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: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Index of Wildlife Disease Information Resources

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) provides the following index of wildlife disease information resources as a starting point to learn about selected wildlife diseases. The index includes informational web pages and communications and outreach products from the NWHC. To search for scientific literature, please visit the USGS Publications...

Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

BOR environmental DNA sampling for invasive mussels at USGS gages

As part of an ongoing project funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and lead by the Idaho Water Sciences Center (IDWSC) and Northern Rocky Mountain Research Center (NOROCK), the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) will analyze environmental DNA samples collected at gage stations directly downstream of multiple reservoirs throughout the Columbia River Basin. The goal of this...

Contacts: Jon Amberg
Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Avoidance behavior of cold-, cool-, and warmwater fish exposed to Zequanox in a two-choice preference chamber

Zebra (Dreissenia polymorpha, Pallas 1771) and quagga (D. bugensis, Andrusov 1897) mussels, collectively referred to as dreissenid mussels, are invasive bivalves native to the Ponto-Caspian region of Eurasia (Stepien et al. 2013; Benson 2018a). High fecundity and a free-swimming planktonic life stage allow for easy and rapid dispersal of dreissenid mussels (Mackie 1991;...

Contacts: James Luoma
Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of newly developed acoustic stimuli for manipulating movement of bigheaded carps

Bigheaded carps, like other cyprinids, have specialized structures known as Weberian ossicles that increase their hearing range and sensitivity. Recent results from controlled laboratory studies have indicated that playback of a recording of an outboard boat motor was effective at altering silver and bighead carp behavior. 

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Emerging Viruses - HSL

Fish Diseases

Emerging Viruses

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Nucleospora Salmonis - HSL

Fish Diseases

Nucleospora Salmonis

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Completed

Whirling Disease - HSL

Fish Diseases

Whirling Disease

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) - HSL

Fish Diseases

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC) - HSL

Fish Diseases

Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC)

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) - HSL

Fish Diseases

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN)

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) - HSL

Fish Diseases

Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD)

Date published: July 10, 2018
Status: Active

Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Research

Snake River fall Chinook salmon were listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 1992. At that time, little was known about the spawning, rearing, migration, and life history of this species. This long-term research and monitoring project has produced much of the contemporary knowledge on fall Chinook salmon that has been used by fish managers to implement recovery measures. The...

Contacts: Kenneth Tiffan, William Connor
Filter Total Items: 118
Date published: March 4, 2016

Web Soil Survey (WSS)

Provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: March 4, 2016

National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) — Wetlands Mapper

This tool produces and provides information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the Nation's wetlands and deepwater habitats and other wildlife habitats.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- tabular data

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59650...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- shapefile

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59650...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- service definition file

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59650...

Date published: December 17, 2013

American Fisheries Society List of Freshwater Gastropods (Snails) from Canada and the United States

At this website, one can view lists of native freshwater snails by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of snails by political boundaries. Lists can be downloaded for use in reports or analyses. Data file last updated 12/17/2013.

Date published: April 25, 2013

The 2008 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fishes of North America

At this website, one can view lists of imperiled fishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of imperiled fishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 4/25/2013.

Date published: March 17, 2011

The 2007 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of common and imperiled freshwater crayfishes of the United States and Canada

At this website, one can view lists of crayfishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of crayfishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 3/17/2011.

Date published: January 1, 2011

Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE – Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events

The National Wildlife Health Center, with help from partners and support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, organized “Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE – Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events” in 2011. The goal of AMBLE was to empower concerned citizens to monitor bird health and beach conditions along the Lake Michigan shoreline, thus increasing knowledge of avian botulism...

Date published: September 9, 2010

Mangrove Secrets

The Sheltered Corals of Hurricane Hole, US Virgin Islands

Filter Total Items: 4,619
Year Published: 2018

Variation in the vital rates of an Antarctic marine predator: the role of individual heterogeneity

Variation in life‐history traits such as lifespan and lifetime reproductive output is thought to arise, in part, due to among‐individual differences in the underlying probabilities of survival and reproduction. However, the stochastic nature of demographic processes can also generate considerable variation in fitness‐related traits among otherwise...

Paterson, J. Terrill; Rotella, Jay J.; Link, William A.; Garrott, Robert A.

Year Published: 2018

A snapshot of women of the U.S. Geological Survey in STEM and related careers

IntroductionThe term “STEM” has been used to group together the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to describe education and professions related to these fields. The professional fields connected to STEM education are thought of as engineering, medicine, and computer technology. Yet these professional fields are merely...

Aragon-Long, Susan C.; Burkett, Virginia R.; Weyers, Holly S.; Haig, Susan M.; Davenport, Marjorie S.; Warner, Kelly L.
Aragon-Long, S.C., Burkett, V.R., Weyers, H.S., Haig, S.M., Davenport, M.S., and Warner, K.L., 2018, A snapshot of women of the U.S. Geological Survey in STEM and related careers: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1443, 100 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1443.

