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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.
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.
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.
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" is an app that provides a central repository for Louisiana Black Bear tracking data, allowing managers to access information more quickly and reliably.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the SALCC - an update
The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS; nas.er.usgs.gov) 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.
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
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
Landscape-level estimation of nitrogen removal in coastal Louisiana wetlands: potential sinks under different restoration scenarios
Coastal eutrophication in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is the primary anthropogenic contributor to the largest zone of hypoxic bottom waters in North America. Although biologically mediated processes such as denitrification (Dn) are known to act as sinks for inorganic nitrogen, it is unknown what contribution denitrification makes to...Rivera-Monroy, Victor H.; Branoff, Benjamin; Meselhe, Ehab; McCorquodale, Alex; Dortch, Mark; Steyer, Gregory D.; Visser, Jenneke; Wang, Hongqing
Monitoring vegetation response to episodic disturbance events by using multitemporal vegetation indices
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery and land/water assessments from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery were used to quantify the extent and severity of damage and subsequent recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005 within the vegetation...Steyer, Gregory D.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Barras, John A.
Economic vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast
The northern Gulf of Mexico coast of the United States has been identified as highly vulnerable to sea-level rise, based on a combination of physical and societal factors. Vulnerability of human populations and infrastructure to projected increases in sea level is a critical area of uncertainty for communities in the extremely low-lying and flat...Thatcher, Cindy A.; Brock, John C.; Pendleton, Elizabeth A.