Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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Filter Total Items: 556
Date published: March 5, 2018
Status: Active

Sage-grouse and Sagebrush Resources

Additional resources and related links for the sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem program are listed below.

Contacts: Steve Hanser
Date published: March 2, 2018
Status: Active

Sage-grouse and Sagebrush Steppe Lead Scientists

Listed below are the names of USGS principal investigators working on sage-grouse or sagebrush steppe ecosystem issues.

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Vulnerability Assessment Frameworks

The USGS Status and Trends program assesses ecological patterns and processes within important ecological systems to understand complex environmental controls over species and ecosystems, and their vulnerability to internal and external stressors and drivers.

 

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Contaminants

Health status can often affect the size and distribution of plant and animals population across landscapes. 

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Sea-Level Rise

Coastal ecosystems greatly influence the livelihood and resilience of coastal communities and cities to external stressors such as storms or sea level change.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Fire

Successful restoration or rehabilitation of degraded species, habitats and ecosystems requires assessments of the status and trends of the impacted system before, during and after restoration. In addition, an ecological understanding is required to inform changes in resource management activities to support restoration, as well as to assess the relative success of the restoration and to adjust...

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 26, 2018
Status: Active

Decision Frameworks

Decision frameworks bring science and stakeholders needs together to determine the best way to manage natural resources.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 26, 2018
Status: Active

Biological Collections

Biological collections provide critical data to assess the history of the status, population trends, and abundance of the plants and animals around us. 

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 26, 2018
Status: Active

Citizen Science

Citizen science — scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, usually in collaboration with scientific institutions — is a grassroots approach to natural science. It educates and engages the public by encouraging ordinary citizens to use their interests and their talents in tackling a wide range of real-world problems. 

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 26, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are the benefits that ecosystems provide that are valued by human users such as food, fresh water, and cultural services. Ecosystems also provide marketable goods like seafood and timber.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 26, 2018
Status: Active

Adaptive Assessments

The Status and Trends program is using adaptive assessments to understand the current condition of plants, animals, and habitats then structuring management decisions around the information learned.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: February 22, 2018
Status: Active

Data Analysis, Synthesis, and Delivery

The Status and Trends program provides research, technological tools, and decision support to meet the science needs of the Nation's resource managers to conserve and protect aquatic species, communities, and habitats.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Filter Total Items: 2,278
Year Published: 2017

Refining the cheatgrass–fire cycle in the Great Basin: Precipitation timing and fine fuel composition predict wildfire trends

Larger, more frequent wildfires in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have been associated with invasion by non-native annual grasses, yet a complete understanding of fine fuel development and subsequent wildfire trends is lacking. We investigated the complex relationships among weather, fine fuels, and fire in the Great Basin, USA. We first modeled...

Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin; Arkle, Robert
Pilliod DS, Welty JL, Arkle RS. Refining the cheatgrass–fire cycle in the Great Basin: Precipitation timing and fine fuel composition predict wildfire trends. Ecol Evol. 2017;00:1–26. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3414

Year Published: 2017

USGS microbiome research

Microbiomes are the communities of microorganisms (for example, bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that live on, in, and around people, plants, animals, soil, water, and the atmosphere. Microbiomes are active in the functioning of diverse ecosystems, for instance, by influencing water quality, nutrient acquisition 
and stress tolerance in plants, and...

Kellogg, Christina A.; Hopkins, M. Camille
Kellogg, C.A., and Hopkins, M.C., 2017, USGS microbiome research: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3074, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173074.

Year Published: 2017

The influence of soil resources and plant traits on invasion and restoration in a subtropical woodland

It has been shown in some cases that nitrogen (N) addition to soil will increase abundance of plant invaders because many invaders have traits that promote rapid growth in response to high resource supply. Similarly, it has been suggested, and sometimes shown, that decreasing soil N via carbon (C) additions can facilitate native species recovery....