Year Published: 2018

A bioenergetics evaluation of temperature‐dependent selection for the spawning phenology by Snake River fall Chinook salmon

High water temperatures can increase the energetic cost for salmon to migrate and spawn, which can be important for Snake River fall‐run Chinook salmon because they migrate great distances (>500 km) at a time when river temperatures (18–24°C) can be above their optimum temperatures (16.5°C). Average river temperatures and random...

Plumb, John M.
Plumb, J.M. 2018. A bioenergetics evaluation of temperature-dependent selection for the spawning phenology by Snake River fall Chinook salmon. Ecol. Evol. 2018 1-13 (Early View).

Year Published: 2018

Mapping the relationships between trail conditions and experiential elements of long-distance hiking

Trail users that experience acceptable social and ecological conditions are more likely to act as trail stewards, exhibit proper trail etiquette, and use low-impact practices. However, the relationships between specific trail conditions and experiential elements of long-distance hiking are not well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study...

Peterson, Brian A.; Brownlee, Matthew T.J.; Marion, Jeffrey L.
Peterson, B. A., Brownlee, M. T. J., and Marion, J. L., 2018, Mapping the relationships between trail conditions and experiential elements of long-distance hiking: Landscape and Urban Planning, v. 180, p. 60-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.06.010

Year Published: 2018

Integrated diet analyses reveal contrasting trophic niches for wild and hatchery juvenile Chinook Salmon in a large river delta

Hatchery programs have been used as a conservation tool to bolster declining populations of Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha along much of the North American Pacific coast. In many watersheds, hatchery stocks are released concurrently with the wild population, thus raising the potential for density‐dependent effects. Competition...

Davis, Melanie J.; Woo, Isa; Ellings, Christopher S.; Hodgson, Sayre; Beauchamp, David A.; Nakai, Glynnis; De La Cruz, Susan E.W.

Year Published: 2018

Mercury and lead exposure in avian scavengers from the Pacific Northwest suggest risks to California condors: Implications for reintroduction and recovery

Mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) are widespread contaminants that pose risks to avian scavengers. In fact, Pb exposure is the primary factor limiting population recovery in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) and Hg can impair avian reproduction at environmentally relevant exposures. The Pacific Northwest region of the...

Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Varland, Daniel E.
Herring, G., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Varland, D.E., 2018, Mercury and lead exposure in avian scavengers from the Pacific Northwest suggest risks to California condors- Implications for reintroduction and recovery: Environmental Pollution, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.09.005.

Year Published: 2018

Aquatic vegetation responses to island construction (habitat restoration) in a large floodplain river

The Upper Mississippi River is maintained in its current navigable state through impoundments, dredging, and other engineering projects. These stressors, along with anthropogenic impacts and natural system processes, led to declines in aquatic vegetation and the loss of fish and wildlife habitat, with a major downturn the late 1980s and early...

Drake, Deanne C.; Gray, Brian R.; Forbes, Nora
Drake, D.C., Gray, B.R., Forbes, N. 2018. Aquatic vegetation responses to island construction (habitat restoration) in a large floodplain river. River Research and Applications. 34(7):765-776. DOI: 10.1002/rra.3307.

Year Published: 2018

Monitoring the social benefits of ecological restoration

Ecological restoration has traditionally been evaluated by monitoring the recovery of ecosystem conditions, such as species diversity and abundance, physical form, and water quality, whereas monitoring the social benefits of restoration is uncommon. Current monitoring frameworks do not track who benefits from restoration or by how much. In this...

Martin, David M.; Lyons, James

Year Published: 2018

Modelling sound attenuation in heterogeneous environments for improved bioacoustic sampling of wildlife populations

Acoustic sampling methods are becoming increasingly important in biological monitoring. Sound attenuation is one of the most important dynamics affecting the utility of acoustic data as it directly affects the probability of detection of individuals by acoustic sensor arrays and especially the localization of acoustic signals necessary in...

Royle, J. Andrew
Royle, J. A., 2018, Modeling sound attenuation in heterogeneous environments for improved bioacoustic sampling of wildlife populations: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, v. 9, no. 9, p. 1939-1947. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13040

Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey energy and wildlife research annual report for 2018

USGS scientists provide scientific information and options that land and resource managers and private industries can use to make decisions regarding the development of energy resources while protecting the health of ecosystems. Studies focus on delivering information to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the impacts of energy infrastructure on fish and...

Khalil, Mona
Khalil, Mona, ed., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey energy and wildlife research annual report for 2018 (ver. 1.1, October 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1447, 102 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1447.

Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2018

The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem extends across a large portion of the Western United States, and the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is one of the iconic species of this ecosystem. Greater sage-grouse populations occur in 11 States and are dependent on relatively large expanses of sagebrush-dominated habitat. Sage-grouse...

Hanser, Steven E.
Hanser, S.E., ed., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1446, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1446.

