Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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Ecosystems provides unbiased science, tools, and decision support to our Nation’s natural resource managers, with particular focus on the science needs of the Department of Interior bureaus to conserve species, lands, and priority ecosystems; fulfill treaty obligations; provide water for irrigation and human consumption; and manage mineral and energy resources.

USGS Pollinator Research

USGS Pollinator Research

Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. Honey bee populations are declining but USGS scientists are becoming honey bee helpers.

Find out more

Leaf to Landscape

Leaf to Landscape

USGS scientists have launched a new program using California's hotter drought as a forecaster for forest vulnerability worldwide.

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Where's our Science?

Where

Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

Browse by Location

News

Date published: April 11, 2018

NOROCK Scientist Receives USGS Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Communications

Research Ecologist Dan Fagre is the recipient of the 2017 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications

Date published: March 29, 2018

New Control Methods Can Help Protect Coral Reefs from Invasive Species

Honolulu, Hawaii – Control efforts such as the removal of shipwrecks and application of chlorine may help mitigate the damaging effects of corallimorph, which is a type of invasive anemone, on valuable coral reefs in the Central Pacific Ocean, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: March 23, 2018

Plant Functional Groups Affect Ecological Drought in Semiarid

Plant functional groups have contrasting effects on soil water availability by affecting interception, uptake, and transpiration.

Filter Total Items: 522
Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Habitats

USGS scientists quantify and describe functional relationships among aquatic species in coastal habitats to characterize aquatic community structure, function, adaptation, and sustainability.

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Wetlands and Ponds

USGS research to assess wetland habitats and ecological functions are critical for restoration activities.

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Deepwater Habitats

Deepwater habitats, such as the Great Lakes, are a key strategic resource and driver of economic vitality that are threatened by multiple stressors, including overfishing, invasions of exotic species, habitat degradation, pollution, climate change, and harmful algal blooms. Under the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, the Department of Interior is responsible for conducting a...

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

Streams and Rivers

USGS studies the ecology and biodiversity of streams, rivers, and aquatic ecosystems to understand impacts of changing land and water use on fish and other aquatic communities. We research their habitats and develop techniques to understand, conserve, and restore fish communities.

Date published: April 5, 2018
Status: Active

Sylvatic Plague

Sylvatic plague is a flea-borne bacterial disease of wild rodents. Humans, pets, and wildlife can be afflicted with this disease.  Prairie dogs are highly susceptible to plague and are the primary food source of the highly endangered black-footed ferret, which is also susceptible to the disease. Sylvatic plague can decimate prairie dog colonies (90% or greater mortality rates), resulting in...

Date published: April 3, 2018
Status: Active

Effect of Chronic Neonicotinoid Insecticide Exposure upon Monarch Development

The long-term viability of monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterfly populations in North America is in doubt.

Date published: April 3, 2018
Status: Active

Coral Diseases

Coral disease is now one of the major causes of reef degradation and coral mortality. First reported on reefs in the Florida Keys and Caribbean in the 1970s, black band disease was first recorded in Hawaii in 1994.

Date published: April 3, 2018
Status: Active

Sea Star Wasting Disease

Sea stars are dying off at dramatic rates across the West Coast from Baja California in Mexico to Alaska. The wasting disease that is affecting sea stars also is not specific to one species: more than 20 sea star species have been affected so far.

Date published: March 27, 2018
Status: Active

Multi-century perspectives on current and future streamflow in the Missouri River Basin

The Missouri River system is the life-blood of the American Midwest providing water resources that drive agriculture, industry, hydroelectric power generation, and ecosystems. However, the Missouri River Basin (MRB) (Figure 1) is the only major river in the western U.S. for which hydrologic reconstructions from tree rings have not been generated in any systematic way. This knowledge gap is...

Contacts: Greg Pederson
Date published: March 26, 2018
Status: Active

Structured Decision Making

USGS Patuxent is a recognized world-leader in the application of structured decision making to problems in natural resource management. Scientists at Patuxent are adept at a number of the key skills required in SDM, including objectives elicitation, model development, decision analysis, optimization, monitoring design, and facilitation. In addition, Patuxent scientists train other Federal,...

