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: 705
Date published: May 11, 2016
Status: Active

Assessment of Small Mammal Demographics and Communities in Everglades National Park

The decline of mammal populations in Everglades National Park (ENP) over the last 20 years is likely to influence the ecology of the Everglades system and the likelihood of successful Everglades restoration.

Date published: May 11, 2016

Wildlife Indicators of Greater Everglades Restoration Progress, Climate Change, and Shifts in Ecosystem Service

As Greater Everglades restoration project implementation progresses, wetlands in near coastal areas may undergo changes in salinity, hydroperiod, and water depth.

Date published: May 11, 2016

Rate and Process of Mangrove Forest Expansion on Carbon Relations in Coastal Louisiana

Field observations over recent decades have confirmed mangrove expansion landward in tropical zones and poleward in temperate saltmarsh settings around the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Date published: May 11, 2016

Effect of Hurricane Wrack Deposition on Coastal Marsh Surface Elevation Change

Storm surge waves and tides of hurricanes have the propensity to wash up marsh detritus of dead reeds and leaf debris along with plastic trash and lumber, commonly referred to as wrack, from overwashed beaches, marshes, forests, streets, and lawns.

Date published: May 9, 2016

Promoting USGS Research on Environmental Impacts of a Major Storm – Hurricane Sandy

Support tasks performed by the WARC Advanced Applications Team for Hurricane Sandy-related projects include aerial imagery capture and processing, standards-compliant data formatting and transformation, metadata creation, and visualization of data in a spatial context.

Date published: May 9, 2016

Supporting River and Delta Science through Data Management and Visualization

Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study (MRHDMS)is the first large-scale, long-term restoration assessment initiated under the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Program.

Date published: May 9, 2016

Global Change and Conservation Triage on National Wildlife Refuges

As custodians of ecological goods and services valued by society, coastal National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) have an especially important role to play in helping socio-ecological systems adapt to global-change processes.

Date published: May 6, 2016
Status: Active

Joint Ecosystem Modeling: Greater Everglades Modeling Decision Support Tools

Ecological models are needed to facilitate evaluation and assessment of alternative approaches to restore Greater Everglades ecosystems. However, the provision of useful and accessible models is a challenge because there is often a disconnect between model developers and model users. Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) was established to meet this challenge, with the goal of getting ecological...

Date published: May 6, 2016

Optimal Control Strategies for Invasive Exotics in South Florida

The establishment and proliferation of exotic plants and animals can interfere with native ecological processes and can cause severe stress to sensitive ecosystems.

Date published: May 6, 2016

USGS DISCOVRE: Benthic Ecology, Trophodynamics, Ecosystem Connectivity of Mid-Atlantic Deepwater Hard Bottom Habitats with Emphasis on Canyon and Coral Communities

Deep-sea canyons are complex environments encompassing a range of benthic habitats, including soft sediments along the axis of the canyon, and hard substrates along the canyon walls.

Date published: May 6, 2016

Two Hundred Years of Forest Change in the Tensas River Basin

Prescriptions in the forest habitat management plan for Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge are designed to produce a forest once represented in the Tensas Basin. There are several problems with reconstructing original forests. In most areas, conditions have changed since these forests were cut; particularly, hydrology, soils, and climatic conditions.

Date published: May 4, 2016

GIS Support and Spatial Analysis Support for the Louisiana Division of Administration, State Land Office

The Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC) first implemented geographic information systems (GIS) in 1980 to assist in monitoring the nature and extent of wetland habitat changes. The geospatial capabilities at the Coastal Restoration Assessment Branch (CRAB), in part, grew out of that initial effort and now use GIS, remote sensing, and other computer based technologies to address a wide...

Filter Total Items: 2,922
Year Published: 2016

Conservation of native Pacific trout diversity in western North America

Pacific trout Oncorhynchus spp. in western North America are strongly valued in ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural views, and have been the subject of substantial research and conservation efforts. Despite this, the understanding of their evolutionary histories, overall diversity, and challenges to their conservation is incomplete. We review...

