Mission Areas

Ecosystems

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 562
Date published: February 29, 2016

Communicate and Educate

We facilitate public understanding of science and environmental change to build support for science and proactive adaptation to environmental change.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Adaptive Management

The Adaptive Management process offers a unique mix of management and science to "learn from doing" and decrease uncertainty over time.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Researchers sample water, soil or air to look for presence of Environmental DNA (eDNA), genetic material shed from living or once live organisms whose presence is difficult to detect under traditional sampling methods.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Genetics

USGS uses cutting edge research and technologies to answer biological questions at a molecular level.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Conservation Genetics

Researchers apply the tools and concepts of genetics to the conservation of biological resources.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Imperiled Species

Our science is designed to understand the status of declining, Threatened, and Endangered species, and assist managers in their recovery.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Epidemiology of Fish and Wildlife Diseases

Wildlife health experts apply the latest tools of molecular biology and genetics to address the ecology of infectious diseases affecting both fish and wildlife.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Invertebrates

There is a great deal to be learned about the invertebrate organisms which serve such critical ecological functions.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Environmental Toxicology

Toxicologists use genomics to develop, apply, and validate methods for assessing the effects of contaminants and other environmental stressors on wild populations.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Mammals

Large or small, in water or on land, our science enhances understanding of these captivating animals.

Date published: February 29, 2016

Genetically Engineered Organisms

Researchers are investigating the utility of genetic engineering for use in controlling or eradicating invasive species.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: February 29, 2016

Reptiles

Reptiles have unique forms and lifestyles, making them fascinating research subjects for USGS scientists who work to better understand them.

Filter Total Items: 2,285
Year Published: 2015

Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic

We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how...

Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Sage, George K.; Hope, Andrew G.; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L.

Year Published: 2015

Evaluating and ranking threats to the long-term persistence of polar bears

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was listed as a globally threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2008, mostly due to the significant threat to their future population viability from rapidly declining Arctic sea ice. A core mandate of the ESA is the development of a recovery plan that identifies steps to maintain viable...

Atwood, Todd C.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Douglas, David C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Rode, Karyn D.; Durner, George M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.
Atwood, T.C., Marcot, B.G., Douglas, D.C., Amstrup, S.C., Rode, K.D., Durner, G.M., and Bromaghin, J.F., 2015, Evaluating and ranking threats to the long-term persistence of polar bears: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1254, 114 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141254.

Year Published: 2015

Anatomy of an eradication effort: Removing Hawaii's illegally introduced axis deer

In February 2011, a rancher in the rural southern part of Hawaii Island reported a large mammal on her land. Her call mobilized several agencies led by the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC), a partnership to prevent, detect, and control the establishment and spread of invasive species, to sit up and take notice. Agency biologists...

Hess, Steven C.; Muise, Jake; Schipper, Jan

Year Published: 2015

Fifty-sixth supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union: Check-list of North American Birds

This is the 15th supplement since publication of the 7th edition of the Check-list of North American Birds (American Ornithologists' Union [AOU] 1998). It summarizes decisions made between May 15, 2014, and April 15, 2015, by the AOU's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature - North and Middle America. The Committee has continued to operate...

Chesser, R. Terry; Banks, Richard C.; Burns, Kevin J; Cicero, Carla; Dunn, Jon L.; Kratter, Andrew W.; Lovette, Irby J.; Navarro-Siguenza, Adolfo G.; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Remsen, J V; Rising, James D.; Stotz, Douglas F.; Winker, Kevin
Chesser, R. T., Banks, R. C., Burns, K. J., Cicero, C., Dunn, J. L., Kratter, A. W., Lovette, I. J., Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G., Rasmussen, P. C., Remsen, J. V. Jr., Rising, J. D., Stotz, D. F., and Winker, K., 2015, Fifty-sixth Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union: Check-list of North American Birds: Auk, v. 132, no. 3, p. 748-764.

Year Published: 2015

Microsatellite variation and rare alleles in a bottlenecked Hawaiian Islands endemic: implications for reintroductions

Conservation of genetic biodiversity in endangered wildlife populations is an important challenge to address since the loss of alleles and genetic drift may influence future adaptability. Reintroduction aims to re-establish species to restored or protected ecosystems; however, moving a subset of individuals may result in loss of gene variants...

