Mission Areas

Ecosystems

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 634
Date published: May 7, 2018
Status: Active

Sea turtle nesting on Eglin Air Force Base property, Cape San Blas, Florida

The Northwestern Atlantic population of loggerhead sea turtles is one of the largest in the world. Genetic studies have divided this population into 5 management units including a genetically distinct group that nests throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

Remote Sensing

USGS is using remote sensing of Fisheries and Aquatic Communities to monitor and assess fish populations and aquatic communities.

Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

Data Visualization

USGS aquatic scientists are developing data visualization tools to assist
natural resource managers in decision‐making and adaptive management.

Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

Statistical Modeling

The USGS is incorporating different species and aquatic communities into statistical models to begin developing tools that quantify relationships between flow and total ecosystem services provided by river systems for human benefit. 

Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

Genetics and Genomics

USGS aquatic scientists develop and adapt new technologies and tools that increase the effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and accuracy of aquatic ecosystem management.

Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Tagging and Tracking

USGS Fisheries scientists apply advanced technologies to monitor and assess fish populations and aquatic communities.

Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems

USGS Fisheries scientists work with partners to assess the physiology, life history, reproduction, and habitat needs of aquatic species to assist managers to develop techniques to understand, conserve, and restore fish communities.

Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Pollution in Aquatic Ecosystems

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

Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Species and Disease

USGS provides fisheries research information to restore and enhance fish habitat and understand fish diseases. Endangered species and those that are imperiled receive special research interest. Aquatic Invasive Species research is aiding in early detection and control measures, as well as understanding impacts these invaders have on aquatic environments.

Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Land and Water Management

USGS research in advanced technologies, use of remote sensing, and research and monitoring in large river systems across the U.S. uniquely positions the USGS Fisheries Program to contribute to practical applications of landscape science.

Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Drought and Ecological Flows

As part of the USGS Fisheries program, ecological flows, or the relationships between quality, quantity, and timing of water flows and ecological response of aquatic biota and ecosystems; and related ecosystem services are being investigated. 

Filter Total Items: 80
Date published: March 4, 2016

National Plants Database

Provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the United States and its territories.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: March 4, 2016

Web Soil Survey (WSS)

Provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: March 4, 2016

National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) — Wetlands Mapper

This tool produces and provides information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the Nation's wetlands and deepwater habitats and other wildlife habitats.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: December 17, 2013

American Fisheries Society List of Freshwater Gastropods (Snails) from Canada and the United States

At this website, one can view lists of native freshwater snails by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of snails by political boundaries. Lists can be downloaded for use in reports or analyses. Data file last updated 12/17/2013.

Date published: April 25, 2013

The 2008 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fishes of North America

At this website, one can view lists of imperiled fishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of imperiled fishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 4/25/2013.

Date published: March 17, 2011

The 2007 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of common and imperiled freshwater crayfishes of the United States and Canada

At this website, one can view lists of crayfishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of crayfishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 3/17/2011.

Date published: January 1, 2011

Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE – Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events

The National Wildlife Health Center, with help from partners and support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, organized “Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE – Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events” in 2011. The goal of AMBLE was to empower concerned citizens to monitor bird health and beach conditions along the Lake Michigan shoreline, thus increasing knowledge of avian botulism...

Date published: September 9, 2010

Mangrove Secrets

The Sheltered Corals of Hurricane Hole, US Virgin Islands

Filter Total Items: 2,341
Year Published: 2018

Assessment of distribution and abundance estimates for Mariana swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) via examination of survey methods

We described past and present distribution and abundance data to evaluate the status of the endangered Mariana Swiftlet (Aerodramus bartschi), a little-known echolocating cave swiftlet that currently inhabits 3 of 5 formerly occupied islands in the Mariana archipelago. We then evaluated the survey methods used to attain these estimates via...

Johnson, Nathan C.; Haig, Susan M.; Mosher, Stephen M.
Johnson, N.C., Haig, S.M., Mosher, S.M., 2018, Assessment of distribution and abundance estimates for Mariana swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) via examination of survey methods: The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1676/16-106.1.

Year Published: 2018

Effect of cattle exclosures on Columbia Spotted Frog abundance

Livestock grazing is an important land use in the western USA and can have positive or negative effects on amphibians. Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris) often use ponds that provide water for cattle. We conducted a long-term manipulative study on US Forest Service land in northeastern Oregon to determine the effects of full and partial...

