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: 754
Date published: February 29, 2016

Inform Decisions

Develop and distribute derived phenological information to inform human land use and risk management, and the conservation and management of natural resources, in variable climates and changing environments.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 26, 2016
Status: Active

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.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Priority Ecosystems Science Projects

Focused ecosystem research and restoration.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Fish and Aquatic Organism Health

Understanding disease to support the management and restoration of aquatic species.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Imperiled Aquatic Species

Research on stressors and habitat requirements of imperiled aquatic species to inform their restoration.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Restoration Science and Technology

Research and technology for restoring aquatic species and aquatic habitats.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Species Diversity and Life History

Aquatic species diversity is the hallmark of healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Genetics, Genomics, and Molecular Biology

These tools offer invaluable insights into fishery resource problems.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Restoring Whooping Cranes to Southwest Louisiana: A Cooperative Venture

Researchers from the Louisiana Cooperative Research Unit evaluated habitat suitability at White Lake, Louisiana, for the possible reintroduction of endangered whooping cranes. The information collected led to the 2011-2012 release of 40 cranes. Researchers are continuing to monitor the reintroduced cranes and more releases are planned.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Aquatic Community Ecology

Functional relationships among aquatic species for conserving and restoring aquatic community function.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Metapopulation Dynamics of the Adélie Penguin

The Oregon Cooperative Unit, graduate students, and a group of U.S. and international collaborators are conducting long-term research on the Adélie penguin on Ross Island, Antarctica. This species depends on sea ice (obligate) and in some regions of Antarctica is being affected by climate change’s influence on sea ice patterns.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Fish Passage and Dams

Improving fish passage is vital for restoring populations of salmon and other migratory fish.

Filter Total Items: 30,899
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Year Published: 2018

Examination of contaminant exposure and reproduction of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Delaware Bay and River in 2015

A study of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in the coastal Inland Bays of Delaware, and the Delaware Bay and Delaware River in 2015 examined spatial and temporal trends in contaminant exposure, food web transfer and reproduction. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and metabolites, polychlorinated biphenyls...

Rattner, Barnett A.; Lazarus, Rebecca S.; Bean, Thomas G.; McGowan, Peter C.; Callahan, Carl R.; Erickson, Richard A.; Hale, Robert
Rattner, B. A., Lazarus, R. S., Bean, T. G., McGowan, P. C., Callahan, C. R., Erickson, R. A., and Hale, R. C., 2018, Examination of contaminant exposure and reproduction of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Delaware Bay and River in 2015: Science of the Total Environment, v. 639, p. 596-607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.068

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Year Published: 2018

The confluences of ideas leading to, and the flow of ideas emerging from, individual-based modeling of riverine fishes

In this review article, we trace the history of events leading to the development of individual-based models (IBMs) to represent aquatic organisms in rivers and streams. As a metaphor, we present this history as a series of confluences between individual scientists (tributaries) sharing ideas. We describe contributions of these models to science...

Jager, Henriette I.; DeAngelis, Donald L.
Jager, H.I., and DeAngelis, D.L., 2018, The confluences of ideas leading to, and the flow of ideas emerging from, individual-based modeling of riverine fishes: Ecological Modelling, v. 384, p. 341-352, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2018.06.013.

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Year Published: 2018

Exploring the pathology of an epidermal disease affecting a circum-Antarctic sea star

Over the past decade, unusual mortality outbreaks have decimated echinoderm populations over broad geographic regions, raising awareness globally of the importance of investigating such events. Echinoderms are key components of marine benthos for top-down and bottom-up regulations of plants and animals; population declines of these individuals can...

Nunez-Pons, Laura; Work, Thierry M.; Angulo-Preckler, Carlos; Moles, Juan; Avila, Conxita
Exploring the pathology of an epidermal disease affecting a circum-Antarctic sea

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Year Published: 2018

Regional variation in drivers of connectivity for two frog species (Rana pretiosa and R. luteiventris) from the U.S. Pacific Northwest

Comparative landscape genetics has uncovered high levels of variability in which landscape factors affect connectivity among species and regions. However, the relative importance of species traits versus environmental variation for predicting landscape patterns of connectivity is unresolved. We provide evidence from a landscape genetics study of...