Date published: March 21, 2018
Status: Active

Effects of Aquatic Vegetation on Water Quality and Residence Time in the Bay-Delta

The spread of invasive aquatic vegetation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is having a profound impact on the Delta’s natural habitat. The presence of these “aquatic weeds” has been shown to alter water velocity and increase water clarity, posing threats to native fish species, specifically the threatened Delta Smelt. These aquatic plants can also affect the foodweb by altering nutrient,...

Date published: March 16, 2018
Status: Active

Vector-borne Disease Research

The Challenge: Lyme disease, which is caused by a tick-transmitted spirochete, is the most common vector-borne disease in North America, with about 300,000 cases each year. Most cases occur in the northeastern and north central U.S., with relatively few in the south, even though the vector tick is present in all of these regions. The purpose of this research is to elucidate the ecological...

Filter Total Items: 68
Date published: March 7, 2018

Geospatial Data for Object-Based High-Resolution Classification of Conifers within Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat across Nevada and a Portion of Northeastern California

These products were developed to provide scientific and correspondingly spatially explicit information regarding the distribution and abundance of conifers (namely, singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), and western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)) in Nevada and portions of northeastern California. 

Date published: March 6, 2018

Annotated bibliography of scientific research on Greater Sage-grouse published since January 2015

The Greater Sage-grouse annotated bibliography was developed as a synthesis of scientific information developed since the records of decision were completed for 2015 Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Department of Agriculture plan amendments for Greater Sage-grouse. This site provides an interactive, searchable interface to summaries of the scientific literature.

Date published: March 6, 2018

Land Treatment Digital Library

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the U.S. Geological Survey to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL currently houses thousands of treatments from BLM lands across 10 states. 

Date published: March 6, 2018

Conservation Efforts Database

The Conservation Efforts Database is a partnership between the USGS and USFWS to collect and analyze ongoing conservation efforts for the Greater Sage-Grouse. Understanding the distribution and type of conservation actions happening across the landscape will allow visualization and quantification of the extent to which threats are being addressed.

Date published: March 1, 2018

NPN Visualization Tool

Phenology map viewer from the National Phenology Network.

Date published: February 12, 2018

Shoreline change rates in salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

This dataset displays shoreline change rates at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, USA

Date published: December 11, 2017

Gulf of Mexico Dashboard

The USGS Southeast Regional Office has funded a cross-center collaboration between the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and the Texas Water Science Center for the development of the Gulf of Mexico Water Dashboard. 

Date published: December 7, 2017

A Baseline Assessment of Contaminant Concentrations in Sediment and Biota in Proximity to Coal Transport Tracks in the Pacific Northwest (2014)

This dataset provides baseline concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), other aromatic organic compounds, mercury (Hg), and trace metal concentrations in sediment and biota collected from two sites along an existing rail line used for coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington.

Date published: November 21, 2017

Annual California sea otter stranding data

The California Sea Otter Stranding Network is part of the USGS effort to monitor southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and provide data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 1985, stranded otters from throughout their California coastal range have been collected and analyzed to inform resource management on recovery and conservation of the species.

Date published: October 31, 2017

Guide to the Plants of Louisiana

This guide to the vascular plants of Louisiana includes a database of plant characters, a search engine and plant images. Photographs include images of leaves, fruit, flower, stem, bark and other key identification features. Information about plants can be accessed by searching plant lists either by scientific name or common name.

Date published: October 30, 2017

Movement Maps for Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Waterbird Studies

Suisun Marsh is a critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterbirds in California. USGS is working with the California DWR to examine the trends in bird decline and to assess the habitat factors driving long-term survival of waterfowl, rails, and other birds in this important area.

Date published: October 17, 2017

Shapefiles and Historical Aerial Photographs, Little Missouri River, 1939-2003

The data archive contains the aerial photographs and channel delineations used in our analysis. The images have been geo-referenced to the 1995 digital orthophoto quarter quadrangles as described by Miller and Friedman (2009). The channel delineations for all photo years (including 2003) and the delineation of the outer flood-plain boundary are stored as shapefiles.

