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: 811
Date published: March 17, 2016

Optical and Radar Fusion: Mapping Coastal Marsh Dieback

With the help of remote sensing, USGS maps the progression of marsh dieback along the Louisiana coast.

Date published: March 17, 2016
Status: Active

Alabama Strategic Habitat Unit (SHU)

Alabama is host to a variety of freshwater species, many of which are critically imperiled. USGS and partners focus conservation activities in high priority watersheds throughout the state.

Date published: March 17, 2016

Using Environmental DNA for Burmese Python Detection Probabilities and Range-Delimitation in Southern Florida

Current tools for detection of Burmese pythons in South Florida have resulted in low detection rates. Environmental DNA - eDNA - has shown to be effective at detecting these invasive snakes, and can help to determine range limits for the species, information that is critical for management and control efforts. 

Date published: March 16, 2016
Status: Active

Wetland Evaluation and Sediment Elevation Monitoring and Analysis in the Indian River Lagoon

To better understand coastal response to sea-level rise, USGS is monitoring coastal wetland sediment elevations along Florida's east coast.

Contacts: Gordon Anderson
Date published: March 15, 2016
Status: Completed

COMPLETED: Using thermal imagery to assess wolf hairloss from sarcoptic mange

Researchers at NOROCK and their partners used thermal cameras at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in Montana to assess the amount of heat lost under a range of environmental conditions with and without hair. These methods help scientists better understand how mange operates in wild wolves throughout the Greater...

Contacts: Paul Cross, Emily Almberg, Doug Smith, Adam Munn, Peter Hudson, John Heine, Dan Stahler, Shane Maloney
Date published: March 10, 2016

Translocation of imperiled fishes: Conservation introduction of threatened bull trout in Glacier National Park

There is an urgent need to consider more aggressive and direct interventions for conservation of freshwater fishes threatened by invasive species, habitat loss, and climate change. Conservation introduction - moving species to areas outside their previous range, where conditions are predicted to be more suitable - is one type of translocation strategy that fisheries managers can use to...

Date published: March 10, 2016
Status: Active

Contaminants Assessments in the Coral Reefs of the Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument

Coral reefs around the world are exposed to a number of environmental contaminants. USGS researchers investigate the issue of contamination on the reefs around the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Date published: March 1, 2016

Prevalence Rates of Snake Fungal Disease and its Population-Level Impacts in a Snake Assemblage in Southwest Louisiana

In the last twenty years, an extraordinary number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever observed in wild species.

Contacts: Hardin Waddle, Ph.D., Brad M Glorioso, Dr. Jeffrey M. Lorch
Date published: March 1, 2016

National Park Monitoring Project

We fund complex, often multi-year, research efforts on priority topics (themes) identified by the National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring Program. Our efforts complement the Natural Resources Preservation Project (NRPP), which focuses on funding short-term, tactical research to meet natural resource management needs identified by NPS.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Communicate and Educate

We facilitate public understanding of science and environmental change to build support for science and proactive adaptation to environmental change.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Researchers sample water, soil or air to look for presence of Environmental DNA (eDNA), genetic material shed from living or once live organisms whose presence is difficult to detect under traditional sampling methods.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Adaptive Management

The Adaptive Management process offers a unique mix of management and science to "learn from doing" and decrease uncertainty over time.

Filter Total Items: 30,699
Year Published: 2018

Wildland–urban interface residents’ relationships with wildfire: Variation within and across communities

Social science offers rich descriptions of relationships between wildland–urban interface residents and wildfire, but syntheses across different contexts might gloss over important differences. We investigate the potential extent of such differences using data collected consistently in sixty-eight Colorado communities and hierarchical modeling. We...

Meldrum, James R.; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Champ, Patricia A.; Falk, Lilia C.; Wilson, Pamela; Barth, Christopher M.

Year Published: 2018

Chapter 4: Northern spotted owl habitat and populations: Status and threats

The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1990 (USFWS 1990). Providing adequate amounts of suitable forest cover to sustain the subspecies was a major component of the first recovery plan for northern spotted owls (USFWS 1992) and a driver in the basic reserve design and old-...

