Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
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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The ecological and economic costs of an invasive quagga or zebra mussel infestation in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. would be significant. The development of invasive mussel monitoring programs in the Pacific Northwest provides a unique opportunity to evaluate a regional invasive species detection effort early in its development. Although efforts are underway to monitor for the presence of...
The Sparrow Helper tool allows for the evaluation of water management scenarios by generating, plotting, and mapping hydrologic metrics across a range of time scales to predict impacts of proposed water depth changes to sparrow subpopulations.
WADEM (Wader Distribution Evaluation Modeling) is a JEM model that estimates species-specific habitat suitability across the landscape for Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Stork (Mycteria americana).
Drylands comprise ~35% of Earth’s terrestrial biomes, with over 1 billion people depending on these landscapes for their livelihoods. In the U.S., drylands comprise ~40% of the landmass and 83% of Department of Interior (DOI)-managed lands (excluding Alaska). Due to their vast extent nationally and globally, changes to these landscapes have the potential to affect global climate regulation. A...
This research project will reconstruct Holocene climatic conditions to better understand human adaptation and response to past environmental variability.
Protocols for the Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum in salmon
A study was conducted to identify habitat characteristics associated with age 0 White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus Richardson, 1863) recruitment in three reaches of the Columbia River Basin: Skamania reach (consistent recruitment), John Day reach (intermittent/inconsistent recruitment), and Kootenai reach (no recruitment).
Specially constructed passages that allow fish to go around dams or other barriers are key to migratory fish accessing spawning areas, nurseries and other crucial habitats. USGS helps identify the best location for these passages and is involved in designing and testing these state-of-the-art structures. The research helps key species navigate waterways and complete instinctual migratory...
Viruses occur in many cultured and wild stocks of fish. William Batts collaborates with many government, state, tribal, and private research and diagnostic laboratories to aid in identification of these unknown replicating agents of uncertain pathogenicity. Typically, viruses can be replicated in a variety of fish cell lines and investigated at several temperatures to see if the cytopathic...
Solar and wind power development is increasing exponentially in the United States. However, these energy sources may affect wildlife, either directly from collisions with the turbine blades or photovoltaic arrays or indirectly from loss of habitat and migration routes. An important component to understanding the effects of these renewable energy projects on wildlife is accurate and precise...
Non-lethal Detection of Skin Injuries in Juvenile Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha by Fast Green FCF Dye
In fish, as in humans, an intact epidermis is critical to defense against entry of pathogens into the skin. Macroscopic examination of scale loss is the principal method of evaluating physical damage to juvenile salmonids out-migrating through hydroelectric dams in the Snake and Columbia Rivers, and in fish subjected to capture and handling procedures in locations such as hatcheries, fish...
Toxic chemical pollutants have been released into Puget Sound for decades by human activities. There’s a wide range of contaminants, from persistent compounds like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and flame retardants to contaminants of emerging concern. Aquatic species can be exposed to and accumulate contaminants, causing disease or disruption of biological processes like growth or...
CRMS is the largest of all Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPRRA) funded projects and has established a network of ~400 biological monitoring stations across coastal Louisiana spanning all coastal habitat types and generating tremendous volumes of data.
MsCIP was developed in 2009 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, in conjunction with other Federal and State agencies, to help reduce future storm damage along the Mississippi Gulf coast. In 2014, in cooperation with the USACE Mobile District, WARC's Advanced Applications Team began development on the MsCIP Data Viewer, an interactive web-mapping environment.
CWPPRA is the oldest and largest coastal restoration effort operating across coastal Louisiana and has constructed 105 restoration projects since its establishment over 20 years ago. WARC's Advanced Applications Team has proudly worked with the CWPPRA Task Force over the years to ensure timely and accurate project-specific information is publicly available.
The JEM community of practice is focused on ecological modeling and monitoring across the Greater Everglades, with particular interest in habitats, how various factors affect habitat change, and how the organisms dependent on those habitats respond today and into the future.
Working with the Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) community of practice, the WARC Advanced Applications Team developed and maintains the EverVIEW Data Viewer desktop visualization platform, which allows users to easily visualize and inspect standards-compliant NetCDF modeling data and has experienced tremendous feature growth driven by user feedback.
WARC's Advanced Applications Team is responsible for data management and application development to support the biological monitoring components of coastal restoration projects in the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority portfolio.
Welcome to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) information resource for the United States Geological Survey. Located at Gainesville, Florida, this site has been established as a central repository for spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of introduced aquatic species.
The NAS provides spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of aquatic species introduced into the United States. The NAS allows for real-time queries, has regional contact information, species accounts and general information. Sign up for species-specific email alerts. Special maps available for zebra and quagga mussels, Asian carp and lionfish.