Adams, Michael J.; Pearl, Christopher; Chambert, Thierry; Mccreary, Brome; Galvan, Stephanie; Rowe, Jennifer
Adams, M.J., Pearl, C.A., Chambert, T., McCreary, B., Galvan, S.K., Rowe, J.C., 2018, Effect of cattle exclosures on Columbia spotted frog abundance: Wetlands Ecology and Management, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-018-9596-9.

Year Published: 2018

Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating birds

With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne migrants and lead to collisions with structures,...

McLaren, James D.; Buler, Jeffrey J.; Schreckengost, Tim; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A.; Boone, Matthew; van Loon, E. Emiel; Dawson, Deanna K.; Walters, Eric L.
McLaren, J. D., Buler, J. J., Schreckengost, T., smolinsky, J. A., Boone, M., van Loon, E., Dawson, D. K., and Walters, E. L., 2018, Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating birds: Ecology Letters, v. 21, no. 3, p. 356-364. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12902

Year Published: 2018

Effects of host species and environment on the skin microbiome of Plethodontid salamanders

The amphibian skin microbiome is recognized for its role in defence against pathogens, including the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Yet, we have little understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes that structure these communities, especially for salamanders and closely related species. We...

Muletz-Wolz, Carly R.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Fleischer, Robert C.; Lips, Karen R.
Muletz, C. R., Yarwood, S. A., Grant, E. H. C., Fleischer, R. C., and Lips, K. R., 2018, Effects of host species and environment on the skin microbiome of Plethodontid salamanders: Journal of Animal Ecology, v. 87, p. 341-353. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12726

Year Published: 2018

Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference

1. Conservation managers rely on accurate estimates of disease parameters, such as pathogen prevalence and infection intensity, to assess disease status of a host population. However, these disease metrics may be biased if low-level infection intensities are missed by sampling methods or laboratory diagnostic tests. These false negatives...

DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Longo, Ana; Che-Castaldo, Christian; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen
DiRenzo, G. V., Grant, E. H. C., Longo, A. V., Che-Castaldo, C., Zamudio, K. R., and Lips, K. R., 2018, Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, v. 9, no. 2, p. 380-389. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12868

Year Published: 2018

Improving estimation of flight altitude in wildlife telemetry studies

Altitude measurements from wildlife tracking devices, combined with elevation data, are commonly used to estimate the flight altitude of volant animals. However, these data often include measurement error. Understanding this error may improve estimation of flight altitude and benefit applied ecology.There are a number of different approaches that...

Poessel, Sharon; Duerr, Adam E.; Hall, Jonathan C.; Braham, Melissa A.; Katzner, Todd
Poessel, S.A., Duerr, A.E., Hall, J.C., Braham, M.A., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Improving estimation of flight altitude in wildlife telemetry studies: Journal of Applied Ecology, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13135.

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 of a multimetric index for integrated assessment of salt marsh ecosystem condition

Tools for assessing and communicating salt marsh condition are essential to guide decisions aimed at maintaining or restoring ecosystem integrity and services. Multimetric indices (MMIs) are increasingly used to provide integrated assessments of ecosystem condition. We employed a theory-based approach that considers the multivariate relationship...

Nagel, Jessica L.; Neckles, Hilary A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Rocks, Erika N.; Schoolmaster, Donald; Grace, James B.; Skidds, Dennis; Stevens, Sara
Nagel, J. L., Neckles, H. A., Guntenspergen, G. R., Rocks, E. N., Schoolmaster, D. R. Jr., Grace, J. B., Skidds, D., and Stevens, S., 2018, Development of a multimetric index for integrated assessment of salt marsh ecosystem condition: Estuaries and Coasts, v. 41, no. 2, p. 334-348. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0293-3

Year Published: 2018

Concentrations of environmental DNA (eDNA) reflect spawning salmon abundance at fine spatial and temporal scales

Developing fast, cost-effective assessments of wild animal abundance is an important goal for many researchers, and environmental DNA (eDNA) holds much promise for this purpose. However, the quantitative relationship between species abundance and the amount of DNA present in the environment is likely to vary substantially among taxa and with...

