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USGS - science for a changing world


Bruce K Wylie

Geographic Science Team, EROS

Office Phone: 605-594-6078
ORCID: 0000-0002-7374-1083

EROS - Mundt Federal Building
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls , SD 57198-9801

Supervisor: Kristi L Sayler
Cheatgrass began invading the Great Basin about 100 years ago, changing large parts of the landscape from a rich, diverse ecosystem to one where a single invasive species dominates. Cheatgrass dominated areas experience more fires that burn more land than in native ecosystems, resulting in economic and resource losses. Therefore, the reduced production, or absence, of cheatgrass in previously invaded areas during years of adequate precipitation could be seen as a windfall. However, this cheatgrass dieoff phenomenon creates other problems for land managers like accelerated soil erosion, loss of early spring food supply for livestock and wildlife, and unknown recovery pathways. We used satellite data and scientific...
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a highly productive perennial grass, has been recommended as one potential source for cellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Previous studies indicate that planting perennial grasses (e.g., switchgrass) in high topographic relief cropland waterway buffers can improve local environmental conditions and sustainability. The main advantages of this land management practice include (1) reducing soil erosion and improving water quality because switchgrass requires less tillage, fertilizers, and pesticides; and (2) improving regional ecosystem services (e.g., improving water infiltration, minimizing drought and flood impacts on production, and serving as carbon sinks). In this study, we mapped...
A warming climate influences boreal forest productivity, dynamics, and disturbance regimes. We used ecosystem models and 250 m satellite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data averaged over the growing season (GSN) to model current, and estimate future, ecosystem performance. We modeled Expected Ecosystem Performance (EEP), or anticipated productivity, in undisturbed stands over the 2000–2008 period from a variety of abiotic data sources, using a rule-based piecewise regression tree. The EEP model was applied to a future climate ensemble A1B projection to quantify expected changes to mature boreal forest performance. Ecosystem Performance Anomalies (EPA), were identified as the residuals of the EEP and...
We mapped eleven years of cheatgrass dieoff in the northern Great Basin. If we estimated that a dieoff occurred in a pixel anytime during that eleven year period, then the pixel was coded as dieoff. If no dieoff occurred, the pixel was coded as a non dieoff. The cheatgrass dieoff probability map was produced by inputting the coded data into a decision-tree model along with topographic data, edaphic data, land cover data, and climate data. A proxy for latitude was included. The resulting model was input into a mapping application that generated a map of cheatgrass dieoff probability.
Fire and hydrology can be significant drivers of permafrost change in boreal landscapes, altering the availability of soil carbon and nutrients that have important implications for future climate and ecological succession. However, not all landscapes are equally susceptible to disturbance. New methods are needed to understand the vulnerability and resilience of different landscapes to permafrost degradation. This project uses remote sensing, geophysical, and other field-based observations to reveal details of both near-surface (<1 m) and deeper (>1 m) permafrost characteristics over multiple scales. This LandCarbon project currently supports the NASA ABoVE project, 'Vulnerability of inland waters and the aquatic...
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