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We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens and landscapes of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.

Filter Total Items: 233
2013 Wetland Type Map - Coastal Louisiana
Date Published: April 7, 2016
Status: Active

Influence of Sea-Level Rise on Wetland Vegetation Community Structure, Primary Productivity, Organic Matter Decomposition and Carbon Storage

This study will employ a space for time substitution to show long-term effects of rising sea-level and increasing salinity on vegetation community structure, primary production and decomposition. Productivity and decomposition rates will be estimated for four wetland plant community types defined by salinity zones and dominant plant species. 

Marsh core, Barataria Basin, Louisiana
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Soil Properties and Geochronology in Barataria Basin, Louisiana

Will wetland vertical accretion rates be enough to keep up with the predicted rates of sea level rise? USGS looks at soil properties and geochronology in Louisiana wetlands. 

Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Surface Water Hydrology and Nitrate Dynamics in Delta Islands of Prograding Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana

The Wax Lake Delta is an ideal ecosystem to study the effects of a large-scale river diversion on the biogeochemistry of coastal wetlands, and the capacity of these wetlands to assimilate nutrients delivered by these diversions. USGS works to develop a better understanding of surface water hydrology and nitrate dynamics in this area. 

BearTRAK entry cell phone app illustration
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Tracking and Modeling the Population of the Louisiana Black Bear Using “BearTRAK”

"BearTrak" is an app that provides a central repository for Louisiana Black Bear tracking data, allowing managers to access information more quickly and reliably.

Three pythons well camoflaged
Date Published: April 6, 2016
Status: Active

Efficacy of eDNA as an Early Detection and Rapid Response Indicator for Burmese Pythons in the Northern Greater Everglades Ecosystem

Traditional approaches to locating Burmese pythons - including visual searches and trapping - have resulted in low detection. Environmental DNA - or eDNA - is increasingly being used to detect the presence of non-native species, particularly when traditional methods may not be adequate. 

Captured Burmese python
Date Published: April 6, 2016
Status: Active

Genetic Analysis of the Invasive Burmese Python to Aid Management and Population-Control Decision-Making

Invasive Burmese pythons threaten the success of Everglades restoration efforts. To assist with management and population control decision making, USGS scientists are implementing genetic studies to identify potential new entry pathways and to help quantify the size of the breeding population.

Gathering baseline data on mangrove terrapin body size
Date Published: April 5, 2016

Population Biology and Ecology of Diamondback Terrapins in Mangrove Forested Ecosystems in the Greater Everglades

Long-term capture-recapture research in the Everglades National Park provides baseline information on the Diamondback Terrapin, a species that may be threatened by human disturbances.

Measure sediment on aquatic vegetation
Date Published: April 5, 2016

Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport in Deltas and Coastal Wetlands

Diversions are being used to encourage Missippi River delta growth via increased sediment availability to coastal wetlands. USGS studies hydrodynamics and sediment transport in Louisiana to better understand how marshes and deltas respond to these sediment inputs. 

Monitoring Effects of Barrier Island Restoration on Piping Plovers in Louisiana
Date Published: April 1, 2016
Status: Active

Monitoring Effects of Barrier Island Restoration on Piping Plovers in Louisiana

The federally threatened piping plover relies on sand-beach habitat year-round for nesting, foraging, and roosting, habitat that is particularly vulnerable to loss and degradation from coastal development, recreation activities, erosion, and sea-level rise. 

Argentine black-and-white tegu (Tupinambis merianae)
Date Published: March 30, 2016
Status: Active

Evaluation of Tegu Movements and Habitat Use in Relation to Location and Habitat

Tegus are breeding, they have a diverse diet, and they are established in areas throughout South Florida. USGS is tracking this problematic reptile species to better understand their movements and habitat use to help managers prevent dispersal into new areas.

Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant
Date Published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

An Inventory and Comparative Study of Bees, A Keystone Ecological Group in the Endangered Coastal Prairie of Louisiana

Much of Louisiana's coastal prairie has been converted to rice and sugarcane cultivation. USGS is inventorying bee populations in these areas to explore how effective restoration efforts have been.