Tillotson, Michael D.; Kelly, Ryan P.; Duda, Jeff; Hoy, Marshal S.; Kralj, James; Quinn, Thomas P.
Tillotson, M.D., R.P. Kelly, J.J. Duda, M. Hoy, J. Kralj, and T.P. Quinn. 2018. Concentrations of environmental DNA (eDNA) reflect spawning salmon abundance at fine spatial and temporal scales. Biol. Conserv. 220:1-11.

Year Published: 2018

Mercury concentrations in multiple tissues of Kittlitz's murrelets (Brachyramphus brevirostris)

Mercury (Hg) is a non-essential, toxic metal that is distributed worldwide. Mercury biomagnifies in food webs and can threaten the health of top predators such as seabirds. The Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) is a seabird endemic to Alaska and the Russian Far East and is a species of conservation concern in the region. We...

Kenney, Leah A.; Kaler, Robb S.; Kissling, Michelle L.; Bond, Alexander L.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.
Kenney, L.A., Kaler, R.S., Kissling, M.L., Bond, A.L., Eagles-Smith, C.A., 2017, Mercury concentrations in multiple tissues of Kittlitz's murrelets (Brachyramphus brevirostris): Marine Pollution Bulletin, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.10.055.

Year Published: 2018

Occupancy modeling of autonomously recorded vocalizations to predict distribution of rallids in tidal wetlands

Conservation and management for a species requires reliable information on its status, distribution, and habitat use. We identified occupancy and distributions of king (Rallus elegans) and clapper (R. crepitans) rail populations in marsh complexes along the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers in Virginia, USA by modeling data on vocalizations recorded...

Stiffler, Lydia L.; Anderson, James T.; Katzner, Todd
Stiffler, L.L., Anderson, J.T., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Occupancy modeling of autonomously recorded vocalizations to predict distribution of rallids in tidal wetlands: Wetlands, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-018-1003-z.

Year Published: 2018

Modulators of mercury risk to wildlife and humans in the context of rapid global change

Environmental mercury (Hg) contamination is an urgent global health threat. The complexity of Hg in the environment can hinder accurate determination of ecological and human health risks, particularly within the context of the rapid global changes that are altering many ecological processes, socioeconomic patterns, and other factors like...

Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Silbergeld, Ellen K.; Basu, Niladri; Bustamante, Paco; Diaz-Barriga, Fernando; Hopkins, William A.; Kidd, Karen A.; Nyland, Jennifer F.
Eagles-Smith, C.A., Silbergeld, E.K., Basu, N., Bustamante, P., Diaz-Barriga, F., Hopkins, W.A., Nyland, J.F., 2018, Modulators of mercury risk to wildlife and humans in the context of rapid global change: Ambio, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-017-1011-x.

Filter Total Items: 552
Satellite images of the same marsh in 2008 and 2016
July 10, 2017

Restoration projects help some Louisiana coastal wetlands rebuild

Satellite images of the same wetland taken in 2008 and 2016 show a wetland restoration project has produced some gains in marsh area.

Map shows early wetland losses in red, recent losses in purple
July 10, 2017

Map shows early wetland losses in red, recent losses in purple

This map shows the historic trend in wetland losses, with early losses in red and the most recent ones in purple.

July 6, 2017

Wildlife on the Nevada National Security Site

Mountain lions, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a variety of other wildlife live on and pass through the Nevada National Security Site each day. It’s a highly restricted area that is free of hunting and has surprisingly pristine areas.This 22-minute program highlights an extraordinary study on how mountain lions interact with their prey. It shows how the scientists

...
Woman leaning over collecting sturgeon free embryos outside
June 30, 2017

Collecting Sturgeon Free Embryos

A biological science technician collects pallid sturgeon free embryos from the sampling nets in the experimental streams at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.

A female scientists overlooks swimming chambers for pallid sturgeon
June 30, 2017

Preparing Swim Chambers

A biological science technician prepares the swim chambers to assess the swimming abilities of young pallid sturgeon.

