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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
homes damaged by hurricane Sandy on Fire Island, New York
Date Published: April 13, 2016

Understanding Coastal Change

Scientists perform a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. Studies include historical shoreline change, the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.

Devastation of the coastal city of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Date Published: April 13, 2016

Geologic Hazards and Catastrophic Events

We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.

Methane hydrate
Date Published: April 13, 2016

Ocean Resources for America's Needs

Our scientists conduct research studies focused on geologic mapping, sampling and understanding of mineral and energy resources and studies of the geologic setting and processes to inform renewable energy development offshore.

crustose coralline algae
Date Published: April 13, 2016

Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Science

We bring together multidisciplinary expertise focused on developing tools and models to improve understanding of how healthy ecosystems function as well as how they respond to environmental changes and human impacts including ecosystem restoration. Research studies address coral reef, coastal wetland, benthic habitat and groundwater resources.

Rookery Bay NERR, FL, USA
Date Published: April 8, 2016
Status: Active

Evaluating Structural and Surface Elevation Recovery of Restored Mangroves

Hydrologic restoration is one of several approaches to rehabilitate mangroves on a large-scale. USGS evaluates how solely restoring tidal hydrologic flows affect the recovery of mangroves in Florida. 

Figure 1. Major study areas of the TFFW vegetation modeling system (Krauss et al., 2009)
Date Published: April 8, 2016

Modeling Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands (TFFW) Habitat Changes for Land Management

As tidal freshwater forested wetlands - TFFWs - are influenced by salinty due to salt water intrusion, they may experience changes in plant community composition, growth, and productivity. Models are needed to predict vegetation community change or dieback, as well as changes in carbon sequestration and storage due to changing climate, drought, changes in freshwater discharge, elevated carbon...

Millions of landbirds migrate through the Gulf of Mexico
Date Published: April 8, 2016

Modeling Landscape-Scale Habitat Relations for Landbirds During Migration: Science Support for the Gulf Coast Joint Venture

USGS uses weather surveillance radar data and landscape-scale habitat metrics to model bird-habitat connections along the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sampit River, SC, USA
Date Published: April 8, 2016

Ecology of Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands of the Southeastern United States

Tidal freshwater forested wetlands - TFFWs - can be found in the upper intertidal areas of many estuaries and act as a transition between coastal marshes and bottomland hardwood wetlands. However, it is because of their location that makes them vulnerable to sea-level rise, and they are constantly transitioning to different wetland types. USGS addresses how various processes are affected in...

Illustration of two sites with marked differences in hydrology and nutrient concentrations
Date Published: April 8, 2016
Status: Active

Dynamics and Fluxes of Nutrients along Environmental Gradients in the Florida Everglades, USA

USGS research in the Florida Everglades will provide information on how environmental conditions and disturbances impact carbon storage in mangrove systems.

Figure 2. Current and proposed MR diversions in Louisiana deltaic wetlands. (Source: LaCPRA)
Date Published: April 7, 2016
Status: Active

Integrated Modeling of Coastal Processes and Linkages to Management Applications

Coastal wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as wave attenuation, surge reduction, carbon sequestration, wastewater treatment, and critical habitats for endangered fish and wildlife species. However, wetland loss threatens the capacity of coastal wetlands to provide these ecosystem services.

The CRMS design includes a suite of sites that encompass a range of ecological conditions across the coast
Date Published: April 7, 2016

Louisiana’s Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS)

The Coastwise Reference Monitoring System was designed to monitor the effectiveness of restoration actions at individual sites, as well as across the entire Louisiana coast. 

Contacts: Sarai Piazza
Sampling permanent vegetation transects
Date Published: April 7, 2016

Plant Community Dynamics in a Mangrove-to-Marsh Transition Zone

Mangroves will compete with salt marsh plants in transitional areas, and recent studies have documented the expansion of mangroves into marsh habitats. To better understand the plant community dynamics in this transition zone, USGS scientists are tracking vegeation changes over time in south Florida. 

