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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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Fast action can prevent species from becoming established.
USGS scientists in the Southwest and Prairie Potholes regions of the United States are using a range of approaches to provide information to determine what type of biofuel development makes the most sense from energy, economic, and ecological perspectives.
Adaptive management is "learning by doing" and adapting based on what is learned, in an objective, science-based management strategy that explicitly recognizes and delineates uncertainty.
Ecosystem services are attributes and outputs of ecosystems that are valued by human users. Ecosystem services are produced by ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, climate regulation, and maintenance of biodiversity. Ecosystems also provide marketable goods like seafood and timber.
Resilience is the ability of a system or a community to absorb shocks and still maintain the same basic structure and functions. Management for ecological resilience seeks flexible system behaviors that can deliver ecosystem goods and services on a sustained basis.
"Within the funds provided for the Biological Research Division, the managers have earmarked $3,400,000 for mission-critical science support for the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The managers reiterate that these funds are for research needs solely identified by FWS." FY2001 Conference Report on Department of the Interior Appropriations
Spatial Ecology of the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) and American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in the Greater Everglades
Satellite/GPS tags help USGS researchers understand the movements of American Alligators and American Crocodiles in the Greater Everglades.
Infecting Pacific Herring with Ichthyophonus sp. in the laboratory
The protistan parasite Ichthyophonus sp. occurs in coastal populations of Pacific Herring Clupea pallasii throughout the northeast Pacific region, but the route(s) by which these planktivorous fish become infected is unknown. Several methods for establishing Ichthyophonus infections in laboratory challenges were examined. Infections were most...Hershberger, Paul; Hart, Lucas; Mackenzie, Ashley; Yanney, M.L.; Conway, Carla M.; Elliott, Diane G.
Estimating mercury exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish using prey fish monitoring
Methylmercury is a global pollutant of aquatic ecosystems, and monitoring programs need tools to predict mercury exposure of wildlife. We developed equations to estimate methylmercury exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish using mercury concentrations in prey fish. We collected original data on western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and...Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Davis, Jay; Ichikawa, Gary; Bonnema, Autumn
Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat—Part 2. Landscape level restoration decisions
Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the United States currently (2015) occur on only about one-half of their historical land area because of changes in land use, urban growth, and degradation of land, including invasions of non-native plants. The existence of many animal species depends on the existence of sagebrush steppe habitat. The greater sage-...Pyke, David A.; Knick, Steven T.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Miller, Richard F.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Doescher, Paul S.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Brunson, Mark; McIver, James D.
Occupancy estimation for rare species using a spatially-adaptive sampling design
Summary 1. Spatially clustered populations create unique challenges for conservation monitoring programmes. Advances in methodology typically are focused on either the design or the modelling stage of the study but do not involve integration of both. 2. We integrate adaptive cluster sampling and spatial occupancy modelling by developing two models...Pacifici, Krishna; Reich, Brian J.; Dorazio, Robert; Conroy, Michael J.
A framework for decision points to trigger adaptive management actions in long-term incidental take permits
Introduction The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has begun to issue incidental take permits (ITPs) to wind power companies to allow limited take of bird and bat species that are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Huso and others, 2015). Expected take rates...Dalthorp, Daniel; Huso, Manuela M.
Current land bird distribution and trends in population abundance between 1982 and 2012 on Rota, Mariana Islands
The western Pacific island of Rota is the fourth largest human-inhabited island in the Mariana archipelago and designated an Endemic Bird Area. Between 1982 and 2012, 12 point-transect distance-sampling surveys were conducted to assess bird population status. Surveys did not consistently sample the entire island; thus, we used a ratio estimator to...Camp, Richard J.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Amidon, Fred A.; Radley, Paul M.; Berkowitz, S. Paul; Banko, Paul C.