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Date published: April 3, 2018

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Map

The map includes information from Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring surveys as well as information from logs submitted by other researchers, divers, and the general public.

Date published: October 30, 2017

Movement Maps for Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Waterbird Studies

Suisun Marsh is a critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterbirds in California. USGS is working with the California DWR to examine the trends in bird decline and to assess the habitat factors driving long-term survival of waterfowl, rails, and other birds in this important area.

Date published: July 20, 2017

Map of USGS WERC Locations

WERC headquarters, field stations, and sub-stations strategically located in or near California and Nevada bioregions, form the core of the WERC science program.

Date published: February 15, 2017

2016 Cooperative Research Unit Story Map

In this Year in Review report, you will find details on staffing, vacancies, research funding, and other pertinent information. You will also see snapshots of Unit projects with information on how results have been or are being applied by cooperators. That is the essence of what we do: science that matter.

 

Date published: September 20, 2016

The Eastern Region Initiative on the Clinch (ERIC)

The Clinch-Powell River Basins Spanning Virginia and Tennessee

Date published: March 7, 2016

Nonindigeneous Aquatic Species (NAS) Database Search

Multiple search functions: State, major drainage area (HUC2), drainage area (HUC6), drainage area (HUC8), Zebra Mussel Collections, and fact sheets.

Date published: February 1, 2016

2015 Cooperative Research Units Story Map

The Cooperative Research Unit mission is our hallmark: meeting the actionable science needs of our cooperators, providing them technical guidance and assistance in interpreting and applying new advances in science, and developing the future workforce through graduate education and mentoring. 

Date published: September 2, 2014

Species On Lands Affected by Renewables (SOLAR)

Multiple large scale solar, wind, and geothermal energy development projects are currently proposed across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern U.S., and these development needs are likely to continue or increase into the future. Agencies tasked with managing biological resources must understand the potential impacts in order to select appropriate sites and to mitigate effects. 

Date published: April 22, 2012

Extinct Taxa in States/Provinces of North America (2012)

Extinct Taxa in States/Provinces of North America (2012)

Date published: April 22, 2012

Extinct Taxa in Ecoregions of North America (2012)

Extinct Taxa in Ecoregions of North America (2012)

Date published: April 22, 2008

Numbered Ecoregions of North America (2008)

Numbered Ecoregions of North America (2008)

Filter Total Items: 571
Year Published: 2018

Biological and ecological science for Michigan—The Great Lakes State

Michigan is rich in lakes, rivers, dune and rocky shorelines, forests, fish and wildlife, and has the longest freshwater coastline in the United States, 3,224 miles. Many enterprises critical to Michigan’s economy and cultural heritage are based on natural resources including commercial and sport fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation....

Attribution: Ecosystems
U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, Biological and ecological science for Michigan—The Great Lakes State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018-3012, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183012.

Year Published: 2018

Biological and ecological science for Wisconsin—A Great Lakes and Rivers State

Wisconsin and natural resources go hand-in-hand. Tourism, which generates $19 billion annually and sustains about 200,000 jobs, depends on an abundance of lakes, rivers, shorelines, and woodlands for fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor recreation. Rivers and floodplains in the Upper Mississippi Basin, including the Mississippi River, are...

Attribution: Ecosystems
U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, Biological and ecological science for Wisconsin—A Great Lakes and Rivers State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018-3004, 2. p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183004.

Year Published: 2018

Greater sage-grouse science (2015–17)—Synthesis and potential management implications

Executive SummaryThe greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter called “sage-grouse”), a species that requires sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), has experienced range-wide declines in its distribution and abundance. These declines have prompted substantial research and management investments to improve the understanding of sage-grouse and...

