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: 740
Date published: February 29, 2016

Adaptive Management

The Adaptive Management process offers a unique mix of management and science to "learn from doing" and decrease uncertainty over time.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Conservation Genetics

Researchers apply the tools and concepts of genetics to the conservation of biological resources.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Genetics

USGS uses cutting edge research and technologies to answer biological questions at a molecular level.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Epidemiology of Fish and Wildlife Diseases

Wildlife health experts apply the latest tools of molecular biology and genetics to address the ecology of infectious diseases affecting both fish and wildlife.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Imperiled Species

Our science is designed to understand the status of declining, Threatened, and Endangered species, and assist managers in their recovery.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Environmental Toxicology

Toxicologists use genomics to develop, apply, and validate methods for assessing the effects of contaminants and other environmental stressors on wild populations.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Invertebrates

There is a great deal to be learned about the invertebrate organisms which serve such critical ecological functions.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Genetically Engineered Organisms

Researchers are investigating the utility of genetic engineering for use in controlling or eradicating invasive species.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Mammals

Large or small, in water or on land, our science enhances understanding of these captivating animals.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Genetics in Water Quality and Public Health Microbiology

Researchers use microbial and molecular techniques as tools to manage beach water quality and to protect the public from swimming-related illnesses such as gastroenteritis.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Reptiles

Reptiles have unique forms and lifestyles, making them fascinating research subjects for USGS scientists who work to better understand them.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Prevention

Prevention is the most efficient solution in the long run.

Filter Total Items: 4,611
Year Published: 2016

Spatiotemporal patterns of mercury accumulation in lake sediments of western North America

For the Western North America Mercury Synthesis, we compiled mercury records from 165 dated sediment cores from 138 natural lakes across western North America. Lake sediments are accepted as faithful recorders of historical mercury accumulation rates, and regional and sub-regional temporal and spatial trends were analyzed with descriptive and...

Drevnick, Paul; Cooke, Colin A.; Barraza, Daniella; Blais, Jules M.; Coale, Kenneth; Cumming, Brian F.; Curtis, Chris; Das, Biplob; Donahue, William F.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Engstrom, Daniel R.; Fitzgerald, William F.; Furl, Chad V.; Gray, John R.; Hall, Roland I.; Jackson, Togwell A.; Laird, Kathleen R.; Lockhart, W. Lyle; Macdonald, Robie W.; Mast, M. Alisa; Mathieu, Callie; Muir, Derek C.G.; Outridge, Peter; Reinemann, Scott; Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Ruiz-Fernandex, Ana Carolina; St. Louis, V.L.; Sanders, Rhea; Sanei, Hamed; Skierszkan, Elliott; Van Metre, Peter C.; Veverica, Timothy; Wiklund, Johan A.; Wolfe, Brent B.
Drevnick, P.D., Cooke, C.A., Barraza, D., Blais, J.M., Coale, K.H., Cumming, B.F., Curtis, C.J., Das, B., Donohue, W.F., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Engstrom, D.R., Fitzgerald, W.F., Furl, C.V., Gray, J.R., Hall, R.I., Jackson, T.A., Laird, K.R., Lockhart, W.L., Macdonald, R.W., Mast, M.A., Mathieu, C., Muir, D.C., Outridge, P.M., Reinemann, S.A., Rothenberg, S.E., Ruiz-Fernandez, A.C., St. Louis, V., Sanders, R.D., Sanei, H., Skierszkan, E.K., Van Metre, P.C., Veverica, T.J., Wiklund, J.A., 2016, Spatiotemporal patterns of mercury accumulation in lake sediments of western North America: Science of the Total Environment, p. online, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.167.

Year Published: 2016

Mercury risk to avian piscivores across western United States and Canada

The widespread distribution of mercury (Hg) threatens wildlife health, particularly piscivorous birds. Western North America is a diverse region that provides critical habitat to many piscivorous bird species, and also has a well-documented history of mercury contamination from legacy mining and atmospheric deposition. The diversity of landscapes...

Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Willacker, James J.; Elliott, John E.; Lepak, Jesse M.; Vander Pol, Stacy S.; Bryan, Colleen E.
Jackson, A.K., Evers, D.C., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Ackerman, J.T., Willacker Jr., J.J., Elliott, J.E., Lepak, J.M., Vander Pol, S.S., Bryan, C.E., 2016, Mercury risk to avian piscivores across western United States and Canada: Science of the Total Environment, p. online, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.197.

Year Published: 2016

Nitrogen enrichment regulates calcium sources in forests

Nitrogen (N) is a key nutrient that shapes cycles of other essential elements in forests, including calcium (Ca). When N availability exceeds ecosystem demands, excess N can stimulate Ca leaching and deplete Ca from soils. Over the long term, these processes may alter the proportion of available Ca that is derived from atmospheric deposition vs....

