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: April 8, 2016

Modeling Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands (TFFW) Habitat Changes for Land Management

As tidal freshwater forested wetlands - TFFWs - are influenced by salinty due to salt water intrusion, they may experience changes in plant community composition, growth, and productivity. Models are needed to predict vegetation community change or dieback, as well as changes in carbon sequestration and storage due to changing climate, drought, changes in freshwater discharge, elevated carbon...

Date published: April 8, 2016

Modeling Landscape-Scale Habitat Relations for Landbirds During Migration: Science Support for the Gulf Coast Joint Venture

USGS uses weather surveillance radar data and landscape-scale habitat metrics to model bird-habitat connections along the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Date published: April 8, 2016

Developing Detection Probabilities and Quantifying the Effects of Flowing Water to Improve Asian Carp Environmental DNA (eDNA) Surveys

Invasive Asian carp are problematic for native species, and managers are implementing control measures without well-quantified detection limits or a means to assess the accuracy and precision of existing or future survey data for the fish. Environmental DNA - eDNA - is already used to detect the presence of invasive species, and can be used to identify locations to focus carp control efforts...

Date published: April 8, 2016

Predicting the Long-Term Impact of Hurricane Sandy on Spatial Patterns of Wetland Morphology in Salt Marshes of Jamaica Bay, New York

USGS scientists are working with collaborators to understand how Hurricane Sandy impacted wetlands in Jamaica Bay, New York. 

Date published: April 8, 2016

Ecology of Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands of the Southeastern United States

Tidal freshwater forested wetlands - TFFWs - can be found in the upper intertidal areas of many estuaries and act as a transition between coastal marshes and bottomland hardwood wetlands. However, it is because of their location that makes them vulnerable to sea-level rise, and they are constantly transitioning to different wetland types. USGS addresses how various processes are affected in...

Date published: April 8, 2016

Restoration of Climate Change-Induced Retreat of Tidally Influenced Freshwater Forested Wetlands

Wetlands in river deltas - like the Mississippi River Delta Plain - may be more vulnerable to sea-level rise. Historically, coastal wetlands responded to these changes by increasing surface elevation or migrating up-slope. USGS conducts research to identify the biogeochemical influences on sediment addition in coastal wetland areas. 

Date published: April 8, 2016

RESTORE Science: Inventory of Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Indicators Using an Ecological Resilience Framework

To effectively manage an ecosystem, resource managers need a way to evaluate its health and ability to function. Metrics that indicate ecosystem condition - or indicators - can be used to help determine how well management strategies work. 

Date published: April 8, 2016

Factors Controlling Resilience and Resistance of Coastal Salt Marshes to Sudden Marsh Dieback

Sudden Marsh Dieback - SMD - has been documented for the past two decades throughout coastal areas of the United States. With these large-scale diebacks comes the loss of ecosystem functions and services. USGS scientsts use field work and greenhouse studies to investigate the factors that control the resilience and resistance of coastal salt marshes to SMD. 

Date published: April 8, 2016
Status: Active

Dynamics and Fluxes of Nutrients along Environmental Gradients in the Florida Everglades, USA

USGS research in the Florida Everglades will provide information on how environmental conditions and disturbances impact carbon storage in mangrove systems.

Date published: April 7, 2016

Salinity Intrusion Impacts from Hurricane Sandy in Tidal Freshwater Swamps, Delmarva Peninsula, Mid-Atlantic Coast, USA

When it comes to hurricanes, wind and storm surge effect vegetation differently. USGS anlyzes these differences following Hurricane Sandy to help inform management on storm mitigation and long-term planning. 

Date published: April 7, 2016
Status: Completed

Identification of Previously Undocumented Florida Grasshopper Sparrow and Confirmation of the Current Population Status and Distribution

Population trends suggest that the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow may go extinct within five years. USGS research aims to collect demographic information to help identify the current status of the species.

Date published: April 7, 2016
Status: Active

Integrated Modeling of Coastal Processes and Linkages to Management Applications

Coastal wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as wave attenuation, surge reduction, carbon sequestration, wastewater treatment, and critical habitats for endangered fish and wildlife species. However, wetland loss threatens the capacity of coastal wetlands to provide these ecosystem services.