Hanser, Steven E.; Deibert, Patricia A.; Tull, John C.; Carr, Natasha B.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Bargsten, Travis D.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Coates, Peter S.; Crist, Michele R.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Ellsworth, Ethan A.; Foster, Lee J.; Herren, Vicki A.; Miller, Kevin H.; Moser, Ann; Naeve, Robin M.; Prentice, Karen L.; Remington, Thomas E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Truex, Richard L.; Wiechman , Lief A. ; Wilson, Dereck C.; Bowen, Zachary H.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Hanser, S.E., Deibert, P.A., Tull, J.C., Carr, N.B., Aldridge, C.L., Bargsten, T.C., Christiansen, T.J., Coates, P.S., Crist, M.R., Doherty, K.E., Ellsworth, E.A., Foster, L.J., Herren, V.A., Miller, K.H., Moser, Ann, Naeve, R.M., Prentice, K.L., Remington, T.E., Ricca, M.A., Shinneman, D.J., Truex, R.L., Wiechman, L.A., Wilson, D.C., and Bowen, Z.H., 2018, Greater sage-grouse science (2015–17)—Synthesis and potential management implications: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1017, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181017.

Year Published: 2018

Development and release of phenological data products—A case study in compliance with federal open data policy

In Autumn 2015, USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) staff implemented new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data-management policies intended to ensure that the results of Federally funded research are made available to the public. The effort aimed both to improve USA-NPN data releases and to provide a model for similar programs within the USGS....

Rosemartin, Alyssa H.; Langseth, Madison L.; Crimmins, Theresa M.; Weltzin, Jake F.
Rosemartin, A., Langseth, M.L., Crimmins, T.M., and Weltzin, J.F., 2018, Development and release of phenological data products—A case study in compliance with federal open data policy: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1007, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181007.

Year Published: 2017

Biological and ecological science for Nevada—The Silver State

Nevada is rich in minerals, energy, rangelands, mountains, deserts, lakes, fish, and wildlife. Many enterprises critical to Nevada's economy are based on natural resources including solar energy, livestock production, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation. Nevada is a national leader in both geothermal and solar utility-scale energy...

Attribution: Ecosystems
U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, Biological and ecological science for Nevada—The Silver State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3075, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173075.

Year Published: 2017

USGS microbiome research

Microbiomes are the communities of microorganisms (for example, bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that live on, in, and around people, plants, animals, soil, water, and the atmosphere. Microbiomes are active in the functioning of diverse ecosystems, for instance, by influencing water quality, nutrient acquisition 
and stress tolerance in plants, and...

Kellogg, Christina A.; Hopkins, M. Camille
Kellogg, C.A., and Hopkins, M.C., 2017, USGS microbiome research: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3074, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173074.

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2017

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., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1436, 54 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1436.

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey—Energy and wildlife research annual report for 2017

IntroductionTerrestrial and aquatic ecosystems provide valuable services to humans and are a source of clean water, energy, raw materials, and productive soils. The Nation’s food supply is more secure because of wildlife. For example, native pollinators enhance agricultural crops, and insect-eating bats provide pest control services worth billions...

Khalil, Mona
Attribution: Ecosystems
Khalil, Mona, ed., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey—Energy and wildlife research annual report for 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1435, 91 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1435.

Year Published: 2017

Biological and ecological science for Florida—The Sunshine State

Florida is rich in sunshine and other natural resources essential to the State's economy. More than 100 million tourists visit Florida's beaches, wetlands, forests, oceans, lakes, and streams where they generate billions of dollars and sustain more than a million jobs. Florida also provides habitat for several thousand freshwater and marine fish,...

Attribution: Ecosystems
U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, Biological and ecological science for Florida—The Sunshine State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3066, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173066.

Year Published: 2017

Hierarchical population monitoring of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and California—Identifying populations for management at the appropriate spatial scale

Population ecologists have long recognized the importance of ecological scale in understanding processes that guide observed demographic patterns for wildlife species. However, directly incorporating spatial and temporal scale into monitoring strategies that detect whether trajectories are driven by local or regional factors is challenging and...

Coates, Peter S.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Ricca, Mark A.; Wann, Gregory T.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Hanser, Steven E.; Doherty, Kevin E.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Edmunds, David R.; Espinosa, Shawn P.
Coates, P.S., Prochazka, B.G., Ricca, M.A., Wann, G.T., Aldridge, C.L., Hanser, S.E., Doherty, K.E., O’Donnell, M.S., Edmunds, D.R., and, Espinosa, S.P., 2017, Hierarchical population monitoring of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and California—Identifying populations for management at the appropriate spatial scale: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017-1089, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171089.

