USGS - science for a changing world

J. Ryan Bellmore

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Although numerous studies have attempted to place species of interest within the context of food webs, such efforts have generally occurred at small scales or disregard potentially important spatial heterogeneity. If food web approaches are to be employed to manage species, studies are needed that evaluate the multiple habitats and associated webs of interactions in which these species participate. Here, we quantify the food webs that sustain rearing salmon and steelhead within a floodplain landscape of the Methow River, Washington, USA, a location where restoration has been proposed to restore side channels in an attempt to recover anadromous fishes. We combined year-long measures of production, food demand, and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Marine derived nutrients delivered by large runs of returning salmon are thought to subsidize the in situ food resources that support juvenile salmon. In the Pacific Northwest, USA, salmon have declined to <10% of their historical abundance, with subsequent declines of marine derived nutrients once provided by large salmon runs. We explored whether low densities (<0.001 spawners/m2) of naturally spawning Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) can affect ecosystem metabolism. We measured gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) continuously before, during, and after salmon spawning. We compared downstream reaches with low densities of spawning salmon to upstream reaches with fewer or no spawners...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Freshwater Science
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Managers make decisions regarding if and how to remove dams in spite of uncertainty surrounding physical and ecological responses, and stakeholders often raise concerns about certain negative effects, regardless of whether or not these concerns are warranted at a particular site. We used a dam-removal science database supplemented with other information sources to explore seven frequently-raised concerns, herein Common Management Concerns (CMCs). We investigate the occurrence of these concerns and the contributing biophysical controls. The CMCs addressed are: degree and rate of reservoir sediment erosion, excessive channel incision upstream of reservoirs, downstream sediment aggradation, elevated downstream turbidity,...
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The diversity of aquatic ecosystems is being quickly reduced on many continents, warranting a closer examination of the consequences for ecological integrity and ecosystem services. Here we describe intermediate and final ecosystem services derived from aquatic biodiversity in forests. We include a summary of the factors framing the assembly of aquatic biodiversity in forests in natural systems and how they change with a variety of natural disturbances and human-derived stressors. We consider forested aquatic ecosystems as a multi-state portfolio, with diverse assemblages and life-history strategies occurring at local scales as a consequence of a mosaic of habitat conditions and past disturbances and stressors....
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The removal of dams has recently increased over historical levels due to aging infrastructure, changing societal needs, and modern safety standards rendering some dams obsolete. Where possibilities for river restoration, or improved safety, exceed the benefits of retaining a dam, removal is more often being considered as a viable option. Yet, as this is a relatively new development in the history of river management, science is just beginning to guide our understanding of the physical and ecological implications of dam removal. Ultimately, the “lessons learned” from previous scientific studies on the outcomes dam removal could inform future scientific understanding of ecosystem outcomes, as well as aid in decision-making...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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