Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
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.
Establishing Explicit Biological Objectives to Guide Strategic Habitat Conservation for the Gulf Coast
To inform conservation efforts for the Gulf Coast, USGS is developing a suite of decision support tools to provide explicit population and habitat objectives.
The federally protected Atlantic Coast Piping Plover relies on habitats that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. USGS works to understand how these changes have affected nesting habitat and the reproductive success of the shorebird.
An Inventory and Comparative Study of Bees, A Keystone Ecological Group in the Endangered Coastal Prairie of Louisiana
Much of Louisiana's coastal prairie has been converted to rice and sugarcane cultivation. USGS is inventorying bee populations in these areas to explore how effective restoration efforts have been.
USGS' and Loyola University New Orleans' innovative research techniques played a role in the decision to downlist the Okaloosa Darter, a freshwater fish endemic to northwest Florida, from Endangered to Threatened.
Wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico coast play an important role in the global carbon cycle, but as they rapidly convert to open water, their potential for carbon storage is declining. USGS is working to provide accurate, long-term marsh soil carbon sequestration rates.
Wetlands are often classified by their vegetation, which can help scientists track how these landscapes change over time. USGS turns to unsupervised artificial neural networks to help guide this classification process.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are aquatic organisms that move into ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range and cause severe and irreversible damage to the habitats they invade. Most AIS arrive as a direct result of human activity, such as boating and angling. The threat of AIS introduction is especially high in the Greater Yellowstone Area, as humans from all over the world come to...
Dongting Lake, one of the wetlands that make up the floodplains of China's Yangtze River, is important habitat for migratory waterfowl and other wildlife. However, the re-engineering of the water way and the intensification of agricultural practices has contributed to changes in hydrology and sedimentation. USGS and partners from China are assessing the potential impact of these changes to the...
Fire modulates climate change response of simulated aspen distribution across topoclimatic gradients in a semi-arid montane landscape
Content Changing aspen distribution in response to climate change and fire is a major focus of biodiversity conservation, yet little is known about the potential response of aspen to these two driving forces along topoclimatic gradients. Objective This study is set to evaluate how aspen distribution might shift in response to different climate-...Yang, Jian; Weisberg, Peter J.; Shinneman, Douglas; Dilts, Thomas E.; Earnst, Susan L.; Scheller, Robert M
Advancing the science of microbial symbiosis to support invasive species management: a case study on Phragmites in the Great Lakes
A growing body of literature supports microbial symbiosis as a foundational principle for the competitive success of invasive plant species. Further exploration of the relationships between invasive species and their associated microbiomes, as well as the interactions with the microbiomes of native species, can lead to key new insights into...Kowalski, Kurt P.; Bacon, Charles R.; Bickford, Wesley A.; Braun, Heather A.; Clay, Keith; Leduc-Lapierre, Michele; Lillard, Elizabeth; McCormick, Melissa K.; Nelson, Eric; Torres, Monica; White, James W. C.; Wilcox, Douglas A.
Vegetation and non-native ungulate monitoring at the Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex 2010–2014.
The Hakalau Forest Unit (HFU) of Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex (BINWRC) has intensively managed feral cattle (Bos taurus) and pigs (Sus scrofa) and monitored non-native ungulate presence and distribution during surveys of all managed areas since 1988. We: 1) provide results from recent ungulate surveys at HFU to determine current...Hess, Steven C.; Leopold, Christina R.; Kendall, Steven J.
Characterizing the distribution of an endangered salmonid using environmental DNA analysis
Determining species distributions accurately is crucial to developing conservation and management strategies for imperiled species, but a challenging task for small populations. We evaluated the efficacy of environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis for improving detection and thus potentially refining the known distribution of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus...Laramie, Matthew B.; Pilliod, David S.; Goldberg, Caren S.
