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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: 682
Date published: April 17, 2013

Coping with Invasive Alien Species and Environmental Stressors: Linking Behavioral Studies with Management for Anuran Amphibians

Climate change and invasive species are two key drivers of biodiversity loss. Knowing how amphibians respond to climate change and invasive species can greatly improve predictions of species' persistence in the face of these factors and can help guide resource managers and conservation biologists in developing strategies to manage for these encroaching disturbances. 

Date published: April 18, 2012
Status: Completed

Experimental Study of Fire Season and Frequency in South Florida Pinelands

Fire is a major driving force in determining the structure and composition of subtropical vegetation. Prescribed fire constitutes one of the most pervasive management actions influencing the restoration and maintenance of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. 

Contacts: James Snyder
Date published: March 10, 2012

Systematic Studies of Southeastern Fishes

The southeastern United States is home to a variety of freshwater snails, mussels, crayfish, and fishes. USGS scientists are conducting systematic studies to better document the region's biodiversity.

Contacts: Noel Burkhead
Date published: April 17, 2009

Integrative Studies of Florida Spring Ecosystems

Florida's springs are a source of cultural, recreational, and ecological importance. But land-use changes and increased demands for groundwater due to the state's growing population have led to widespread impairment of these unique ecosystems. 

Date published: March 10, 2008

Conservation Research on North American Freshwater Faunas

The decline of freshwater animals has resulted in an increase in the number of imperiled species and extinctions. USGS scientists use genetics to determine if these species truly are gone forever.

Contacts: Noel Burkhead
Date published: October 14, 2003

Gulf sturgeon Fact Sheet

Gulf sturgeon Fact Sheet


Research in fish and wildlife health and disease, geomicrobiology, ecosystem function, climate change, water quality for drinking and in recreation, bioremediation, nanotechnology, energy and geographic patterns of microbial distribution.

Attribution: Ecosystems

National Phenology Network

Brings together citizen scientists, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States.

Attribution: Ecosystems

Science and Decisions Center

This center is an interdisciplinary organization advancing the use of science in natural resource decision making. The Center focuses on research and applications in three science areas: decision science (adaptive management and structured decision making), ecosystem services, and resilience/sustainability.

Attribution: Ecosystems


We help our scientists partner with governments, NGOs, universities, and individuals in other countries to conduct research that benefits the partner country and the United States. These partnerships can enhance the science and improve diplomatic relationships (science diplomacy), a less tangible but equally important benefit.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Filter Total Items: 2,914
Year Published: 2015

Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse - a design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?

The network of areas delineated in 11 Western States for prioritizing management of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a grand experiment in conservation biology and reserve design. We used centrality metrics from social network theory to gain insights into how this priority area network might function. The network was...

Crist, Michele R.; Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.
Crist, M.R., Knick, S.T., and Hanser, S.E., 2015, Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse—A design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1158, 34 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/20151158.

Year Published: 2015

Book review: Mosquito eradication: The story of killing Campto

In 1826, the paradise that was the Hawaiian Islands was changed forever when the first mosquito species was accidentally introduced to the island of Maui. Though it has not lived up to its potential as a vector of human disease in the islands, Culex quinquefasciatus and the avian pathogens it transmits laid waste to...

Lapointe, Dennis
LaPointe, Dennis. 2015. Book review of Mosquito Eradication: The Story of Killing Campto. American Entomologist, 61: 192-192.

Year Published: 2015

Chronicling long-term predator responses to a shifting forage base in Chesapeake Bay: an energetics approach

The population of Striped Bass Morone saxatilis in Chesapeake Bay has increased significantly since the 1980s because of management efforts while the relative abundance of some key prey fish has declined since the 1970s. We examined the trophic interactions and prey consumption patterns of Striped Bass in Chesapeake Bay to determine how...

Overton, Anthony S.; Griffin, Jennifer C.; Margraf, F. Joseph; May, Eric B.; Hartman, Kyle J.

Year Published: 2015

Seasonally-dynamic presence-only species distribution models for a cryptic migratory bat impacted by wind energy development

Understanding seasonal distribution and movement patterns of animals that migrate long distances is an essential part of monitoring and conserving their populations. Compared to migratory birds and other more conspicuous migrants, we know very little about the movement patterns of many migratory bats. Hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus), a cryptic,...

Hayes, Mark A.; Cryan, Paul M.; Wunder, Michael B.
Hayes, M.A., P.M. Cryan, and M.B. Wunder. 2015. Seasonally-dynamic presence-only species distribution models for a cryptic migratory bat impacted by wind energy development. PLoS ONE 10: e0132599

Year Published: 2015

Landscape-scale distribution and density of raptor populations wintering in anthropogenic-dominated desert landscapes

Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and...

Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Cornell Duerr, Kerri L; Lanzone, Michael J.; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd E.