Reynolds, Michelle H.; Pearce, John M.; Lavretsky, Philip; Seixas, Pedro P.; Courtot, Karen
Reynolds, M.H., J.M. Pearce, P. Lavretsky, P.P. Seixas, & K.N. Courtot. 2015. Microsatellite variation and rare alleles in a bottlenecked Hawaiian Islands endemic: implications for reintroductions. Endangered Species Research. 28: 117-122.

Year Published: 2015

An assessment of arthropod prey resources at Nakula Natural Area Reserve, a potential site of reintroduction for Kiwikiu (Pseudonestor xanthophrys) and Maui `Alauahio (Parareomyza montana).

Hawaiian forest birds have declined dramatically since humans arrived in the archipelago. Birds from all foraging guilds have been affected but insectivorous species are currently at greatest risk of extinction. On the island of Maui, populations and ranges of the insectivorous kiwikiu (Maui parrotbill; Pseudonestor xanthophrys) and Maui ‘...

Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Cappadonna, Justin; Steele, Claire; Leonard, David L.; Mounce, Hanna L.; Becker, Dusti; Swinnerton, Kirsty
Peck, R.W., P.C. Banko, J. Cappadonna, C. Steele, D.L. Leonard, H.L. Mounce, C.D. Becker, and K. Swinnerton. 2015. An assessment of arthropod prey resources at Nakula Natural Area Reserve, a potential site of reintroduction for Kiwikiu (Pseudonestor xanthophrys) and Maui `Alauahio (Parareomyza montana). Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report. TR HCSU-0059, 43 pp.

Year Published: 2015

Ants of the national park of American Samoa

American Samoa makes up the eastern end of the Samoan Archipelago. On the islands of Tutuila, Taʽū and Ofu, the National Park of American Samoa (NPSA) protects about 4,000 ha of coastal, mid-slope and ridge-top forest. While the ant fauna of the Samoan Archipelago is considered relatively well documented, much of NPSA has never been surveyed for...

Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.
Peck, R.W. and P.C. Banko. 2015. Ants of the National Park of American Samoa. Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report. TR HCSU-0061. University of Hawaii at Hilo, 46 pp.

Year Published: 2015

Climate change and vulnerability of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in a fire-prone landscape.

Linked atmospheric and wildfire changes will complicate future management of native coldwater fishes in fire-prone landscapes, and new approaches to management that incorporate uncertainty are needed to address this challenge. We used a Bayesian network (BN) approach to evaluate population vulnerability of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in...

Falke, Jeffrey A.; Flitcroft, Rebecca L; Dunham, Jason B.; McNyset, Kristina M.; Hessburg, Paul F.; Reeves, Gordon H.

Year Published: 2015

Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands

Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of “nurse plants” an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by...

Yelenik, Stephanie G.; DiManno, Nicole; D’Antonio, Carla M.
Yelenik, S.G., DiManno, N., and D’Antonio, C.M. 2015. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands.  Ecology and Evolution.  doi: 10.1002/ece3.1294

Year Published: 2015

Long-term growth-increment chronologies reveal diverse influences of climate forcing on freshwater and forest biota in the Pacific Northwest

Analyses of how organisms are likely to respond to a changing climate have focused largely on the direct effects of warming temperatures, though changes in other variables may also be important, particularly the amount and timing of precipitation. Here, we develop a network of eight growth-increment width chronologies for freshwater mussel species...

Black, Bryan A.; Dunham, Jason B.; Blundon, Brett W.; Brim-Box, Jayne; Tepley, Alan J.
Black, B.A., Dunham, J.B., Blundon, B.W., Brim-Box, J.C., Tepley, A., 2015, Long-term growth-increment chronologies reveal diverse influences of climate forcing on freshwater and forest biota in the Pacific Northwest. DOI- 10.1111/gcb.12756: Global Change Biology, v. 21, no. 2, p. 594-604

Year Published: 2015

North Cascades National Park Service Complex

Natural Resource Condition Assessments (NRCAs) evaluate current conditions for a subset of natural resources and resource indicators in national parks. NRCAs also report on trends in resource condition (when possible), identify critical data gaps, and characterize a general level of confidence for study findings. The resources and indicators...