The central organizing framework for documentation, inventory, monitoring, and study of vegetation in the United States from broad scale formations like forests to fine-scale plant communities. The Classification allows users to produce uniform statistics about vegetation resources across the nation at local, regional, or national levels.
Nature’s Notebook is an online phenological monitoring program that currently supports data collection, storage and use for almost 250 animal species (including fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals) and 650 plant species (including trees, shrubs, forbs, grasses and cacti). Available to anyone from scientists to nature enthusiast.
This web resource provides decision makers with the information needed to maintain the Upper Mississippi River System as a viable multiple-use large river ecosystem.
Study 11. Effects of Nanophyetus on the swimming performance and survival of steelhead smolts AND studies to understand and manage the Nanophyetus cercaria
Recent field surveillances indicated that outmigrating steelhead smolts in several south Puget Sound watersheds are infected with the digenean trematode Nanophyetus salmonicola at high prevalence and intensity (Chen et al Accepted). The apparent severity of these infections, especially in the Nisqually and Green / Duwamish Rivers, lead to the...Hershberger, Paul
Flooding tolerance of Sagittaria latifolia and Sagittaria rigida under controlled laboratory conditions
Pool‐scale growing‐season water‐level reductions (drawdowns) have been implemented on the Upper Mississippi River in an effort to improve fish and wildlife habitat. Aquatic vegetation is a key habitat component, with perennial emergent species, such as Sagittaria latifolia and Sagittaria rigida, especially important. River managers...Kenow, Kevin P.; Gray, Brian R.; Lyons, James E.
Resiliency of biological soil crusts and vascular plants varies among morphogroups with disturbance intensity
Background and aimsDisturbance affects the ability of organisms to persist on a site, and disturbance history acts as a filter of community composition. This is true for vascular plants and morphological groups of biocrusts, which respond differently to disturbance. Although functioning arid ecosystems include both groups, filtering of...Condon, Lea A.; Pyke, David A.
Evidence for geographic variation in life-cycle processes affecting phenology of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States
The seasonal activity pattern of immature Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae) varies geographically in the United States, which may affect the efficiency of transmission cycles of pathogens transmitted by this species. To study the factors that determine seasonality, a multiyear study at seven sites across the geographic range of...Ogden, Nicholas H.; Pang, Genevieve; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Hickling, Graham J.; Burke, Russell L.; Beati, Lorenza; Tsao, Jean I.
Upstream migration and spawning success of Chinook salmon in a highly developed, seasonally warm river system
This review summarizes what is known about the influence of water temperature and velocity on the migration and spawning success of an inland population of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Models are then developed and used to illustrate how migration and spawning success might change if temperatures and velocities increase under a...Connor, William P.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Chandler, James A.; Rondorf, Dennis W.; Arnsberg, Billy D.; Anderson, Kelvin C.
Molecular systematics of sturgeon nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses
Namao virus (NV) is a sturgeon nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus (sNCLDV) that can cause a lethal disease of the integumentary system in lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens. As a group, the sNCLDV have not been assigned to any currently recognized taxonomic family of viruses. In this study, a data set of NV DNA sequences was generated and...Clouthier, Sharon; Anderson, Eric; Kurath, Gael; Breyta, Rachel
A test of sex specific genetic markers in the Hawaiian hoary bat and relevance to population studies
We tested the utility of a protocol using genetic markers that previously proved successful to identify the sex of Vespertilionid bats on tissues collected from live bats and carcasses of varying age from the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus). This molecular method is based on genes unique to X and Y chromosomes in mammals and...Pinzari, Corinna A.; Bonaccorso, Frank
Preliminary investigation of groundwater quality near a Michigan cemetery, 2016–17
The potential effect of cemetery leachate on groundwater quality in the United States has rarely been studied. Nutrients and other constituents associated with decomposition and burial processes (such as embalming) have the potential to reach shallow groundwater and could affect nearby drinking-water sources. The objective of this preliminary...Brennan, Angela K.; Givens, Carrie E.; Prokopec, Julia G.; Hoard, Christopher J.
The Global food‐energy‐water nexus
Water availability is a major factor constraining humanity's ability to meet the future food and energy needs of a growing and increasingly affluent human population. Water plays an important role in the production of energy, including renewable energy sources and the extraction of unconventional fossil fuels that are expected to become important...D'Odorico, Paolo; Frankel Davis, Kyle; Rosa, Lorenzo; Carr, Joel A.; Chiarelli, Davide; Dell’Angelo, Jampel; Gephart, Jessica; MacDonald, Graham K.; Seekell, David A.; Suweis, Samir; Rulli, Maria Cristina
Emigration and transportation stress of juvenile Chinook salmon relative to their reintroduction upriver of Shasta Dam, California, 2017–18
The Bureau of Reclamation supports the Shasta Dam Fish Passage Evaluation (SDFPE; Yip, 2015) program, and in 2016 set out to determine the feasibility of reintroducing winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss) to tributaries upstream of Shasta Dam. Ideally, reintroduction strategy includes...Adams, Noah S.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Plumb, John M.; Weiland, Lisa K.; Hansen, Amy C.; Evans, Scott D.
Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines
A research priority can be defined as a knowledge gap that, if resolved, identifies the optimal course of conservation action. We (a group of geographically distributed and multidisciplinary research scientists) used tools from nominal group theory and decision analysis to collaboratively identify and prioritize information...Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, M.J.; Fisher, Robert N.; Grear, Daniel A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Walls, Susan C.; White, C. LeAnn
Investigating home range, movement pattern, and habitat selection of Bar-headed Geese during breeding season at Qinghai Lake, China
The Bar-headed Goose is an important species in Asia, both culturally and ecologically. While prior studies have shown Qinghai Lake supports one of the largest breeding areas for Bar-headed Geese, little is known regarding the species movement ecology during the breeding season. In this study, we examined Bar-headed Goose home range size within...Zheng, Ruobing; Smith, Lacy M.; Prosser, Diann J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Newman, Scott H.; Sullivan, Jeffery D.; Luo, Ze; Yan, Baoping
USGS scientist Sarah Fitzgerald holds a surf scoter that has been fitted with a satellite tag that works by transmitting the location of the birds to satellites that are orbiting the Earth. (Jonathan Fiely, USGS)
- Sea otters are perhaps the best-known example of a "keystone predator".
- Sea otter behavior -- in particular diet specialization and limited mobility -- can mediate their effects on ecosystem dynamics.
- Other predators, especially large sea stars, can complement and reinforce the keystone role of sea otters: this became apparent with the loss of all
Non-native Cuban treefrogs have established a breeding population in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first such population on the U.S. mainland outside Florida. The treefrogs were discovered at the Audubon Zoo shortly after a shipment of palm trees from Florida were planted in the zoo's elephant enclosure in 2016. USGS scientist Brad Glorioso confirmed the presence of a...
Out with the old, in with the new! A state-of-the-art aquatic science laboratory is being built on the shores of Lake Huron at the USGS Hammond Bay Biological Station (HBBS), one of seven field stations of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center, operated in partnership with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. To make way for the new laboratory, four old buildings on the HBBS...
The iconic Sonoran Desert is home to many species of cactus, vascular plants, and wildlife, including the giant saguaro, cholla, and prickley pear cacti seen here. Plants and animals have adapted to living in such a harsh dry environment. For example, the plants in this photo have grown up in the shade of one another, and survived due to protection from the hot sun. The...
Livestock grazing effects on sage-grouse: study identifies options to sustain ranching and help wildlife
Effects of livestock grazing on greater sage-grouse populations can be positive or negative depending on the amount of grazing and when grazing occurs, according to research published today in Ecological Applications. The research was conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, Colorado State University and Utah State University.
Approximately 500 Puaiohi exist in the wild, all on Kauai
Wild ducks and shorebirds do not appear to carry Newcastle disease viruses that sicken or kill poultry, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.
A new report by the USGS finds that although snow geese are increasing rapidly in northern Alaska, they are not having a negative effect on black brant. Brant are a goose species that shares its nesting habitat with snow geese.
Scientists can now predict which avian species are most sensitive to the increasingly dominant shrub habitat spreading across Alaska, a capability that will be useful for natural resource agencies in Alaska charged with managing these resources.
Get your flip-flops and shorts out because spring is arriving very early this year . . . at least 2-3 weeks early across almost the entire Southeast, from San Antonio to Atlanta to Washington, D.C. This unusually early spring is likely to keep rolling north, bringing relatively early ‘signs of spring’ to portions of the central Midwest and northeastern states.
Get your flip-flops and shorts out because spring is arriving very early this year . . . at least 2-3 weeks early across almost the entire Southeast, from San Antonio to Atlanta to Washington, D.C. This unusually early spring is likely to keep rolling north, already bringing surprising signs of spring to portions of the central Midwest and northeastern states.
Handbook for sagebrush steppe restoration techniques can help sustain wildlife and western ecosystems
The sagebrush ecosystem in the western U.S is one of the largest ecosystems in North America, but it is also threatened from wildfire and invasive plants. “Restoration of these unique ecosystems will help sustain wildlife and livelihoods throughout the West," said David Pyke, the USGS ecologist and lead author of the final installment of a three-part sagebrush restoration handbook.
New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries.
A new study analyzes the genetic diversity and population structure of the California Ridgway’s rail, Rallus obsoletus, a state and federally-listed endangered bird. The results demonstrate that the so-called “rails” are experiencing negative genetic effects following more than a century of salt marsh habitat loss from agriculture, commercial salt production and urban development.
The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.