snakehead fish

Invasive northern snakehead fish

Date published: January 11, 2018
Status: Active

Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes

Story Map: Utilizing Tree Swallows as Indicators for Contaminants in the Great Lakes Area

Use tree swallows and colonial waterbirds in the Great Lakes to evaluate contaminant

  1. Exposure (geographic and spatial);
  2. Trends through time(temporal)
  3. Effects (
  4. ...
Date published: January 4, 2018

Experimental suppression of invasive lake trout: Implications for conservation of imperiled bull trout in Glacier National Park

After 14,000 years of dominance, Glacier National Park’s (GNP) greatest native aquatic predator is at high risk of extirpation (local extinction) in several lakes on the western slopes of the Continental Divide. The decline of threatened bull trout in GNP is directly attributed to the invasion and establishment of nonnative lake trout, which consistently displace bull trout in systems where...

Date published: January 1, 2018
Status: Active

Vector-Borne Diseases

Vector-borne diseases are transmitted from one animal to another by vectors, including insects, such as mosquitoes or fleas, and arachnids, such as ticks. The USGS National Wildlife Health Center investigates wildlife diseases, including vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus and sylvatic plague.

Date published: December 13, 2017
Status: Active

Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) is an interdisciplinary group of scientists and biologists responsible for long-term monitoring and research efforts on grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The team was formed by the Department of the Interior (DOI) in 1973 as a direct result of controversy...

Date published: December 11, 2017
Status: Active

Use of Remote Sensing Data to Quantify Bird and Bat Distributions and Inform Migratory Bird Conservation Efforts

Three federal wildlife refuge complexes on the upper Texas coast include portions of the Columbia Bottomlands and other forests that are important for migratory birds and possibly bats: Texas Mid-Coast, Trinity River, and Chenier Plain.

Date published: December 11, 2017
Status: Active

Use of Remote Sensing Data to Quantify Bird Distributions and Aid in the Environmental Assessment of Energy Development in the Gulf of Mexico Region

Knowing where migratory birds consistently stop to rest and forage is critical for conservation planning, particularly along the northern and western Gulf where there is increased interest in energy development.

Date published: December 5, 2017
Status: Active

The Gulf of Mexico Water Dashboard: Cross-Center Collaboration Brings Real-time, USGS Water Data to the Gulf Coast through a Spatially Enabled Mapping Application

The USGS Southeast Regional Office has funded a cross-center collaboration between the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and the Texas Water Science Center for the development of the Gulf of Mexico Water Dashboard. The objective of this effort is to expand the Texas Water Dashboard platform to include the coastal regions of the five Gulf states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and...

Filter Total Items: 30,668
Year Published: 2018

GenEst statistical models—A generalized estimator of mortality

IntroductionGenEst (a generalized estimator of mortality) is a suite of statistical models and software tools for generalized mortality estimation. It was specifically designed for estimating the number of bird and bat fatalities at solar and wind power facilities, but both the software (Dalthorp and others, 2018) and the underlying statistical...

Dalthorp, Daniel; Madsen, Lisa; Huso, Manuela M.; Rabie, Paul; Wolpert, Robert; Studyvin, Jared; Simonis, Juniper; Mintz, Jeffrey
Dalthorp, D., Madsen, L., Huso, M., Rabie, P., Wolpert, R., Studyvin, J., Simonis, J., and Mintz, J., 2018, GenEst statistical models—A generalized estimator of mortality: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 7, chap. A2, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm7A2.

Year Published: 2018

Emerging themes from the ESA symposium entitled “Pollinator nutrition: Lessons from bees at individual to landscape levels”

No abstract available.

Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Bowsher, Julia H.; Carr-Markell, Morgan; Carroll, Mark J.; Centrella, Mary; Cook, Steven C.; Couvillon, Margaret; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Dolezal, Adam; Jones, Julia C.; Mogren, Christina; Otto, Clint R. V.; Lau, Pierre; Rangel, Juliana; Schurch, Roger; St. Clair, Ashley

Year Published: 2018

Descriptive models for epithermal gold-silver deposits: Chapter Q in

Epithermal gold-silver deposits are vein, stockwork, disseminated, and replacement deposits that are mined primarily for their gold and silver contents; some deposits also contain substantial resources of lead, zinc, copper, and (or) mercury. These deposits form in the uppermost parts of the crust, at depths less than about 1,500 meters below the...

John, David A.; Vikre, Peter G.; du Bray, Edward A.; Blakely, Richard J.; Fey, David L.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; Mauk, Jeffrey L.; Anderson, Eric D.; Graybeal, Frederick T.
John, D.A., Vikre, P.G., du Bray, E.A., Blakely, R.J., Fey, D.L., Rockwell, B.W., Mauk, J.L., Anderson, E.D., and Graybeal, F.T., 2018, Descriptive models for epithermal gold-silver deposits: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–Q, 247 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20105070Q.

