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: 742
Date published: October 20, 2018
Status: Active

Arctic Species

USGS scientists are researching wildlife species and their responses to ecosystem change to inform management decisions related to development of oil, gas and mineral resources on Bureau of Land
Management lands and on the Outer Continental Shelf managed by Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 20, 2018
Status: Active

Aquatic Species

To meet a continued demand for energy, USGS scientists assess the nation's oil, natural gas and coal resources, as well as study the impacts of energy development on land, water, and the healthy ecosystems that fish and wildlife depend on.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 19, 2018
Status: Active

Hydropower and Invasive Species

USGS interdisciplinary science directly addresses a variety of threats to hydroelectric dams by addressing damage caused by invasive species such as a variety of mussels that clog hydroelectric facilities and damage aquatic ecosystems. One important benefit of this USGS science is that it can help prevent unnecessary maintenance costs.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 19, 2018
Status: Active

Dam Removal and River Restoration

For rivers where dams need to be removed, USGS has considerable expertise and ongoing projects in ecological management to safely remove unwanted dams and restore fisheries and other ecosystem services.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 19, 2018
Status: Active

Dam Operations

Hydropower has served as a significant and reliable source of electricity to many communities and industries across the nation for more than five decades. As hydropower dams age and require critical upgrades, USGS hydrologists, engineers and fish biologists work together to design the next generation of dams and operational protocols that improve passage for migratory fish and cause fewer...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Effects of Nanophyetus salmincola on the Health and Survival of Puget Sound Steelhead

Low early marine survival rates of Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), the state fish of Washington, have contributed to its dramatic population decline and current listing as a “Threatened Species” under the Endangered Species Act. Determining the cause(s) of this elevated mortality remains a primary objective of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a large US / Canada effort...

Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Genomic Mechanisms that Underlie Lack of Recovery of Prince William Sound Herring Following the 1990s Collapse

In the decades following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS), it has become increasingly apparent that oil can be toxic at extremely low concentrations to developing fish embryos including herring, where some toxic phenotypes may be apparent during embryogenesis, but some are delayed until later in life. Therefore, acute and lingering oil may act as an insidious selective force within...

Contacts: Paul Hershberger, Ph.D., Jacob Gregg, Ashley MacKenzie, William Richards, Andrew Whitehead, John Incardona, Nat Scholtz
Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Herring Disease Program

Using an approach that involves a combination of field- and laboratory-based studies, we are investigating fish health factors that may be contributing to the failed recovery of Pacific herring populations in Prince William Sound, AK.  Field studies are providing infection and disease prevalence data to inform the population models, serological data that indicate the prior exposure history and...

Date published: October 17, 2018
Status: Active

Digital Soil Mapping: High Resolution Maps for Modern Land Management Decisions

The field of digital soil mapping has bridged the classic theories of soil science into the modern computing age to produce high resolution maps. This body of work utilizes classic soil factorial theory (soil = f[climate, organisms, relief (topography), parent material, time] + ɛ, or ‘clorpt’). The clorpt framework has been approximated using various environmental spatial data layers to...

Date published: October 17, 2018
Status: Active

Integrated Ecohydrological Science in the Northern Rocky Mountains — the variability of water availability and the effects on ecosystems

Our primary goal is to better understand and characterize how stream environments and the ecosystems they support are influenced by climate change and drought in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

Date published: September 30, 2018
Status: Active

Wind Erosion and Dust Emissions on the Colorado Plateau

Wind erosion of soils and dust emissions are a significant resource management challenge on the Colorado Plateau. Loss of topsoil and associated aeolian sediment (wind-driven sediment) movement can lead to reduced soil fertility as well as abrasion and burial of vegetation. Dust in the atmosphere poses a threat to human health, visual resources, and regional water supplies (due to interactions...

Date published: September 30, 2018
Status: Active

Measuring Suspended-Sediment Concentrations, Grain Sizes, and Bedload using Multiple Single-Frequency Acoustic Doppler Profilers and Echologgers in the Lower Chippewa River, Wisconsin.

The Upper Mississippi River (UMR) provides critical habitat for hundreds of aquatic species and provides Minnesota with a transportation link to the rest of the world. Reliable measurements of sediment are important for making decisions as part of maintaining the channel. In 2014, sediment deposition in the navigation channel caused channel closures of the UMR delaying commercial navigation...

Contacts: David J Dean
Filter Total Items: 118
Date published: January 1, 2017

Detection of Nanophyetus salmincola in water, snails and fish tissues by quantitative PCR

The data are used to support the development and validation of two quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays to detect the parasite Nanophyetus salmincola DNA in water samples and fish and snail tissues. The data link to a series of experiments that are described in the publications. Experiment 1 defines the linearity and detection limits of the assays. Experiment 2 assesses the...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Data for Trap Net Captured Juvenile Lost River and Shortnose Suckers from Upper Klamath Lake

Data included in this data set are for trap net captured juvenile suckers from Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon starting in 2001. Data were collected on fishing effort, the number of suckers captured, sucker length, and sucker species. There are two levels of data. Net level data contains 14,838 records and the data file is 2,069 KB and fish level data contains 25,236 records and the data file is 1,...

Date published: December 14, 2016

APPLICATION - RAMPS Climate Partitioning Tool

The purpose of this application is to aid sampling efforts along climate gradients for a geographic region of interest. Examples of potential uses of this tool include: sampling plant materials for common garden studies, establishing common garden arrays, establishing vegetation transects, or banking seed for native plant conservation. Funding support from BLM Colorado Plateau Native Plant...

Date published: December 1, 2016

DATA RELEASE - TsezhinBii Field and Summary Data, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2004

These data provide the locational coordinates, soil texture characteristics, plant species occurrence and cover, and vegetation summary characteristics for the Tsezhin bii region in the south-central area of the Navajo Nation.

Date published: October 31, 2016

Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP)

The Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP) is a web application where partners, scientists, and practitioners can find information on dam removals and associated scientific studies. It is a visualization tool, including a map and interactive charts, of a dam-removal literature review designed and developed by a working group at the USGS John...

Date published: October 1, 2016

Approved Data Releases

This public folder contains approved data release products produced by the USGS Western Ecologial Research Center. This folder also includes metadata that will be harvested and displayed by the USGS Science Data Catalog ( http://data.usgs.gov/datacatalog) to improve access and discovery. 

Date published: July 14, 2016

Diamondback Terrapins in Chesapeake Bay, 2002 Beach Survey

The survey was conducted in summer 2002 to assess the presence of terrapins in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Results are spatial locations of evidence related to nesting.

Date published: May 2, 2016

Evidence of Absence Webinar

This video describes a statistical software package called "Evidence of Absence" that can be used to provide evidence of compliance with incidental take permits. It will be useful to wildlife managers and wind energy operators to estimate, with reasonable certainty, that a certain number of birds or bats have been killed at wind energy facilities, even when no carcasses are found.

Date published: April 27, 2016

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) was established to provide coherent information access in support of research, decision-making, and resource management for the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.

Date published: April 21, 2016

Sea-Level Rise Visualization for Alabama and Mississippi

The interactive sea-level rise visualization tool results from a collaborative effort between NOAA's Coastal Services Center, USGS WARC, and USGS Mississippi Water Science Center. The tool illustrates the scale of potential flooding, but not the exact location, and does not account for erosion, subsidence, sediment accretion, or future construction. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Alabama Strategic Habitat Units Applications

WARC's Advanced Applications Team develops and maintains databases and applications to help the Alabama Department of Transportation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ensure new road construction and existing road maintenance at waterway crossings don't adversely affect threatened and endangered species dependent on those waterways. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Ecosystems Application Development

This showcases the data and analytical products from studies related to habitat change, storm surge and ecological modeling, migratory bird impacts, and other studies conducted at WARC and funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. WARC's Advanced Applications Team also supports the efforts of scientists conducting research in Hurricane Sandy-impacted areas. 

Filter Total Items: 4,619
Year Published: 2018

American Recent Eulipotyphla: Nesophontids, Solenodons, Moles, and Shrews in the New World

The mammalian taxonomic order Eulipotyphla is comprised of the living taxonomic families Erinaceidae (gymnures, hedgehogs, and moonrats), Solenodontidae (solenodonts), Soricidae (shrews), and Talpidae (desmans and moles). Morphological and molecular studies continue to alter our view of relationships within and among these families, and this...

Woodman, Neal

Year Published: 2018

Effect of heat and singeing on stable hydrogen isotope ratios of bird feathers and implications for their use in determining geographic origin

RationaleStable hydrogen isotope (δ2H) ratios of animal tissues are useful for assessing movement and geographic origin of mobile organisms. However, it is uncertain whether heat and singeing affects feather δ2H values and thus subsequent geographic assignments. This is relevant for birds of conservation interest that are burned and killed at...

Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Reid, Abigail; Katzner, Todd E.; Nelson, David M.

Year Published: 2018

Application of the Stream Salmonid Simulator (S3) to the restoration reach of the Trinity River, California—Parameterization and calibration

Executive SummaryIn this report, we constructed and parameterized the Stream Salmonid Simulator (S3) for the 64-kilometer “Restoration Reach” of the Trinity River, just downstream of Lewiston Dam in northern California. S3 is a deterministic life-stage-structured population model that tracks daily growth, movement, and survival of juvenile salmon...

Perry, Russell W.; Jones, Edward C.; Plumb, John M.; Som, Nicholas A.; Hetrick, Nicholas J.; Hardy, Thomas B.; Polos, Joseph C; Martin, Aaron C.; Alvarez, Justin S.; De Juilio, Kyle P.
Perry, R.W., Jones, E.C., Plumb, J.M., Som, N.A., Hetrick, N.J., Hardy, T.B., Polos, J.C., Martin, A.C., Alvarez, J.S., and De Juilio, K.P., 2018, Application of the Stream Salmonid Simulator (S3) to the restoration reach of the Trinity River, California—Parameterization and calibration: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1174, 64 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181174.

Year Published: 2018

GenEst user guide—Software for a generalized estimator of mortality

GenEst (Generalized Estimator) is a software tool for estimating the total number of individuals arriving in an area during a specific time period when their detection probability is unknown but estimable. Its development was motivated by the need to accurately estimate the total number of bird and bat fatalities occurring at wind and solar energy...

Simonis, Juniper; Dalthorp, Daniel; Huso, Manuela M.; Mintz, Jeffrey; Madsen, Lisa; Rabie, Paul; Studyvin, Jared
Simonis, J., Dalthorp, D., Huso, M., Mintz, J., Madsen, L., Rabie, P., and Studyvin, J., 2018, GenEst user guide—Software for a generalized estimator of mortality: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 7, chap. C19, 72 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm7C19.

Year Published: 2018

GenEst statistical models—A generalized estimator of mortality

IntroductionGenEst (a generalized estimator of mortality) is a suite of statistical models and software tools for generalized mortality estimation. It was specifically designed for estimating the number of bird and bat fatalities at solar and wind power facilities, but both the software (Dalthorp and others, 2018) and the underlying statistical...

Dalthorp, Daniel; Madsen, Lisa; Huso, Manuela M.; Rabie, Paul; Wolpert, Robert; Studyvin, Jared; Simonis, Juniper; Mintz, Jeffrey
Dalthorp, D., Madsen, L., Huso, M., Rabie, P., Wolpert, R., Studyvin, J., Simonis, J., and Mintz, J., 2018, GenEst statistical models—A generalized estimator of mortality: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 7, chap. A2, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm7A2.

Year Published: 2018

Assessment of potential risks from renewable energy development and other anthropogenic factors to wintering Golden Eagles in the western United States

Wind and other energy development are expanding rapidly and on an unprecedented scale within the range of the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) while other anthropogenic-related changes, wildfires, invasive plants, drought, and climate change are altering or destroying native habitats occupied by Golden Eagles. However, the potential effects of...

Humphries, Grant; Magness, Dawn; Huettmann, Falk; Craig, Erica H.; Fuller, Mark R.; Craig, Tim H.; Huettmann, Falk

Year Published: 2018

Batrachochytrium salamandriovrans (Bsal) in Appalachia—Using scenario building to proactively prepare for a wildlife disease outbreak caused by an invasive amphibian chytrid fungus

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), a pathogenic chytrid fungus, is nonnative to the United States and poses a disease threat to vulnerable amphibian hosts. The Bsal fungus may lead to increases in threatened, endangered, and sensitive status listings at State, Tribal, and Federal levels, resulting in financial costs associated with...

Hopkins, M.C.; Adams, M.J.; Super, P.E.; Olson, D.H.; Hickman, C.R.; English, P.; Sprague, L.; Maska, I.B. ; Pennaz, A.B.; Ludwig, K.A.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Hopkins, M.C., Adams, M.J., Super, P.E., Olson, D.H., Hickman, C.R., English, P., Sprague, L., Maska, I.B., Pennaz, A.B., and Ludwig, K.A., 2018, Batrachochytrium salamandriovrans (Bsal) in Appalachia—Using scenario building to proactively prepare for a wildlife disease outbreak caused by an invasive amphibian chytrid fungus: U.S. Geological Survey Report 2018–1150, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181150.

