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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: 234
Blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus)
March 22, 2017

22-23 March 2017 - Ten teams of fishery biologists sampled 28 sites amid unexpected wildfires in the Big Cypress National Preserve over the two day period. On the second day a reporter from the Miami Herald accompanied a ground crew team.

Fish Slam 2016 group
March 16, 2017

Dozens of species of non-native fishes are present in the freshwaters of Florida, and new species are discovered each year. Maintaining current information on the geographic ranges of all non-native fishes is a daunting task, as many jurisdictions are involved at the state, federal, and municipal levels. There is a need to coordinate sampling, research and management across jurisdictional...

Disentangling the mechanisms regulating coastal wetland sustainability in the face of rising sea levels
March 14, 2017

USGS scientists have been involved for a number of years in the development and use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This methodology represents an approach to statistical modeling that focuses on the study of complex cause-effect hypotheses about the mechanisms operating in systems. SEM is increasingly used in ecological and environmental studies and this site seeks to provide...

Shrimp Boat on Mobile Bay
January 30, 2017

Human alteration of waterways has impacted the minimum and maximum streamflows in more than 86% of monitored streams nationally and may be the primary cause for ecological impairment in river and stream ecosystems. Restoration of freshwater inflows can positively affect shellfish, fisheries, habitat, and water quality in streams, rivers, and estuaries. Increasingly, state and local decision-...

Caney Fork at State Road 1 - Tennessee - Image
January 25, 2017

A study involving suspended-sediment and turbidity monitoring at streamgaging stations near the segment of State Route 840 under construction between Fairview and Bending Chestnut. 

Tennessee River (TENN) Basin Study Illustration
January 25, 2017

The Tennessee (TENN) River Basin encompasses an area of 40,890 square miles, making it the largest tributary to the Ohio River. The Tennessee River flows through portions of seven states: Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Kentucky. To learn more please visit: http://tn.water.usgs.gov/lten/tenn.html

Stream in Boston Mountains - Arkansas
January 19, 2017

LMG-WSC hydrologist, in collaboration with Arkansas Natural Resource Commission scientist are analyzing stream channel geomorphic characteristics at 15 gaged stable stream sites in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. Field data collection entails topographic surveys of selected stream reaches and analysis of bed and bar sediments. Topographic surveys, running from hundreds to thousands of feet,...

MAP study area
December 13, 2016

The Mississippi Alluvial Plain is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the Nation and depends on groundwater for irrigation. The MAP area constitutes the third largest area of irrigated cropland in the United States. The area is approximately 29,000 square miles (19 million acres) and includes parts of the States...

Scientist collecting stream data
December 5, 2016

The Challenge: The DOI WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) initiative is developing data and tools to help water managers identify current and future water shortages, for humans and for freshwater ecosystems. Fishes, for example, can decline in diversity and abundance when streamflow becomes too low, for too long.  However, ecologists find that effects of declining...

A Burmese python coiled in the grass in the Everglades.
December 4, 2016

Invasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles.

Everglades National Park
December 2, 2016

The Daniel Beard Center in Everglades National Park provides the base for most of the field work done on the control of invasive reptiles by USGS Fort Collins Science Center staff. The team works in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and other parts of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem focusing on, among other species of concern,...

Backpack electrofishing crew at Pinecrest Gardens
November 1, 2016

November 1 - 2, 2016 – Eight teams of fishery biologists from the US Geological Survey (USGS), US Fish and Wildlife Service - Peninsular Florida Fisheries Office and Welaka National Fish Hatchery (USFWS), the National Park Service (NPS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida International University (FIU), and Zoo Miami sampled 20 sites for non-native fishes in Palm...

Filter Total Items: 180
Year Published: 2016

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.
Wang, H., Piazza, S.C., Sharp, L.A., Stagg, C.L., Couvillion, B.R., Steyer, G.D., and McGinnis, T.E., 2016, 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.: Journal of Coastal Research, http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00014.1, and http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00014.1.

Year Published: 2016

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.

Year Published: 2016

Baseline reference range for trace metal concentrations in whole blood of wild and managed West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus) in Florida and Belize

The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) is exposed to a number of anthropogenic influences, including metals, as they inhabit shallow waters with close proximity to shore. While maintaining homeostasis of many metals is crucial for health, there is currently no baseline reference range that can be used to make clinical and environmental...

Takeuchi, Noel Y.; Walsh, Michael T; Bonde, Robert K.; Powell, James A.; Bass, Dean A.; Gaspard, Joseph C.; Barber, David S.
Takeuchi, N.Y., Walsh, M.T., Bonde, R.K., Powell, J.A., Bass, D.A., Gaspard III, J.C., and Barber, D.S., 2016, Baseline reference range for trace metal concentrations in whole blood of wild and managed West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) in Florida and Belize: Aquatic Mammals, v. 42, no. 4, p. 440-453, http://dx.doi.org/10.1578/AM.42.4.2016.440. 453. doi:10.1578/AM.42.4.2016.440

Year Published: 2016

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.
McLeod, J.M., Jelks, H., Pursifull, S., and Johnson, N.A., 2016, Characterizing the early life history of an imperiled freshwater mussel (Ptychobranchus jonesi): U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7FT8J5T.