Hynicka, Justin D.; Pett-Ridge, Julie C.; Perakis, Steven
Hynicka, J.D., Pett-Ridge, J.C., Perakis, S.S., 2016, Nitrogen enrichment regulates calcium sources in forests: Global Change Biology, p. online, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13335.

Year Published: 2016

Changes in habitat use and distribution of mouflon in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

European mouflon sheep (Ovis gmelini musimon) were introduced to Kahuku Ranch on Hawai‘i Island in 1968 and 1974 for trophy hunting and have been detrimental to the native ecosystem by trampling, bark stripping, and browsing vegetation. In 2003, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park acquired Kahuku Ranch and managers began removing mouflon. The...

Palupe, Bronson; Leopold, Christina R.; Hess, Steven C.; Faford, Jonathan K.; Pacheco, Dexter; Judge, Seth W.

Year Published: 2016

Mercury in western North America: A synthesis of environmental contamination, fluxes, bioaccumulation, and risk to fish and wildlife

Western North America is a region defined by extreme gradients in geomorphology and climate, which support a diverse array of ecological communities and natural resources. The region also has extreme gradients in mercury (Hg) contamination due to a broad distribution of inorganic Hg sources. These diverse Hg sources and a varied landscape create a...

Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Wiener, James G.; Eckley, Chris S.; Willacker, James J.; Evers, David C.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Obrist, Daniel; Fleck, Jacob; Aiken, George R.; Lepak, Jesse M.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Webster, Jackson; Stewart, Robin; Davis, Jay; Alpers, Charles N.; Ackerman, Joshua T.
Eagles-Smith, C.A., Wiener, J.G., Eckley, C.S., Willacker Jr., J.J., Evers, D.C., Marvin-DiPasquale, M.C., Obrist, D., Fleck, J.A., Aiken, G.R., Lepak, J.M., Jackson, A.K., Stewart, A.R., Webster, J., Davis, J.A., Alpers, C.N., Ackerman, J.T., 2016, Mercury in western North America- A synthesis of environmental contamination, fluxes, bioaccumulation and risk to fish and wildlife: Science of the Total Environment, p. 1213-1226, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.094.

Year Published: 2016

Estimating juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) abundance from beach seine data collected in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay, California

Resource managers rely on abundance or density metrics derived from beach seine surveys to make vital decisions that affect fish population dynamics and assemblage structure. However, abundance and density metrics may be biased by imperfect capture and lack of geographic closure during sampling. Currently, there is considerable uncertainty about...

Perry, Russell W.; Kirsch, Joseph E.; Hendrix, A. Noble
Perry, R.W., Kirsch, J.E., and Hendrix, A.N., 2016, Estimating juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) abundance from beach seine data collected in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1099, 21 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161099.

Year Published: 2016

Taxonomy of the order Mononegavirales: update 2016

In 2016, the order Mononegavirales was emended through the addition of two new families (Mymonaviridae and Sunviridae), the elevation of the paramyxoviral subfamily Pneumovirinae to family status (Pneumoviridae), the addition of five free-floating genera (Anphevirus, Arlivirus, Chengtivirus, Crustavirus, and Wastrivirus), and several other changes...

Afonso, C.L.; Kurath, Gael; 82 Additional Authors
Afonso, C.L., G.K. Amarasinghe, K. Bányai, Y. Bào, C.F. Basler, S. Bavari, N. Bejerman, K.R. Blasdell, F.-X. Briand, T. Briese, A. Bukreyev, C.H. Calisher, K. Chandran, J. Chéng, A.N. Clawson, P.L. Collins, R.G. Dietzgen, O. Dolnik, L.L. Domier, R. Dürrwald, J.M. Dye, A.J. Easton, H. Ebihara, S.L. Farkas, J. Freitas-Astúa, P. Formenty, R.A.M. Fouchier, Y. Fù, E. Ghedin, M.M. Goodin, R. Hewson, M. Horie, T.H. Hyndman, D. Jiāng, E.W. Kitajima, G.P. Kobinger, H. Kondo, J.H. Kuhn, G. Kurath, R.A. Lamb, S. Lenardon, E.M. Leroy, C.-X. Li, X.-D. Lin, L. Liú, B. Longdon, S. Marton, A. Maisner, E. Mühlberger, S.V. Netesov, N. Nowotny, J.L. Patterson, S.L. Payne, J.T. Paweska, R.E. Randall, B.K. Rima, P. Rota, D. Rubbenstroth, M. Schwemmle, M. Shi, S.J. Smither, M.D. Stenglein, D.M. Stone, A. Takada, C. Terregino, R.B. Tesh, J.-H. Tian, K. Tomonaga, N. Tordo, J.S. Towner, N. Vasilakis, M. Verbeek, V.E. Volchkov, V. Wahl-Jensen, J.A. Walsh, P.J. Walker, D. Wang, L.-F. Wang, T. Wetzel, A.E. Whitfield, J. Xiè, K.-Y. Yuen, Y.-Z. Zhang. 2016. Taxonomy of the order Mononegavirales: update 2016. Arch. Virol. (Published online).

