Mission Areas

Ecosystems

The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources and inform land and water stewardship.

Contact Us

Newsletter - EcoNews

Newsletter - EcoNews

This quarterly newsletter highlights ecosystems science and activities coming out of our Science Centers and Cooperative Research Units across the Nation. 

EcoNews Issues

Webinar - Friday's Findings

Webinar - Friday

A public webinar series meant to offer our audience an opportunity to discover the Ecosystems science capacity within the USGS.

Upcoming Webinars

Where's our Science?

Where

Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

Browse by Location

News

Date published: July 9, 2020

New Study Finds the Restoration of Forests with Active Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Infections May Be Possible

Hilo, Hawaiʻi – For the first time, researchers have shown that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, or ROD, a fungal disease that is devastating to this dominant and culturally important tree in Hawaiian forests. This information can be useful to land managers and homeowners as they prioritize conservation actions.

Date published: July 8, 2020

Food Web Dynamics Influence Mercury Movement in Colorado River, Grand Canyon

A new study describes how food web dynamics influence the movement of mercury throughout the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. This new research from the U.S. Geological Survey and partners represents one of the first times that the movement and fate of mercury has been traced through an entire food web.

Date published: July 7, 2020

USGS Celebrates 100 Years of Bird Banding Lab

Birds bring joy merely by their presence, from their bold colors and majestic songs to their grace as they glide through the sky. Birds contribute more than beauty to the environment and society. Many plants depend on hummingbirds and other species to pollinate them. Hawks and owls prey on rodents and other pests. Fruit- and grain-eating birds help spread plants’ seeds.

Publications

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Forage and habitat for pollinators in the northern Great Plains—Implications for U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs

Managed and wild pollinators are critical components of agricultural and natural systems. Despite the well-known value of insect pollinators to U.S. agriculture, Apis mellifera (Linnaeus, 1758; honey bees) and wild bees currently face numerous stressors that have resulted in declining health. These declines have engendered support for pollinator...

Otto, Clint R. V.; Smart, Autumn; Cornman, Robert S.; Simanonok, Michael; Iwanowicz, Deborah D.
Otto, C.R.V., Smart, A., Cornman, R.S., Simanonok, M., and Iwanowicz, D.D., 2020, Forage and habitat for pollinators in the northern Great Plains—Implications for U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1037, 64 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201037.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Assessing nest attentiveness of Common Terns via video cameras and temperature loggers

While nest attentiveness plays a critical role in the reproductive success of avian species, little nest attentiveness data with high temporal resolution is available for many species. However, improvements in both video monitoring and temperature logging devices present an opportunity to improve our understanding of this aspect of avian behavior...

Sullivan, Jeffery D.; Marban, Paul R.; Mullinax, Jennifer M.; Brinker, David F.; McGowan, Petter C.; Callahan, Carl C.; Prosser, Diann

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Development of a two-stage life cycle model for Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon) in the upper Cowlitz River Basin, Washington

Recovery of salmon populations in the upper Cowlitz River Basin depends on trap-and-haul efforts owing to impassable dams. Therefore, successful recovery depends on the collection of out-migrating juvenile salmon at Cowlitz Falls Dam (CFD) for transport below downstream dams, as well as the collection of adults for transport upstream from the dams...

Plumb, John M.; Perry, Russell W.
Plumb, J.M., and Perry, R.W., 2020, Development of a two-stage life cycle model for Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon) in the upper Cowlitz River Basin, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1068, 25 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201068.