Contacts: Larry Allain
Okaloosa Darter
Date Published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

Population Monitoring of the Federally Threatened Okaloosa Darter at Eglin Air Force Base

USGS' and Loyola University New Orleans' innovative research techniques played a role in the decision to downlist the Okaloosa Darter, a freshwater fish endemic to northwest Florida, from Endangered to Threatened.

Contacts: Howard Jelks
Filter Total Items: 179
Year Published: 2015

Wide-ranging phylogeographic structure of invasive red lionfish in the Western Atlantic and Greater Caribbean

The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is an invasive predatory marine fish that has rapidly expanded its presence in the Western Hemisphere. We collected 214 invasive red lionfish samples from nine countries and territories, including seven unpublished locations. To more comprehensively evaluate connectivity, we compiled our d-loop sequence ...

Butterfield, John S.; Díaz-Ferguson, Edgardo; Silliman, Brian R.; Saunders, Jonathan W.; Buddo, Dayne; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A.; Searle, Linda; Allen, Aarin Conrad; Hunter, Margaret E.

Year Published: 2015

Value of information in natural resource management: technical developments and application to pink-footed geese

The “value of information” (VOI) is a generic term for the increase in value resulting from better information to guide management, or alternatively, the value foregone under uncertainty about the impacts of management (Yokota and Thompson, Medical Decision Making 2004;24: 287). The value of information can be characterized...

Williams, Byron K.; Johnson, Fred A.
Williams, B. K., and F. A. Johnson. 2015. Value of information in natural resource management: technical developments and application to pink-footed geese. Ecology and Evolution 6:In press.

Year Published: 2015

Evaluating the piscicide rotenone as an option for eradication of invasive Mozambique tilapia in a Hawaiian brackish-water wetland complex

Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus were recently discovered in ‘Aimakapā Fishpond, a 12-hectare brackish-water wetland complex in Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, on the Island of Hawai’i. As a possible eradication method, we evaluated rotenone, a natural piscicide used in fish management and the active...

Nico, Leo; Englund, Ronald A.; Jelks, Howard L.

Year Published: 2015

Modelling the effects of seasonality and socioeconomic impact on the transmission of Rift Valley fever virus

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an important mosquito-borne viral zoonosis in Africa and the Middle East that causes human deaths and significant economic losses due to huge incidences of death and abortion among infected livestock. Outbreaks of RVF are sporadic and associated with both seasonal and socioeconomic effects. Here we propose an almost...

Xiao, Yanyu; Beier, John C.; Cantrell, Robert Stephen; Cosner, Chris; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Ruan, Shigui
Xiao, Y., Beier, J.C., Cantrell, R.S., Cosner, C., DeAngelis, D.L., and Ruan, S., 2015, Modelling the effects of seasonality and socioeconomic impact on the transmission of Rift Valley fever virus: PLoS, Neglected Tropical Diseases, v. 9, no. 1, art. e3388,

Year Published: 2015

Global change and conservation triage on National Wildlife Refuges

National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in the United States play an important role in the adaptation of social-ecological systems to climate change, land-use change, and other global-change processes. Coastal refuges are already experiencing threats from sea-level rise and other change processes that are largely beyond their ability to influence, while...

Johnson, Fred A.; Eaton, Mitchell; McMahon, Gerard; Raye Nilius; Mike Bryant; Dave Case; Martin, Julien; Wood, Nathan J.; Laura Taylor
Johnson, F.A., Eaton, M.J., McMahon, G., Nilius, R., Bryant, M.R., Case, D.J., Martin, J., Wood, N.J., and Taylor, L., 2015, Global change and conservation triage on National Wildlife Refuges: Ecology and Society, v. 20, no. 4, art. 14, 8 p.,

Year Published: 2015

One carp, two carp: are there more carp in the Wailoa River?

The February, 2015 issue of Hawaii Fishing News included the annual list of Hawai`i records for the largest fish of various species caught in the state. Among the new records was one for a 15-pound grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) caught by Avery Berido in the Wailoa River at Hilo on September 13, 2013. A photograph taken by Mr. Berido of the...

