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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.
The Gulf sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi, has been listed as Threatened since 1991. Beginning in 1986, USGS has been investigating sturgeon population abundance and ecology throughout its range, but mostly in the Suwannee River.
Critical information predicting condition changes in manatee habitat resulting from the alteration of freshwater flows to estuaries is needed to develop the PSRP Detailed Design and PSRP Operations Plan components and complete consultation under the Endangered Species Act.
Turbid water conditions make the delineation and characterization of benthic habitats difficult by traditional in situ and remote sensing methods. Consequently, only a small fraction of this valuable resource has been mapped or characterized....
This project involves ongoing development of tools for the detection and capture of invasive reptiles in Florida, with an emphasis on Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) and Black and white tegu lizards (Salvator merianae). The goals are to reduce the risk of reptile invasions in high-value resources such as Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys, to access early...
The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) is federal legislation enacted in 1990 designed to identify, prepare, and fund construction of coastal wetlands restoration projects.
Freshwater wetlands provide critical habitat for a diverse array of organisms, including many amphibians. Yet, under the threat of climate change, these habitats are among the most imperiled ecosystems on Earth.
Detecting invasive species at low densities or prior to population establishment is critical for successful control and eradication. For example, Burmese pythons occupy thousands of square kilometers of mostly inaccessible habitats.
Long-term monitoring data in the Manatee Individual Photo-identification System (MIPS), developed and coordinated by WARC-Sirenia Project in collaboration with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory, are the basis for modeling manatee demography rates....
It's hard to imagine a better job than doing fieldwork with the USGS Coastal Ecology crew as they work to keep tabs on the Gulf sturgeon population....
This project will create a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana (Chitimacha), serving as an implementable plan for coastal community adaptation to climate change that can be used as a model in other small communities.
While the historic focus of vegetation condition is the bulk live and dead compositions, these variables provide no information on the structure of vegetation (density and orientation). Canopy structure information is critical for monitoring status and trends, and essential in climate, weather, and ecological studies.
May 23, 2016 – Five teams of fishery biologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the National Park Service (NPS), Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), University of Florida (UF), and Florida International University (FIU) sampled 12 sites for non-native fishes in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in southeastern Florida...
Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?
In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies...Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P.C.R.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M.M.P.B.; Fuller, W.J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M.H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Kaska, Y.; Jensen, M.P.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R.D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomas, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Van Houtan, K.S.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B.P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.
Overcoming challenges to the recovery of declining amphibian populations in the United States
The US Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) affords many potential benefits to species threatened with extinction. However, most at-risk amphibians—one of the most imperiled vertebrate groups—remain unlisted under the provisions of the ESA, and many impediments to recovery exist for those species that have been listed. Of the 35 US amphibian...Walls, Susan; Ball, Lianne C.; Barichivich, William J.; Dodd, Kenneth; Enge, Kevin M; Gorman, Thomas A.; O'Donnell, Katherine; Palis, John G; Semlitsch, Raymond D.
The practice of prediction: What can ecologists learn from applied, ecology-related fields?
The pervasive influence of human induced global environmental change affects biodiversity across the globe, and there is great uncertainty as to how the biosphere will react on short and longer time scales. To adapt to what the future holds and to manage the impacts of global change, scientists need to predict the expected effects with some...Pennekamp, Frank; Adamson, Matthew; Petchey, Owen L; Poggiale, Jean-Christophe; Aguiar, Maira; Kooi, Bob W.; Botkin, Daniel B.; DeAngelis, Don
Barrier island breach evolution: Alongshore transport and bay-ocean pressure gradient interactions
Physical processes controlling repeated openings and closures of a barrier island breach between a bay and the open ocean are studied using aerial photographs and atmospheric and hydrodynamic observations. The breach site is located on Pea Island along the Outer Banks, separating Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean. Wind direction was a major...Safak, Ilgar; Warner, John C.; List, Jeffrey
Mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative region
Invasive species are a global issue, and the southeastern United States is not immune to the problems they present. Therefore, various analyses using modeling and exploratory statistics were performed on the U.S. Geological Survey Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Database with the primary objective of determining the most appropriate use of...Benson, Amy J.; Stith, Bradley M.; Engel, Victor C.