Year Published: 2016

Herpetological monitoring and assessment on the Trinity River, Trinity County, California—Final report

The primary goal of the Trinity River Restoration Program is to rehabilitate the fisheries on the dam-controlled Trinity River. However, maintaining and enhancing other wildlife populations through the restoration initiative is also a key objective. Foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii) and western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) have been...

Snover, Melissa L.; Adams, M.J.
Snover, M.L., and Adams, M.J., 2016, Herpetological monitoring and assessment on the Trinity River, Trinity County, California—Final report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1089, 93 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161089.

Year Published: 2016

Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, in the Mojave Desert, USA

Predicting changes in species distributions under a changing climate is becoming widespread with the use of species distribution models (SDMs). The resulting predictions of future potential habitat can be cast in light of planned land use changes, such as urban expansion and energy development to identify areas with potential conflict. However,...

Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Leitner, Philip; Matocq, Marjorie D.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.
Inman, RD, TC Esque, KE Nussear, P Leitner, MD Matocq, PJ Weisberg, TE Dilts. 2016. Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, in the Mojave Desert, USA. Biological Conservation 200: 112-121. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.033

Year Published: 2016

Predation on larval suckers in the Williamson River Delta revealed by molecular genetic assays—A pilot study

Predation of endangered Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) during larval egress to Upper Klamath Lake from the Williamson River is poorly understood but may be an important factor limiting recruitment into adult spawning populations. Native and non-native piscivores are abundant in nursery...

Hereford, Danielle M.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Burdick, Summer M.
Hereford, D.M., Ostberg, C.O., and Burdick, S.M., 2016, Predation on larval suckers in the Williamson River Delta revealed by molecular genetic assays—A pilot study: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1094, 16 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161094.

Year Published: 2016

Salmon redd identification using environmental DNA (eDNA)

IntroductionThe purpose of this project was to develop a technique to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to distinguish between redds made by Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and redds made by Coho salmon (O. kisutch) and to distinguish utilized redds from test/abandoned redds or scours that have the appearance of redds. The project had two...

Pilliod, David S.; Laramie, Matthew B.
Pilliod, D.S., and Laramie, M.B., 2016, Salmon redd identification using environmental DNA (eDNA): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1091, 25 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161091.

Year Published: 2016

Conservation of native Pacific trout diversity in western North America

Pacific trout Oncorhynchus spp. in western North America are strongly valued in ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural views, and have been the subject of substantial research and conservation efforts. Despite this, the understanding of their evolutionary histories, overall diversity, and challenges to their conservation is incomplete. We review...

Penaluna, Brooke E.; Abadía-Cardoso, Alicia; Dunham, Jason B.; García de León, Francisco J; Gresswell, Robert E.; Luna, Arturo Ruiz; Taylor, Eric B.; Shepard, Bradley B.; Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Bestgen, Kevin R.; Rogers, Kevin H.; Escalante, Marco A; Keeley, Ernest R; Temple, Gabriel; Williams, Jack E.; Matthews, Kathleen; Pierce, Ron; Mayden, Richard L.; Kovach, Ryan; Garza, John Carlos; Fausch, Kurt D.
Penaluna, B.E., Abadia-Cardoso, A., Dunham, J.B., Garcia de Leon, F.J., Gresswell, R.E., Ruiz-Luna, A., Taylor, E., Shepard, B.B., Al-Chokhachy, R., Muhlfeld, C.C., Bestgen, K.R., Rogers, K., Escalante, M.A., Keeley, E.R., Temple, G., Williams, J.E., Matthews, K., Pierce, R., Mayden, R.L., Kovach, R.P., Garza, J., Fausch, K.D., 2016, Conservation of native Pacific trout diversity in western North America: Fisheries, v. 41, no. 6, p. 286-300.

Filter Total Items: 689
USGS
May 11, 2018

Webinar on Mercury in Reservoirs - February 14th Webinar Flyer

Flyer for webinar on Weds. Feb. 14 – Mercury transport and bioaccumulation in California reservoirs affected by historical gold mining

USGS
May 15, 2018

Webinar on Mercury in Reservoirs - February 28th Webinar References

Webinar on Mercury in Reservoirs - February 28th Webinar References

Comparison of traditional and thermal imagery to show mange.

Comparison of traditional and thermal imagery to show mange.

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

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USGS
August 29, 2018

Proposed Course Outline for SDM Construction

Proposed outline for course on SDM construction

Attribution: Ecosystems
Image: A Clay-Colored Sparrow Nest

A Clay-Colored Sparrow Nest

A colorful clay-colored sparrow nest. These sparrows live in brushy grasslands and prairie habitats.