Mission Areas

Ecosystems

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 421
Giraffe in East Africa
January 24, 2017

The U.S. Agency for International Development‘s regional mission in East Africa (USAID/EA) and contributing USAID bilateral missions in the region have partnered with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s International Technical Assistance Program (DOI-ITAP) to strategically leverage DOI expertise as it pertains to wildlife poaching and wildlife trafficking....

Dead and dying cottonwoods along the Mojave River, California, following a decrease in the riparian water table
January 17, 2017

Drought is killing riparian trees along many rivers in the western United States. The cause can be increasing temperature or decreasing precipitation, flow or water-table elevation. At multiple locations we are relating water availability to physiological measurements of tree survival and water stress, such as ring width, carbon stable isotope ratio and branch hydraulic conductivity....

Bronze reliquary for a shrew from the Late Period of ancient Egypt.
January 10, 2017

The Challenge: Ancient Egyptians mummified animals for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was as votive offerings to certain deities. Among the six species of shrews that have been identified as mummies, one is now extinct, one is no longer occurs in Egypt, and the remaining four have more restricted distributions in the country. One of the latter species also exhibits...

Shrew bones on top of a penny
January 3, 2017

The Challenge: The postcranial skeletons of mammals exhibit tremendous variation in form that partly relates to phylogeny (who a particular species is related to) and partly to locomotory function (how that species moves through its environment). Understanding the contributions of these two factors is important because phylogenetic characters assist in working out evolutionary...

Banding Hen Eider
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: Common eider numbers are declining throughout most of their range. The cause of this decline is not know, but poor recruitment, declining food resources, hunting, poor survival are possible causes. Research goals of this project focus on understanding the effects of hunting and predation on survival and recruitment rates of American common eiders (Somateria mollissima...

Radio telemetry is being used to determine how long local birds remain on breeding areas
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: Research goals of this project are to: determine survival rates of American woodcock (Scolopax minor) during fall migration; determine survival in relation to weather along the migration route; determine age and sex-specific timing of migration and passage of woodcock through the Mid-Atlantic States. Analyses are ongoing to determine timing of passage of birds across Cape May,...

American woodcock, Scolopax minor
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: Research goals of this project seek to take an adaptive approch to habitat management for American woodcock. Under this process a mix of early successional forest habitat will be created following the allowable guidelines of state forest management, National Wildlife Refuge management plans, and commercial timber management plans; management actions will...

American Woodcock, Scolopax minor, chick
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: Research goals of this project seek to determine if survey routes for American woodcock are sampling represenative habitats and whether routes are distributed proportionally to early successional habitats and biophysical regions across Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. If routes are not representatively distributed (i.e., biased), we will evaluate the ...

Black-and-white Warbler, Mniotilta varia
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: Research goals focus on measurement of direct effects of various habitat management techniques for game species on neotropical migratory birds. Analyses are ongoing to determine if avian species richness, diversity, and relative abundance of land birds has changed at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge as a result of habitat management; determine if the ...

Scientist taking measurements with a protractor
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: Assessing the status and trends of populations of biological organisms is an important management goal and a recurrent theme in USGS research. Often, the most basic question of “how many are there?” remains elusive, thus making management decisions more difficult. This study continues a long-term commitment of technical support for the use of distance sampling for...

Forest Schematic
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: A synthesis of the role of disturbance, in all of its manifestations, on the establishment and development of the American Holly forest is required to guide future conservation measures. Because many forest fragments have already endured >30 years of chronic deer herbivory, a legitimate question of how much more impact by deer can be tolerated and still conserve the essential...

Temporal dynamics of forest structure and coarse woody debris are being measured
December 20, 2016

The Challenge: Management of bottomland forests using wildlife forestry silviculture is being undertaken to achieve desired forest conditions for priority silvicolous wildlife, such as Louisiana black bear, migratory birds, and resident game species. Wildlife forestry management results in forests that have more open canopies and increased understory vegetation yet exhibit heterogeneous...

Filter Total Items: 56
USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Nature’s Notebook: A national-scale, multi-taxa phenology observation program

Nature’s Notebook is an online phenological monitoring program that currently supports data collection, storage and use for almost 250 animal species (including fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals) and 650 plant species (including trees, shrubs, forbs, grasses and cacti). Available to anyone from scientists to nature enthusiast.