Assessment of model estimates of land-atmosphere CO2 exchange across northern Eurasia
A warming climate is altering land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon, with a potential for increased vegetation productivity as well as the mobilization of permafrost soil carbon stores. Here we investigate land-atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) cycling through analysis of net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and its component fluxes of gross primary...Rawlins, M.A.; McGuire, A.D.; Kimball, J.S.; Dass, P.; Lawrence, D.; Burke, E.; Chen, X.; Delire, C.; Koven, C.; MacDougall, A.; Peng, S.; Rinke, A.; Saito, K.; Zhang, W.; Alkama, R.; Bohn, T. J.; Ciais, P.; Decharme, B.; Gouttevin, I.; Hajima, T.; Ji, D.; Krinner, G.; Lettenmaier, D.P.; Miller, P.; Moore, J.C.; Smith, B.; Sueyoshi, T.
Fire effects on aquatic ecosystems: an assessment of the current state of the science
Fire is a prevalent feature of many landscapes and has numerous and complex effects on geological, hydrological, ecological, and economic systems. In some regions, the frequency and intensity of wildfire have increased in recent years and are projected to escalate with predicted climatic and landuse changes. In addition, prescribed burns continue...Rebecca J. Bixby; Scott D. Cooper; Gresswell, Robert E.; Lee E. Brown; Clifford N. Dahm; Kathleen A. Dwire
Predicting spatial distribution of postfire debris flows and potential consequences for native trout in headwater streams
Habitat fragmentation and degradation and invasion of nonnative species have restricted the distribution of native trout. Many trout populations are limited to headwater streams where negative effects of predicted climate change, including reduced stream flow and increased risk of catastrophic fires, may further jeopardize their persistence....Sedell, Edwin R; Gresswell, Robert E.; McMahon, Thomas E.
Quantifying the adaptive cycle
The adaptive cycle was proposed as a conceptual model to portray patterns of change in complex systems. Despite the model having potential for elucidating change across systems, it has been used mainly as a metaphor, describing system dynamics qualitatively. We use a quantitative approach for testing premises (reorganisation, conservatism,...Angeler, David G.; Allen, Craig R.; Garmestani, Ahjond S.; Gunderson, Lance H.; Hjerne, Olle; Winder, Monika
Aerial-broadcast application of diphacinone bait for rodent control in Hawai`i: Efficacy and non-target species risk assessment
Introduced rats (Rattus rattus, R. exulans, and R. norvegicus) have been implicated in the decline or extinction of numerous species of plants and animals in Hawai‘i. This study investigated the efficacy of aerial-broadcast application of Ramik® Green baits containing 50 ppm (0.005%) diphacinone in reducing rat and mouse populations and...Foote, David; Spurr, Eric B.; Lindsey, Gerald D.; Forbes Perry, Charlotte
Health and condition of endangered juvenile Lost River and shortnose suckers relative to water quality and fish assemblages in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, and Clear Lake Reservoir, California
Executive Summary Most mortality of endangered Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, appears to occur within the first year of life. However, juvenile suckers in Clear Lake Reservoir, California, appear to survive longer and may even recruit to the spawning populations. Our...Burdick, Summer M.; Elliott, Diane G.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Conway, Carla M.; Dolan-Caret, Amari; Hoy, Marshal S.; Feltz, Kevin P.; Echols, Kathy R.
Webinar on Mercury in Reservoirs - February 28th Webinar References
Thermal imagery is one tool to assist researchers in measuring temperature loss from the mange patches (red) and compare this with temperature loss from natural fur (blues and greens). As you can see in the two contrasting images, the hairless areas associated with mange are much easier to see using thermal imagery due to heat loss versus a standard photograph from a...
Clay-colored sparrow nest.
A colorful clay-colored sparrow nest. These sparrows live in brushy grasslands and prairie habitats.
Slides used during the Intro to GenEst, A Generalized Estimator of Mortality, Workshop held at the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative's Wind Wildlife Research Meeting XII on November 26, 2018 in St. Paul Minnesota. https://www.nationalwind.org/meetings/wind-wildlife-research-meeting-