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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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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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Streams across the world are highly fragmented due to the presence of in-stream barriers (e.g., dams and stream-road crossings), many of which restrict or block fish passage. Retrofitting or replacing these structures is a high priority for restoring habitat connectivity for native fishes and other aquatic organisms in the Pacific Northwest. The task of restoring habitat connectivity for problematic stream-road crossings is daunting given the many thousands of barriers that are present and the massive financial investments required. Further, the potential risks to road infrastructure from flooding, debris flows, and climate change will need to be addressed to ensure the best allocation of resources. In this study,...
Conservation planning aims to optimize outcomes for select species or ecosystems by directing resources toward high-return sites. The possibility that local benefits might be increased by directing resources beyond the focal area is rarely considered. We present a case study of restoring river connectivity for migratory fish of the Great Lakes Basin by removing dams and road crossings within municipal jurisdictions versus their broader watersheds. We found that greater river connectivity could often be achieved by considering both intra-jurisdictional and extra-jurisdictional barriers. Focusing on jurisdictional barriers alone generally forfeited <20 (median = 0%) of habitat gains for those who value solely habitat...
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This project will provide a comprehensive synthesis of beaver recolonization science and techniques for successful reintroduction or population expansion through a thorough, in-depth, coordinated review of all North American beaver-related information, including identification of research gaps and data needs, and recommendations for project implementation. This information will be disseminated through a series of one-day workshops.
Our goal was to predict road culvert passability, as defined by culvert outlet drop and outlet water velocity, for three fish swimming groups using remotely collected environmental variables that have been shown to influence the passability of road culverts.We generated four boosted regression tree models, one for road culvert outlet drop and one each for the three culvert outlet water velocities, and predicted the probability of impassable road culverts on low-order streams based on the models. Independent variables in the modelsincluded the upstream area draining to the culvert, slope at the culvert, stream segment gradient and stream reach gradient.Gradient of the stream segment was the most important predictor...
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Northern Great Lakes forests represent an ecotone in the boreal–temperate transition zone and are expected to change dramatically with climate change. Managers are increasingly seeking adaptation strategies to manage these forests. We explored the efficacy of two alternative management scenarios compared with business-as-usual (BAU) management: expanding forest reserves meant to preserve forest identity and increase resistance, and modified silviculture meant to preserve forest function and increase adaptive capacity. Our study landscapes encompassed northeastern Minnesota and northern Lower Michigan, which are predicted to experience significant changes in a future climate and represent a gradient of latitude,...
Understanding local and geographic factors influencing species distributions is a prerequisite for conservation planning. Our objective in this study was to model local and geographic variability in elevations occupied by native and nonnative trout in the northwestern Great Basin, USA. To this end, we analyzed a large existing data set of trout presence (5,156 observations) to evaluate two fundamental factors influencing occupied elevations: climate-related gradients in geography and local constraints imposed by topography. We applied quantile regression to model upstream and downstream distribution elevation limits for each trout species commonly found in the region (two native and two nonnative species). With...
A key challenge in aquatic restoration efforts is documenting locations where ecological connectivity is disrupted in water bodies that are dammed or crossed by roads (road crossings). To prioritize actions aimed at restoring connectivity, we argue that there is a need for systematic inventories of these potential barriers at regional and national scales. Here, we address this limitation for the North American Great Lakes basin by compiling the best available spatial data on the locations of dams and road crossings. Our spatial database documents 38 times as many road crossings as dams in the Great Lakes basin, and case studies indicate that, on average, only 36% of road crossings in the area are fully passable...
Pacific trout Oncorhynchus spp. in western North America are strongly valued in ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural views, and have been the subject of substantial research and conservation efforts. Despite this, the understanding of their evolutionary histories, overall diversity, and challenges to their conservation is incomplete. We review the state of knowledge on these important issues, focusing on Pacific trout in the genus Oncorhynchus. Although most research on salmonid fishes emphasizes Pacific salmon, we focus on Pacific trout because they share a common evolutionary history, and many taxa in western North America have not been formally described, particularly in the southern extent of their ranges....
In many large ecosystems, conservation projects are selected by a diverse set of actors operating independently at spatial scales ranging from local to international. Although small-scale decision making can leverage local expert knowledge, it also may be an inefficient means of achieving large-scale objectives if piecemeal efforts are poorly coordinated. Here, we assess the value of coordinating efforts in both space and time to maximize the restoration of aquatic ecosystem connectivity. Habitat fragmentation is a leading driver of declining biodiversity and ecosystem services in rivers worldwide, and we simultaneously evaluate optimal barrier removal strategies for 661 tributary rivers of the Laurentian Great...
Wetlands in the remote mountains of the western US have undergone two massive ecological “experiments” spanning the 20th century. Beginning in the late 1800s and expanding after World War II, fish and wildlife managers intentionally introduced millions of predatory trout (primarily Oncorhynchus spp) into fishless mountain ponds and lakes across the western states. These new top predators, which now occupy 95% of large mountain lakes, have limited the habitat distributions of native frogs, salamanders, and wetland invertebrates to smaller, more ephemeral ponds where trout do not survive. Now a second “experiment” – anthropogenic climate change – threatens to eliminate many of these ephemeral habitats and shorten...
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Dozens of species of landbirds, such as warblers, hummingbirds, and orioles, migrate through the Northeastern United States from their summer breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada to their nonbreeding grounds as far south as South America. During the migration period, birds must find habitat where they can stop, rest and replenish their energy reserves. Conservation efforts are increasingly focused on identifying stopover sites that are important for sustaining migratory landbird populations. This project builds upon prior work by the University of Delaware and USGS to use weather surveillance data and field surveys to map and predict important migratory bird stopover sites.
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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...


    map background search result map search result map Where the Stream Meets the Road: Prioritizing Culvert Replacement for Fish Passage - Thesis Product: Amphibians in the climate vise: loss and restoration of resilience of montane wetland ecosystems in the western US - Journal Article The Beaver Restoration Guidebook Version 1.0 Identifying Important Migratory Landbird Stopover Sites in the Northeast Publication: Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity 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 Publication: Effects of alternative forest management on biomass and species diversity in the face of climate change in the northern Great Lakes region Where the Stream Meets the Road: Prioritizing Culvert Replacement for Fish Passage - Thesis Product: Amphibians in the climate vise: loss and restoration of resilience of montane wetland ecosystems in the western US - Journal Article Publication: Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity 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 Publication: Effects of alternative forest management on biomass and species diversity in the face of climate change in the northern Great Lakes region Identifying Important Migratory Landbird Stopover Sites in the Northeast The Beaver Restoration Guidebook Version 1.0