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.

 

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Filter Total Items: 655
Date published: April 17, 2015

Evaluating the Prevalence of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in the Southeastern U.S.: Any Evidence of Disease-Related Population Declines?

Pathogens and infectious disease play a role in some recent species extinctions and are likely to impact biodiversity in the future. Environmental DNA - eDNA - is coupled with traditional amphibian sampling methods to determine the distribution and prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus, also known as Bd, in the southeastern US. 

Date published: April 17, 2015
Status: Completed

A Decision Support Tool for Repatriation of Aquatic Fauna: A Case Study Involving the Striped Newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus) at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida

The Striped Newt is a small salamander found in xeric habitats (e.g., scrub, sandhill, dry flatwoods) of the lower coastal plain and northern peninsular Florida. Though once considered "common," they are currently a candidate species for federal listing. 

Date published: November 14, 2014
Status: Completed

Fish Slam 2014

On November 20, 2014, eight teams of fishery biologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), U.S. National Park Service (NPS), and Florida International University (FIU) gathered for a one-day sampling event to collect non-native fishes from canals, ponds and ditches in Miami-Dade County, FL....

Date published: September 15, 2014
Status: Active

Technical Support and Synthesis of Data Collected on the Health and Status of Delta Smelt

USGS scientists work to provide data to UC Davis researchers on health and growth of smelt population in Bay-Delta.

Date published: August 1, 2014
Status: Active

Rearing Habitats of Longfin Smelt in the Low Salinity Zone of the San Francisco Estuary

Scientists study habitats occupied by longfin smelt larvae to better understand their ecology and to inform water management operations, species management, and habitat restoration efforts.

Date published: May 6, 2014

Adaptive Management for the Northern Bobwhite on the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area

Based on field research conducted during 2002-2009, the bobwhite population on the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Southwest Florida is incapable of supporting desired levels of sport harvest.

Date published: April 17, 2014

Use of Amphibian Communities as Indicators of Restoration Success in the Greater Everglades

Habitat alteration and climate, when combined, are serious threats to amphibians and other wildlife. Habitat suitability models are being used to predict the responses of an amphibian community to hydrological and habitat restoration in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. 

Date published: April 1, 2014

Assessment of South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) Marine Indicators

The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) has proposed natural resource indicators and associated targets for the marine ecosystem.

Contacts: Michael Randall
Date published: April 1, 2014
Status: Active

Abiotic and Biotic Effects on Delta Smelt Abundance and Distribution

Scientists research the importance of abiotic versus biotic (food supply) habitat features as drivers of delta smelt abundance and distribution.

Date published: April 17, 2013

Coping with Invasive Alien Species and Environmental Stressors: Linking Behavioral Studies with Management for Anuran Amphibians

Climate change and invasive species are two key drivers of biodiversity loss. Knowing how amphibians respond to climate change and invasive species can greatly improve predictions of species' persistence in the face of these factors and can help guide resource managers and conservation biologists in developing strategies to manage for these encroaching disturbances. 

Date published: April 18, 2012
Status: Completed

Experimental Study of Fire Season and Frequency in South Florida Pinelands

Fire is a major driving force in determining the structure and composition of subtropical vegetation. Prescribed fire constitutes one of the most pervasive management actions influencing the restoration and maintenance of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. 

Contacts: James Snyder
Date published: March 10, 2012

Systematic Studies of Southeastern Fishes

The southeastern United States is home to a variety of freshwater snails, mussels, crayfish, and fishes. USGS scientists are conducting systematic studies to better document the region's biodiversity.

Contacts: Noel Burkhead
Filter Total Items: 2,898
Year Published: 2015

Incorporating future change into current conservation planning: Evaluating tidal saline wetland migration along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios

In this study, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, quantified the potential for landward migration of tidal saline wetlands along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative future sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios. Our analyses focused exclusively on tidal saline wetlands (that is,...

Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen T.; Osland, Michael J.
Enwright, N.M., Griffith, K.T., and Osland, M.J., 2015, Incorporating future change into current conservation planning—Evaluating tidal saline wetland migration along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 969, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds969.