Year Published: 2018

Assessment of potential risks from renewable energy development and other anthropogenic factors to wintering Golden Eagles in the western United States

Wind and other energy development are expanding rapidly and on an unprecedented scale within the range of the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) while other anthropogenic-related changes, wildfires, invasive plants, drought, and climate change are altering or destroying native habitats occupied by Golden Eagles. However, the potential effects of...

Humphries, Grant; Magness, Dawn; Huettmann, Falk; Craig, Erica H.; Fuller, Mark R.; Craig, Tim H.; Huettmann, Falk

Year Published: 2018

Batrachochytrium salamandriovrans (Bsal) in Appalachia—Using scenario building to proactively prepare for a wildlife disease outbreak caused by an invasive amphibian chytrid fungus

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), a pathogenic chytrid fungus, is nonnative to the United States and poses a disease threat to vulnerable amphibian hosts. The Bsal fungus may lead to increases in threatened, endangered, and sensitive status listings at State, Tribal, and Federal levels, resulting in financial costs associated with...

Hopkins, M.C.; Adams, M.J.; Super, P.E.; Olson, D.H.; Hickman, C.R.; English, P.; Sprague, L.; Maska, I.B. ; Pennaz, A.B.; Ludwig, K.A.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Hopkins, M.C., Adams, M.J., Super, P.E., Olson, D.H., Hickman, C.R., English, P., Sprague, L., Maska, I.B., Pennaz, A.B., and Ludwig, K.A., 2018, Batrachochytrium salamandriovrans (Bsal) in Appalachia—Using scenario building to proactively prepare for a wildlife disease outbreak caused by an invasive amphibian chytrid fungus: U.S. Geological Survey Report 2018–1150, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181150.

Year Published: 2018

Multi-state occupancy models of foraging habitat use by the Hawaiian hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus semotus

Multi-state occupancy modeling can often improve assessments of habitat use and site quality when animal activity or behavior data are available. We examine the use of the approach for evaluating foraging habitat suitability of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) from classifications of site occupancy based on flight...

Gorresen, Paulo Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; DeLisle, Megan A.; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Pinzari, Corinna A.; Bonaccorso, Frank
Gorresen, P. M., K. W. Brinck, M. A. DeLisle, K. Montoya-Aiona, C. A. Pinzari, and F. J. Bonaccorso. 2018. Multi-state occupancy models of foraging habitat use by the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus). PLoS ONE 13:e0205150.

Year Published: 2018

Using research networks to create the comprehensive datasets needed to assess nutrient availability as a key determinant of terrestrial carbon cycling

A wide range of research shows that nutrient availability strongly influences terrestrial carbon (C) cycling and shapes ecosystem responses to environmental changes and hence terrestrial feedbacks to climate. Nonetheless, our understanding of nutrient controls remains far from complete and poorly quantified, at least partly due to a lack of...

Vicca, Sara; Stocker, Benjamin; Reed, Sasha C.; Wieder, William R.; Bahn, Michael; Fay, Philip A.; Janssens, Ivan; Lambers, Hans; Penuelas, Josep; Piao, Shilong; Rebel, Karin; Sardans, Jordi; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Van Sundert, Kevin; Wang, Ying-Ping; Zaehle, Sonke; Ciais, Philippe

Year Published: 2018

Chronic physical disturbance substantially alters the response of biological soil crusts to a wetting pulse, as characterized by metatranscriptomic sequencing

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are microbial communities that are a feature of arid surface soils worldwide. In drylands where precipitation is pulsed and ephemeral, the ability of biocrust microbiota to rapidly initiate metabolic activity is critical to their survival. Community gene expression was compared after a short duration (1 hour)...

Steven, Blaire; Belnap, Jayne; Kuske, Cheryl R.

Year Published: 2018

Change in dominance determines herbivore effects on plant biodiversity

Herbivores alter plant biodiversity (species richness) in many of the world’s ecosystems, but the magnitude and the direction of herbivore effects on biodiversity vary widely within and among ecosystems. One current theory predicts that herbivores enhance plant biodiversity at high productivity but have the opposite effect at low productivity. Yet...