A rare Uroglena bloom in Beaver Lake, Arkansas, spring 2015
A combination of factors triggered a Uroglena volvox bloom and taste and odor event in Beaver Lake, a water-supply reservoir in northwest Arkansas, in late April 2015. Factors contributing to the bloom included increased rainfall and runoff containing increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon, followed by a stable pool, low nutrient...William R. Green and Brad Hufhines
A modeling study of the impacts of Mississippi River diversion and sea-level rise on water quality of a deltaic estuary
Freshwater and sediment management in estuaries affects water quality, particularly in deltaic estuaries. Furthermore, climate change-induced sea-level rise (SLR) and land subsidence also affect estuarine water quality by changing salinity, circulation, stratification, sedimentation, erosion, residence time, and other physical and ecological...Wang, Hongqing; Chen, Qin; Hu, Kelin; LaPeyre, Megan K.
Determining the spatial variability of wetland soil bulk density, organic matter, and the conversion factor between organic matter and organic carbon across coastal Louisiana, U.S.A.
Soil bulk density (BD), soil organic matter (SOM) content, and a conversion factor between SOM and soil organic carbon (SOC) are often used in estimating SOC sequestration and storage. Spatial variability in BD, SOM, and the SOM–SOC conversion factor affects the ability to accurately estimate SOC sequestration, storage, and the benefits (e.g.,...Wang, Hongqing; Piazza, Sarai C.; Sharp, Leigh A.; Stagg, Camille L.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Steyer, Gregory D.; McGinnis, Thomas E.
Morphometric body condition indices of wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)
In many species, body weight (W) increases geometrically with body length (L), so W/L3 provides a body condition index (BCI) that can be used to evaluate nutritional status once a normal range has been established. No such index has been established for Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). This study was designed to determine a...Harshaw, Lauren T.; Larkin, Iskande V.; Bonde, Robert K.; Deutsch, Charles J.; Hill, Richard C.
Marine ecoregion and Deepwater Horizon oil spill affect recruitment and population structure of a salt marsh snail
Marine species with planktonic larvae often have high spatial and temporal variation in recruitment that leads to subsequent variation in the ecology of benthic adults. Using a combination of published and unpublished data, we compared the population structure of the salt marsh snail, Littoraria irrorata, between the South Atlantic Bight and the...Pennings, Steven C.; Zengel, Scott; Oehrig, Jacob; Alber, Merryl; Bishop, T. Dale; Deis, Donald R.; Devlin, Donna; Hughes, A. Randall; Hutchens, John J.; Kiehn, Whitney M.; McFarlin, Caroline R.; Montague, Clay L.; Powers, Sean P.; Proffitt, C. Edward; Rutherford, Nicolle; Stagg, Camille L.; Walters, Keith
Mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative region
The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS) information resource is an established central repository for spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of introduced aquatic species. The NAS website provides scientific reports, online/real-time queries, spatial data sets, distribution maps, fact sheets, and general information.Benson, Amy J.
Characterizing the early life history of an imperiled freshwater mussel (Ptychobranchus jonesi)
Conservation of imperiled species is frequently challenged by insufficient knowledge of life history and the environmental factors that affect various life stages. The larvae (glochidia) of most freshwater mussels in the family Unionidae are obligate ectoparasites of fishes. We describe the early life history of the federally endangered Southern...Mcleod, John; Jelks, Howard; Pursifull, Sandra; Johnson, Nathan A.
Fact sheets that detail information about parish water resources and water-use are available online for 34 of the state’s 64 parishes, with more coming soon.
A new interactive Flood Inundation Map to improve flood warnings and assist with emergency management along Big Creek in Alpharetta and Roswell, Georgia, was debuted during a ceremony today in Alpharetta’s Rock Mill Park.
Alligators and the Everglades go hand-in-hand, and as water conditions change in the greater Everglades ecosystem, gators are one of the key species that could be affected.
Hypoxia sounds as bad as it is. It refers to an environment that is too low on oxygen to sustain most aerobic life, particularly an aquatic environment. Hypoxia is most problematic when it happens where oxygen is normally plentiful, because most living organisms require oxygen to continue living.
Heavy rains and hazardous weather conditions are occurring in western South Carolina, with record flooding occurring and more expected over parts of the region over the next several days.
Currently, heavy rains and hazardous weather conditions are predicted for western North Carolina and most of South Carolina by the National Weather Service, with flooding possible over parts of the region over the next several days.
The invasive giant African land snail is expanding its range in Miami, and with it, the range of the parasitic rat lungworm, according to new U.S. Geological Survey led research.
Cheryl J. Hapke begins work this week as the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center.
Wading bird numbers in the Florida Everglades are driven by water patterns that play out over multiple years according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and Florida Atlantic University.
Many loggerhead sea turtles that nest in Dry Tortugas National Park head to rich feeding sites in the Bahamas after nesting, a discovery that may help those working to protect this threatened species
New genetic data suggest the red lionfish invasion in the Caribbean Basin and Western Atlantic started in multiple locations, not just one as previously believed, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.