Penaluna, Brooke E.; Abadía-Cardoso, Alicia; Dunham, Jason B.; García de León, Francisco J; Gresswell, Robert E.; Luna, Arturo Ruiz; Taylor, Eric B.; Shepard, Bradley B.; Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Bestgen, Kevin R.; Rogers, Kevin H.; Escalante, Marco A; Keeley, Ernest R; Temple, Gabriel; Williams, Jack E.; Matthews, Kathleen; Pierce, Ron; Mayden, Richard L.; Kovach, Ryan; Garza, John Carlos; Fausch, Kurt D.
Penaluna, B.E., Abadia-Cardoso, A., Dunham, J.B., Garcia de Leon, F.J., Gresswell, R.E., Ruiz-Luna, A., Taylor, E., Shepard, B.B., Al-Chokhachy, R., Muhlfeld, C.C., Bestgen, K.R., Rogers, K., Escalante, M.A., Keeley, E.R., Temple, G., Williams, J.E., Matthews, K., Pierce, R., Mayden, R.L., Kovach, R.P., Garza, J., Fausch, K.D., 2016, Conservation of native Pacific trout diversity in western North America: Fisheries, v. 41, no. 6, p. 286-300.

Year Published: 2016

Combined use of isotopic and hydrometric data to conceptualize ecohydrological processes in a high-elevation tropical ecosystem

Few high-elevation tropical catchments worldwide are gauged and even fewer are studied using combined hydrometric and isotopic data. Consequently, we lack information needed to understand processes governing rainfall-runoff dynamics and to predict their influence on downstream ecosystem functioning. To address this need, we present a combination...

Mosquera, Giovanny M; Celleri, Rolando; Lazo, Patricio X; Vache, Kellie B; Perakis, Steven; Crespo, Patricio
Mosquera, G.M., Celleri, R., Lazo, P.X., Vache, K.B., Perakis, S.S., Crespo, P., 2016, Combined use of isotopic and hydrometric data to conceptualize ecohydrological processes in a high-elevation tropical ecosystem: Hydrological Processes, p. online.

Year Published: 2016

Larval long-toed salamanders incur nonconsumptive effects in the presence of nonnative trout

Predators can influence prey directly through consumption or indirectly through nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) by altering prey behavior, morphology, and life history. We investigated whether predator-avoidance behaviors by larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in lakes with nonnative trout result in NCEs on morphology and...

Kenison, Erin K.; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David S.; McMahon, Thomas E.
Kenison, E.K., Litt, A.R., Pilliod, D.S., McMahon, T.E., 2016, Larval long-toed salamanders incur nonconsumptive effects in the presence of nonnative trout: Ecosphere, 7(5):e01258, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1258.

Year Published: 2016

Mortality monitoring design for utility-scale solar power facilities

IntroductionSolar power represents an important and rapidly expanding component of the renewable energy portfolio of the United States (Lovich and Ennen, 2011; Hernandez and others, 2014). Understanding the impacts of renewable energy development on wildlife is a priority for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in compliance with Department...

Huso, Manuela; Dietsch, Thomas; Nicolai, Chris
Huso, Manuela, Dietsch, Thomas, and Nicolai, Chris, 2016, Mortality monitoring design for utility-scale solar power facilities: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1087, 44 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161087.

Year Published: 2016

Quantitative evidence for the effects of multiple drivers on continental-scale amphibian declines

Since amphibian declines were first proposed as a global phenomenon over a quarter century ago, the conservation community has made little progress in halting or reversing these trends. The early search for a “smoking gun” was replaced with the expectation that declines are caused by multiple drivers. While field observations and...

Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Miller, David A. W.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Adams, M.J.; Amburgey, Staci M.; Chambert, Thierry A.; Cruickshank, Sam S.; Fisher, Robert N.; Green, David M.; Hossack, Blake R.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Joseph, Maxwell B.; Rittenhouse, Tracy A. G.; Ryan, Maureen E.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Walls, Susan C.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Gorman, Thomas A.; Ray, Andrew M.; Pilliod, David S.; Price, Steven J.; Saenz, Daniel; Sadinski, Walt; Muths, Erin L.

Year Published: 2016

Wetlands postcard

Wetlands Postcard Research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey provides reliable scientific information for the management of wetlands ranging from small freshwater alpine lakes in the Western United States to coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes and salt marshes along the Southeastern coast. Learn more about USGS wetlands...

Ball, Lianne C.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Ball, L.C., 2016, Wetlands postcard: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 163, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/gip163.

Year Published: 2016

Dendritic network models: Improving isoscapes and quantifying influence of landscape and in-stream processes on strontium isotopes in rivers

A critical challenge for the Earth sciences is to trace the transport and flux of matter within and among aquatic, terrestrial, and atmospheric systems. Robust descriptions of isotopic patterns across space and time, called “isoscapes,” form the basis of a rapidly growing and wide-ranging body of research aimed at quantifying...

Brennan, Sean R.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Fernandez, Diego P.; Jensen, Carrie K; Schindler, Daniel E.
Brennan, S. R., C. E. Torgersen, J. P. Hollenbeck, D. P. Fernandez, C. K. Jensen, and D. E. Schindler (2016), Dendritic network models: Improving isoscapes and quantifying influence of landscape and in-stream processes on strontium isotopes in rivers, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL068904.

Year Published: 2016

Aquatic Trophic Productivity model: A decision support model for river restoration planning in the Methow River, Washington

Introduction The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a dynamic food-web simulation model to provide decision support for Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) river restoration projects in the Methow River, Washington. This modeling effort was done to contribute to Reasonable and Prudent Alternative actions 56 and 57of the 2014 Federal...

Benjamin, Joseph R.; Bellmore, J. Ryan
Benjamin, J.R., and Bellmore, J.R., 2016, Aquatic trophic productivity model: A decision support model for river restoration planning in the Methow River, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016‒1075, 85 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161075.

Year Published: 2016

Ecology of nonnative Siberian prawn (Palaemon modestus) in the lower Snake River, Washington, USA

We assessed the abundance, distribution, and ecology of the nonnative Siberian prawn Palaemon modestus in the lower Snake River, Washington, USA. Analysis of prawn passage abundance at three Snake River dams showed that populations are growing at exponential rates, especially at Little Goose Dam where over 464,000 prawns were collected...

Erhardt, John M.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.
Erhardt, J.M., and K.F. Tiffan. Ecology of nonnative Siberian prawn (Palaemon modestus) in the lower Snake River, Washington, USA. Aquat. Ecol. (Online First).

Year Published: 2016

Landsat 8 and ICESat-2: Performance and potential synergies for quantifying dryland ecosystem vegetation cover and biomass

The Landsat 8 mission provides new opportunities for quantifying the distribution of above-ground carbon at moderate spatial resolution across the globe, and in particular drylands. Furthermore, coupled with structural information from space-based and airborne laser altimetry, Landsat 8 provides powerful capabilities for large-area, long-term...

Glenn, Nancy F.; Neuenschwander, Amy; Vierling, Lee A.; Spaete, Lucas; Li, Aihua; Shinneman, Douglas; Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert; McIlroy, Susan
Glenn, N.F., Neuenschwander, A., Vierling, L.A., Spaete, L., Li, A., Shinneman, D.J., Pilliod, D.S., Arkle, R.S., and McIlroy, S.K. 2016. Landsat * and ICESat-2: Performance and potential synergies for quantifying dryland ecosystem vegetation cover and biomass. Remote Sensing of Environment, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2016.02.039

Year Published: 2016

Ecosystem engineering of harvester ants: effects on vegetation in a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem

Harvester ants are influential in many ecosystems because they distribute and consume seeds, remove vegetation, and redistribute soil particles and nutrients. Understanding the interaction between harvester ants and plant communities is important for management and restoration efforts, particularly in systems altered by fire and invasive species...