Year Published: 2015

Dreissenid mussel research priorities workshop

Currently, dreissenid mussels have yet to be detected in the northwestern part of the United States and western Canada. Infestation of one of the jurisdictions within the mussel-free Pacific Northwest would likely have significant economic, soci­etal and environmental implications for the entire region. Understanding the biology and environmental...

Sytsma, Mark; Phillips, Stephen; Counihan, Timothy D.
Sytsma, M.D., S. Phillips, and T.D. Counihan. 2015. Dreissenid mussel research priorities workshop. Center for Lakes and Reservoirs Publications and Presentations. Paper 49.

Year Published: 2015

Fire activity as a function of fire–weather seasonal severity and antecedent climate across spatial scales in southern Europe and Pacific western USA

Climate has a strong influence on fire activity, varying across time and space. We analyzed the relationships between fire–weather conditions during the main fire season and antecedent water-balance conditions and fires in two Mediterranean-type regions with contrasted management histories: five southern countries of the European Union (...

Urbieta, Itziar R.; Zavala, Gonzalo; Bedia, Joaquin; Gutierrez, Jose M.; San Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus; Camia, Andrea; Keeley, Jon E.; Moreno, Jose M.
Urbieta, IR, G Zavala, J Bedia, JM Gutierrez, JS Miguel-Ayanz, A Camia, JE Keeley, JM Moreno. 2015. Fire activity as a function of fire–weather seasonal severity and antecedent climate across spatial scales in southern Europe and Pacific western USA. Environmental Research Letters 10(11): 114031. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/11/114013

Year Published: 2015

Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development

Fire-induced permafrost degradation is well documented in boreal forests, but the role of fires in initiating thermokarst development in Arctic tundra is less well understood. Here we show that Arctic tundra fires may induce widespread thaw subsidence of permafrost terrain in the first seven years following the disturbance. Quantitative analysis...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Arp, Christopher D.; Miller, Eric K.; Liu, Lingli; Hayes, Daniel J.; Larsen, Christopher F.

Year Published: 2015

Large-scale range collapse of Hawaiian forest birds under climate change and the need 21st century conservation options

Hawaiian forest birds serve as an ideal group to explore the extent of climate change impacts on at-risk species. Avian malaria constrains many remaining Hawaiian forest bird species to high elevations where temperatures are too cool for malaria's life cycle and its principal mosquito vector. The impact of climate change on Hawaiian forest birds...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Vorsino, Adam E.; Amidon, Fred A.; Paxton, Eben H.; Jacobi, James D.
Fortini, L.B., A.E. Vorsino, F.A. Amidon, E.H. Paxton, J.D. Jacobi. 2015. Large-Scale Range Collapse of Hawaiian Forest Birds under Climate Change and the Need 21st Century Conservation Options. PLOS ONE, 10: e0140389

Year Published: 2015

Genetic structure, diversity, and interisland dispersal in the endangered Mariana Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus guami)

The Mariana Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus guami) is a highly endangered taxon, with fewer than 300 individuals estimated to occur in the wild. The subspecies is believed to have undergone population declines attributable to loss of wetland habitats on its native islands in the Mariana Islands. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)...

Miller, Mark P.; Mullins, Thomas D.; Haig, Susan M.; Takano, Leilani L.; Garcia, Karla
Miller, M., Mullins, T.D., Haig, S.M., Takano, L.L., Garcia, K., 2015, Genetic structure, diversity, and interisland migration in the endangered Mariana Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus guami): The Condor, v. 117, p. 660-669.

Year Published: 2015

Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat—Part 1. Concepts for understanding and applying restoration

Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the United States currently occur on only about one-half of their historical land area because of changes in land use, urban growth, and degradation of land, including invasions of non-native plants. The existence of many animal species depends on the existence of sagebrush steppe habitat. The greater sage-grouse (...

Pyke, David A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Knick, Steven T.; Miller, Richard F.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Doescher, Paul S.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Brunson, Mark; McIver, James D.
Pyke, D.A., Chambers, J.C., Pellant, M., Knick, S.T., Miller, R,F., Beck, J.L., Doescher, P.S., Schupp, E.W., Roundy, B.A., Brunson, M., and McIver, J.D., 2015, Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat—Part 1. Concepts for understanding and applying restoration: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1416, 44 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/cir1416.