Lesmeister, Damon B.; Davis, Ramond J; Singleton, Peter H; Wiens, David
Lesmeister, D.B., Davis, R.J., Singleton, P.H., Wiens, J.D., 2018, Chapter 4. Northern Spotted Owl- Status of Populations and Habitats In Spies, T.A., Stine, P., Gravenmier, R., Long, J., Reilly, M., eds., Synthesis of Science to Inform Land Management within the Northwest Forest Plan Area: PNW-GTR-966 Vol. 1, Portland, OR, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, 56 pp.

Year Published: 2018

Critically assessing the utility of portable lead analyzers for wildlife conservation

Lead (Pb) exposure in wildlife is a widespread management and conservation concern. Quantitative determination of Pb concentrations in wildlife tissues is the foundation for estimating exposure and risk. Development of low‐cost, portable instruments has improved access and cost‐effectiveness of determining Pb concentrations in blood samples, while...

Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Bedrosian, Bryan; Craighead, Derek; Domenech, Robert; Langner, Heiko W.; Parish, Chris N.; Shreading, Adam; Welch, Alacia; Wolstenholme, Rachel
Herring, G., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Bedrosian, B., Craighead, D., Domenech, R., Langner, H.W., Parish, C., Shreading, A., Welch, A., Wolstenholme, R., 2018, Critically assessing the utility of portable lead analyzers for wildlife conservation: Wildlife Society Bulletin, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1002/wsb.892.

Year Published: 2018

Density and success of upland duck nests in native‐ and tame‐seeded conservation fields

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) generates substantial benefits to continental duck populations by providing grassland nesting habitat in rested cropland. Seeding mixes of CRP grasslands vary among numerous conservation practices, but one contrast of interest in the Prairie Pothole Region is the use of introduced, or “tame” versus native...

Sherfy, Mark H.; Anteau, Michael J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Johnson, Michael A.; Reynolds, Ronald E.; Ringelman, James K.

Year Published: 2018

Ecological resilience indicators for mangrove ecosystems

Mangrove ecosystems are coastal wetland ecosystems dominated by mangrove species that are typically found in the intertidal zone, characterized by frequently flooded saline soil conditions. The majority of the approximately 500,000 acres of mangrove ecosystem in the United States occurs in the NGoM, and almost all of that is in Florida, with over...

Day, Richard H.; Allen, Scott T.; Brenner, Jorge; Goodin, Kathleen; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Ames, Katherine Wirt
Day, R.H., Allen, S.T., Brenner, J., Goodin, K.L., Faber-Langdoen, D., and Ames, K.W., 2018, Ecological resilience indicators for mangrove ecosystems, in Goodin, K.L., ed., Ecological Resilience Indicators for Five Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems, Chapter 3, p. 91-150: NatureServe, Arlington, VA, http://www.natureserve.org/sites/default/files/projects/files/chapter_3_-_mangrove_indicators.pdf.

Year Published: 2018

Ecological resilience indicators for salt marsh ecosystems

Salt marshes are coastal ecosystems within the intertidal zone, characterized by hypoxic, saline, soil conditions and low biodiversity. Low diversity arises from frequent disturbance and stressful conditions (i.e., high salinity and hypoxia), where vegetative reproduction and low competition result in mostly monotypic stands, with some differences...

Allen, Scott T.; Stagg, Camille L.; Brenner, Jorge; Goodin, Kathleen L.; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Gabler, Christopher A.; Ames, Katherine Wirt
Allen, S.T., Stagg, C.L., Brenner, J., Goodin, K.L., Faber-Langendoen, D., Gabler, C.A., and Ames, K.W., 2018, Ecological resilience indicators for salt marsh ecosystems, in Goodin, K.L., ed., Ecological Resilience Indicators for Five Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems, Chapter 2, p. 37-89: NatureServe, Arlington, VA, http://www.natureserve.org/sites/default/files/projects/files/chapter_2_-_salt_marsh_indicators.pdf.

Year Published: 2018

Establishing a baseline: the amphibians of Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, Dixie and Levy counties, Florida

From 2002-2006, we used a variety of sampling techniques to survey the amphibians and water chemistry of Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida’s Big Bend region. We recorded 23 amphibian species, 19 frogs and 4 salamanders. Species richness was lower than in other areas of the coastal Big Bend region to the north, perhaps due to a...