Hoffman, Robert; Woodward, Andrea; Haggerty, Patricia K.; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Griffin, Paul C.; Adams, Michael J.; Hagar, Joan; Cummings, Tonnie; Duriscoe, Dan; Kopper, Karen; Riedel, Jon; Marin, Lelaina; Mauger, Guillaume S; Bumbaco, Karen; Littell, Jeremy S.
Hoffman, Jr., R., Woodward, A., Haggerty, P., Jenkins, K.J., Griffin, P.C., Adams, M.J., Hagar, J., Cummings, T., Duriscoe, D., Kopper, K., Riedel, J., Marin, L., Mauger, G.S., Bumbaco, K., Littell, J.S., 2015, North Cascades National Park Service Complex- Natural Resource condition Assessment: National Park Service NPS/NOCA/NRR—2015/901, p. 390.

Filter Total Items: 538
Dungeness crab
August 11, 2009

Dungeness crab

Dungeness crab - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images from a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: Strait of Juan de Fuca, near the Elwha River

Western pearlshell (Margaritifera falcata)
July 29, 2009

Western pearlshell (Margaritifera falcata)

Margaritifera falcata, Big Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, ID, July 2009

three people standing in an Idaho sagebrush landscape
July 10, 2009

Scientists collecting data in Idaho sagebrush

USGS scientists collect data for a landscape genetics study in the sagebrush of the Great Basin.

Forster Tern standing
June 30, 2009

Forster's Tern Attraction Tape

A sample of the audio file of Forster's tern colony calls that will be broadcast to attract breeding terns to islands in south San Francisco Bay.

Eft Stage of a Red-Spotted Newt
May 23, 2009

Eft Stage of a Red-Spotted Newt

The eft stage of a red-spotted newt in Walker County, Georgia (Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area)

Attribution: Ecosystems
Photo of a female silky flycatcher with mistletoe berry.
April 1, 2009

WERC A Silky Flycatcher with a Mistletoe Berry

A female silky flycatcher with a mistletoe berry in her beak. These flycatchers are intimately tied to mistletoe. They build their beautiful cup nests (much like a large hummingbird nest) within the mistletoe, or nearby. The young hatch during February when the mistletoe may be in flower and supply a rich source of insect nutrients for growing young. The rest of the year, and especially during...

Testing for Avian Influenza
December 31, 2008

Testing for Avian Influenza

A USGS scientist takes a sample from a northern pintail duck (Anas acuta) to be tested for avian influenza. 

Oregon spotted frog partially submerged
September 18, 2008

Adult Oregon spotted frog

Adult Oregon spotted frog at Dilman Meadows, near Wickiup Reservoir, OR

September 8, 2008

3MS18 (L1) West Transect – 2008

Random Site: 3MS18 (L1) West Transect; Depth: 10.9 m (35.9 feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.3 Kilometers (1.4 Miles) west; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 3 year pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13957527,-123.59427175; Site Description: This transect is medium depth with substrate that varies from all fine sediment/sand/mud, some on top of bedrock, to areas of large boulders. Large brown seaweed is...

September 7, 2008

6MH18 (J1) East Transect – 2008

Permanent Site: J1 East Transect; Depth: 9.5 Meters (31.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.7 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 year pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: ; Site Description: This site is medium depth. Substrates is a gravel/cobble/sand mixture with an occasional boulder. Seaweed is abundant, especially three-ribbed kelp Cymathere triplicata (0:21, 1:06 seconds) and...

September 7, 2008

6MH18 (J1) West Transect – 2008

Permanent Site: J1 West Transect; Depth: 9.2 Meters (30.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.6 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 1 year pre-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13607725,-123.48002186; Site Description: This site is medium depth. Substrates is a gravel/cobble/sand mixture with an occasional boulder. Seaweed is abundant, especially three-ribbed kelp Cymathere triplicata (...