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Final Report - Executive Summary: This final project report is prepared to summarize the research project titled “Assessing evapotranspiration rate changes for proposed restoration of the forested uplands of the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC)” for the Desert LCC of the Bureau of Reclamation as a requirement for closing out the project. This report includes the scope of work, summary of research project, results, and conclusions. Among all of the components of the terrestrial water cycle, evapotranspiration (ET) consumes the largest amount of water. Accurate estimation of ET is very important to understand the influence of ET to the hydrologic response of recharge and runoff processes in the water...
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to many migrating and breeding waterbirds. Due to their small size and the relatively dry climate of the region, these wetlands are considered at high risk for negative climate change effects as temperatures increase. To estimate the potential impacts of climate change on breeding waterbirds, we predicted current and future distributions of species common in the PPR using species distribution models (SDMs). We created regional-scale SDMs for the U.S. PPR using Breeding Bird Survey occurrence records for 1971–2011 and wetland, upland, and climate variables....
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Description: The upper Gila River in New Mexico is one of the few unobstructed rivers in the Colorado River Basin with largely intact native fish populations, including four federally listed and one state listed species.Freshwater systems throughout the West continue to be threatened by human encroachment and water development. Methodologies or decision support tools to evaluate resource management practices that foster an understanding of how fish species adapt to the effects of climate change are critical to future resource management planning.
The Williston Basin, located in the NorthernGreat Plains, is experiencing rapid energy developmentwith North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter ofcurrent and projected development in the USA. Theaverage single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscapeleveldisturbance may provide a pathway for the establishmentof non-native plants. To evaluate potentialinfluences of energy development on the presence andabundance of non-native species, vegetation surveyswere conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-oldand 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in nativeprairie environments across the Williston Basin. Nonnativespecies richness and cover were recorded...
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The capacity of ecosystems to provide services such as carbon storage, clean water, and forest products is determined not only by variations in ecosystem properties across landscapes, but also by ecosystem dynamics over time. ForWarn is a system developed by the U.S. Forest Service to monitor vegetation change using satellite imagery for the continental United States. It provides near real-time change maps that are updated every eight days, and summaries of these data also provide long-term change maps from 2000 to the present.Based on the detection of change in vegetation productivity, the ForWarn system monitors the effects of disturbances such as wildfires, insects, diseases, drought, and other effects of weather,...
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WaSSI (Water Supply Stress Index) predicts how climate, land cover, and human population change may impact water availability and carbon sequestration at the watershed level (about the size of a county) across the lower 48 United States. WaSSI users can select and adjust temperature, precipitation, land cover, and water use factors to simulate change scenarios for any timeframe from 1961 through the year 2100.Simulation results are available as downloadable maps, graphs, and data files that users can apply to their unique information and project needs. WaSSI generates useful information for natural resource planners and managers who must make informed decisions about water supplies and related ecosystem services...
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Systematic conservation planning is well suited to address the many large-scale biodiversity conservation challenges facing the Appalachian region. However, broad, well-connected landscapes will be required to sustain many of the natural resources important to this area into the future. If these landscapes are to be resilient to impending change, it will likely require an orchestrated and collaborative effort reaching across jurisdictional and political boundaries. The first step in realizing this vision is prioritizing discrete places and actions that hold the greatest promise for the protection of biodiversity. Five conservation design elements covering many critical ecological processes and patterns across the...
Melanism (dark coloration) is a condition resulting from a greater than normal expres-sion of the eumelanin pigments in the plumage (Gill 1990). The dark coloration can be advantageous to raptors by increasing the feathers’ resistance to bacterial degradation (Goldstein et al. 2004). conversely, abnormally dark pigmentation can reduce success in pairing by disguising key species-identification cues (García 2003) and decrease lifetime reproductive success by increasing mortality (krüger and lindström 2001). Polymorphism in color, of which melanism is one example, occurs in at least 3.5% of avian species worldwide and in 22% of raptors of the family Accipitridae (harriers, hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures;...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
We used publically available data on duck breeding distribution and recently compiled geospatialdata on upland habitat and environmental conditions to develop a spatially explicitmodel of breeding duck populations across the entire Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Ourspatial population models were able to identify key areas for duck conservation across thePPR and predict between 62.1 – 79.1% (68.4% avg.) of the variation in duck counts by yearfrom 2002 – 2010. The median difference in observed vs. predicted duck counts at a transectsegment level was 4.6 ducks. Our models are the first seamless spatially explicit modelsof waterfowl abundance across the entire PPR and represent an initial step toward jointconservation...
Climate change vulnerability assessments are commonly used to identify species or populations at risk from global climate change, but few translate impact assessments to climate change adaptation actions. Furthermore, most climate change adaptation efforts emphasize where to implement management actions, whereas timing remains largely overlooked. The rate of modern climate change introduces urgency in evaluating whether delaying conservation actions compromises their efficacy for reaching important conservation targets. We evaluated the importance of multiple climate change adaptation strategies including timing of actions on preventing extinctions for a threatened climate-sensitive species, the Eastern Massasauga...
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The Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET) was created by the Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry in February 1995 to develop and deliver forest health technology services to field personnel in public and private organizations in support of the Forest Service’s land ethic, to “promote the sustainability of ecosystems by ensuring their health, diversity, and productivity.” This dataset shows the total basal area of all tree species as square feet per acre.For more information: http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/technology/nidrm2012.shtml
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The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, initiated in 2009 and finalized in 2014, provides a national vision for wildland fire management. This highly collaborative effort establishes three overarching goals, and describes stakeholder-driven processes for achieving them: (1) resilient landscapes; (2) fire-adapted communities; and (3) safe and effective wildfire response. The scientific rigor of this program was ensured with the establishment of the National Science and Analysis Team (NSAT). The main tasks of NSAT were to compile credible scientific information, data, and models to help explore national challenges and opportunities, identify a range of management options, and help set national priorities...
Article Abstract: Although riparian and aquatic ecosystems make up a small fraction of the area in arid and semi-arid lands, they are critical for the survival of desert life. There are, however, few compendia of efforts to define the quantity of water needed to maintain these ecosystems and understand the risks and stressors to them. Through our analysis we found that 62% of the rivers examined in the deserts of the U.S. and Mexico have had just one study over the past four decades and 67% of studies used qualitative methods. Furthermore, only one-third of the 312 species catalogued in our work have been studied more than once and only 5% have been considered five or more times. The most common risks or stressors...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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Rapid expansion of cropland threatens grassland ecosystems across western North America and broad-scaleplanning can be a catalyst motivating individuals and agencies to accelerate conservation. Sprague’s Pipit(Anthus spragueii) is an imperiled grassland songbird whose population has been declining rapidly in recent decades.Here, we present a strategic framework for conservation of pipits and their habitat in the northern GreatPlains.We modeled pipit distribution across its million-km2 breeding range in Canada and the U.S.We describefactors shaping distribution, delineate population cores and assess vulnerability to future grassland losses. Pipitsselected landscapes with a high proportion of continuous grassland...
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Geographic relationships among energy infrastructure development, regional economic linkages, and the environment is crucial for understanding the impacts of Appalachian energy extraction activities and for regional planning efforts focused on the ecosystem services that may be affected. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides impartial and independent data on the nation’s energy infrastructure, its sources, flows, and end uses, as well as forecasts and outlooks. Location information for specific extraction activities, as well as power plants and other supply chain components, can help reveal the regional nature of specific impacts and the often large distances between those effects and end-use...
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Comprehensive wetland inventories are an essential tool for wetland management, but developing and maintaining an inventory is expensive and technically challenging. Funding for these efforts has also been problematic. Here we describe a large-area application of a semi-automated processused to update a wetland inventory for east-central Minnesota. The original inventory for this area was the product of a laborintensive, manual photo-interpretation process. The present application incorporated high resolution, multi-spectral imagery from multiple seasons; high resolution elevation data derived from lidar; satellite radar imagery; and other GIS data. Map production combined image segmentation and random forest classification...


map background search result map search result map Appalachian LCC Landscape Conservation Design Phase 1 Local Build-outs US Power Plant Locations WASSI Future Change in Water Supply Stress Index 1991-2010 ForWarn Mean Summer National Difference Vegetation Index 2009-2013 Total Basal Area of All Tree Species 2012 U.S. Forest Service National Cohesive Fire Strategy Dataset Forest Product Production Amount of inflow stored in upstream dams-rivers Report and Publications: Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC Science Brief for Resource Managers: Metacommunity Dynamics of Gila River Fishes Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity One step ahead of the plow: Using cropland conversion risk to guide Sprague's Pipit conservation in the northern Great Plains Science Brief for Resource Managers: Metacommunity Dynamics of Gila River Fishes Report and Publications: Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC One step ahead of the plow: Using cropland conversion risk to guide Sprague's Pipit conservation in the northern Great Plains Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity U.S. Forest Service National Cohesive Fire Strategy Dataset Forest Product Production WASSI Future Change in Water Supply Stress Index 1991-2010 Appalachian LCC Landscape Conservation Design Phase 1 Local Build-outs Amount of inflow stored in upstream dams-rivers ForWarn Mean Summer National Difference Vegetation Index 2009-2013 Total Basal Area of All Tree Species 2012 US Power Plant Locations