Year Published: 2016

Development of an adaptive harvest management program for Taiga bean geese

This report describes recent progress in specifying the elements of an adaptive harvest program for taiga bean goose. It describes harvest levels appropriate for first rebuilding the population of the Central Management Unit and then maintaining it near the goal specified in the AEWA International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP). This report...

Johnson, Fred A.; Alhainen, Mikko; Fox, Anthony D.; Madsen, Jesper
Johnson, F.A., Alhainen, M., Fox, A.D., and Madsen, J., 2016, Development of an adaptive harvest management program for Taiga bean geese: First meeting of the AEWA European Goose Management International Working Group, December 14-16, 2016, Kristianstad, Sweden, 28 p., http://www.unep-aewa.org/en/document/development-adaptive-harvest-management-program-taiga-bean-geese or http://www.unep-aewa.org/sites/default/files/document/aewa_egm_iwg_1_8_tbg_ahmp.pdf.

Year Published: 2016

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
Pennings, S.C., Zengel, S., Oehrig, J., Alber, M., Bishop, T.D., Deis, D.R., Devlin, D., Hughes, A.R., Hutchens, J.J., Jr., Kiehn, W.M., McFarlin, C.R., Montague, C.L., Powers, S., Proffitt, C.E., Rutherford, N., Stagg, C.L., and Walters, K., 2016, Marine ecoregion and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill affect recruitment and population structure of a salt marsh snail: Ecosphere, v. 7, no. 12, art. e01588, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1588.

Year Published: 2016

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.
Benson, A.J., 2016, Mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative region: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F75X2721.

Year Published: 2016

Model description and evaluation of the mark-recapture survival model used to parameterize the 2012 status and threats analysis for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

This report provides supporting details and evidence for the rationale, validity and efficacy of a new mark-recapture model, the Barker Robust Design, to estimate regional manatee survival rates used to parameterize several components of the 2012 version of the Manatee Core Biological Model (CBM) and Threats Analysis (TA).  The CBM and TA...

Langtimm, Catherine A.; Kendall, William L.; Beck, Cathy A.; Kochman, Howard I.; Teague, Amy L.; Meigs-Friend, Gaia; Peñaloza, Claudia L.
Langtimm, C.A., Kendall, W.L., Beck, C.A., Kochman, H.I., Teague, A.L., Meigs-Friend, Gaia, and Peñaloza, C.L., 2016, Model description and evaluation of the mark-recapture survival model used to parameterize the 2012 status and threats analysis for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1163, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161163.

Year Published: 2016

Inference of population structure and demographic history in Taxodium distichum, a coniferous tree in North America, based on amplicon sequence analysis

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Studies of natural genetic variation can elucidate the genetic basis of phenotypic variation and the past population structure of species. Our study species, Taxodium distichum, is a unique conifer that inhabits the flood plains and swamps of North America. Morphological and ecological differences in two varieties, T....

Ikezaki, Yuka; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Middleton, Beth A.; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Teshima, Kousuke; Tachida, Hidenori; Kusumi, Junko
Ikezaki, Y., Suyama, Y., Middleton, B.A., Tsumura, Y., Teshima, K., Tachida, H., and Kusumi, J., 2016, Inference of population structure and demographic history in Taxodium distichum, a coniferous tree in North America, based on amplicon sequence analysis: American Journal of Botany, http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1600046.

Year Published: 2016

Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms

We evaluate the relative impact of petroleum spill and storm surge on near-shore wetland loss by quantifying the lateral movement of coastal shores in upper Barataria Bay, Louisiana (USA), between June 2009 and October 2012, a study period that extends from the year prior to the Deepwater Horizon spill to 2.5 years following the spill. We document...

Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.; Ramsey, Elijah W.
Rangoonwala, A., Jones, C.E., and Ramsey, E.W., III, 2016, Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms: Geophysical Research Letters, Early View, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL070624.

Year Published: 2016

Using structural equation modeling to link human activities to wetland ecological integrity

The integrity of wetlands is of global concern. A common approach to evaluating ecological integrity involves bioassessment procedures that quantify the degree to which communities deviate from historical norms. While helpful, bioassessment provides little information about how altered conditions connect to community response. More detailed...

Schweiger, E. William; Grace, James B.; Cooper, David; Bobowski, Ben; Britten, Mike
Schweiger, E.W., Grace, J.B., Cooper, D., Bobowski, B., and Britten, M., 2016, Using structural equation modeling to link human activities to wetland ecological integrity: Ecosphere, v. 7, no. 11, art. e01548, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1548.

