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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
Self-documenting envelope method for quantifying egg mass hatch-out
Date Published: September 15, 2016

Determining the Efficacy of Agricultural Oils for Suppressing Applesnail Egg Mass Hatch-out

Maculata applesnails (Pomacea maculata) are exotic freshwater snails that have been widely introduced along the Gulf of Mexico coast. The snails can significantly impact freshwater macrophytes and reduce the quality of water bodies.

Nutria caught by camera trap at the Dugas Road Landfill, Lafayette LA
Date Published: August 30, 2016
Status: Active

Developing Techniques for Estimating Nutria (Myocastor coypus) Abundance

Nutrias (Myocastor coypus) are an aquatic rodent imported from South America to the United States in the 1920-40’s for the fur farms. Since their original importation they have become established in the wild in many regions of the United States.

Maculata applesnail (Pomacea maculata)
Date Published: August 25, 2016

Movement of Maculata Applesnails in Southern Louisiana Swamps

Maculata applesnails (Pomacea maculata) are exotic freshwater snails that have been widely introduced along the Gulf of Mexico coast. They can significantly impact freshwater macrophytes and reduce water quality.

A genetic analysis illustration
Date Published: August 10, 2016

Molecular Ecology Lab (MEL)

The Molecular Ecology Laboratory applies genetic and genomic technologies to address a variety of complex questions and conservation issues facing the management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources. Together with our partners, we design and implement studies to document genetic diversity and the distribution of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species. Information...

Aerial image, Chincoteague NWR boundary
Date Published: August 2, 2016
Status: Active

Assessing Coastal Forest Impacts and Resource Management Implications following Hurricane Sandy

Tropical storms and hurricanes wreak havoc with coastal forests where damage can vary with wind speed and approach from isolated treefalls to wide-area blowdowns of whole forests.

Weighing sturgeon prior to tagging
Date Published: August 1, 2016

Gulf Sturgeon Ecological Investigations

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.

Contacts: Michael Randall
Port of the Islands (POI) basin
Date Published: August 1, 2016

Monitoring and Assessing Effects of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP) on the Florida Manatee

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.

Validated modeling and sampling methodology
Date Published: August 1, 2016

Seagrass Beds and Manatee Foraging Areas in the Ten Thousand Islands: Mapping and Characterizing by Incorporating Manatee GPS Tracking Data and Habitat Information

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.

Student Intern Alejandro Grajal-Puche holds an Argentine black and white tegu lizard.
Date Published: July 7, 2016

Ecology and Control of Invasive Reptiles in Florida

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 detection methods of...

The CWPPRA outreach staff at WARC speaking to a large group
Date Published: June 22, 2016

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Outreach Program

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.

Contacts: Kathryn Spear
Ornate Chorus Frog, Pseudacris ornata
Date Published: June 17, 2016

Monitoring of Amphibians at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Northwest Florida

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.

Three pythons well camoflaged
Date Published: June 16, 2016

Statistical Models for the Design and Analysis of Environmental DNA (eDNA) Surveys of Invasive and Imperiled Species

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.

Filter Total Items: 174
Year Published: 2016

Early life history and spatiotemporal changes in distribution of the rediscovered Suwannee moccasinshell Medionidus walkeri (Bivalvia: Unionidae)

Accurate distribution data are critical to the development of conservation and management strategies for imperiled species, particularly for narrow endemics with life history traits that make them vulnerable to extinction. Medionidus walkeri is a rare freshwater mussel endemic to the Suwannee River Basin in southeastern North America....

Johnson, Nathan A.; Mcleod, John; Holcomb, Jordan; Rowe, Matthew T.; Williams, James D.
Johnson, N.A., McLeod, J.M., Holcomb, J., Rowe, M., and Williams, J.D., 2016, Early life history and spatiotemporal changes in distribution of the rediscovered Suwannee moccasinshell, Medionidus walkeri (Bivalvia: Unionidae): Inter-Research Endangered Species Research, ESR Prepress Abstract,

Year Published: 2016

Broken connections of wetland cultural knowledge

As global agriculture intensifies, cultural knowledge of wetland utilization has eroded as natural resources become more stressed, and marginal farmers move away from the land. The excellent paper by Fawzi et al. (2016) documents a particularly poignant case of traditional knowledge loss among the Marsh Arab women of Iraq. Through interviews, the...

Middleton, Beth A.
Middleton, B.A., 2016, Broken connections of wetland cultural knowledge [Comment]: Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, v. 2, no. 7, art. e01223,

Year Published: 2016

Barriers to and opportunities for landward migration of coastal wetlands with sea-level rise

In the 21st century, accelerated sea-level rise and continued coastal development are expected to greatly alter coastal landscapes across the globe. Historically, many coastal ecosystems have responded to sea-level fluctuations via horizontal and vertical movement on the landscape. However, anthropogenic activities, including urbanization and the...

Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen T.; Osland, Michael J.

Year Published: 2016

Effects of diffusion on total biomass in heterogeneous continuous and discrete-patch systems

Theoretical models of populations on a system of two connected patches previously have shown that when the two patches differ in maximum growth rate and carrying capacity, and in the limit of high diffusion, conditions exist for which the total population size at equilibrium exceeds that of the ideal free distribution, which predicts that the...