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program
March 4, 2016

Long Term Resource Monitoring

This web resource provides decision makers with the information needed to maintain the Upper Mississippi River System as a viable multiple-use large river ecosystem.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

The Spring Indices (SI)

The Spring Indices are a suite of models developed to simulate the timing of the onset of spring in native and cultivated plants, as well as other physical and ecological processes, that are primarily sensitive to temperature. The SI can be calculated for any weather station that collects daily minimum and maximum temperatures.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

The National Phenology Database

The database houses contemporary and historical data on organismal phenology across the nation. These data are being used in a number of applications for science, conservation and resource management. Customizable data downloads using specific dates, regions, species and phenophases, are freely available.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) Trend Data

The ARMI database provides occupancy and abundance estimates at the project level. Data can be accessed in tabular format or plotted directly via an interactive map browser. The trend data is updated annually and is useful for tracking the status of some of our nation’s amphibian populations.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

SAGEMAP

A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Raptor Information System (RIS)

Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC, Corvallis) — The Raptor Information System (RIS) is a computerized literature retrieval system that focuses on raptor management, human impacts on raptors, the mitigation of adverse impacts, and basic raptor biology (with an emphasis on population dynamics and predation).

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)

Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a project monitored by the USGS and the Canadian Wildlife Service on the status and trends of North American bird populations. The data can be used to estimate population trends and relative abundances at various scales.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Across Trophic Level System Simulation for the Freshwater Wetlands of the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp

Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) is a project to develop a set of models for the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp of South Florida. The models will support studies "to compare the future effects of alternative hydrologic scenarios on the biotic components of the system."

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

North American Bird Monitoring Projects Database - Other (Bird Studies Canada)

The North American Bird Monitoring Projects Database site is dedicated to bird monitoring in North America. It provides easy access to descriptions of all major bird monitoring projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

North American Bird Phenology Program — BPP Data Viewer

The North American Bird Phenology Program was a network of volunteer observers who recorded information on first arrival dates, maximum abundance, and departure dates of migratory birds across North America. Active between 1880 and 1970, the program exists now as a historic collection of six million migration card observations.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)

Find the scientific names of species by their popular names or vice-versa.

Filter Total Items: 551
Year Published: 2016

Mapping technological and biophysical capacities of watersheds to regulate floods

Flood regulation is a widely valued and studied service provided by watersheds. Flood regulation benefits people directly by decreasing the socio-economic costs of flooding and indirectly by its positive impacts on cultural (e.g., fishing) and provisioning (e.g., water supply) ecosystem services. Like other regulating ecosystem services (e.g.,...

Mogollon, Beatriz; Villamagna, Amy M.; Frimpong, Emmanuel A.; Angermeier, Paul

Year Published: 2016

The first description of oarfish Regalecus glesne (Regalecus russellii Cuvier 1816) ageing structures

Despite being a large, conspicuous teleost with a worldwide tropical and temperate distribution, the giant oarfish Regalecus spp. remain very rare fish species in terms of scientific sampling. Subsequently, very little biological information is known about Regalecus spp. and almost nothing has been concluded in the field of age and growth (Roberts,...

Midway, S.R.; Wagner, Tyler

Year Published: 2016

A replacement name for Asthenes wyatti perijanus Phelps 1977

A recent near-complete phylogeny of the avian family Furnariidae (Derryberry et al. 2011) found a number of discrepancies between the phylogeny and the then-current taxonomy of the group, and several changes were proposed to reconcile the taxonomy of the family with the phylogeny. Among these was the merging of the genus Schizoeaca Cabanis 1873...

Chesser, R. Terry
Chesser, R. T., 2016, A replacement name for Asthenes wyatti perijanus Phelps 1977: Zootaxa, v. 4067, no. 5, p. 599.

Year Published: 2016

Thermokarst rates intensify due to climate change and forest fragmentation in an Alaskan boreal forest lowland

Lowland boreal forest ecosystems in Alaska are dominated by wetlands comprised of a complex mosaic of fens, collapse-scar bogs, low shrub/scrub, and forests growing on elevated ice-rich permafrost soils. Thermokarst has affected the lowlands of the Tanana Flats in central Alaska for centuries, as thawing permafrost collapses forests that...

Lara, M.; Genet, Helene; McGuire, Anthony; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Zhang, Yujin; Brown, Dana R. N.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Romanovsky, V.; Breen, Amy L.; Bolton, W.R.

Year Published: 2016

Differences in impacts of Hurricane Sandy on freshwater swamps on the Delmarva Peninsula, Mid−Atlantic Coast, USA

Hurricane wind and surge may have different influences on the subsequent composition of forests. During Hurricane Sandy, while damaging winds were highest near landfall in New Jersey, inundation occurred along the entire eastern seaboard from Georgia to Maine. In this study, a comparison of damage from salinity intrusion vs. wind/surge was...

Middleton, Beth A.
Middleton, B.A., 2016, Differences in impacts of Hurricane Sandy on freshwater swamps on the Delmarva Peninsula, Mid-Atlantic Coast, USA: Ecological Engineering, v. 87, p. 62-70, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2015.11.035.