Robertson, Jeanne M.; Murphy, Melanie A.; Pearl, Christopher; Adams, M.J.; Paez-Vacas, Monica I.; Haig, Susan M.; Pilliod, David S.; Storfer, Andrew; Funk, W. Chris
Robertson, J.M., Murphy, M.A., Pearl, C.A., Adams, M.J., Páez-Vacas, M.I., Haig, S.M., Pilliod, D.S., Storfer, A., Funk, W., 2018, Regional variation in drivers of connectivity for two frog species (Rana pretiosa and R. luteiventris) from the U.S. Pacific Northwest: Molecular Ecology, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.14798.

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Year Published: 2018

Mapping and measuring aeolian sand dunes with photogrammetry and LiDAR from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and multispectral satellite imagery on the Paria Plateau, AZ, USA

The Paria Plateau is a potentially important but relatively unstudied aeolian sand source area in the Grand Canyon region of Arizona, USA. This study used unmanned aerial vehicle(UAV) - based LiDAR and structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry to produce high-resolution topographic models of aeolian dunes on the plateau. We...

Solazzo, Daniel; Sankey, Joel B.; Sankey, Temuulen T.; Munson, Seth M.
Solazzo, D., Sankey, J.B., Sankey, T.T., and Munson, S.M., 2018, Mapping and measuring aeolian sand dunes with photogrammetry and LiDAR from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and multispectral satellite imagery on the Paria Plateau, AZ, USA: Geomorphology, v. 319, p. 174-185, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.07.023.

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Year Published: 2018

International meeting on sarcoptic mange in wildlife, June 2018, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Sarcoptic mange is a globally distributed disease caused by the burrowing mite Sarcoptes scabiei, which also causes scabies in humans. A wide and increasing number of wild mammal species are reported to be susceptible to mange; however, the impacts of the disease in wildlife populations, mechanisms involved in its eco-epidemiological dynamics...

Astorga, Francisca; Carver, Scott; Almberg, Emily S.; Sousa, Giovane R.; Wingfield, Kimberly; Niedringhaus, Kevin D.; Van Wick, Peach; Rossi, Luca; Xie, Yue; Cross, Paul C.; Angelone, Samer; Gortázar, Christian; Escobar, Luis E.
Astorga, F., S. Carver, E. S. Almberg, G. R. Sousa, K. Wingfield, K. D. Niedringhaus, P. Van Wick, L. Rossi, Y. Xie, P. Cross, S. Angelone, C. Gortázar, and L. E. Escobar. 2018. International meeting on sarcoptic mange in wildlife, June 2018, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. Parasites & Vectors 11:449

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Year Published: 2018

Growth stress response to sea level rise in species with contrasting functional traits: A case study in tidal freshwater forested wetlands

With rising sea levels, mortality of glycophytes can be caused by water and nutrient stress under increasing salinity. However, the relative effects of these two stressors may vary by species-specific functional traits. For example, deciduous species, with leaves typically emerging during low salinity periods of the year, may suffer less from...

Zhai, Lu; Krauss, Ken W.; Liu, Xin; Duberstein, Jamie A.; Conner, William H.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Sternberg, Leonel d.S.L
Zhai, L., Krauss, K.W., Liu, X., Duberstein, J.A., Conner, W.H., DeAngelis, D.L., and da Silveira Lobo Sternberg, L., 2018, Growth stress response to sea level rise in species with contrasting functional traits: a case study in tidal freshwater forested wetlands: Environmental and Experimental Botany, Available Online, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2018.07.023.

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Year Published: 2018

Cougar dispersal and natal homing in a desert environment

We present a review of cougar dispersal literature and the first evidence of natural (i.e., unmanipulated) homing behavior by a dispersing male cougar (Puma concolor) that sustained severe injuries crossing the northern Mojave Desert. Based on Global Positioning System and ground tracking data, the male traveled a total distance of 981.1 km at 5....

Choate, David; Longshore, Kathleen M.; Thompson, Daniel B.

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Year Published: 2018

Land treatment exploration tool

OverviewLand managers make decisions regarding restoration and rehabilitation actions that influence landscapes and ecosystems. Many of these decisions involve soil and vegetation manipulations, often known as land treatments. Historically, treatments were planned on a case by case basis with decisions derived from personal experience of past...

Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin L.; Jeffries, Michelle I. ; Schueck, Linda S.; Zarriello, Thomas J.
Pilliod, D.S., Welty, J.L., Jeffries, M.I., Schueck, L.S., and Zarriello, T.J., 2018, Land treatment exploration tool: (rev. 1.1, October 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018-3042, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183042.

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Year Published: 2018

Sea‐level rise, habitat loss, and potential extirpation of a salt marsh specialist bird in urbanized landscapes

Sea‐level rise (SLR) impacts on intertidal habitat depend on coastal topology, accretion, and constraints from surrounding development. Such habitat changes might affect species like Belding's savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi; BSSP), which live in high‐elevation salt marsh in the Southern California Bight. To predict how BSSP...

Rosencranz, Jordan; Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Stewart, Tara E.; Ambrose, Richard F.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Holmgren, Mark A.; Crooks, Jeff A.; Patton, Robert T.; Lafferty, Kevin D.
Rosencranz JA, Thorne KM, Buffington KJ, et al. Sea-level rise, habitat loss, and potential extirpation of a salt marsh specialist bird in urbanized landscapes.Ecol Evol. 2018;00:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4196

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Year Published: 2018

Isolation by distance versus landscape resistance: Understanding dominant patterns of genetic structure in Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina)

Landscape genetics investigations examine how the availability and configuration of habitat influence genetic structure of plants and animals. We used landscape genetics to evaluate the role that forest connectivity plays in determining genetic structure of the federally-threatened Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) using genotypes...

Miller, Mark P.; Davis, Raymond J.; Forsman, Eric D.; Mullins, Thomas D.; Haig, Susan M.
Miller MP, Davis RJ, Forsman ED, Mullins TD, Haig SM (2018) Isolation by distance versus landscape resistance: Understanding dominant patterns of genetic structure in Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina). PLoS ONE 13(8): e0201720. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0201720

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Year Published: 2018

A critical time for mercury science to inform global policy

Mercury is a global pollutant released into the biosphere by varied human activities including coal combustion, mining, artisanal gold mining, cement production, and chemical production. Once released to air, land and water, the addition of carbon atoms to mercury by bacteria results in the production of methylmercury, the toxic form that...

Chen, Celia Y.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Eckley, Chris S.; Gay, David A.; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Keane, S.E.; Kirk, Jane L.; Mason, Robert; Obrist, Daniel; Selin, Henrik; Selin, Noelle; Thompson, Marcella R.

Filter Total Items: 739
Downstream view of Colorado River at LCR confluence
May 8, 2002

Downstream view of Colorado River at LCR confluence

Downstream view of Colorado River at its confluence with the Little Colorado River

Boreal toad (Bufo boreas) mating ball, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming.
December 31, 2001

Boreal toad (Bufo boreas) mating ball

Boreal toad (Bufo boreas) mating ball, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming.

Fish seining efforts on the Colorado River
May 24, 2001

Fish seining efforts on the Colorado River

Fish seining efforts on the Colorado River

Remnants of a spruce forest
December 31, 1969

Remnants of a spruce forest

Remnants of a spruce forest complex following a severe wildfire in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Wildfires are the dominant landscape-scale disturbance operating at annual time scales in Alaska, and fires play a major role in the rate and extent of vegetation growth and productivity of a site. Wildland fires typically result in the reduction of

...
Erosion along Alaska’s Arctic coastline near the village of Kaktovik
December 31, 1969

Erosion along Alaska’s Arctic coastline near the village of Kaktovik

Neal Pastick – lead author of the study – investigating erosion along Alaska’s Arctic coastline near the village of Kaktovik. Permafrost-dominated coasts of Alaska have drastically changed as the result of coastal transgression and storm-surge flooding which can result in the loss of cultural sites and damage to infrastructure.  Photo by M. Torre Jorgenson

Hoop fishing net deployed on the Little Colorado River
January 1, 0000

Hoop fishing net deployed on the Little Colorado River

Hoop fishing net deployed on the Little Colorado River just downstream of a travetine fall

Delta Smelt being held in hand
January 1, 0000

Delta Smelt

Delta Smelt being held in hand

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