Exploring: Ecosystem Health
Insights from long-term ungrazed and grazed watersheds in a salt desert Colorado Plateau ecosystem
Dryland ecosystems cover over 41% of the earth’s land surface, and living within these important ecosystems are approximately 2 billion people, a large proportion of whom are subsistence agropastoralists. Improper grazing in drylands can negatively impact ecosystem productivity, soil conservation, hydrologic processes, downstream water...Duniway, Michael C.; Geiger, Erika L.; Minnick, Tamera J.; Phillips, Susan L.; Belnap, Jayne
Contaminant-associated health effects in fishes from the Ottawa and Ashtabula Rivers, Ohio
The health of resident fishes serves as a biologically relevant barometer of aquatic ecosystem integrity. Here, the health of the Ottawa River and Ashtabula River (both within the Lake Erie Basin) were assessed using morphological and immunological biomarkers in brown bullheads (Ameiurus nebulosus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)....Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Blazer, Vicki S.; Walsh, Heather L.; Shaw, Cassidy H.; DeVault, David S.; Banda, Jo A.
Using gene transcription to assess ecological and anthropological stressors in brown bears
Increasingly, population- and ecosystem-level health assessments are performed using sophisticated molecular tools. Advances in molecular technology enable the identification of synergistic effects of multiple stressors on the individual physiology of different species. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are an apex predator; thus, they are ideal...Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Waters, Shannon C.; Gustine, Dave; Joly, Kyle; Hilderbrand, Grant V.
Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN)—A decade of serving hydrologic information to scientists and resource managers
IntroductionThe Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) provides scientists and resource managers with regional maps of daily water levels and depths in the freshwater part of the Greater Everglades landscape. The EDEN domain includes all or parts of five Water Conservation Areas, Big Cypress National Preserve, Pennsuco Wetlands, and Everglades...Patino, Eduardo; Conrads, Paul; Swain, Eric; Beerens, James M.
With over 1300 species identified, bats represent almost one quarter of the world’s mammals (Fenton and Simmons 2014), bats provide important environmental services such as insect pest suppression, seed dispersal, and pollination and inhabit a wide variety of ecological niches on all continents except Antarctica. Over 150 species are listed as...Farina, Lisa L.; Lankton, Julia S.
International meeting on sarcoptic mange in wildlife, June 2018, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
Sarcoptic mange is a globally distributed disease caused by the burrowing mite Sarcoptes scabiei, which also causes scabies in humans. A wide and increasing number of wild mammal species are reported to be susceptible to mange; however, the impacts of the disease in wildlife populations, mechanisms involved in its eco-epidemiological dynamics...Astorga, Francisca; Carver, Scott; Almberg, Emily S.; Sousa, Giovane R.; Wingfield, Kimberly; Niedringhaus, Kevin D.; Van Wick, Peach; Rossi, Luca; Xie, Yue; Cross, Paul C.; Angelone, Samer; Gortázar, Christian; Escobar, Luis E.
Simulation of potential groundwater recharge for the glacial aquifer system east of the Rocky Mountains, 1980–2011, using the Soil-Water-Balance Model
An understanding of the spatial and temporal extent of groundwater recharge is critical for many types of hydrologic assessments involving water quality, contaminant transport, ecosystem health, and sustainable use of groundwater. Annual potential groundwater recharge was simulated at a 1-kilometer resolution with the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB)...Trost, Jared J.; Roth, Jason L.; Westenbroek, Stephen M.; Reeves, Howard W.
Agriculture — A river runs through it — The connections between agriculture and water quality
Sustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together,...Capel, Paul D.; McCarthy, Kathleen A.; Coupe, Richard H.; Grey, Katia M.; Amenumey, Sheila E.; Baker, Nancy T.; Johnson, Richard L.
Contaminants in tropical island streams and their biota
Environmental contamination is problematic for tropical islands due to their typically dense human populations and competing land and water uses. The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico (USA) has a long history of anthropogenic chemical use, and its human population density is among the highest globally, providing a model environment to study...Buttermore, Elissa N.; Cope, W. Gregory; Kwak, Thomas J.; Cooney, Patrick B.; Shea, Damian; Lazaro, Peter R.
Food web contaminant dynamics of a large Atlantic Slope river: Implications for common and imperiled species
Persistent and bioaccumulative contaminants often reach concentrations that threaten aquatic life by causing alterations in organism behavior and development, disruption of biological processes, reproductive abnormalities, and mortality. The objectives of this research were to determine the aquatic food web structure and trophic transfer and...Kwak, Thomas J.; Penland, Tiffany N.; Grieshaber, Casey A.; Cope, W. Gregory; Heise, Ryan J.; Sessions, Forrest W.