Filter Total Items: 30,668
Year Published: 2018

Three visualization approaches for communicating and exploring PIT tag data

As the number, size and complexity of ecological datasets has increased, narrative and interactive raw data visualizations have emerged as important tools for exploring and understanding these large datasets. As a demonstration, we developed three visualizations to communicate and explore passive integrated transponder tag data from two long-term...

Letcher, Benjamin H.; Walker, Jeffrey D.; O'Donnell, Matthew; Whiteley, Andrew R.; Nislow, Keith; Coombs, Jason
Letcher, B. H., J. D. Walker, M. J. O’Donnell, A. R. Whiteley, K. H. Nislow, and J. A. Coombs. 2018. Three Visualization Approaches for Communicating and Exploring Passive Integrated Transponder Tag Data. Fisheries 43(5):241–248.

Year Published: 2018

Toxicity assessment of sediments collected upstream and downstream from the White Dam in Clarke County, Georgia

The White Dam in Clarke County, Georgia, has been proposed for breaching. Efforts to determine potential risks to downstream biota included assessments of sediment collected in the vicinity of the dam. Sediments collected from sites upstream and downstream from the dam were evaluated for toxicity in 42-day exposures using the freshwater amphipod...

Lasier, Peter J.
Lasier, P.J., 2018, Toxicity assessment of sediments collected upstream and downstream from the White Dam in Clarke County, Georgia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1036, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181036.

Year Published: 2018

Warm water temperatures and shifts in seasonality increase trout recruitment but only moderately decrease adult size in western North American tailwaters

Dams throughout western North America have altered thermal regimes in rivers, creating cold, clear “tailwaters” in which trout populations thrive. Ongoing drought in the region has led to highly publicized reductions in reservoir storage and raised concerns about potential reductions in downstream flows. Large changes in riverine thermal regimes...

Dibble, Kimberly L.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Kennedy, Theodore A.
Dibble, K.L., Yackulic, C.B., and Kennedy, T.A., 2018, Warm water temperatures and shifts in seasonality increase trout recruitment but only moderately decrease adult size in western North American tailwaters: Environmental Biology of Fishes, early view available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10641-018-0774-7.

Year Published: 2018

Columbia River Basin dreissenid mussel monitoring forum workshop

To address actions identified in the Department of Interior’s “Safeguarding the West” strategy, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) and US Geological Survey (USGS) convened 43 invasive species coordinators and scientific experts June 5-6, 2018 in Portland, Oregon to assess the status of dreissenid monitoring efforts in the...

DeBruyckere, Lisa; Counihan, Timothy; Phillips, Stephen
DeBruyckere, L., T.D. Counihan, and S. Phillips. 2018. Columbia River Basin Dreissenid Mussel Monitoring Form Workshop. Proceedings, Portland, OR, June 5-6, 2018. Aquatic Invasive Species Network. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. https://www.westernais.org/monitoring

Year Published: 2018

Extreme drought alters frequency and reproductive success of floaters in Willow Flycatchers

Changes in habitat quality, including those caused by extreme events like droughts and floods, could alter costs and benefits of territoriality and thereby the prevalence and reproductive consequences for individuals capable of breeding that do not do so (floaters). We studied floating behavior in a population of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (...

Theimer, Tad; Sogge, Mark K.; Cardinal, Suzanne N.; Durst, Scott L.; Paxton, Eben H.
Theimer, T. C., M. K. Sogge, S. N. Cardinal, S. L. Durst, and E. H. Paxton. 2018. Extreme drought alters frequency and reproductive success of floaters in willow flycatchers. Auk 135:647–656.

Year Published: 2018

Ichthyophonus in sport-caught groundfishes from southcentral Alaska

This report of Ichthyophonus in common sport-caught fishes throughout the marine waters of southcentral Alaska represents the first documentation of natural Ichthyophonus infections in lingcod Ophiodon elongates and yelloweye rockfish Sebastes ruberrimus. In addition, the known geographic range of ...

Harris, Bradley P.; Webster, Sarah R.; Wolf, Nathan; Gregg, Jacob L.; Hershberger, Paul
Harris, B.P., S.R. Webster, N. Wolf, J.L. Gregg, and P.K. Hershberger. 2018. Ichthyophonus in sport-caught groundfishes from southcentral Alaska. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 128(2):169-173.