Year Published: 2018

Multi-state occupancy models of foraging habitat use by the Hawaiian hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus semotus

Multi-state occupancy modeling can often improve assessments of habitat use and site quality when animal activity or behavior data are available. We examine the use of the approach for evaluating foraging habitat suitability of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) from classifications of site occupancy based on flight...

Gorresen, Paulo Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; DeLisle, Megan A.; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Pinzari, Corinna A.; Bonaccorso, Frank
Gorresen, P. M., K. W. Brinck, M. A. DeLisle, K. Montoya-Aiona, C. A. Pinzari, and F. J. Bonaccorso. 2018. Multi-state occupancy models of foraging habitat use by the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus). PLoS ONE 13:e0205150.

Year Published: 2018

Long-term impacts of exotic grazer removal on native shrub recovery, Santa Cruz Island, California

A combination of overgrazing and exotic species introduction has led to the degradation of habitats worldwide. It is often unclear whether removal of exotic ungulates will lead to the natural reestablishment of native plant communities without further management inputs. I describe here my return to sites on Santa Cruz Island, California, 12 years...

Yelenik, Stephanie G.
Yelenik, S. G. 2018. Long-term impacts of exotic grazer removal on native shrub recovery, Santa Cruz Island, California. Western North American Naturalist 78:777–786.

Year Published: 2018

Use of carbon dioxide in zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) control and safety to a native freshwater mussel (Fatmucket, Lampsilis siliquoidea)

Control technology for dreissenid mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis) currently relies heavily on chemical molluscicides that can be both costly and ecologically harmful. There is a need for more environmentally neutral tools to manage dreissenid mussels, particularly in cooler water. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been shown to be lethal to...

Waller, Diane L.; Bartsch, Michelle R.

Year Published: 2018

Effects of temperature and exposure duration on four potential rapid-response tools for zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) eradication

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) have continued their spread within inland lakes and rivers in North America despite diligent containment and decontamination efforts by natural resource agencies and other stakeholders. Identification of newly infested waterways by early detection surveillance programs allows for rapid response zebra mussel...

Luoma, James A.; Severson, Todd J.; Barbour, Matthew T.; Wise, Jeremy K.

Year Published: 2018

Correlating sea lamprey density with environmental DNA detections in the lab

Invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus Linnaeus, 1758) are currently managed by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in an effort to reduce pest populations below levels that cause ecological damage. One technique to improve stream population assessments could be molecular surveillance in the form of environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring. We...

Schloesser, Nicholas A.; Merkes, Christopher M.; Rees, Christopher B.; Amberg, Jon J.; Steeves, Todd B.; Docker, Margaret F.

Filter Total Items: 689
Monarch on hairy puccoon
December 31, 2017

Monarch on hairy puccoon

A monarch butterfly on a hairy puccoon plant.

Image from a remote camera placed in a golden eagle nest in the Mojave Desert.  The parent is feed the chick a snake.
December 31, 2017

Image from a remote camera placed in a golden eagle nest in the Mojave

Image from a remote camera placed in a golden eagle nest in the Mojave Desert.  The parent is feed the chick a snake.  

USGS
December 31, 2017

Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

...
Emperor geese standing near the shoreline on Kodiak Island
December 31, 2017

Emperor geese near Kodiak.

Emperor geese gathered near the shoreline on Kodiak Island.

Sea Lamprey Larvae in Hand
December 31, 2017

Sea Lamprey Larvae in Hand

This image shows a sea lamprey in its larvae phase.

Slower sea lamprey growth rates during the larval phase of development may increase the odds of sea lampreys becoming male, according to a USGS study. Sea lampreys are an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes.

Corallimorph infestation on coral reef
December 31, 2017

Corallimorph infestation on coral reef

Coral reefs are prone to phase shifts where they quickly transition from coral-dominated to a uniformity of other organisms, typically algae. The Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Central Pacific is a unique case where a transition from corals to corallimorphs occurred. Corallimorphs are a type of invasive

...
Sea Lamprey Larvae on White Background
December 31, 2017

Sea Lamprey Larvae on White Background

This image shows a sea lamprey in its larvae phase.

