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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.
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. ...
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....
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.
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. ...
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. ...
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.
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.
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....
Remote sensing helps USGS scientists detect and map surface oil in coastal environments.
Alabama is host to a variety of freshwater species, many of which are critically imperiled. USGS and partners focus conservation activities in high priority watersheds throughout the state.
Current tools for detection of Burmese pythons in South Florida have resulted in low detection rates. Environmental DNA - eDNA - has shown to be effective at detecting these invasive snakes, and can help to determine range limits for the species, information that is critical for management and control efforts. ...
To better understand coastal response to sea-level rise, USGS is monitoring coastal wetland sediment elevations along Florida's east coast.
Plant-plant interactions in a subtropical mangrove-to-marsh transition zone: effects of environmental drivers
Questions Does the presence of herbaceous vegetation affect the establishment success of mangrove tree species in the transition zone between subtropical coastal mangrove forests and marshes? How do plant–plant interactions in this transition zone respond to variation in two primary coastal environmental drivers? Location Subtropical...Howard, Rebecca J.; Krauss, Ken W.; Cormier, Nicole; Day, Richard H.; Biagas, Janelda M.; Allain, Larry K.
Habitat use patterns of the invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans: a comparison between mangrove and reef systems in San Salvador, Bahamas
The Indo-Pacific red lionfish Pterois volitans is widespread both in its native and its non-native habitats. The rapid invasion of this top predator has had a marked negative effect on fish populations in the Western Atlantic and the Caribbean. It is now well documented that lionfish are invading many tropical and sub-tropical habitats....Pimiento, Catalina; Nifong, James C.; Hunter, Margaret E.; Monaco, Eric; Silliman, Brian R.
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.
Do shrubs reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties?
Increases in the density of woody plants are a global phenomenon in drylands, and large aggregations of shrubs, in particular, are regarded as being indicative of dysfunctional ecosystems. There is increasing evidence that overgrazing by livestock reduces ecosystem functions in shrublands, but that shrubs may buffer the negative effects of...Eldridge, David J.; Beecham, Genevieve; Grace, James B.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.