Year Published: 2017

Integrating Breeding Bird Survey and demographic data to estimate Wood Duck population size in the Atlantic Flyway

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) uses data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) to assist in monitoring and management of some migratory birds. However, BBS analyses provide indices of population change rather than estimates of population size, precluding their use in developing abundance-based objectives and limiting...

Zimmerman, Guthrie S.; Sauer, John; Boomer, G. Scott; Devers, Patrick K.; Garrettson, Pamela R.
Zimmerman, G. S., Sauer, J. R., Boomer, G. S., Devers, P. K., and Garrettson, P. R., 2017, Integrating Breeding Bird Survey and demographic data to estimate Wood Duck population size in the Atlantic Flyway: Condor, v. 119, no. 3, p. 616-628.

Year Published: 2017

Biological and ecological science for Montana—The Treasure State

Montana is rich in minerals, energy, and soils, as well as prairies, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, fish, and wildlife. Many enterprises that drive the economy are based on natural resources, including tourism, hunting, fishing, agriculture, and energy development. The outdoor-recreation economy alone supports 64,000 Montana jobs and generates...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, Biological and ecological science for Montana—The Treasure State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3052, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173052.

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Date published: July 6, 2017

Evidence of Absence (EoA) Software and User's Guide

Software to Estimate Bird and Bat Fatality at Wind Farms

Date published: January 23, 2017

PRESENCE

Estimates patch occupancy rates and related parameters.

Date published: July 14, 2016

fatalityCMR

fatalityCMR - capture-recapture software to correct raw counts of wildlife fatalities using trial experiments for carcass detecition probability and persistence time. Version 3.0

Date published: May 2, 2016

Wildlife Software and Models

A suite of software tools and models developed by Colorado State University and the USGS Colorado Cooperative Fish And Wildlife Research Unit.

Date published: May 2, 2016

monitoR: Acoustic template detection in R

Tools for automated acoustic monitoring of nature.

Date published: May 2, 2016

Fishery Information and Technology Software

Software from the American Fisheries Society

Date published: May 2, 2016

R for Fisheries and Wildlife Applications

FW599: An introduction to data management and R for Fisheries and Wildlife applications--- a lighthearted look

Date published: May 2, 2016

InVEST: 18 different models for ecosystem services

The InVEST tool allows researchers to evaluate relationships between land management actions and wild bee populations.

Date published: December 11, 2012

Fatality Estimator Software

Tool to Evaluate Wildlife Fatalities at Wind-Power Facilities

Date published: January 1, 1999

CloseTest

CloseTest is a Windows program for testing capture-recapture data

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USGS
December 31, 2018

Cuban treefrog - Osteopilus septentrionalis

Can you hear the difference between the non-native Cuban treefrog and two common Louisiana native treefrogs? Cuban treefrogs’ call is distinctive. Biologist Paul Moler of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded them in South Florida. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Green treefrog - Hyla cinerea

Green treefrogs call from their favorite habitat, rivers and lakes. They’re native to Louisiana and Florida, where these were recorded. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Squirrel treefrog - Hyla squirella (Marion)

Squirrel treefrogs are also native to Florida and Louisiana. Hear them calling from ditches, puddles and other ephemeral pools of water. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.
 

Asian carp removal in Missouri.
December 31, 2018

Asian carp removal in Missouri.

In 2018, USGS and partners completed an incredible feat against a harmful aquatic invasive species when over 240,000 pounds of invasive Silver Carp and Bighead Carp were removed from Creve Coeur Lake in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

February 28, 2018

Bee Laboratory (Instagram Story)

Instagram story showing the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab clearing invasive species from a field.

Picture of field water-level monitoring gage EDEN 13
January 31, 2018

Field water-level monitoring gage EDEN 13

Field water-level monitoring gage EDEN 13. Photograph by Michael Oliver, U.S. Geological Survey.
U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3069
Version 1.1, January 2018

USGS
December 31, 2017

California myotis (Myotis californicus) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 
 

A desmid alga is bright red and green photographed in UV light
December 31, 2017

This single-celled alga is a natural ornament

It looks like a holiday ornament, but this lovely object is a single-celled freshwater alga from the desmid family, found in the marshes of Florida’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. USGS biologist Barry Rosen photographed it at 200x magnification using ultraviolent light and a fluorescence microscope. Desmids range in size from under 10 microns—approximately the width...