Yelenik, Stephanie G.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; August-Schmidt, Elizabeth
Yelenik, S. G., C. M. D’Antonio, and E. August-Schmidt. 2017. The influence of soil resources and plant traits on invasion and restoration in a subtropical woodland. Plant Ecology 218:1149–1161. Available: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11258-017-0757-3

Year Published: 2017

Biogeographical variation of plumage coloration in the sexually dichromatic Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens)

Plumage coloration in birds can be of major importance to mate selection, social signaling, or predator avoidance. Variations in plumage coloration related to sex, age class, or seasons have been widely studied, but the effect of other factors such as climate is less known. In this study, we examine how carotenoid-based plumage coloration and...

Gaudioso-Levita, Jacqueline M.; Hart, Patrick J.; Lapointe, Dennis; Veillet, Anne; Sebastian-Gonzalez, Esther
Gaudioso-Levita, J. M., P. J. Hart, D. A. LaPointe, A. C. Veillet, and E. Sebastián-González. 2017. Biogeographical variation of plumage coloration in the sexually dichromatic Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens). Journal of Ornithology 158:955–964.

Year Published: 2017

Coming to terms about describing Golden Eagle reproduction

Clearly defined terms are essential for reporting and understanding research findings, and inconsistent terminology can complicate efforts to compare findings from different studies. In this article, we reiterate and clarify recommended terms for describing Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) territory occupancy and reproduction. Several authors have...

Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; McIntyre, Carol L.; Brown, Jessi L.
Steenhof, K., Kochert, M.N., McIntyre, C.L., Brown, J.L., 2017, Coming to terms about describing golden eagle reproduction: Journal of Raptor Research, v. 51, no. 3, p. 378-390, https://doi.org/10.3356/JRR-16-46.1.

Year Published: 2017

Do you hear what I see? Vocalization relative to visual detection rates of Hawaiian hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)

Bats vocalize during flight as part of the sensory modality called echolocation, but very little is known about whether flying bats consistently call. Occasional vocal silence during flight when bats approach prey or conspecifics has been documented for relatively few species and situations. Bats flying alone in clutter-free airspace are not known...

Gorresen, Paulo Marcos; Cryan, Paul; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Bonaccorso, Frank
Gorresen, P. M., P. M. Cryan, K. Montoya-Aiona, and F. J. Bonaccorso. 2017. Do you hear what I see? Vocalization relative to visual detection rates of Hawaiian hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus semotus). Ecology and Evolution 7:6669–6679. Available: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3196/full

Year Published: 2017

Characterizing Golden Eagle risk to lead and anticoagulant rodenticide exposure: A review

Contaminant exposure is among the many threats to Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) populations throughout North America, particularly lead poisoning and anticoagulant rodenticides (AR). These threats may act in concert with others (e.g., lead poisoning and trauma associated with striking objects) to exacerbate risk. Golden Eagles are skilled...

Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Buck, Jeremy A.

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2017

The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem extends across a large portion of the Western United States, and the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is one of the iconic species of this ecosystem. Greater sage-grouse populations occur in 11 States and are dependent on relatively large expanses of sagebrush-dominated habitat. Sage-grouse...

Hanser, Steven E.
Hanser, S.E., ed., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1436, 54 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1436.

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey—Energy and wildlife research annual report for 2017

IntroductionTerrestrial and aquatic ecosystems provide valuable services to humans and are a source of clean water, energy, raw materials, and productive soils. The Nation’s food supply is more secure because of wildlife. For example, native pollinators enhance agricultural crops, and insect-eating bats provide pest control services worth billions...

Khalil, Mona
Attribution: Ecosystems
Khalil, Mona, ed., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey—Energy and wildlife research annual report for 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1435, 91 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1435.

Year Published: 2017

Development of a robust analytical framework for assessing landbird trends, dynamics and relationships with environmental covariates in the North Coast and Cascades Network

During 2015-2016, we completed development of a new analytical framework for landbird population monitoring data from the National Park Service (NPS) North Coast and Cascades Inventory and Monitoring Network (NCCN). This new tool for analysis combines several recent advances in modeling population status and trends using point-count data and is...