Year Published: 2016

Application of decision science to resilience management in Jamaica Bay

This book highlights the growing interest in management interventions designed to enhance the resilience of the Jamaica Bay socio-ecological system. Effective management, whether the focus is on managing biological processes or human behavior or (most likely) both, requires decision makers to anticipate how the managed system will respond to...

Sanderson, E.W.; Solecki, W. D.; Waldman, J.R.; Paris, A. S.; Eaton, Mitchell; Fuller, Angela K.; Johnson, Fred A.; Hare, M. P.; Stedman, Richard C.
Eaton, MJ, AK Fuller, FA Johnson, MP Hare, and RC Stedman. 2016. Application of Decision Science to Resilience Management in Jamaica Bay. Pages 217–237in EW Sanderson, WD Solecki, JR Waldman, and AS Parris, editors.Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay. Island Press, Washington D.C.

Filter Total Items: 80
Image shows a flooded street with green median
August 13, 2016
Backwater flooding across Florida Blvd near the Amite River Bridge in Denham Springs, LA.
Image shows flooded houses and vehicles
August 13, 2016
A flooded neighborhood near the confluence of the Comite and Amite Rivers near Denham Springs, LA.
Image shows a flooded house with trees in the background
August 13, 2016
A flooded house near the confluence of the Comite and Amite Rivers near Denham Springs, LA.
Newly discovered cavefish species, the Oaxaca Cave Sleeper
2016 (approx.)
This Oaxaca Cave Sleeper is one of thirteen specimens collected from a cave beneath a reservoir on Mexico's Tonto River. It lacks eyes, is unpigmented, and has sensory adaptations characteristic of fish that live in total darkness. Thuis is the holotype, the example used to describe and name this newly identified species. Credit: Howard L. Jelks and Stephen J. Walsh, USGS
Left: Map of Tampa Bay area and Gulf of Mexico. Colored balloons along shore. Right: total-water-level graph (top) and diagram.
June 4, 2016
Screenshot of Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer on June 4, 2016, two days before Tropical Storm Colin was expected to hit Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast. This forecast is for Treasure Island (blue balloon on map) on the day of Colin’s arrival (June 6, 2016). Top right: Expected mean (dashed line) and total (solid line) water levels for June 4 to June 9. Bottom right: expected...
As US models predicted Hurricane Joaquin washed out a road at Kitty Hawk, NC in 2015.
2016 (approx.)
As US models predicted Hurricane Joaquin washed out a road at Kitty Hawk, NC in 2015.
Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
2016 (approx.)
Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
 Beach erosion at Rodanthe, NC, along the coast on August 30, 2011, three days after landfall of Hurricane Irene
April 14, 2016
Oblique aerial photograph near Rodanthe, NC, along the coast on August 30, 2011, three days after landfall of Hurricane Irene. A breach was carved through the barrier island, severing NC Highway 12. The storm surge was approximately 2 m high on the sound-side and was less on the ocean-side. Flow from the sound to the ocean may have played a role in cutting the breaches between Oregon Inlet and...
A colony of the soft coral known as the "bent sea rod" stands bleached on a reef off of Islamorada, Florida.
April 12, 2016
A colony of the soft coral known as the "bent sea rod" stands bleached on a reef off of Islamorada, Florida. Hard and soft corals are presently bleaching- losing their symbiotic algae – all over the coral reefs of the Florida Keys due to unusually warm ocean temperatures this summer. Months with waters warmer than 85 F have become more frequent in the last several decades compared to a century...
January 30, 2016
This video was shot in Three Sisters Springs at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. The footage was captured using a GoPro while conducting health check-ups and taking photography for population research on Jan. 30, 2014. Special Thanks Dr. Bob Bonde, USGS and the dozens of volunteers who conduct annual manatee health assessments. Music "Music for Manatees" Kevin MacLeod (...
Image shows sand in a hand
2015 (approx.)
Frac sands used in unconventional oil and gas development.
Elkhorn coral has died and turned to rubble.
2015 (approx.)
These Elkhorn corals ( Acropora palmata ) near Buck Island, U.S. Virgin Islands have died and collapsed into rubble. As coral reef structure degrades, valuable habitat for marine life is lost and nearby coastlines become more susceptible to storms, waves and erosion.
Filter Total Items: 74
USGS logo
November 17, 2015

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.

USGS logo
November 10, 2015

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.

Gator
October 28, 2015

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.

Satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico and coastline, Gulf Hypoxic Zone
October 19, 2015

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.

Image: USGS Scientist Inspects Streamgage During Flooding Event
October 5, 2015

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.

USGS logo
October 2, 2015

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.

Image: Giant African Land Snail
July 9, 2015

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.

USGS logo
June 30, 2015

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 Birds in the Everglades, Florida
June 24, 2015

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.

USGS logo
April 16, 2015

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

USGS logo
April 16, 2015

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.

USGS logo
March 25, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette and the Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville, Florida will merge under the same leadership effective October 1, 2015.