Mundy, Bruce C; Nico, Leo; Tagawa, Annette
Mundy B., Nico, L.G., and Tagawa, A., 2015, One carp, two carp: Are there more grass carp in the Wailoa River?: Hawaii Fishing News, v. 40, no. 6, p. 18-19.

Year Published: 2015

The role of citzens in detecting and responding to a rapid marine invasion

Documenting and responding to species invasions requires innovative strategies that account for ecological and societal complexities. We used the recent expansion of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) throughout northern Gulf of Mexico coastal waters to evaluate the role of stakeholders in documenting and responding to a rapid marine...

Scyphers, Stephen B.; Powers, Sean P.; Akins, J. Lad; Drymon, J. Marcus; Martin, Charles M.; Schobernd, Zeb H.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Shipp, Robert L.; Switzer, Theodore S.
Scyphers, S.B., S.P. Powers, J.L. Akins, J.M. Drymon, C.W. Martin, Z.H. Schobernd, P.J. Schofield,  R.L. Shipp and T.S. Switzer.  2014.  The role of citizens in detecting and responding to a rapid marine invasion.  Conservation Letters  DOI: 10.1111/conl.12127

Year Published: 2014

Predicting spatial and temporal distribution of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay through habitat suitability modeling

Invasive species may exhibit higher levels of growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are most suitable, and thus their effects on native fauna may be intensified. Understanding potential impacts of these species, especially in the nascent stages of a biological invasion, requires critical information concerning spatial and temporal...

Bernal, Nicholas A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Sullivan Sealey, Kathleen

Year Published: 2014

Invasive lionfish use a diversity of habitats in Florida

Two species of lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) are the first marine fishes known to invade and establish self-sustaining populations along the eastern seaboard of the United States. First documented off the coast of Florida in 1985, lionfish are now found along the Atlantic coast of the United States as well as in the Caribbean Sea...

Schofield, Pamela J.; Akins, Lad; Gregoire-Lucente, Denise R.; Pawlitz, Rachel J.
Invasive lionfish use a diversity of habitats in Florida; 2014; FS; 2014-3032; Schofield, Pamela J.; Akins, Lad; Gregoire-Lucente, Denise R.; Pawlitz, Rachel J.

Year Published: 2014

Mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the SALCC - an update

The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS; is a comprehensive tool for demonstrating where and when nonindigenous species have been sighted across the U.S. Information in the database is used for state-level invasive species management plans, to focus monitoring efforts, for public education, predictive modeling, and...

Benson, Amy J.
Benson, A.J., 2014, Mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the SALCC - an update: Southeast Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Setting a course for a sustainable landscape, 1 p.,

Year Published: 2013

A bibliography of all known publications & reports on the Gulf sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi

This functional bibliography is meant to be a complete and comprehensive bibliography of all discoverable reports containing information on the Gulf Sturgeon (GS). This bibliography contains all known reports presenting, documenting, summarizing, listing, or interpreting information on the GS through 31 December 2013. Report citations are...

Price, Melissa; Adler, Jennifer; Littles, Chanda; Randolph, April Norem; Nash, Ursula A.; Gillett, Bethan; Randall, Michael T.; Sulak, Kenneth J.; Walsh, Stephen J.; Brownell, Prescott

Year Published: 2013

Ecology of juvenile hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) at Buck Island Reef National Monument, US Virgin Islands

Surveys of juvenile hawksbills around Buck Island Reef National Monument, US Virgin Islands from 1994 to 1999 revealed distributional patterns and resulted in a total of 75 individual hawksbill captures from all years; turtles ranged from 23.2 to 77.7 cm curved carapace length (CCL; mean 42.1 ± 12.3 cm SD). Juveniles...

Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Phillips, Brendalee; Mayor, Philippe A.; Roberson, Kimberly; Pemberton, Roy A.; Allen, Jason B.; Lundgren, Ian; Musick, Susanna