Ray, Chris; Saracco, James; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Huff, Mark; Happe, Patricia J.; Ransom, Jason I.

Year Published: 2017

Survivorship across the annual cycle of a migratory passerine, the willow flycatcher

Annual survivorship in migratory birds is a product of survival across the different periods of the annual cycle (i.e. breeding, wintering, and migration), and may vary substantially among these periods. Determining which periods have the highest mortality, and thus are potentially limiting a population, is important especially for species of...

Paxton, Eben H.; Durst, Scott L; Sogge, Mark K.; Koronkiewicz, Thomas J.; Paxton, Kristina L.
Paxton, E. H., S. L. Durst, M. K. Sogge, T. J. Koronkiewicz, and K. L. Paxton. 2017. Survivorship across the annual cycle of a migratory passerine, the willow flycatcher. Journal of Avian Biology 48:1126–1131. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.01371

Year Published: 2017

Diel variation in detection and vocalization rates of king (Rallus elegans) and clapper (Rallus crepitans) rails in intracoastal waterways

Surveys for secretive marsh birds could be improved with refinements to address regional and species-specific variation in detection probabilities and optimal times of day to survey. Diel variation in relation to naïve occupancy, detection rates, and vocalization rates of King (Rallus elegans) and Clapper (R. crepitans) rails were studied in...

Stiffler, Lydia L.; Anderson, James T.; Welsh, Amy B.; Harding, Sergio R.; Costanzo, Gary R.; Katzner, Todd
Stiffler, L.L., Anderson, J.T., Welsh, A.B., Harding, S.R., Costanzo, G.R., Katzner, T.E., 2017, Diel variation in detection and vocalization rates of king (Rallus elegans) and clapper (Rallus crepitans) rails in intracoastal waterways: Waterbirds, v. 40, no. 3, p. 263-271, https://doi.org/10.1675/063.040.0307.

Filter Total Items: 531
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, former salt ponds are...

March 30, 2017

2017 March Public Lecture—Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!

Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!
Unexpected interactions on the Katmai Coast
by Grant Hilderbrand, Chief of the Marine Ecosystems Office, USGS Alaska Science Center

  • Highlights of ongoing research on brown bears on the coast of the Katmai National Park
  • Observations from video collars deployed on brown bears
  • Implications for
  • ...
Three sailfin catfish found in the Big Cypress National Preserve
March 23, 2017

Sailfin catfishes discovered in Big Cypress

The sailfin catfish is one of 13 species of nonnative fish that biologists discovered during the Fish Slam in Big Cypress National Preserve, March 23, 2017.

 

Pike killifish found in Big Cypress
March 23, 2017

Non-native pike killifish from the Big Cypress

The pike killifish, native to Mexico and Central America, was one of 13 nonnative fish species that biologists discovered during the two-day Fish Slam in Big Cypress National Preserve, March 22 and 23, 2017.

 

Expressing lamprey feces
March 6, 2017

Expressing lamprey feces

USGS scientist Nick Johnson isn’t afraid to get dirty. Here he is expressing green feces from a parasitic sea lamprey. DNA in the feces may help USGS scientists discover the identity of sea lamprey’s last meal. 

In UV light an alga from the desmid family looks like a snowflake chain
February 28, 2017

A snowflake chain? Nope. A one-celled green alga.

The desmid family of single-celled green algae are never found in abundance, says USGS biologist Barry Rosen. They inhabit the soft, slightly acidic water of wetlands that depend on rainwater, like Florida’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. They don’t “bloom” en masse, but their presence is an indicator of good water quality. Rosen’s research is likely to facilitate...

Canada lynx
February 1, 2017

Canada lynx

Bear predation on salmon can be high in many Alaskan rivers.  Brown bears Ursus arctos and Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta are managed concurrently in McNeil River State Game Sanctuary by Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game to benefit the salmon, bears, commercial fishers, and provide unparalleled close-up bear viewing and photography opportunities for the public.