Year Published: 2016

Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the Genus Bromus

An understanding of the impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystems is necessary to justify and guide efforts to limit their spread, restore natives, and plan for conservation. Invasive annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum, B. rubens, B. hordeaceus, and B. diandrus (hereafter collectively referred to as Bromus)...

Germino, Matthew J.; Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John M.; Allen, Edith B.; Rau, Benjamin M.

Year Published: 2016

Resprouting and seeding hypotheses: A test of the gap-dependent model using resprouting and obligate seeding subspecies of Arctostaphylos

Ecological factors favoring either postfire resprouting or postfire obligate seeding in plants have received considerable attention recently. Three ecological models have been proposed to explain patterns of these two life history types. In this study, we test these three models using data from California chaparral. We take an innovative approach...

Keeley, Jon E.; Parker, V. Thomas; Vasey, Michael C.
Keeley, JE, VT Parker, MC Vasey. 2016. Resprouting and seeding hypotheses: a test of the gap-dependent model using resprouting and obligate seeding subspecies of Arctostaphylos. Plant Ecology. doi: 10.1007/s11258-015-0551-z

Year Published: 2016

Characterization of the putatively introduced red alga Acrochaetium secundatum (Acrochaetiales, Rhodophyta) growing epizoically on the pelage of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Ecological associations between epibionts (organisms that live on the surface of another living organism) and vertebrates have been documented in both marine and terrestrial environments, and may be opportunistic, commensal, or symbiotic (Lewin et al. 1981, Holmes 1985, Allen et al. 1993, Bledsoe et al. 2006, Pfaller et al. 2008, Suutari et al....

Bentall, Gena B.; Rosen, Barry H.; Kunz, Jessica M.; Miller, Melissa A.; Saunders, Gary W.; LaRoche, Nicole L.
Bentall, G.B., Rosen, B.H., Kunz, J.M., Miller, M.A., Saunders, G.W., and LaRoche, N.L., 2015, Characterization of the putatively introduced red alga Acrochaetium secundatum (Acrochaetiales, Rhodophyta) growing epizoically on the pelage of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis): Marine Mammal Science, Early View, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mms.12275.

Year Published: 2016

Assessing models of speciation under different biogeographic scenarios; An empirical study using multi-locus and RNA-seq analyses

Evolutionary biology often seeks to decipher the drivers of speciation, and much debate persists over the relative importance of isolation and gene flow in the formation of new species. Genetic studies of closely related species can assess if gene flow was present during speciation, because signatures of past introgression often persist in the...

Edwards, Taylor; Tollis, Marc; Hsieh, PingHsun; Gutenkunst, Ryan N.; Liu, Zhen; Kusumi, Kenro; Culver, Melanie; Murphy, Robert W.

Year Published: 2016

Toward more realistic projections of soil carbon dynamics by Earth system models

Soil carbon (C) is a critical component of Earth system models (ESMs), and its diverse representations are a major source of the large spread across models in the terrestrial C sink from the third to fifth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Improving soil C projections is of a high priority for Earth system...

Luo, Y.; Ahlström, Anders; Allison, Steven D.; Batjes, Niels H.; Brovkin, V.; Carvalhais, Nuno; Chappell, Adrian; Ciais, Philippe; Davidson, Eric A.; Finzi, Adien; Georgiou, Katerina; Guenet, Bertrand; Hararuk, Oleksandra; Harden, Jennifer; He, Yujie; Hopkins, Francesca; Jiang, L.; Koven, Charles; Jackson, Robert B.; Jones, Chris D.; Lara, M.; Liang, J.; McGuire, Anthony; Parton, William; Peng, Changhui; Randerson, J.; Salazar, Alejandro; Sierra, Carlos A.; Smith, Matthew J.; Tian, Hanqin; Todd-Brown, Katherine E. O; Torn, Margaret S.; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Wang, Ying; West, Tristram O.; Wei, Yaxing; Wieder, William R.; Xia, Jianyang; Xu, Xia; Xu, Xiaofeng; Zhou, T.

Year Published: 2016

Science framework for the conservation and restoration strategy of DOI secretarial order 3336: Utilizing resilience and resistance concepts to assess threats to sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse, prioritize conservation and restoration actions, and inform management strategies

The Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336 (SO 3336), Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration, provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome....