Effects of sediment application on Nyssa aquatica and Taxodium distichum saplings
The decline of Taxodium distichum forests along the Gulf Coast of North America is partly due to elevation loss and subsequent flooding. In many coastal wetlands, a common approach for coastal restoration is to rebuild elevation through the application of dredge material, but this technique has not been used widely in coastal forests due...Grandy, Isabel; Messina, Linda; Anemaet, Evelyn R.; Middleton, Beth A.
Regional acidification trends in Florida shellfish estuaries: A 20+ year look at pH, oxygen, temperature, and salinity
Increasing global CO2 and local land use changes coupled with increased nutrient pollution are threatening estuaries worldwide. Local changes of estuarine chemistry have been documented, but regional associations and trends comparing multiple estuaries latitudinally have not been evaluated. Rapid climate change has impacted the annual and...Robbins, Lisa L.; Lisle, John T.
Juvenile coho salmon growth and health in streams across an urbanization gradient
Expanding human population and urbanization alters freshwater systems through structural changes to habitat, temperature effects from increased runoff and reduced canopy cover, altered flows, and increased toxicants. Current stream assessments stop short of measuring health or condition of species utilizing these freshwater habitats and fail to...Spanjer, Andrew R.; Moran, Patrick W.; Larsen, Kimberly; Wetzel, Lisa; Hansen, Adam G.; Beauchamp, David A.
Understanding the influence of nutrients on stream ecosystems in agricultural landscapes
Sustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together,...Munn, Mark D.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Black, Robert W.; Duff, John H.; Lee, Kathy E.; Maret, Terry R.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Waite, Ian R.; Zelt, Ronald B.
Manure and fertilizer inputs to land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, 1950–2012
Understanding changing nutrient concentrations in surface waters requires quantitative information on changing nutrient sources in contributing watersheds. For example, the proportion of nutrient inputs reaching streams and rivers is directly affected by when and where those nutrients enter the landscape. The goal of this report is to contribute...Keisman, Jennifer L.D.; Devereux, Olivia H.; LaMotte, Andrew E.; Sekellick, Andrew J.; Blomquist, Joel D.
Public views of wetlands and waterfowl conservation in the United States—Results of a survey to inform the 2018 update of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan
Executive SummaryThis report provides information from a general public survey conducted in early 2017 to help inform the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) 2018 update. This report is intended for use by the NAWMP advisory committees and anyone interested in the human dimensions of wetlands and waterfowl management. A mail-out...Wilkins, Emily J.; Miller, Holly M.
Exploring the pathology of an epidermal disease affecting a circum-Antarctic sea star
Over the past decade, unusual mortality outbreaks have decimated echinoderm populations over broad geographic regions, raising awareness globally of the importance of investigating such events. Echinoderms are key components of marine benthos for top-down and bottom-up regulations of plants and animals; population declines of these individuals can...Nunez-Pons, Laura; Work, Thierry M.; Angulo-Preckler, Carlos; Moles, Juan; Avila, Conxita
Quantifying the visual-sensory landscape qualities that contribute to cultural ecosystem services using social media and LiDAR
Landscapes are increasingly recognized for providing valuable cultural ecosystem services with numer- ous non-material benefits by serving as places of rest, relaxation, and inspiration that ultimately improve overall mental health and physical well-being. Maintaining and enhancing these valuable benefits through targeted management and...Van Berkel, Derek B.; Tabrizian, Payam; Dorning, Monica; Smart, Lindsey S.; Newcomb, Doug; Mehaffey, Megan; Neale, Anne; Meentemeyer, Ross K.
Coastal wetland adaptation to sea level rise: Quantifying potential for landward migration and coastal squeeze
Coastal wetland ecosystems are expected to migrate landwards in response to rising seas. However, due to differences in topography and coastal urbanization, estuaries vary in their ability to accommodate migration. Low‐lying urban areas can constrain migration and lead to wetland loss (i.e. coastal squeeze), especially where existing wetlands...Borchert, Sinéad M.; Osland, Michael J.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen
Science support for evaluating natural recovery of polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in fish from Crab Orchard Lake, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois
IntroductionCrab Orchard Lake in southern Illinois is one of the largest and most popular recreational lakes in the state. Construction of the nearly 7,000-acre reservoir in the late 1930s created employment opportunities through the Works Progress Administration, and the lake itself was intended to supply water, control flooding, and provide...Kunz, Bethany K.; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Calfee, Robin D.; Linder, Greg L.; Little, Edward E.