Filter Total Items: 174
Year Published: 2015

A spatial individual-based model predicting a great impact of copious sugar sources and resting sites on survival of Anopheles gambiae and malaria parasite transmission

BackgroundAgent-based modelling (ABM) has been used to simulate mosquito life cycles and to evaluate vector control applications. However, most models lack sugar-feeding and resting behaviours or are based on mathematical equations lacking individual level randomness and spatial components of mosquito life. Here, a spatial individual-based model (...

Zhu, Lin; Qualls, Whitney A.; Marshall, John M; Arheart, Kris L.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; McManus, John W.; Traore, Sekou F.; Doumbia, Seydou; Schlein, Yosef; Muller, Gunter C.; Beier, John C.
Zhu, L., Qualls, W.A., Marshall, J.M., Arheart, K.L., DeAngelis, D.L., McManus, J.W., Traore, S.F., Doumbia, S., Schlein, Y., Műller, G.C., and Beier, J.C., 2015, A spatial individual-based model predicting a great impact of copious sugar sources and resting sites on survival of Anopheles gambiae and malaria parasite transmission: Malaria Journal, v. 14, no. 59, 15 p.,

Year Published: 2015

Occupancy estimation for rare species using a spatially-adaptive sampling design

Summary 1. Spatially clustered populations create unique challenges for conservation monitoring programmes. Advances in methodology typically are focused on either the design or the modelling stage of the study but do not involve integration of both. 2. We integrate adaptive cluster sampling and spatial occupancy modelling by developing two models...

Pacifici, Krishna; Reich, Brian J.; Dorazio, Robert; Conroy, Michael J.
Pacifici, K., Reich, B.J., Dorazio, R.M., and Conroy, M.J., 2015, Occupancy estimation for rare species using a spatially-adaptive sampling design: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Early View,

Year Published: 2015

Assessment of environmental DNA for detecting presence of imperiled aquatic amphibian species in isolated wetlands

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging tool that allows low-impact sampling for aquatic species by isolating DNA from water samples and screening for DNA sequences specific to species of interest. However, researchers have not tested this method in naturally acidic wetlands that provide breeding habitat for a number of imperiled species,...

Mckee, Anna; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Barichivich, William J.; Spear, Stephen F.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Glenn, Travis C
McKee, A.M., Calhoun, D.L., Barichivich, W.J., Spear, S.F., Goldberg, C.S., and Glenn, T.C., 2015, Assessment of environmental DNA for detecting presence of imperiled aquatic amphibian species in isolated wetlands: Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, v. 6, no. 2, p. 498-510,

Year Published: 2015

Defining conservation targets on a landscape-scale

Conservation planning, the process of deciding how to protect, conserve, enhance and(or) minimize loss of natural and cultural resources, is a fundamental process to achieve conservation success in a time of rapid environmental change. Conservation targets, the measurable expressions of desired resource conditions, are an important tool in...

Benscoter, A.M.; Romañach, Stephanie; Brandt, Laura A.
Benscoter, A., Romanach, S.S., and Brandt, L., 2015, Defining conservation targets on a landscape-scale, prepared for the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC), 81 p., or

Year Published: 2015

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.
Howard, R.J., Krauss, K.W., Cormier, N., Day, R.H., Biagas, J., and Allain, L., 2015, Plant-plant interactions in a subtropical mangrove-to-marsh transition zone: effects of environmental drivers: Journal of Vegetation Science, v. 26, no. 6, p. 1198-1211,

Year Published: 2015

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.

Year Published: 2015

Predicting ecological responses of the Florida Everglades to possible future climate scenarios: Introduction

Florida’s Everglades stretch from the headwaters of the Kissimmee River near Orlando to Florida Bay. Under natural conditions in this flat landscape, water flowed slowly downstream as broad, shallow sheet flow. The ecosystem is markedly different now, altered by nutrient pollution and construction of canals, levees, and water control structures...

Aumen, Nicholas G.; Havens, Karl E; Best, G. Ronnie; Berry, Leonard
Attribution: Southeast

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 J.; 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.,