Slower sea lamprey growth rates during the larval phase of development may increase the odds of sea lampreys becoming male, according to a USGS study. Sea lampreys are an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes.

Close-up of dried, cracked soil with small plants trying to survive in this soil.
December 31, 2017

Dry, cracked soil (RAMPS)

Rangelands of the desert Southwest can be in a degraded condition and lacking perennial vegetation, which can lead to exposed soil and erosion. RAMPS is working to mitigate degradation by increasing 

...
Corallimorph infestation on coral reef 2
December 31, 2017

Corallimorph infestation on coral reef 2

Coral reefs are prone to phase shifts where they quickly transition from coral-dominated to a uniformity of other organisms, typically algae. The Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Central Pacific is a unique case where a transition from corals to corallimorphs occurred. Corallimorphs are a type of invasive

...
Corallimorph infestation on coral reef 3
December 31, 2017

Corallimorph infestation on coral reef 3

Coral reefs are prone to phase shifts where they quickly transition from coral-dominated to a uniformity of other organisms, typically algae. The Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Central Pacific is a unique case where a transition from corals to corallimorphs occurred. Corallimorphs are a type of invasive

...
A discussion group looks at notes on a large easel pad
December 31, 2017

Collaborative Discussion

The USGS RAMPS program hosts workshops where land managers from federal, state, and local agencies, practitioners, and NGO's can come together to discuss challenges and develop creative solutions. Here,

...
Frog liver with SPI
December 31, 2017

Frog liver with SPI

This photomicrograph shows a liver of a frog with a severe Perkinsea infection.

Filter Total Items: 284
Date published: May 1, 2017

Avian Flu Testing of Wild Ducks Informs Biosecurity and Can Reduce Economic Loss

Ducks in North America can be carriers of avian influenza viruses similar to those found in a 2016 outbreak in Indiana that led to the losses of hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys, according to a recent study.

Date published: April 27, 2017

Billions More Milkweeds Needed to Restore Monarchs

As many as 1.8 billion additional stems of milkweed plants may be needed in North America to return imperiled monarch butterflies to a sustainable population size, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: April 26, 2017

Asian Carp Would Have Adequate Food to Survive in Lake Michigan

If invasive bighead carp and silver carp spread into Lake Michigan, there would be enough food available for these particular species of Asian carp to survive, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: April 18, 2017

Deadly Deer Disease Expected to Grow Rapidly and Spread in Wisconsin

A new tool, which predicted the recent, rapid growth and continued spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, can help forecast and manage other costly biological threats to humans, animals and the environment, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: April 11, 2017

Florida Manatees Likely to Persist For At Least 100 Years—US Geological Survey  

Florida’s iconic manatee population is highly likely to endure for the next 100 years, so long as wildlife managers continue to protect the marine mammals and their habitat, a new study by the US Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has found.

Date published: April 11, 2017

Scientists Evaluate Ways to Save Hawaiian Honeycreeper

Long distance flights in search of flowering trees threatens the Hawaiian Iiwi as climate change increases the distribution of avian diseases

Date published: April 11, 2017

Media Inquiries on USGS Manatee Research

We appreciate your interest in USGS' Sirenia Project. To help inform members of the media and public, we have provided relevant publications, reports, and websites. 

Date published: April 10, 2017

Turtles Die in Southern California Lake Following Drought and Fire

Almost all of the turtles living in a southern California lake died following a large fire and years of drought, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report published in the journal Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems.

Date published: April 4, 2017

Hybridization between Native and Invasive Trout is Increasing in the West

Hybridization, or the interbreeding of species, is increasing between native and invasive trout across the northern Rocky Mountains, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

Date published: March 29, 2017

USGS and Partners Team Up to Track Down Nonnative and Invasive Fishes in South Florida

The Fish Slam event discovered two nonnative fish species never seen before in Big Cypress National Preserve.

 

 

Date published: March 28, 2017

Sex-Shifting Fish: Growth Rate Could Determine Sea Lamprey Sex

Unlike most animals, sea lampreys, an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes, could become male or female depending on how quickly they grow, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study published today.

Date published: March 23, 2017

Chandler Robbins Inspired Generations of Scientists and Birders, 1918-2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientist emeritus Chandler S. Robbins, whose heartfelt love of birds, quicksilver mind, boundless energy and sunny demeanor made him a major force in bird conservation in the U.S. and worldwide, died Monday, March 20 at the age of 98.