Year Published: 2015

Successful mitigation of viral disease based on a delayed exposure rearing strategy at a large-scale steelhead trout conservation hatchery

In 2009, the largest steelhead trout conservation hatchery in the state of Idaho, Dworshak National Fish Hatchery (NFH), lost over 50% of the juvenile steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population being reared for release. The causative agent of this high mortality was the viral pathogen infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). This was...

Breyta, R.; Samson, Corie; Blair, Marilyn; Black, Allison; Kurath, Gael
Breyta, R., C. Samson, M. Blair, A. Black, and G. Kurath. 2016. Successful mitigation of viral disease based on a delayed exposure rearing strategy at a large-scale steelhead trout conservation hatchery. Aquaculture 450: 213-224.

Year Published: 2015

Estimating the short-term recovery potential of little brown bats in the eastern United States in the face of White-nose syndrome

White-nose syndrome (WNS) was first detected in North American bats in New York in 2006. Since that time WNS has spread throughout the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and southwest across Pennsylvania and as far west as Missouri. Suspect WNS cases have been identified in Minnesota and Iowa, and the causative agent of WNS (...

Russell, Robin E.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Szymanski, Jennifer A.; Tinsley, Karl

Year Published: 2015

Unusual behavior in the parental care of a house wren (Troglodytes aedon): Post fledging use of an old nest during cold nights

I report on the unusual behavior of an adult House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) leading recently fledged young back to the nest for two consecutive nights. The ambient temperature reached below 0°C during both nights. Despite disadvantages associated with remaining in the nest, this observation suggests that adult birds may assess trade-offs...

Scholer, Micah N.
Scholer, M.N., 2015, Unusual Behavior in Parental Care by a House Wren (Troglodytes aedon): Post Fledging Use of an Old Nest During Cold Nights. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, p. 545-547.

Year Published: 2015

Characterization of a novel hepadnavirus in the white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Great Lakes Region of the USA

The white sucker Catostomus commersonii is a freshwater teleost often utilized as a resident sentinel. Here, we sequenced the full genome of a hepatitis B-like virus that infects white suckers from the Great Lakes Region of the USA. Dideoxysequencing confirmed the white sucker hepatitis B virus (WSHBV) has a circular genome (3542 bp) with the...

Hahn, Cassidy M.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Cornman, Robert S.; Conway, Carla M.; Winton, James R.; Blazer, Vicki S.
Hahn, CM, L.R. Iwanowicz, R.S. Cornman, C.M. Conway, J.R. Winton, and V.S. Blazer, (2015) Characterization of a Novel Hepadnavirus in the White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Great Lakes Region of the USA. Journal of Virology. 89: 11801-11811.

Year Published: 2015

Monitoring landscape-level distribution and migration Phenology of Raptors using a volunteer camera-trap network

Conservation of animal migratory movements is among the most important issues in wildlife management. To address this need for landscape-scale monitoring of raptor populations, we developed a novel, baited photographic observation network termed the “Appalachian Eagle Monitoring Program” (AEMP). During winter months of 2008–2012, we partnered with...

Jachowski, David S.; Katzner, Todd; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Ford, W. Mark

Year Published: 2015

Modeling the complex impacts of timber harvests to find optimal management regimes for Amazon tidal floodplain forests

At the Amazon estuary, the oldest logging frontier in the Amazon, no studies have comprehensively explored the potential long-term population and yield consequences of multiple timber harvests over time. Matrix population modeling is one way to simulate long-term impacts of tree harvests, but this approach has often ignored common impacts of tree...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Cropper, Wendell P.; Zarin, Daniel J.
Fortini, L.B., W.P. Cropper, Jr., D.J. Zarin. 2015. Modeling the Complex Impacts of Timber Harvests to Find Optimal Management Regimes for Amazon Tidal Floodplain Forests. PLOS ONE, 10: e0136740.

Year Published: 2015

Vulnerability of larval lamprey to Columbia River hydropower system operations—effects of dewatering on larval lamprey movements and survival

Numbers of adult and juvenile Pacific lamprey ( Entosphenus tridentatus ) in the upper Columbia River Basin of the interior Pacific Northwest have decreased from historical levels (Close and others, 2002), raising concerns f rom State and Federal agencies and Tribal entities. In 1994, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated Pacific lamprey...

Liedtke, Theresa L.; Weiland, Lisa K.; Mesa, Matthew G.
Liedtke, T.L., Weiland, L.K., and Mesa, M.G., 2015, Vulnerability of larval lamprey to Columbia River hydropower system operations—Effects of dewatering on larval lamprey movements and survival: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1157, 28 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151157.

Filter Total Items: 680
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

May 15, 2018

Webinar on Mercury in Reservoirs - February 28th Webinar References

Webinar on Mercury in Reservoirs - February 28th Webinar References

August 29, 2018

Proposed Course Outline for SDM Construction

Proposed outline for course on SDM construction

Attribution: Ecosystems
August 30, 2018

USGS IPM contacts

USGS Contacts for Intergrated Population Modeling, AFWA 2018

Attribution: Ecosystems