Chambers, Jeanne C.; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Clause, Karen J.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Espinosa, Shawn; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Crist, Michele R.; Hanser, Steve; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Mayer, Kenneth E. ; Manning, Mary; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Pellant, Mike; Prentice, Karen L.; Perea, Marco A.; Pyke, David A.; Wiechman , Lief A. ; Wuenschel, Amarina
Attribution: Ecosystems

Year Published: 2016

The effects of habitat, climate, and Barred Owls on long-term demography of Northern Spotted Owls

Estimates of species' vital rates and an understanding of the factors affecting those parameters over time and space can provide crucial information for management and conservation. We used mark–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected during 1985–2013 to evaluate population processes of Northern Spotted...

Dugger, Catherine; Forsman, Eric D.; Franklin, Alan B.; Davis, Raymond J.; White, Gary C.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Nichols, James D.; Hines, James E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Doherty, Paul F.; Bailey, Larissa; Clark, Darren A.; Ackers, Steven H.; Andrews, Lawrence S.; Augustine, Benjamin; Biswell, Brian L.; Blakesley, Jennifer; Carlson, Peter C.; Clement, Matthew J.; Diller, Lowell V.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Green, Adam; Gremel, Scott A.; Herter, Dale R.; Higley, J. Mark; Hobson, Jeremy; Horn, Rob B.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; McCafferty, Christopher; McDonald, Trent; McDonnell, Kevin; Olson, Gail S.; Reid, Janice A.; Rockweit, Jeremy; Ruiz, Viviana; Saenz, Jessica; Sovern, Stan G.

Filter Total Items: 433
A cabin along Alaska's Arctic coast was recently washed into the ocean because the bluff it was sitting on eroded away.
2017 (approx.)
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.
2017 (approx.)
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 services including enhancing...
Female scientist looking through microscope.
2017 (approx.)
Biological science aid, Marlee Malmborg, examines and records the viability of pallid sturgeon eggs at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.
2017 (approx.)
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 being...
March 30, 2017
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 population health and species adaptability
Pike killifish found in Big Cypress
March 23, 2017
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.
Three sailfin catfish found in the Big Cypress National Preserve
March 23, 2017
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.
Brown bear (Ursus arctos) and Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)
2017 (approx.)
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.
American Alligator
2016 (approx.)
USGS and other scientists have studied in-depth alligator populations in Florida and Louisiana, but basic ecological knowledge is lacking for populations at the northern edge of their range. For example, differences in climate and habitat between the southern and northern portions of the range limit the applicability of findings from other studies to South Carolina alligator management. South...
Chinese fire belly newt
2016 (approx.)
A Chinese firebelly newt ( Cynops orientalis ), the salamander species recently found to be infected with the spring viraemia of carp virus, or SVCV.
Golden Eagle
2016 (approx.)
Reports of golden eagle mortality linked to wind energy facilities are cause for concern especially when coupled with the knowledge that golden eagles move great distances between breeding and wintering areas. Mortalities at a particular wind energy facility can consequently affect breeding populations of golden eagles at local and continent-wide scales. Information is needed to understand the...
Sampling for Bsal
2016 (approx.)
Scientists sample a rough-skinned newt for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans , or Bsal , at a pond near Portland, Oregon. Bsal is decimating wild salamander populations in Europe and could emerge in the U.S. through the captive amphibian trade.
Filter Total Items: 255
Photo of a duck floating in the water.
May 1, 2017

Ducks in North America can be carriers of avian influenza viruses similar to those found in a 2016 outbreak in Indiana that led to the losses of hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys, according to a recent study.

Image: Monarch Male Close-Up
April 27, 2017

As many as 1.8 billion additional stems of milkweed plants may be needed in North America to return imperiled monarch butterflies to a sustainable population size, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

Jumping Silver Carp
April 26, 2017

If invasive bighead carp and silver carp spread into Lake Michigan, there would be enough food available for these particular species of Asian carp to survive, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a male white-tailed deer facing to the left of the image.
April 18, 2017

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.

American Alligator and Burmese Python in a Struggle
April 13, 2017

Dr. Bryan Falk (USGS Research Fellow based in Everglades National Park) briefed U.S. Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart (Florida 25th district, which includes Big Cypress National Preserve and a portion of Everglades National Park) on invasive species issues. 

A Manatee swimming in Florida waters.
April 11, 2017

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.

Man holding red bird.
April 11, 2017

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

Manatee
April 11, 2017

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. 

Paper punch tapes from Illinois stream gauge data.
April 5, 2017

The USGS Community for Data Integration (CDI) Data at Risk (DaR) project received funding to continue into Fiscal Year 2017.

Honey bee (Apis mellifera)
April 5, 2017

USGS scientist, Robert Cornman, published a letter in the journal mBio that revisited a previous report of a plant virus replicating in honey bees.

Close-up of non-hybridized westslope cutthroat trout in Montana
April 4, 2017

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.