Gosselin, Elyce N; Holbrook, Joseph D.; Huggler, Katey; Brown, Emily; Vierling, Kerri T.; Arkle, Robert; Pilliod, David S.
Gosselin, E.N., Holbrook, J.D., Huggler, K., Brown, E., Vierling, K.T., Arkle, R.S., Pilliod, D.S., 2016, Ecosystem engineering of harvester ants- effects on vegetation in a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem: Western North American Naturalist, v. 76, no. 1, p. 82-89.

Year Published: 2016

Response to Smith et al. 18 February 2016

Haig, Susan M.
Haig, S.M., 2016, Response to Smith et al. 18 February 2016: Evolutionary Applications, v. 9, no. 5, p. 638-639.

Filter Total Items: 680
Elk on a feedground in Wyoming.
December 31, 2012

Elk on a feedground in Wyoming.

Elk on a feedground in Wyoming.

Red-breasted Merganser pair
December 31, 2012

Red-breasted Merganser pair on the North Slope of Alaska

Red-breasted Merganser pair in North Slope of Alaska

USGs Water towers
December 31, 2012

USGS Water towers

USGS Water towers at Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Mountain Bluebird Eating Mistletoe Berry
December 12, 2012

Mountain Bluebird Eating Mistletoe Berry

A mountain bluebird eats a giant mistletoe berry in an ash tree in Sedona, Arizona (Oak Creek).  These bluebirds, and many other types of birds, rely on mistletoe berries for sustenance. As a result, they also help distribute the mistletoe seeds.

Mountain Bluebird Eating Mistletoe Berry
November 28, 2012

Mountain Bluebird Eating Mistletoe Berry

A mountain bluebird eats a giant mistletoe berry in an ash tree in Sedona, Arizona (Oak Creek).  These bluebirds, and many other types of birds, rely on mistletoe berries for sustenance. As a result, they also help distribute the mistletoe seeds.

 

A photo of a female mountain bluebird with mistletoe.
November 28, 2012

WERC Mountain Bluebird Eating Mistletoe Berry

A mountain bluebird eats a giant mistletoe berry in an ash tree in Sedona, Arizona (Oak Creek).  These bluebirds, and many other types of birds, rely on mistletoe berries for sustenance. As a result, they also help distribute the mistletoe seeds.

Manatee and Dr. Margaret Hunter underwater
November 27, 2012

A manatee meets Dr. Margaret Hunter during research at Crystal River

During a research snorkel trip at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Dr. Margaret Hunter comes face to face with a manatee.

School of trout
October 10, 2012

School of trout

School of trout. 

Aerial view of coastal marshes along Bayou Dufrene in Louisiana
September 12, 2012

Louisiana's changing coastal wetlands

An aerial view of coastal marshes along Bayou Dufrene, southwest of the town of Dulac in Louisiana's Terrebonne Basin.

August 25, 2012

L1 East Transect – 2012

Permanent Site: L1 East Transect; Depth: 11.0 Meters (36.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.3 Kilometers (1.4 Miles) west; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 10 months post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13957527,-123.59359993; Site Description: This permanent site was only established post dam-removal after it was discovered that the degree of seaweed loss was more extensive than

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August 25, 2012

L1 West Transect – 2012

Permanent Site: L1 West Transect; Depth: 11.2 Meters (36.6 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.3 Kilometers (1.4 Miles) west; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 10 months post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13957527,-123.59427175; Site Description: This permanent site was only established post dam-removal after it was discovered that the degree of seaweed loss was more extensive than

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August 24, 2012

H2 West Transect – 2012

Permanent Site: H2 West Transect; Depth: 7.7 Meters (25.1 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 10 months 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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