Koerner, Sally E.; Smith, Melinda D.; Burkepile, Deron E.; Hanan, Niall P.; Avolio, Meghan L.; Collins, Scott L.; Knapp, Alan K.; Lemoine, Nathan P.; Forrestel, Elisabeth J.; Eby, Stephanie; Thompson, Dave I.; Aguado-Santacruz, Gerardo A.; Anderson, John P.; Anderson, T. Michael; Angassa, Ayana; Bagchi, Sumanta; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Bastin, Gary; Baur, Lauren E.; Beard, Karen H.; Beever, Erik A.; Bohlen, Patrick J.; Boughton, Elizabeth H.; Canestro, Don; Cesa, Ariela; Chaneton, Enrique; Cheng, Jimin; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Deleglise, Claire; Dembélé, Fadiala; Dorrough, Josh; Eldridge, David J.; Fernandez-Going, Barbara; Fernández-Lugo, Silvia; Fraser, Lauchlan H.; Freedman, Bill; García-Salgado, Gonzalo; Goheen, Jacob R.; Guo, Liang; Husheer, Sean; Karembé, Moussa; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Kraaij, Tineke; Kulmatiski, Andrew; Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit; Lezama, Felipe; Loucougaray, Gregory; Loydi, Alejandro; Milchunas, Daniel G.; Milton, Suzanne J.; Morgan, John W.; Moxham, Claire; Nehring, Kyle C.; Olff, Han; Palmer, Todd M.; Rebollo, Salvador; Riginos, Corinna; Risch, Anita C.; Rueda, Marta; Sankaran, Mahesh; Sasaki, Takehiro; Schoenecker, Kathryn A.; Schultz, Nick L.; Schütz, Martin; Schwabe, Angelika; Siebert, Frances; Smit, Christian; Stahlheber, Karen A.; Storm, Christian; Strong, Dustin J.; Su, Jishuai; Tiruvaimozhi, Yadugiri V.; Tyler, Claudia; Val, James; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; Veblen, Kari E.; Vermeire, Lance; Ward, David; Wu, Jianshuang; Young, Truman P.; Yu, Qiang; Zelikova, Tamara J.

Year Published: 2018

California mallards: a review

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) are the most abundant breeding waterfowl species in California and are important to waterfowl hunters in the state. California is unique among major North American wintering waterfowl areas, in that most mallards harvested in California are also produced in California, meaning that California must provide both high...

Feldheim, Cliff L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Oldenburger, Shaun L.; Eadie, John M.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Yarris, Gregory S.
Feldheim, C. L., Ackerman, J. T., Oldenburger, S. L., Eadie, J. M., Fleskes, J. P., & Yarris, G. S. (2018). California mallards: a review. California Fish and Game, 104(2), 49-66.

Year Published: 2018

Long-term impacts of exotic grazer removal on native shrub recovery, Santa Cruz Island, California

A combination of overgrazing and exotic species introduction has led to the degradation of habitats worldwide. It is often unclear whether removal of exotic ungulates will lead to the natural reestablishment of native plant communities without further management inputs. I describe here my return to sites on Santa Cruz Island, California, 12 years...

Yelenik, Stephanie G.
Yelenik, S. G. 2018. Long-term impacts of exotic grazer removal on native shrub recovery, Santa Cruz Island, California. Western North American Naturalist 78:777–786.

Year Published: 2018

Are fungal networks key to dryland primary production?

In low-resource ecosystems, competition among primary producers can be reduced through the partitioning of limiting resources in space or time. Partitioning, coupled with species interactions, can be a source of ecosystem stability by retaining resources within a biotic “loop” and slowing losses due to physical processes, such as erosion, gaseous...

Rudgers, Jennifer A.; Dettweiler-Robinson, Eva; Belnap, Jayne; Green, Laura E.; Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Young, Kristina E.; Cort, Catherine E.; Darrouzet-Nardi, Anthony

Filter Total Items: 694
Image: Endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat
December 31, 2015

Hawaiian Hoary Bats Hunting Insects

The sound of Hawaiian hoary bats hunting insects.

Attribution: Ecosystems
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. 
 

Monarchs
December 31, 2015

Monarchs

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

 

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. 
 

A Spawning Coho Salmon
December 31, 2015

A Spawning Coho Salmon

Coho salmon fins just above water surface. Female coho select breeding sties based on specific characteristics that offer protection and desired habitat for juveniles. Photo courtesy of Steven Clark, BLM

USGS biologist Gretchen Roffler weighs a newborn caribou calf in Denali National Park, Alaska
December 31, 2015

USGS biologist weighs a newborn caribou calf in Alaska

USGS biologist Gretchen Roffler weighs a newborn caribou calf in Denali National Park, Alaska.

USGS scientist Layne Adams places a radiocollar on a sedated large bull caribou in Denali National Park, Alaska
December 31, 2015

USGS scientist places radiocollar on a sedated bull caribou in Alaska

USGS scientist Layne Adams places a radiocollar on a sedated large bull caribou in Denali National Park, Alaska. 

USGS Museum, historic preservation
December 31, 2015

In the Driver’s Seat

Student dusts the Model A Ford coupe used by USGS scientists from the 1930s to 1965. 

Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum
December 31, 2015

USGS Volunteer Student at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

The Smithsonian Natural History Museum offers hands-on learning experiences.