Intercontinental genetic structure and gene flow in Dunlin (Calidris alpina), a potential vector of avian influenza
Waterfowl (Anseriformes) and shorebirds (Charadriiformes) are the most common wild vectors of influenza A viruses. Due to their migratory behavior, some may transmit disease over long distances. Migratory connectivity studies can link breeding and nonbreeding grounds while illustrating potential interactions among populations that may spread...Miller, Mark P.; Haig, Susan M.; Mullins, Thomas D.; Ruan, Luzhang; Casler, Bruce; Dondua, Alexei; Gates, River H.; Johnson, J. Matthew; Kendall, Steven J.; Tomkovich, Pavel S.; Tracy, Diane; Valchuk, Olga P.; Lanctot, Richard B.
Value of information in natural resource management: technical developments and application to pink-footed geese
The “value of information” (VOI) is a generic term for the increase in value resulting from better information to guide management, or alternatively, the value foregone under uncertainty about the impacts of management (Yokota and Thompson, Medical Decision Making 2004;24: 287). The value of information can be characterized...Williams, Byron K.; Johnson, Fred A.
An experimental investigation of chemical communication in the polar bear
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus), with its wide-ranging movements, solitary existence and seasonal reproduction, is expected to favor chemosignaling over other communication modalities. However, the topography of its Arctic sea ice habitat is generally lacking in stationary vertical substrates routinely used for targeted scent marking in other...Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Slocomb, C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Pessier, Allan P.
Spring resource phenology and timing of songbird migration across the Gulf of Mexico
Migratory songbirds are advancing their arrival to breeding areas in response to climatic warming at temperate latitudes. Less is understood about the impacts of climate changes outside the breeding period. Every spring, millions of migrating songbirds that overwinter in the Caribbean and Central and South America stop to rest and refuel in the...Paxton, Eben H.; Cohen, Emily B.; Németh, Zoltan; Zenzal, Theodore J.; Paxton, Kristina L.; Diehl, Robert H.; Moore, Frank R.
Farallon de Medinilla seabird and Tinian moorhen analyses
This report assesses the trends in brown booby (Sula leucogaster), masked booby (S. dactylatra), and red-footed booby (S. sula) counts collected on Farallon de Medinilla and Mariana common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus guami) counts on Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to help elucidate patterns in bird numbers. During either...Camp, Richard J.; Leopold, Christina R.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Juola, Franz
Mortality estimation from carcass searches using the R-package carcass: a tutorial
This article is a tutorial for the R-package carcass. It starts with a short overview of common methods used to estimate mortality based on carcass searches. Then, it guides step by step through a simple example. First, the proportion of animals that fall into the search area is estimated. Second, carcass persistence time is estimated based on...Korner-Nievergelt, Fränzi; Behr, Oliver; Brinkmann, Robert; Etterson, Matthew A.; Huso, Manuela M. P.; Dalthorp, Daniel; Korner-Nievergelt, Pius; Roth, Tobias; Niermann, Ivo
Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide
Aboveground–belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and...Prober, Suzanne M.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bates, Scott T.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Lind, Eric M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Adler, Peter B.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Williams, Ryan J.; Fierer, Noah
Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic
We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how...Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Sage, George K.; Hope, Andrew G.; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L.
Looking down on a managed forest landscape in Oregon.
Remnants of a spruce forest complex following a severe wildfire in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Wildfires are the dominant landscape-scale disturbance operating at annual time scales in Alaska, and fires play a major role in the rate and extent of vegetation growth and productivity of a site. Wildland fires typically result in the reduction of...
Neal Pastick – lead author of the study – investigating erosion along Alaska’s Arctic coastline near the village of Kaktovik. Permafrost-dominated coasts of Alaska have drastically changed as the result of coastal transgression and storm-surge flooding which can result in the loss of cultural sites and damage to infrastructure. Photo by M. Torre Jorgenson...
Flyer for webinar on Weds. Feb. 14 – Mercury transport and bioaccumulation in California reservoirs affected by historical gold mining
Webinar on Mercury in Reservoirs - February 28th Webinar References
Thermal imagery is one tool to assist researchers in measuring temperature loss from the mange patches (red) and compare this with temperature loss from natural fur (blues and greens). As you can see in the two contrasting images, the hairless areas associated with mange are much easier to see using thermal imagery due to heat loss versus a standard photograph from a...