Frosted flatwoods salamander
December 31, 2016

Frosted flatwoods salamander

Frosted flatwoods salamander in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida

Yosemite Toad
December 31, 2016

Yosemite Toad Vocalization

Amphibians’ permeable skin makes them incredibly sensitive to changes in their environment. Scientists and conservationists alike are using them as “sentinel species” that could provide early warnings of ecosystem change and stress affecting them and other organisms. Next time you are out, stop and listen. Do you hear them?
 

Sierran Treefrog
December 31, 2016

Sierran Treefrog Vocalization

Amphibians’ permeable skin makes them incredibly sensitive to changes in their environment. Scientists and conservationists alike are using them as “sentinel species” that could provide early warnings of ecosystem change and stress affecting them and other organisms. Next time you are out, stop and listen. Do you hear them?
 

Chinese firebelly new
December 31, 2016

Chinese Firebelly Newt

A Chinese firebelly newt (Cynops orientalis), the first salamander species found to be infected with the spring viraemia of carp virus.

 California Red-legged Frog
December 31, 2016

California Red-Legged Frog Vocalization

Amphibians’ permeable skin makes them incredibly sensitive to changes in their environment. Scientists and conservationists alike are using them as “sentinel species” that could provide early warnings of ecosystem change and stress affecting them and other organisms. Next time you are out, stop and listen. Do you hear them?
 

Filter Total Items: 311
Date published: April 18, 2017

Deadly Deer Disease Expected to Grow Rapidly and Spread in Wisconsin

A new tool, which predicted the recent, rapid growth and continued spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, can help forecast and manage other costly biological threats to humans, animals and the environment, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: April 11, 2017

Florida Manatees Likely to Persist For At Least 100 Years—US Geological Survey  

Florida’s iconic manatee population is highly likely to endure for the next 100 years, so long as wildlife managers continue to protect the marine mammals and their habitat, a new study by the US Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has found.

Date published: April 11, 2017

Scientists Evaluate Ways to Save Hawaiian Honeycreeper

Long distance flights in search of flowering trees threatens the Hawaiian Iiwi as climate change increases the distribution of avian diseases

Date published: April 11, 2017

Media Inquiries on USGS Manatee Research

We appreciate your interest in USGS' Sirenia Project. To help inform members of the media and public, we have provided relevant publications, reports, and websites. 

Date published: April 10, 2017

Turtles Die in Southern California Lake Following Drought and Fire

Almost all of the turtles living in a southern California lake died following a large fire and years of drought, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report published in the journal Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems.

Date published: April 6, 2017

Western Fisheries Science News, March 2016 | Issue 4.3

Understanding the Effects of Temperature on Diseases in Fish

Date published: April 4, 2017

Hybridization between Native and Invasive Trout is Increasing in the West

Hybridization, or the interbreeding of species, is increasing between native and invasive trout across the northern Rocky Mountains, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

Date published: April 4, 2017

Western Fisheries Science News, March 2017 | Issue 5.3

Early Detection Monitoring May Not Be Sufficient for Invasive Mussels in the Columbia River Basin

Date published: March 29, 2017

USGS and Partners Team Up to Track Down Nonnative and Invasive Fishes in South Florida

The Fish Slam event discovered two nonnative fish species never seen before in Big Cypress National Preserve.

 

 

Date published: March 28, 2017

Sex-Shifting Fish: Growth Rate Could Determine Sea Lamprey Sex

Unlike most animals, sea lampreys, an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes, could become male or female depending on how quickly they grow, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study published today.

Date published: March 23, 2017

Chandler Robbins Inspired Generations of Scientists and Birders, 1918-2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientist emeritus Chandler S. Robbins, whose heartfelt love of birds, quicksilver mind, boundless energy and sunny demeanor made him a major force in bird conservation in the U.S. and worldwide, died Monday, March 20 at the age of 98.

Date published: March 21, 2017

Livestock grazing effects on sage-grouse: study identifies options to sustain ranching and help wildlife

Effects of livestock grazing on greater sage-grouse populations can be positive or negative depending on the amount of grazing and when grazing occurs, according to research published today in Ecological Applications. The research was conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, Colorado State University and Utah State University.