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Land Cover

LCS scientists study land use and land cover change at multiple scales, documenting the geographic variability of change and identifying the environmental, social, and political drivers of change, and assessing the impacts of these changes. LCS staff maintain the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), which is the standard land cover map and database for the nation.

Filter Total Items: 11

Ecosystems on the Edge: Landscape and Fire Ecology of Forests, Deserts, and Tundra

Climate changes and interacting disturbances such as wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, and erosion and flooding can perturb and reorganize ecosystems.
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Ecosystems on the Edge: Landscape and Fire Ecology of Forests, Deserts, and Tundra

Climate changes and interacting disturbances such as wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, and erosion and flooding can perturb and reorganize ecosystems.
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Land-cover Modeling at USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

Land-use change and the resultant changes in land cover impact a wide variety of ecological processes. Projected land-cover data produced by EROS have been used for a wide variety of applications, including those listed in the left column. The following provides a partial list of published applications for modeled land-use and land-cover data.
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Land-cover Modeling at USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

Land-use change and the resultant changes in land cover impact a wide variety of ecological processes. Projected land-cover data produced by EROS have been used for a wide variety of applications, including those listed in the left column. The following provides a partial list of published applications for modeled land-use and land-cover data.
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Cheatgrass Dieoff Time-series Dynamics (2000 – 2010)

Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a winter annual grass that has invaded and altered the shrub steppe ecosystem in the Great Basin for about 100 years. This highly competitive grass invades recently disturbed areas and then outcompetes most native vegetation by using requisite resources like soil water and nutrients in early spring before other native plants. It also can alter its phenotype and...
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Cheatgrass Dieoff Time-series Dynamics (2000 – 2010)

Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a winter annual grass that has invaded and altered the shrub steppe ecosystem in the Great Basin for about 100 years. This highly competitive grass invades recently disturbed areas and then outcompetes most native vegetation by using requisite resources like soil water and nutrients in early spring before other native plants. It also can alter its phenotype and...
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Understanding the Effects of Stormwater Management Practices on Water Quality and Flow

Urban development can have detrimental impacts on streams including altering hydrology, increasing nutrient, sediment, and pollutant loadings, and degrading biological integrity. Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) can be used to mitigate the effects of urban development by retaining large volumes of stormwater runoff and treating runoff to remove pollutants. This project focuses on...
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Understanding the Effects of Stormwater Management Practices on Water Quality and Flow

Urban development can have detrimental impacts on streams including altering hydrology, increasing nutrient, sediment, and pollutant loadings, and degrading biological integrity. Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) can be used to mitigate the effects of urban development by retaining large volumes of stormwater runoff and treating runoff to remove pollutants. This project focuses on...
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Global Hyperspectral Imaging Spectroscopy of Agricultural-Crops & Vegetation (GHISA)

This webpage showcases the key research advances made in hyperspectral remote sensing of agricultural crops and vegetation over the last 50 years. There are three focus areas:
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Global Hyperspectral Imaging Spectroscopy of Agricultural-Crops & Vegetation (GHISA)

This webpage showcases the key research advances made in hyperspectral remote sensing of agricultural crops and vegetation over the last 50 years. There are three focus areas:
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Applied Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing

We focus on landscape studies of natural and working lands, in particular coastal and inland wetlands and rangelands. We quantify ecosystem benefits, find areas vulnerable to future change, and identify potential for climate mitigation and resilience. We conduct research by scaling field measurements to the regional, state and national scale with remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and modeling...
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Applied Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing

We focus on landscape studies of natural and working lands, in particular coastal and inland wetlands and rangelands. We quantify ecosystem benefits, find areas vulnerable to future change, and identify potential for climate mitigation and resilience. We conduct research by scaling field measurements to the regional, state and national scale with remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and modeling...
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Hazards Vulnerability Team

Our country faces a wide array of natural hazards that threaten its safety, security, economic well-being, and natural resources. To minimize future losses, communities need a clear understanding of how they are vulnerable to natural hazards and of strategies for increasing their resilience. Vulnerability and resilience are influenced by (1) how communities choose to use hazard-prone land, (2) pre...
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Hazards Vulnerability Team

Our country faces a wide array of natural hazards that threaten its safety, security, economic well-being, and natural resources. To minimize future losses, communities need a clear understanding of how they are vulnerable to natural hazards and of strategies for increasing their resilience. Vulnerability and resilience are influenced by (1) how communities choose to use hazard-prone land, (2) pre...
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Aridland Water Harvesting Study

Most of western North America has been severely grazed by cattle, causing grasslands to deteriorate and desert scrub expansion. Climate in arid and semi-arid regions is often typified by short, intense rainfall events which contribute to short-term flooding and erosion. Associated arroyo cutting occurs when ephemeral creek beds are carved into the floodplain when erratic overland flow occurs; this...
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Aridland Water Harvesting Study

Most of western North America has been severely grazed by cattle, causing grasslands to deteriorate and desert scrub expansion. Climate in arid and semi-arid regions is often typified by short, intense rainfall events which contribute to short-term flooding and erosion. Associated arroyo cutting occurs when ephemeral creek beds are carved into the floodplain when erratic overland flow occurs; this...
Learn More

Effects of Energy Development Strategies

Energy is a cornerstone issue for humanity, nations, and individuals. How we create and use energy impacts the consequences it embodies. The critical issue facing humanity involves meeting our massive and growing energy needs, without undermining human and natural capital. Facing the challenge of long-term, sustainable energy for the nation and world requires understanding the consequences of...
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Effects of Energy Development Strategies

Energy is a cornerstone issue for humanity, nations, and individuals. How we create and use energy impacts the consequences it embodies. The critical issue facing humanity involves meeting our massive and growing energy needs, without undermining human and natural capital. Facing the challenge of long-term, sustainable energy for the nation and world requires understanding the consequences of...
Learn More

Global Ecosystems

The Earth contains an astonishing variety of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, which provide biological resources and services that are essential to our survival. A high resolution, data-derived, global ecosystems map will improve our ability to manage, conserve, and restore ecosystems that are increasingly threatened by fragmentation, alteration, loss, invasive species, fire...
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Global Ecosystems

The Earth contains an astonishing variety of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, which provide biological resources and services that are essential to our survival. A high resolution, data-derived, global ecosystems map will improve our ability to manage, conserve, and restore ecosystems that are increasingly threatened by fragmentation, alteration, loss, invasive species, fire...
Learn More

Ecosystem Modelling and Decision Support

The Ecosystem Modelling and Decision Support Project seeks to understand how drivers of ecosystem change like wildfire, drought, and land use affected past spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation communities and wildlife. Research methods involve 1) analyzing field-collected information (e.g. long-term plot/transect data, repeat photography) on soils, vegetation, and/or wildlife with...
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Ecosystem Modelling and Decision Support

The Ecosystem Modelling and Decision Support Project seeks to understand how drivers of ecosystem change like wildfire, drought, and land use affected past spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation communities and wildlife. Research methods involve 1) analyzing field-collected information (e.g. long-term plot/transect data, repeat photography) on soils, vegetation, and/or wildlife with...
Learn More