Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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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.

Scientists with the Ecosystem Mission Area can be found working across the Nation to provide fish, wildlife, and habitat science support to natural resource managers. Our sixteen Ecosystem Science Centers provide unique scientific capabilities to support the management and conservation of our Nation’s biological resources.

  

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Filter Total Items: 633
Date published: February 26, 2016

Fish and Aquatic Organism Health

Understanding disease to support the management and restoration of aquatic species.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Imperiled Aquatic Species

Research on stressors and habitat requirements of imperiled aquatic species to inform their restoration.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Restoration Science and Technology

Research and technology for restoring aquatic species and aquatic habitats.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Species Diversity and Life History

Aquatic species diversity is the hallmark of healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Genetics, Genomics, and Molecular Biology

These tools offer invaluable insights into fishery resource problems.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Aquatic Community Ecology

Functional relationships among aquatic species for conserving and restoring aquatic community function.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Restoring Whooping Cranes to Southwest Louisiana: A Cooperative Venture

Researchers from the Louisiana Cooperative Research Unit evaluated habitat suitability at White Lake, Louisiana, for the possible reintroduction of endangered whooping cranes. The information collected led to the 2011-2012 release of 40 cranes. Researchers are continuing to monitor the reintroduced cranes and more releases are planned.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Fish Passage and Dams

Improving fish passage is vital for restoring populations of salmon and other migratory fish.

Date published: February 26, 2016

Metapopulation Dynamics of the Adélie Penguin

The Oregon Cooperative Unit, graduate students, and a group of U.S. and international collaborators are conducting long-term research on the Adélie penguin on Ross Island, Antarctica. This species depends on sea ice (obligate) and in some regions of Antarctica is being affected by climate change’s influence on sea ice patterns.

Date published: February 26, 2016

River Science

Rivers are the conduit between inland waters and the oceans for fish, nutrients, and sediments

Date published: February 26, 2016

Design and Analysis of Demographic Studies of Sea Turtles

Many species of sea turtle are endangered. Conservation of these species is complicated by their complex life history, the broad spatial distribution of different life stages, and their migratory nature. Monitoring programs track general status of populations and evaluate the effect of management actions on species conservation.

Attribution: Ecosystems, Southwest
Date published: February 26, 2016

Mechanisms of Aquatic Species Invasions across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC)

USGS scientists study the mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) with the help of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS).

Filter Total Items: 2,476
Year Published: 2015

Challenges of establishing big sgebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in rangeland restoration: effects of herbicide, mowing, whole-community seeding, and sagebrush seed sources

The loss of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) on sites disturbed by fire has motivated restoration seeding and planting efforts. However, the resulting sagebrush establishment is often lower than desired, especially in dry areas. Sagebrush establishment may be increased by addressing factors such as seed source and condition or management...

Brabec, Martha M.; Germino, Matthew J.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Pilliod, David S.; McIlroy, Susan K.; Arkle, Robert S.
Brabec, M.M., M.J. Germino, D.J. Shinneman, D.S. Pilliod, S.K. McIlroy, and R.S. Arkle. 2015. Challenges of Establishing Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in 3 Rangeland Restoration: Effects of Herbicide, Mowing, 4 Whole-Community Seeding, and Sagebrush Seed Sources. Rangeland Ecology and Management: 68(5):432-435.

Year Published: 2015

Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse - a design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?

The network of areas delineated in 11 Western States for prioritizing management of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a grand experiment in conservation biology and reserve design. We used centrality metrics from social network theory to gain insights into how this priority area network might function. The network was...

Crist, Michele R.; Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.
Crist, M.R., Knick, S.T., and Hanser, S.E., 2015, Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse—A design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1158, 34 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/20151158.

Year Published: 2015

Book review: Mosquito eradication: The story of killing Campto

In 1826, the paradise that was the Hawaiian Islands was changed forever when the first mosquito species was accidentally introduced to the island of Maui. Though it has not lived up to its potential as a vector of human disease in the islands, Culex quinquefasciatus and the avian pathogens it transmits laid waste to...

Lapointe, Dennis
LaPointe, Dennis. 2015. Book review of Mosquito Eradication: The Story of Killing Campto. American Entomologist, 61: 192-192.

Year Published: 2015

Chronicling long-term predator responses to a shifting forage base in Chesapeake Bay: an energetics approach

The population of Striped Bass Morone saxatilis in Chesapeake Bay has increased significantly since the 1980s because of management efforts while the relative abundance of some key prey fish has declined since the 1970s. We examined the trophic interactions and prey consumption patterns of Striped Bass in Chesapeake Bay to determine how...

Overton, Anthony S.; Griffin, Jennifer C.; Margraf, F. Joseph; May, Eric B.; Hartman, Kyle J.

Year Published: 2015

Seasonally-dynamic presence-only species distribution models for a cryptic migratory bat impacted by wind energy development

Understanding seasonal distribution and movement patterns of animals that migrate long distances is an essential part of monitoring and conserving their populations. Compared to migratory birds and other more conspicuous migrants, we know very little about the movement patterns of many migratory bats. Hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus), a cryptic,...

Hayes, Mark A.; Cryan, Paul M.; Wunder, Michael B.
Hayes, M.A., P.M. Cryan, and M.B. Wunder. 2015. Seasonally-dynamic presence-only species distribution models for a cryptic migratory bat impacted by wind energy development. PLoS ONE 10: e0132599

Year Published: 2015

Landscape-scale distribution and density of raptor populations wintering in anthropogenic-dominated desert landscapes

Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and...

Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Cornell Duerr, Kerri L; Lanzone, Michael J.; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd E.

Year Published: 2015

Successful mitigation of viral disease based on a delayed exposure rearing strategy at a large-scale steelhead trout conservation hatchery

In 2009, the largest steelhead trout conservation hatchery in the state of Idaho, Dworshak National Fish Hatchery (NFH), lost over 50% of the juvenile steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population being reared for release. The causative agent of this high mortality was the viral pathogen infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). This was...

Breyta, R.; Samson, Corie; Blair, Marilyn; Black, Allison; Kurath, Gael
Breyta, R., C. Samson, M. Blair, A. Black, and G. Kurath. 2016. Successful mitigation of viral disease based on a delayed exposure rearing strategy at a large-scale steelhead trout conservation hatchery. Aquaculture 450: 213-224.

Year Published: 2015

Estimating the short-term recovery potential of little brown bats in the eastern United States in the face of White-nose syndrome

White-nose syndrome (WNS) was first detected in North American bats in New York in 2006. Since that time WNS has spread throughout the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and southwest across Pennsylvania and as far west as Missouri. Suspect WNS cases have been identified in Minnesota and Iowa, and the causative agent of WNS (...

Russell, Robin E.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Szymanski, Jennifer A.; Tinsley, Karl

Year Published: 2015

Unusual behavior in the parental care of a house wren (Troglodytes aedon): Post fledging use of an old nest during cold nights

I report on the unusual behavior of an adult House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) leading recently fledged young back to the nest for two consecutive nights. The ambient temperature reached below 0°C during both nights. Despite disadvantages associated with remaining in the nest, this observation suggests that adult birds may assess trade-offs...

Scholer, Micah N.
Scholer, M.N., 2015, Unusual Behavior in Parental Care by a House Wren (Troglodytes aedon): Post Fledging Use of an Old Nest During Cold Nights. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, p. 545-547.

Year Published: 2015

Monitoring landscape-level distribution and migration Phenology of Raptors using a volunteer camera-trap network

Conservation of animal migratory movements is among the most important issues in wildlife management. To address this need for landscape-scale monitoring of raptor populations, we developed a novel, baited photographic observation network termed the “Appalachian Eagle Monitoring Program” (AEMP). During winter months of 2008–2012, we partnered with...

Jachowski, David S.; Katzner, Todd; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Ford, W. Mark

Year Published: 2015

Modeling the complex impacts of timber harvests to find optimal management regimes for Amazon tidal floodplain forests

At the Amazon estuary, the oldest logging frontier in the Amazon, no studies have comprehensively explored the potential long-term population and yield consequences of multiple timber harvests over time. Matrix population modeling is one way to simulate long-term impacts of tree harvests, but this approach has often ignored common impacts of tree...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Cropper, Wendell P.; Zarin, Daniel J.
Fortini, L.B., W.P. Cropper, Jr., D.J. Zarin. 2015. Modeling the Complex Impacts of Timber Harvests to Find Optimal Management Regimes for Amazon Tidal Floodplain Forests. PLOS ONE, 10: e0136740.

Year Published: 2015

Science from genes to landscapes

Wherever flowering plants flourish, pollinating bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and other animals are at work, providing vital and often unnoticed services. Many of these species are in serious decline, a situation if unabated, threatens agricultural production, maintenance of natural plant communities, and other important services. Responding to...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2015, Science from genes to landscapes: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015-3057, 4 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20153057.

Filter Total Items: 621
Image: Brewer's Sparrow Being Held for Assessment
February 26, 2006

Brewer's Sparrow Being Held for Assessment

John Warzybok records data whille Caroline Poli secures a Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) for assessment, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Image: Measurement of Brewer's Sparrow
February 26, 2006

Measurement of Brewer's Sparrow

Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) being measured, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Image: Brewer's Sparrows Being Assessed
February 26, 2006

Brewer's Sparrows Being Assessed

Caroline Poli and John Warzybok assess Brewer's sparrows (Spizella breweri) at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Image: Brewer's Sparrow Being Weighed
February 26, 2006

Brewer's Sparrow Being Weighed

Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) being weighed on digital scale, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Image: Brewer's Sparrow
February 26, 2006

Brewer's Sparrow

John Warzybok secures a Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri), White Sands Missle Range, New Mexico.

Image: Brewer's Sparrow Being Held for Assessment
February 26, 2006

Brewer's Sparrow Being Held for Assessment

John Warzybok records data whille Caroline Poli secures a Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) for assessment, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Image: Bagged Brewer's Sparrows
February 10, 2006

Bagged Brewer's Sparrows

Sampling bags holding Brewer's sparrows (Spizella breweri), White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Image: Brewer's Sparrow Being Assessed
February 10, 2006

Brewer's Sparrow Being Assessed

John Warzybok assesses a Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Fishers on Lake Samfya, Zambia
December 31, 2005

Fishers on Lake Samfya, Zambia

Beach seine being hauled on the shore of Lake Samfya, Zambia.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Pitcher Plant Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
June 3, 2004

Sundew Plant Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

A Sundew plant taken at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana

Image: Brewer's sparrow in hand
May 31, 2004

Brewer's sparrow in hand

USGS' Steve Hanser holding a Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri).