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USGS - science for a changing world

Henry Lee II

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Climate change poses a serious threat to the tidal wetlands of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the U.S. In response to this threat, scientists at the Western Ecology Division of the U.S. EPA at and the Western Fisheries Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, along with other partners, initiated a series of studies on the structure and vulnerability of tidal wetlands to climate change. One research thrust was to evaluate community structure of PNW marshes, experimentally assess the vulnerability of marsh plants to inundation and salinity stress (as would happen with sea level rise), and evaluate the utility of the National Wetland Inventory (NWI) classification system. Another research thrust was to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Sea surface temperature (SST) is an important environmental characteristic in determining the suitability and sustainability of habitats for marine organisms. In particular, the fate of the Arctic Ocean, which provides critical habitat to commercially important fish, is in question. This poses an intriguing problem for future research of Arctic environments - one that will require examination of long-term SST records. This publication describes and provides access to an easy-to-use Arctic SST dataset for ecologists, biogeographers, oceanographers, and other scientists conducting research on habitats and/or processes in the Arctic Ocean. The data cover the Arctic ecoregions as defined by the "Marine Ecoregions of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Changes in temperature, precipitation, and other climatic drivers and sea-level rise will affect populations of existing native and non-native aquatic species and the vulnerability of aquatic environments to new invasions. Monitoring surveys provide the foundation for assessing the combined effects of climate change and invasions by providing baseline biotic and environmental conditions, although the utility of a survey depends on whether the results are quantitative or qualitative, and other design considerations. The results from a variety of monitoring programs in the United States are available in integrated biological information systems, although many include only non-native species, not native species. Besides...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
The “Sea‚ÄźLevel Affecting Marshes Model” (SLAMM) is a moderate resolution model used to predict the effects of sea level rise on marsh habitats (Craft et al. 2009). SLAMM has been used extensively on both the west coast (e.g., Glick et al., 2007) and east coast (e.g., Geselbracht et al., 2011) of the United States to evaluate potential changes in the distribution and extent of tidal marsh habitats. However, a limitation of the current version of SLAMM, (Version 6.2) is that it lacks the ability to model distribution changes in seagrass habitat resulting from sea level rise. Because of the ecological importance of SAV habitats, the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, and US Department of Agriculture...
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As a vector by which foreign species invade coastal and freshwater waterbodies, ballast water discharge from ships is recognized as a major environmental threat. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) drafted an international treaty establishing ballast water discharge standards based on the number of viable organisms per volume of ballast discharge for different organism size classes. Concerns that the IMO standards are not sufficiently protective have initiated several state and national efforts in the United States to develop more stringent standards. We evaluated seven approaches to establishing discharge standards for the >50-μm size class: (1) expert opinion/management consensus, (2) zero detectable...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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