DeAngelis, Donald L.; Ming Ni, Wei; Zhang, Bo
DeAngelis, D.L, Ni, W.-M., and Zhang, B., 2016, Effects of diffusion on total biomass in heterogeneous continuous and discrete-patch systems: Theoretical Ecology, Online Early, 11 p.,​1007/​s12080-016-0302-3 or

Year Published: 2016

The structure and composition of Holocene coral reefs in the Middle Florida Keys

The Florida Keys reef tract (FKRT) is the largest coral-reef ecosystem in the continental United States. The modern FKRT extends for 362 kilometers along the coast of South Florida from Dry Tortugas National Park in the southwest, through the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), to Fowey Rocks reef in Biscayne National Park in the...

Toth, Lauren T.; Stathakopoulos, Anastasios; Kuffner, Ilsa B.
Toth, L.T., Stathakopoulos, Anastasios, and Kuffner, I.B., 2016, The structure and composition of Holocene coral reefs in the Middle Florida Keys: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1074, 27 p.,

Year Published: 2016

Spatial and temporal variability in estuary habitat use by American alligators

Estuarine habitat occupied by Alligator mississippiensis, a primarily freshwater species, is spatially and temporally heterogeneous largely due to a salinity gradient that fluctuates. Using long-term night light survey data, we examined seasonal patterns in alligators’ habitat use by size classes in midstream and downstream estuary...

Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Brandt, Laura A.

Year Published: 2016

Can you hear me now? Range-testing a submerged passive acoustic receiver array in a Caribbean coral reef habitat

Submerged passive acoustic technology allows researchers to investigate spatial and temporal movement patterns of many marine and freshwater species. The technology uses receivers to detect and record acoustic transmissions emitted from tags attached to an individual. Acoustic signal strength naturally attenuates over distance, but numerous...

Selby, Thomas H.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Smith, Brian J.; Pollock, Clayton J; Hillis-Star, Zandy M; Lundgren, Ian; Oli, Madan K.
Selby, T.H., Hart, K.M., Fujisaki, I., Smith, B.J., Pollock, C.J., Hillis-Staff, Z., Lundgren, I., and Oli, M.K., 2016, Can you hear me now? Range-testing a submerged passive acoustic receiver array in a Caribbean coral reef habitat: Ecology and Evolution, Early View,

Year Published: 2016

Betrayal: radio-tagged Burmese pythons reveal locations of conspecifics in Everglades National Park

The “Judas” technique is based on the idea that a radio-tagged individual can be used to “betray” conspecifics during the course of its routine social behavior. The Burmese python (Python bivittatus) is an invasive constrictor in southern Florida, and few methods are available for its control. Pythons are normally solitary...

Smith, Brian J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Hart, Kristen M.; Rochford, Michael R.; Selby, Thomas H.; Snow, Ray W; Mazzotti, Frank J.

Year Published: 2016

Processes contributing to resilience of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise

The objectives of this study were to identify processes that contribute to resilience of coastal wetlands subject to rising sea levels and to determine whether the relative contribution of these processes varies across different wetland community types. We assessed the resilience of wetlands to sea-level rise along a transitional gradient from...

Stagg, Camille L.; Krauss, Ken W.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Cormier, Nicole; Conner, William H.; Swarzenski, Christopher M.
Stagg, C.L., Krauss, K.W., Cahoon, D.R., Cormier, N., Conner, W.H., and Swarzenski, C.M., 2016, Processes contributing to resilience of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise: Ecosystems, First Online, 15 p.,

Year Published: 2016

Using Cape Sable seaside sparrow distribution data for water management decision support

The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis; hereafter sparrow) is endemic to south Florida and a key indicator species of marl prairie, the most diverse freshwater community in the Florida Everglades. Marl prairie habitat is shaped by intermediate levels of disturbances such as flooding, drying, and fire, which maintain...

Beerens, James M.; Romañach, Stephanie
Beerens, J.M., and Romanach, S.S., 2016, Using Cape Sable seaside sparrow distribution data for water management decision support, prepared for the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow Biological Opinion, U.S. Geological Survey, 19 pp.

Year Published: 2016

Hemidactylus parvimaculatus (Sri Lankan spotted house gecko)

USA: LOUISIANA: St. Tammany Parish: private property ca. 4 km S of Abita Springs, E of State Hwy 59, and N of Interstate 12 (30.44000°N, 90.02000°W; WGS 84). 18 August 2013. Brad M. Glorioso. Verified by David Heckard. Florida Museum of Natural History (UF 176422, photo voucher). New parish record. This species was first reported in the...

Glorioso, Brad M.
Glorioso, B.M., 2016, Hemidactylus parvimaculatus (Sri Lankan spotted house gecko): Herpetological Review, v. 47, no., 1, p. 81.

Year Published: 2016

The role of habitat filtering in the leaf economics spectrum and plant susceptibility to pathogen infection

1.The Leaf Economics Spectrum (LES) describes global covariation in the traits of plant leaves. The LES is thought to arise from biophysical constraints and habitat filtering (ecological selection against unfit trait combinations along environmental gradients). However, the role of habitat filtering in generating the LES has not been tested...

Welsh, Miranda E; Cronin, James P.; Mitchell, Charles E.
Welsh, M.E., Cronin, J.P., and Mitchell, C.E., 2016, The role of habitat filtering in the leaf economics spectrum and plant susceptibility to pathogen infection: Journal of Ecology, Accepted Author Manuscript,

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USGS science for a changing world logo
February 6, 2014

A newly developed computer model holds the promise of helping scientists track and predict where oil will go after a spill, sometimes years later.