Year Published: 2018

Multi-year data from satellite- and ground-based sensors show details and scale matter in assessing climate’s effects on wetland surface water, amphibians, and landscape conditions

Long-term, interdisciplinary studies of relations between climate and ecological conditions on wetland-upland landscapes have been lacking, especially studies integrated across scales meaningful for adaptive resource management. We collected data in situ at individual wetlands, and via satellite for surrounding 4-km2 landscape...

Sadinski, Walter; Gallant, Alisa L.; Roth, Mark; Brown, Jesslyn; Senay, Gabriel; Brininger, Wayne L.; Jones, Perry M.; Stoker, Jason M.
Sadinski, W., Gallant, A.L., Roth, M., Brown, J., Senay, G., Brininger, W., Jones, P.M., Stoker, J. 2018. Multi-year data from satellite- and ground-based sensors show details and scale matter in assessing climate's effects on wetland surface water, amphibians, and landscape conditions. PLoS ONE. 13(9):e0201951. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201951.

Filter Total Items: 689
August 15, 2017

4SP1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: 4SP1 - West Transect; Depth: 6.2 Meters (20.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.557376; Site Description: This site has converted from gravel/cobble substrate to all sand. Since 2013, seaweed has been completely absent. However, this year six species of

...
August 14, 2017

GP2 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Control Site: GP2 East Transect; Depth: 13.2 Meters (43.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.7 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31645664; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand mixture. A few large boulders are located off

...
August 14, 2017

GP2 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Control Site: GP2 West Transect; Depth: 12.7 Meters (41.6 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31712832; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding boulders. This year red

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American pika in the Northern Cascades. American pikas occupy talus slopes in mountain ecosystems throughout western NA.
August 8, 2017

American pika in the Northern Cascades.

American pika in the Northern Cascades. American pikas occupy talus slopes in mountain ecosystems throughout western North America.

August 3, 2017

C1 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: 8.5 Meters (28.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. Current was high and contained lots of drift seaweed and eelgrass (0:05 seconds). In 2016 all seaweeds were absent but this

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August 3, 2017

C1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: C1 West Transect; Depth: 9.3 Meters (30.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57361291; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. Current was high and contained lots of drift seaweed and eelgrass (0:04, 0:38 seconds). Though seaweeds were absent in 2016

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August 3, 2017

A2 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A2 East Transect; Depth: 12.9 Meters (42.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.58766124; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Five species of seaweeds are present though not abundant. The two most

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August 3, 2017

A2 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A2 West Transect; Depth: 12.8 Meters (42.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.5883331; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with scattered boulders. Seven species of seaweeds are present though not

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August 2, 2017

H2 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: H2 East Transect; Depth: 7.6 Meters (24.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53210661; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam

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August 2, 2017

H2 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: H2 West Transect; Depth: 7.3 Meters (23.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53277857; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam

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August 2, 2017

A1 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A1 East Transect; Depth: 7.7 Meters (25.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.8 Kilometers (1.1 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.5855312; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Previous small boulders appear to still be buried. The sand on

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August 2, 2017

A1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A1 West Transect; Depth: 8.7 Meters (28.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.9 Kilometers (1.2 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.586203; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with patches of boulders. The sandy areas on the entire transect

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Filter Total Items: 284
Date published: November 16, 2016

Small Alpine Insects are Big Messengers of Climate Change

West Glacier, Mont. – Two rare alpine insects – native to the northern Rocky Mountains and dependent on cold waters of glacier and snowmelt-fed alpine streams – are imperiled due to climate warming induced glacier and snow loss according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners.

Date published: November 16, 2016

USGS Study Reveals Interactive Effects of Climate Change, Invasive Species on Native Fish

A new USGS study shows non-native Brown Trout can place a burden on native Brook Trout under the increased water temperatures climate change can cause.

Date published: November 1, 2016

Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

True or False? People can catch white-nose syndrome from bats or the environment. 

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: October 21, 2016

Stories from the Field: Ecology of California Ridgway's Rails

Notes from field biologists studying the endangered Ridgway's rail.

Date published: October 3, 2016

Rising Sea Levels, Coastal Development’s Effect on Gulf Coast Wetlands

As coastal development along the Gulf Coast continues to expand, tidal saline wetlands could have difficulty adjusting to rising sea levels.

Date published: September 28, 2016

Local Wind Energy Development Has Broad Consequences for Golden Eagles

Roughly over a quarter of the golden eagles killed at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in Northern California from 2012-2014 were recent immigrants to the local population, according to research led by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

Date published: September 22, 2016

Burmese Python Hatchlings Seen on Key Largo

Burmese pythons have been found on Key Largo.

Date published: September 19, 2016

Sea Otter Survey Encouraging, but Comes Up Short of the “Perfect Story”

SANTA CRUZ, California — The southern sea otter, Enhydra lutris nereis, continues its climb toward recovery, according to the annual count released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.