Sea Lamprey Larvae on White Background
December 31, 2017

Sea Lamprey Larvae on White Background

This image shows a sea lamprey in its larvae phase.

Slower sea lamprey growth rates during the larval phase of development may increase the odds of sea lampreys becoming male, according to a USGS study. Sea lampreys are an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes.

Bats hibernating in cave
December 31, 2017

Bats hibernating in cave

Bats hibernating in a cave. 

Attribution: Ecosystems
Phragmites rhizome
December 31, 2017

Phragmites rhizome

Phragmites rhizome, or a belowground stem that puts up new shoots, dug up in a coastal marsh of Lake Erie in northern Ohio. Phragmites' belowground biomass can exceed that of its aboveground biomass. 

Monarch on Joe Pyeweed plant
December 31, 2017

Monarch on Joe Pyeweed plant

Monarch butterfly on a Joe Pyeweed plant.

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Date published: April 11, 2018

NOROCK Scientist Receives USGS Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Communications

Research Ecologist Dan Fagre is the recipient of the 2017 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications

Date published: March 29, 2018

New Control Methods Can Help Protect Coral Reefs from Invasive Species

Honolulu, Hawaii – Control efforts such as the removal of shipwrecks and application of chlorine may help mitigate the damaging effects of corallimorph, which is a type of invasive anemone, on valuable coral reefs in the Central Pacific Ocean, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: March 23, 2018

Plant Functional Groups Affect Ecological Drought in Semiarid

Plant functional groups have contrasting effects on soil water availability by affecting interception, uptake, and transpiration.

Date published: March 23, 2018

Potential Variability in Population-Level Response of Ponderosa Pine to Climate Change

Models of future species distributions are regularly fit at the species level, yet a species’ response to environmental change is not always uniform across its distribution.

Date published: March 20, 2018

Altering Sagebrush Landscapes with Fuel Breaks to Save Them from Wildfire

Linear fuel breaks have long been used to help suppress fire in the Great Basin, and thousands of miles of new fuel breaks may be constructed in coming years to protect sagebrush ecosystems, including greater sage-grouse habitat.

Date published: March 19, 2018

New genetic test detects manatees' recent presence in fresh or saltwater

Environmental DNA picks up traces of the elusive mammals’ saliva, skin, waste, or exhaled breaths.

 

Date published: March 9, 2018

Raptor Interactions with Wind Energy: Case Studies from Around the

Attempts to measure and mitigate the effects of wind turbines on wildlife have been an integral part of wind energy development.

Date published: March 9, 2018

Fire and Grazing Influence Site Resistance to Cheatgrass Invasion

Shrubs, bunchgrasses, and biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are believed to contribute to site resistance to plant invasions. 

Date published: March 9, 2018

Modeling Potential Beaver Habitat for Restoring Riparian Ecosystems

Beaver have the potential to restore riparian ecosystems and offset potential effects of climate change by modulating streamflow through dam-building and subsequent water storage.

Date published: March 2, 2018

Greater Sage-Grouse Science (2015-2017): Synthesis and Potential Management Implications

At the request of the BLM, the USGS worked with federal and state agency partners to develop a report that synthesizes the scientific literature published since records of decision were completed for 2015 BLM/USDA Forest Service land use plan amendments for greater sage-grouse, and provides potential management implications of the science.

Date published: March 1, 2018

Waterbirds at Risk in the Chesapeake Bay

Scientists investigate the impacts of shoreline armoring

Date published: February 22, 2018

USGS and NASA Team Up to Help Scientists Study the “Social Networks” of Wildlife

In the future of wildlife tracking, sea otters have their own social network.

Ecosystems provides scientific information and decision support to meet Interior’s shared responsibility to manage land and species, fulfill treaty obligations, develop energy and mineral resources on Interior lands, and supply water for irrigation and other human needs. Our main Interior Department partners are listed below. Additional partners are listed throughout our web pages.

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