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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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Population Biology and Ecology of Diamondback Terrapins in Mangrove Forested Ecosystems in the Greater Everglades
Long-term capture-recapture research in the Everglades National Park provides baseline information on the Diamondback Terrapin, a species that may be threatened by human disturbances.
Diversions are being used to encourage Missippi River delta growth via increased sediment availability to coastal wetlands. USGS studies hydrodynamics and sediment transport in Louisiana to better understand how marshes and deltas respond to these sediment inputs.
Exploration of Caribbean Seamounts within the Greater and Lesser Antilles (GA/LA) Transition Zone: Characterization of the Benthic Ecology and Geology
Seamounts may be biodiversity hotspots, oases, islands, and centers for endemism in the deep sea. USGS and partners explore these possibilities within the Greater and Lesser Antilles Transition Zone.
Pink-footed geese in Svalbard are a highly valued resource, but their increasing population causes conflicts with agricultural needs. USGS is devloping population models to help inform management of optimal harvest strategies.
The federally threatened piping plover relies on sand-beach habitat year-round for nesting, foraging, and roosting, habitat that is particularly vulnerable to loss and degradation from coastal development, recreation activities, erosion, and sea-level rise.
Tegus are breeding, they have a diverse diet, and they are established in areas throughout South Florida. USGS is tracking this problematic reptile species to better understand their movements and habitat use to help managers prevent dispersal into new areas.
Sediment deposition serves an important role in the long-term maintenance of coastal marshes. USGS investigates the mechanisms of coastal marsh elevation regulation to help predict marsh sediment requirements under various sea level rise scenarios.
Nonindigenous - non-native - species threaten biodiversity, but the distribution of these species is not well-known. The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) database tracks occurrence data on non-native aquatic plant and animal species throughout the United States, and provides the public with species profiles, distribution maps, and online/real-time queries for state/hydrologic basin-...
Hierarchical Models for Computing Inferences About Species Assemblages Subject to Imperfect Detection
USGS is developing strategies to model species assemblages to allow inferences to be made about individual species, local communities of species, or for an entire metacommunity of species - while accounting for errors in species detection during sampling.
Connectivity of Tropical Marine Ecosystems: Understanding Biodiversity and Trophic Relationships in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
Marine reserves and protected areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico encompass a variety of tropical ecosystems, including coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds, but questions remain regarding how effective these areas are at preserving and protecting the habitats and species they encompass. USGS and collaborators address this question by examining the biodiversity and food web...
Assessing the Past and Potential Future Impacts of Salt Water Intrusion on Tidal Swamp Habitat along the South Atlantic Coast
Using historical aerial photogrammetry, satellite imagery, or recent vegetation mapping efforts, as well as various models, USGS investigates salt water intrusion impacts on coastal habitats along the southern Atlantic coast.
Green-Tree Reservoir management practices within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System
Green-Tree Reservoirs are used as a management tool by National Wildlife Refuges throughout the Southeast United States, but data suggests that forest productivity has declined in these areas. USGS investigates the effects of climate and flooding on tree growth and mortality to assist refuge managers adapt management strategies.
Potential drivers of virulence evolution in aquaculture
Infectious diseases are economically detrimental to aquaculture, and with continued expansion and intensification of aquaculture, the importance of managing infectious diseases will likely increase in the future. Here, we use evolution of virulence theory, along with examples, to identify aquaculture practices that might lead to the evolution of...Kennedy, David A.; Kurath, Gael; Brito, Ilana L.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Read, Andrew F.; Winton, James R.; Wargo, Andrew R.
Winter distribution and use of high elevation caves as foraging sites by the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus semotus
We examine altitudinal movements involving unusual use of caves by Hawaiian hoary bats, Lasiurus cinereus semotus, during winter and spring in the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve (MLFR), Hawai‘i Island. Acoustic detection of hoary bat vocalizations, were recorded with regularity outside 13 lava tube cave entrances situated between 2,200 to 3,600 m...Bonaccorso, Frank; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Pinzari, Corinna A.; Todd, Christopher M.
Effects of Climate and land use on diversity, prevalence, and seasonal transmission of avian hematozoa in American Samoa
The indigenous forest birds of American Samoa are increasingly threatened by changing patterns of rainfall and temperature that are associated with climate change as well as environmental stressors associated with agricultural and urban development, invasive species, and new introductions of avian diseases and disease vectors. Long term changes in...Atkinson, Carter T.; Utuzurrum, Ruth B.; Seamon, Joshua O.; Schmaedick, Mark A.; Lapointe, Dennis; Apelgren, Chloe; Egan, Ariel N.; Watcher-Weatherwax, William
Evaluating detection and monitoring tools for incipient and relictual non-native ungulate populations
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) encompasses 1,308 km2 on Hawai‘i Island. The park harbors endemic plants and animals which are threatened by a variety of invasive species. Introduced ungulates have caused sharp declines of numerous endemic species and have converted ecosystems to novel grazing systems in many cases. Local ranchers and the...Judge, Seth W.; Hess, Steve C.; Faford, Jonathan K.J.; Pacheco, Dexter; Leopold, Christina R.; Cole, Colleen; Deguzman, Veronica
Survival, movement, and health of hatchery-raised juvenile Lost River suckers within a mesocosm in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon
The recovery of endangered Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) in Upper Klamath Lake is limited by poor juvenile survival and failure to recruit into the adult population. Poor water quality, degradation of rearing habitat, and toxic levels of microcystin are hypothesized to contribute to low juvenile survival. Studies of wild juvenile suckers...Hereford, Danielle M.; Burdick, Summer M.; Elliott, Diane G.; Dolan-Caret, Amari; Conway, Carla M.; Harris, Alta C.
Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the Genus Bromus
An understanding of the impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystems is necessary to justify and guide efforts to limit their spread, restore natives, and plan for conservation. Invasive annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum, B. rubens, B. hordeaceus, and B. diandrus (hereafter collectively referred to as Bromus)...Germino, Matthew J.; Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John M.; Allen, Edith B.; Rau, Benjamin M.
Introduction: Exotic Annual Bromus in the Western USA
The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors...Germino, Matthew J.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Brown, Cynthia S.
Land uses, fire, and invasion: Exotic annual Bromus and human dimensions
Human land uses are the primary cause of the introduction and spread of exotic annual Bromusspecies. Initial introductions were likely linked to contaminated seeds used by homesteading farmers in the late 1880s and early 1900s. Transportation routes aided their spread. Unrestricted livestock grazing from the 1800s through the mid-1900s reduced...Pyke, David A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Mealor, Brian A.
Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species – the roles of community attributes, Bromus Interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits
The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromushereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental...Chambers, Jeanne; Germino, Matthew J.; Belnap, Jayne; Brown, Cynthia; Schupp, Eugene W.; St. Clair, Samuel B
Soil moisture and biogeochemical factors influence the distribution of annual Bromus species
Abiotic factors have a strong influence on where annual Bromus species are found. At the large regional scale, temperature and precipitation extremes determine the boundaries of Bromusoccurrence. At the more local scale, soil characteristics and climate influence distribution, cover, and performance. In hot, dry, summer-rainfall-dominated deserts...Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John Thomas; Rau, Benjamin; Allen, Edith B.; Phillips, Sue
Development of working hypotheses linking management of the Missouri River to population dynamics of Scaphirhynchus albus (pallid sturgeon)
This report documents a process of filtering of hypotheses that relate Missouri River Scaphirhynchus albus (pallid sturgeon) population dynamics to management actions including flow alterations, channel reconfigurations, and pallid sturgeon population augmentation. The filtering process was a partnership among U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army...Jacobson, Robert B.; Parsley, Michael J.; Annis, Mandy L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Welker, Timothy L.; James, Daniel A.
Salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) in the United States—Developing research, monitoring, and management strategies
The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global...Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A.; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn
Permanent Site: D1 West Transect; Depth: 10.3 Meters (33.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.2 Kilometers (0.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15115998,-123.56801602; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand. Seaweed is abundant. Bull kelp Nereocystis luetkeana (0:09, 0:...
Permanent Site: 4SP1 - East Transect; Depth: 6.1 Meters (19.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.556704; Site Description: Predominantly a high current site with gravel/cobble substrate covered in seaweeds. The tall, stalked seaweed seen in the video is the perennial...
Permanent Site: C2 West Transect; Depth: 16.8 Meters (Feet 55.2); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.5 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.147841,-123.57663268; Site Description: Mainly sand with small amounts of gravel. One of our deepest sites. Mainly sand with small amounts of gravel. Red and brown seaweeds are abundant but grow...
Permanent Site: C2 East Transect; Depth: 16.5 Meters (Feet 54); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.147841,-123.57596074; Site Description: One of our deepest sites. Mainly sand with small amounts of gravel. Numerous species of seaweeds are present throughout entire transect but growth is...
Permanent Site: H1 West Transect; Depth: 5.9 Meters (Feet 19.4); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14803012,-123.53535558; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate is mainly...
Permanent Site: D2 East Transect; Depth: 12.1 Meters (39.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56829403; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand. Seaweed is abundant. Bull kelp Nereocystis luetkeana (1:26, 1:...
Permanent Site: D2 West Transect; Depth: 12.6 Meters (41.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56896603; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand. Seaweed is abundant. Bull kelp Nereocystis luetkeana (0:10, 1:...
Permanent Control Site: GP1 West Transect; Depth: 7.8 Meters (25.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31605203; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding...
Permanent Control Site: GP2 West Transect; Depth: 13.1 Meters (43 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31645664; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding boulders (1:05 seconds)....
Permanent Control Site: GP1 East Transect; Depth: 7.4 Meters (24.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31538047; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding...
Permanent Control Site: GP2 East Transect; Depth: 12.9 Meters (42.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.7 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-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...
Permanent Site: C1 West Transect; Depth: Meters (Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 month pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57361291; Site Description: Substrate is clean sand with scatterings of gravel. Patches of brown seaweed, mainly Alaria marginata (0:19 seconds) and Saccharina spp., and red algae (0:13...