Year Published: 2018

Monitoring riparian-vegetation composition and cover along the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona

Vegetation in the riparian zone (the area immediately adjacent to streams, such as stream banks) along the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona, supports many ecosystem and societal functions. In both Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon, this ecosystem has changed over time in response to flow alterations, invasive species, and...

Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara E.; Sarr, Daniel A.; Johnson, Taylor C.
Palmquist, E.C., Ralston, B.E., Sarr, D.A., and Johnson, T.C., 2018, Monitoring riparian-vegetation composition and cover along the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 2, chap. A14, 65 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm2A14.

Year Published: 2018

Freshwater mussel survey for the Columbia Dam removal, Paulins Kill, New Jersey

Semi-quantitative mussel surveys, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy, were completed in the vicinity of the Columbia Dam, on the Paulins Kill, New Jersey, in August 2017 in order to document the mussel species composition and relative abundance prior to removal of...

Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.; Silldorff, Erik L.
Galbraith, H.S., Blakeslee, C.J., Cole, J.C., and Silldorff, E.L., 2018, Freshwater mussel survey for the Columbia Dam removal, Paulins Kill, New Jersey: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1074, 7 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181074.

Year Published: 2018

Analytical and diagnostic performance of a qPCR assay for Ichthyophonus spp. compared to the tissue culture ‘gold standard’

Parasites of the genus Ichthyophonus infect many fish species and have a non-uniform distribution within host tissues. Due in part to this uneven distribution, the comparative sensitivity and accuracy of using molecular-based detection methods versus culture to estimate parasite prevalence is under debate. We evaluated the analytical and...

Lowe, Vanessa C.; Hershberger, Paul K.; Friedman, Carolyn S.
Lowe, V.C., P.K. Hershberger, and C.S. Friedman. 2018. Analytical and diagnostic performance of a qPCR assay for Ichthyophonus spp. compared to the tissue culture ‘gold standard’. Dis Aquat. Org. 128(3): 215-224.

Year Published: 2018

Coastal wetland adaptation to sea level rise: Quantifying potential for landward migration and coastal squeeze

Coastal wetland ecosystems are expected to migrate landwards in response to rising seas. However, due to differences in topography and coastal urbanization, estuaries vary in their ability to accommodate migration. Low‐lying urban areas can constrain migration and lead to wetland loss (i.e. coastal squeeze), especially where existing wetlands...

Borchert, Sinéad M.; Osland, Michael J.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen
Borchert, S.M., Osland, M.J., Enwright, N.M., and Griffith, K.T., 2018, Coastal wetland adaptation to sea level rise: Quantifying potential for landward migration and coastal squeeze: Journal of Applied Ecology, Early View, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13169.

Year Published: 2018

Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and subsurface drainage systems: Key factors for determining drainage setback distances

Use of agricultural subsurface drainage systems in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America continues to increase, prompting concerns over potential negative effects to the Region's vital wetlands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects a large number of wetlands through conservation easements that often utilize standard lateral setback...

Tangen, Brian A.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.
Tangen, B.A., and Wiltermuth, M.T., 2018, Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and subsurface drainage systems: key factors for determining drainage setback distances: Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, v. 9, p. 274–284. DOI: 10.3996/092017-JFWM-076

Year Published: 2018

An objective road risk assessment method for multiple species: ranking 166 reptiles and amphibians in California

ContextTransportation and wildlife agencies may consider the need for barrier structures and safe wildlife road-crossings to maintain the long-term viability of wildlife populations. In order to prioritize these efforts, it is important to identify species that are most at risk of extirpation from road-related impacts.PurposeOur goal was to...

Brehme, Cheryl S.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Fisher, Robert N.
Brehme, C.S., Hathaway, S.A. & Fisher, R.N. Landscape Ecol (2018) 33: 911. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0640-1

Filter Total Items: 694
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.

USGS
August 30, 2018

USGS IPM contacts

USGS Contacts for Intergrated Population Modeling, AFWA 2018

Attribution: Ecosystems
USGS presentation title slide for GenEst, A Generalized Estimator of Mortality
December 21, 2018

"Intro to GenEst" workshop at NWCC - 26Nov2018

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-