Dodd, C. Kenneth; Barichivich, William J.; Johnson, Steve A.; Gunzburger Aresco, Margaret; Staiger, Jennifer S.
Dodd, C.K., Jr., Barichivich, W.J., Johnson, S.A., Aresco, M.G., and Staiger, J.S., 2018, Establishing a baseline: the amphibians of Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, Dixie and Levy counties, Florida: Florida Scientist, v. 80, no. 4, p. 133-144. https://fas.fit.edu/media/site-specific/fasfitedu/flsc-80-04-cov.pdf.

Year Published: 2018

Estimating freshwater productivity, overwinter survival, and migration patterns of Klamath River Coho Salmon

An area of great importance to resource management and conservation biology in the Klamath Basin is balancing water usage against the life history requirements of threatened Coho Salmon. One tool for addressing this topic is a freshwater dynamics model to forecast Coho Salmon productivity based on environmental inputs. Constructing such a...

Manhard, Christopher V.; Som, Nicholas A.; Perry, Russell W.; Faukner, Jimmy; Soto, Toz
Manhard, C.V., N.A. Som, R.W. Perry, J.R. Faukner, and T. Soto. 2018. Estimating freshwater productivity, overwinter survival, and migration patterns of Klamath River Coho Salmon. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, Arcata Fisheries Technical Report Number TR 2018-33, Arcata, California.

Year Published: 2018

Estimation of stream conditions in tributaries of the Klamath River, northern California

Because of their critical ecological role, stream temperature and discharge are requisite inputs for models of salmonid population dynamics. Coho Salmon inhabiting the Klamath Basin spend much of their freshwater life cycle inhabiting tributaries, but environmental data are often absent or only seasonally available at these locations. To address...

Manhard, Christopher V.; Som, Nicholas A.; Jones, Edward C.; Perry, Russell W.
Manhard, C.V., N.A. Som, E.C. Jones, and R.W. Perry. 2018. Estimation of stream conditions in tributaries of the Klamath River, Northern California. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, Arcata Fisheries Technical Report Number TR 2018-32, Arcata, California.

Year Published: 2018

Movement behavior preceding autumn mortality for white-tailed deer in central New York

A common yet largely untested assumption in the theory of animal movements is that increased rates and a wider range of movements, such as occurs during breeding, make animals more vulnerable to mortality. We examined mortality among 34 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) wearing GPS collars during the autumn breeding season of 2006 and...

Whitman, Brigham J.; Porter, W. F.; Dechen Quinn, Amy C.; Williams, David M.; Frair, Jacqueline L.; Underwood, H. Brian; Crawford, Joanne C.
Whitman, B. J., Porter, W. F., Dechen Quinn, A. C., Williams, D. M., Frair, J., Underwood, H. B., and Crawford, J. C., 2018, Movement behavior preceding autumn mortality for white-tailed deer in central New York: Journal of Mammalogy, v. 99, no. 3, p. 675-683. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyy023

Year Published: 2018

The utility of point count surveys to predict wildlife interactions with wind energy facilities: An example focused on golden eagles

Wind energy development is rapidly expanding in North America, often accompanied by requirements to survey potential facility locations for existing wildlife. Within the USA, golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are among the most high-profile species of birds that are at risk from wind turbines. To minimize golden eagle fatalities in areas...

Sur, Maitreyi; Belthoff, James R.; Bjerre, Emily R.; Millsap, Brian A.; Katzner, Todd E.
Sur, M., Belthoff, J.R., Bjerre, E.R., Millsap, B.A., Katzner, T.E., 2018, The utility of point count surveys to predict wildlife interactions with wind energy facilities- An example focused on golden eagles: Ecological Indicators, v. 88, p. 126-133, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.01.024.

Year Published: 2018

Trophic compression of lake food webs under hydrologic disturbance

The need to protect biostructure is increasingly recognized, yet empirical studies of how human exploits affect ecological networks are rare. Studying the effects of variation in human disturbance intensity from decades past can help us understand and anticipate ecosystem change under alleviated or amplified disturbance over decades to come. Here...

Hansen, Adam G.; Gardner, Jennifer R.; Connelly, Kristin A.; Polacek, Matt; Beauchamp, David A.
Hansen, A.G., J.R. Gardner, K.A. Connelly, M. Polacek, and D.A. Beauchamp. 2018. Trophic compression of lake food webs under hydrologic disturbance. Ecosphere 9(6): e02304