Phragmites under stress in Pass A Loutre, Louisiana
May 31, 2017

High stakes, big questions in marsh grass die-back

Brown patches and brown stems show stress in this phagmites (roseau cane) stand in Pass A Loutre Wildlife Management Area, a tract of state-owned land in Louisiana's bird foot delta, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. An ongoing phragmites was first discovered in spring 2017 and blamed on an invasive scale insect from Asia. But a new USGS report, based

...
Varied Chesapeake Bay landscapes
May 24, 2017

To Foresee Chesapeake Bay’s Future, Scientists Look to the Land

A montage of four Chesapeake Bay aerial photos. L-R: A waterfront residential community; row crops bordered by forest; Baltimore Harbor; piers and crab pots in a waterfront fishing community.

Attribution: Ecosystems, Northeast
An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 4, 2017

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by USGS scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.

A cabin along Alaska's Arctic coast was recently washed into the ocean because the bluff it was sitting on eroded away.
May 3, 2017

Climate Change Impacts

From the Sound Waves Newletter article, "Erosion Doubles Along Part of Alaska's Arctic Coast — Cultural and Historical Sites Lost" at http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2009/05/research2.html

Scientist holding a laptop and equipment, standing in a green field.
April 30, 2017

Assessing Tallgrass Coastal Prairie in Southwest Louisiana

Vegetation assessments are part of an effort to produce seamless, consistent, and high resolution landcover data for the northern portion of the western gulf coastal plain. This geography was once dominated by tallgrass prairie and has undergone dramatic change with less than 1% of this natural habitat in existence.

Tallgrass prairie provides a suite of ecosystem

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Female scientist looking through microscope.
April 30, 2017

Examining Pallid Sturgeon Eggs

Biological science aid, Marlee Malmborg, examines and records the viability of pallid sturgeon eggs at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.

March 31, 2017

Establishing Forster's Tern Nesting Colonies

Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) are conducting a "social attraction" study for seabirds in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Historically, this region offered wetland habitats to local wildlife. With the introduction of industrial salt ponds and human development, however, much of this habitat was lost. Now,

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Filter Total Items: 335
Date published: June 6, 2017

Increased Sea Ice Drift Puts Polar Bears on Faster Moving Treadmill

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster moving “treadmill” of sea ice.  

Date published: June 6, 2017

USGS Bridging Generations with WWII Technology

On June 6, 1944, thousands of men rained down from the skies onto the battlegrounds of Normandy. After five grueling years of war that shook the globe, D-Day’s victory swept the Allied nations into a wave of celebration.

Date published: June 5, 2017

New USGS Science Plan Designed to Help Plan for Drought Effects on People, Communities, and Ecosystems

The U. S. Geological Survey is poised to bring a dynamic array of science and tools to help decision-makers manage and offset effects of increased drought across the United States, according to a drought plan report released today.

Date published: June 1, 2017

Alabama Survey Finds First Southeastern Bat with White-Nose Syndrome

Biologists have confirmed white-nose syndrome in the southeastern bat, or Myotis austroriparius, for the first time. The species joins eight other hibernating bat species in North America that are afflicted with the deadly bat fungal disease.

Date published: May 31, 2017

USGS Finds 28 Types of Cyanobacteria in Florida Algal Bloom

A new U.S. Geological Survey study that looked at the extensive harmful algal bloom that plagued Florida last year found far more types of cyanobacteria present than previously known.

Date published: May 25, 2017

Mapping Chesapeake's Future From Today's Land Use

USGS’ pixel-by-pixel land use forecasts offer essential road maps for restoration. 

Date published: May 15, 2017

Western Fisheries Science News, April 2017 | Issue 5.4

Dr. Jim Winton Retires After Long Distinguished Career

Date published: May 10, 2017

Glaciers Rapidly Shrinking and Disappearing: 50 Years of Glacier Change in Montana

The warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University.

Date published: May 3, 2017

Migrating mule deer track “green waves” of spring forage: study highlights importance of habitat corridors for migrating game and other species

Migratory mule deer in Wyoming closely time their movements to track the spring green-up, providing evidence of an underappreciated foraging benefit of migration, according to a study by University of Wyoming and U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Date published: May 3, 2017

Wind Turbines Affect Behavior of Desert Tortoise Predators

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: May 2, 2017

Wildlife Recovery Following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill was Highly Variable Across Species

Thanks to a quarter-century of research and monitoring, scientists now know how different wildlife species were injured by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and how long it took for populations to recover.