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Find here the Agenda and recorded Webinar from the June 29th Quarterly TRBN call
Information on the nature and distribution of permafrost is critical to assessing the response of Arctic ecosystems to climate change, because thawing permafrost under a warming climate will cause thaw settlement and affect micro-topography, surface water redistribution and groundwater movement, soil carbon balance, trace gas emissions, vegetation changes, and habitat use. While a small-scale regional permafrost map is available, as well as information from numerous site-specific large-scale mapping projects, landscape-level mapping of permafrost characteristics is needed for regional modeling and climate impact assessments. The project addresses this need by: (1) compiling existing soil/permafrost data from available...
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;...
The North Atlantic Region of the United States and Canada boasts diverse habitats, from coasts to mountains, that support endemic and rare plant species. However, recent conservation actions and prioritization efforts in this region have neglected to include plants. We have conducted a conservation assessment for vascular plants that occur in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Using the best scientific data, we have developed a list of vascular plant species of concern for the region. We have refined the list with the input of Natural Heritage and other regional botanists and experts. For each species, we have determined regional conservation responsibility, developed regional ranks, updated...
Vernal or seasonal pools are small, temporary bodies of water that can serve as critical habitat for frogs, salamanders, reptiles, invertebrates, and other species. The first step in developing effective conservation strategies for vernal pools and associated wildlife species is to know where on the landscape these small wetlands exist. Although several several states and organizations in the Northeast region have initiated coordinated vernal pool mapping projects, this information has never been assembled in one place.Currently, the Vernal Pool Data Cooperative (VPDC) consists of over 60,000 vernal pool locations submitted by cooperators representing ten states and two Canadian provinces from Virginia to Quebec’s...
The Data Needs Assessment research project was undertaken to review the variety of resources on conservation planning to provide packages of products, data, and identified data gaps to improve conservation planning in the Appalachian LCC. A suite of core conservation planning products and data from principal investigators at Clemson University are now available to the Cooperative.“Deliverables from this research include:An analysis of State Wildlife Action Plans in the Appalachian LCC that describe how information contained in these plans can be linked to integrate state and local-scale efforts into a regional conservation framework;A list of 21 conservation planning tools, describing function and relevance of each...
All Conservation Design Elements identified through a multi-year conservation planning effort undertaken by the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). These elements were identified by the program Marxan as meeting collective conservation targets. Datasets include a merged design of all five elements, individual element shapefiles, and a prioritization shapefile (Conservation Design elements outlined by the NatureScape Design that were then placed into a prioritization framework based on Margulis and Pressy 2000).
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,...
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...
This shapefile represents The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) “essential forests” and “key connectors” in the Central Appalachians Whole System. Essential Forests are built around groups of large forest patches, ecoregional portfolio roll-up sites, and areas with high local integrity and high flow density (from M. Anderson’s resiliency analysis). Key Connectors provide physical linkages among essential forests, have high flow density, and may also include large forest patches and matrix blocks. The polygons were originally delineated by TNC staff at a workshop near Petersburg, West Virginia, on March 9 and 10, 2011. The boundaries were hand-drawn on paper maps and then hand-digitized by A. Watland (TNC-VA) and T. Gagnolet...
Well-connected landscapes are necessary to sustain many of the natural and cultural resources important to the Appalachian region today and into the future. If these large connected areas are to endure and be resilient to impending environmental changes, it will require a collaborative effort involving many organizations and reaching across jurisdictional and political boundaries. Conservation planning - a process of spatially identifying and prioritizing lands and waters important for functioning ecosystems and biodiversity - is well suited to address the many large-scale biodiversity challenges facing the region and lead to conservation outcomes that link pristine and natural lands into an interconnected landscape...
Climate change continues to be one of the most challenging threats to global biodiversity and species persistence. In response, conservation design researchers and applied practitioners have recently begun to call for the identification of critical areas of stable climatic and environmental conditions that may preserve the platform of current climate dynamics, and promote the adaptation and dispersal of diverse taxa across the landscape. Due to their historically buffered and resilient features, climate refugia are considered valuable conservation targets that may function as robust bastions for climatically-sensitive endemic species. In this thesis research, I have worked to define the potential stability of refugia...
The Appalachians are a landscape filled with globally-significant biological diversity and cultural resources that provides essential benefits to large cities and surrounding human communities. The region is also rich in energy resources that meet national and regional demands for energy. As wind, natural gas, and oil energy development expand along with traditional coal, there is an increasing need for research to inform discussions on how to meet immediate and future energy needs while sustaining the health of natural systems. To help address this need, the Appalachian LCC awarded a grant to The Nature Conservancy to assess current and future energy development across the entire region. Assessing Future Energy...
Provisional Tennessee State Wildlife Action Plan (TN-SWAP) terrestrial habitat priorities versus results of the population growth model developed by the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, 2008, converted to percent projected developed landcover in the year 2040. Spatial growth model was developed using population growth projections from the University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research (UT-CBER), county urban growth boundaries, 2000 census blocks, and various ancillary datasets.
Data layers pertaining to the management, restoration, or acquisition designations of state, federal, and non-government organizations (e.g., Focus Areas, Opportunity Areas, Priority Areas, Outstanding Natural Areas) along with the conservation estate (i.e. protected lands) within the Mississippi River Basin and intended to support development of the Multi-LCC Mississippi River Basin/Gulf Hypoxia Initiative’s Conservation Blueprint.
Monarch butterfly and other pollinators are in trouble. Monarch butterfly habitat— including milkweed host plants and nectar food sources—has declined drastically throughout most of the United States. Observed overwinter population levels have also exhibited a long-term downward trend, suggesting a strong relationship between habitat loss and monarch population declines. Preliminary research results from a U.S. Geological Survey led effort indicate that we need a comprehensive conservation strategy that includes all land types in order to stabilize monarch populations at levels necessary to adequately minimize extinction risk—urban areas will likely play a critical role. A Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) tool...

map background search result map search result map Conservation Designations for Gulf Hypoxia Blueprint WASSI Future Change in Water Supply Stress Index 1991-2010 ForWarn Mean Summer National Difference Vegetation Index 2009-2013 Amount of inflow stored in upstream dams-rivers Urban Monarch Chicago Tools Determining Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) in the South Atlantic landscape, and assessing their efficacy for cross-taxa conservation: Geographic Dataset Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic Region Data Needs Assessment NatureScape, Design Essential Forests and Key Connectors in the Central Appalachians Whole System Future Energy Development Tool Public Provisional Tennessee State Wildlife Action Plan Potential Urban Growth Permafrost Database Development, Characterization, and Mapping for Northern Alaska Urban Monarch Chicago Tools Provisional Tennessee State Wildlife Action Plan Potential Urban Growth Essential Forests and Key Connectors in the Central Appalachians Whole System Determining Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) in the South Atlantic landscape, and assessing their efficacy for cross-taxa conservation: Geographic Dataset Permafrost Database Development, Characterization, and Mapping for Northern Alaska WASSI Future Change in Water Supply Stress Index 1991-2010 NatureScape, Design Future Energy Development Tool Public Amount of inflow stored in upstream dams-rivers ForWarn Mean Summer National Difference Vegetation Index 2009-2013 Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic Region Data Needs Assessment Conservation Designations for Gulf Hypoxia Blueprint