Year Published: 2015

Woodland salamander responses to a shelterwood harvest-prescribed burn silvicultural treatment within Appalachian mixed-oak forests

Forest management practices that mimic natural canopy disturbances, including prescribed fire and timber harvests, may reduce competition and facilitate establishment of favorable vegetative species within various ecosystems. Fire suppression in the central Appalachian region for almost a century has contributed to a transition from oak-dominated...

Ford, W. Mark; Mahoney, Kathleen R.; Russell, Kevin R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Riddle, Jason D.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Adams, Mary Beth
Mahoney, K. R., K. R. Russell, W. M. Ford, J. L. Rodrque, J. D. Riddle, T. M. Schuler, M. B. Adams. 2016. Woodland salamander responses to a shelterwood harvest-prescribed burn silvicultural treatment within Appalachian mixed-oak forests. Forest Ecology and Management 359: 277-285. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2015.09.042

Year Published: 2015

Bioaccumulation trends of arsenic and antimony in a freshwater ecosystem affected by mine drainage

We compared As and Sb bioaccumulation and biomagnification when these metalloids co-occurred at varying environmental concentrations in a stream and wetlands near a contaminated mine site in Idaho (USA). We measured As and Sb concentrations in water and substrate samples, and in tissues of organisms representing several trophic levels....

Dovick, Meghan A.; Kulp, Thomas R.; Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.
Dovick, M.A., Kulp, T.R., Arkle, R.S., Pilliod, D.S., 2015, Bioaccumulation trends of arsenic and antimony in a freshwater ecosystem impacted by mine drainage: Environmental Chemistry, p. online.

Year Published: 2015

Response of the nitrogen-fixing lichen Lobaria pulmonaria to phosphorus, molybdenum, and vanadium

Nitrogen-fixing lichens (cyanolichens) are an important source of nitrogen (N) in Pacific Northwest forests, but limitation of lichen growth by elements essential for N fixation is poorly understood. To investigate how nutrient limitation may affect cyanolichen growth rates, we fertilized a tripartite cyanobacterial lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria) and...

Marks, Jade A; Pett-Ridge, Julie; Perakis, Steven S.; Allen, Jessica L; McCune, Bruce
Jade A. Marks, Julie C. Pett-Ridge, Steven S. Perakis, Jessica L. Allen, and Bruce McCune 2015. Response of the nitrogen-fixing lichen Lobaria pulmonaria to phosphorus, molybdenum, and vanadium. Ecosphere 6:art155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES15-00140.1

Year Published: 2015

Status and trends of adult Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) sucker populations in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2014

Executive Summary Data from a long-term capture-recapture program were used to assess the status and dynamics of populations of two long-lived, federally endangered catostomids in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) have been captured and tagged with passive integrated...

Hewitt, David A.; Janney, Eric C.; Hayes, Brian S.; Harris, Alta C.
Hewitt, D.A., Janney, E.C., Hayes, B.S., and Harris, A.C., 2015, Status and trends of adult Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) sucker populations in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2014: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1189, 36 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151189.

Year Published: 2015

The rapid return of marine-derived nutrients to a freshwater food web following dam removal

Dam removal is increasingly being recognized as a viable river restoration action. Although the main beneficiaries of restored connectivity are often migratory fish populations, little is known regarding recovery of other parts of the freshwater food web, particularly terrestrial components. We measured stable isotopes in key components to the...

Tonra, Christopher M; Sager-Fradkin, Kimberly A.; Morley, Sarah A; Duda, Jeff; Marra, Peter P.

Filter Total Items: 667
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).

USGS Scientist Mark Roth listening to frog calls.
December 31, 2002

USGS Scientist Mark Roth listening to frog calls.

USGS Scientist Mark Roth listening to frog calls. Coolecting frog calls allows scientists to determine distribution of species.

Tadpole with SPI
December 19, 2002

Tadpole with SPI

This tadpole shows signs of a severe Perkinsea infection.