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Governmental entities are responsible for managing and conserving large numbers of lake, river, and wetland ecosystems that can be addressed only rarely on a case-by-case basis. We present a system for predictive classification modeling, grounded in the theoretical foundation of landscape limnology, that creates a tractable number of ecosystem classes to which management actions may be tailored. We demonstrate our system by applying two types of predictive classification modeling approaches to develop nutrient criteria for eutrophication management in 1998 north temperate lakes. Our predictive classification system promotes the effective management of multiple ecosystems across broad geographic scales by explicitly...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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Throughout the 20th century, the Truckee River that flows from Lake Tahoe into the Nevada desert was progressively dammed and dewatered, which led to the collapse of its aquatic and riparian ecosystems. The federal designation of the endemic cui-ui sucker (Chasmistes cujus) as endangered prompted a restoration program in the 1980s aimed at increasing spring flows to permit fish spawning. These flows did promote cui-ui reproduction, as well as an unanticipated benefit, the extensive seedling recruitment of Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and sandbar willow (Salix exigua). Recruitment was scattered in 1983 but extensive in 1987, when the hydrograph satisfied the riparian recruitment box model that had been...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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Amphibians and reptiles are taken from the wild and sold commercially as food, pets, and traditional medicines. The overcollecting of some species highlights the need to assess the trade and ensure that it is not contributing to declines in wild populations. Unlike most countries, the United States tracks the imports and exports of all amphibians and reptiles. Records from 1998 to 2002 reveal a US trade of several million wild-caught amphibians and reptiles each year, although many shipments are not recorded at the species level. The magnitude and content of the global commercial trade carries even greater unknowns. The absence of accurate trade and biological information for most species makes it difficult to establish...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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There has been a great deal of attention paid recently to the idea of data sharing (Van Noorden 2014, Beardsley 2015, Nature Publishing Group2015, www.copdess.com). However, the vast majority of these arguments are in agreement and present as fait accompli the idea that data are a public good and that therefore, once published, they should become open access. In fact, although there are many good reasons for data sharing, there also are a number of cogent and coherent cases to be made against open-access policies (e.g., Fenichel and Skelly 2015). The goal of this piece is not to debate the relevance or accuracy of the points made in favor of data sharing but to elevate the discussion by pointing out key problems...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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Although the quantity of data on the location, status, and management of invasive species is ever increasing, invasive species data sets are often difficult to obtain and integrate. A cyberinfrastructure for such information could make these data available for Internet users. The data can be used to create regional watch lists, to send e-mail alerts when a new species enters a region, to construct models of species' current and future distributions, and to inform management. Although the exchange of environmental data over the Internet in the form of raster data is maturing, and the exchange of species occurrence data is developing quickly, there is room for improvement. In this article, we present a vision for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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In 15 experiments from 1993-2002, we led cranes, geese, or swans on their first southward migration with either ultralight aircraft or vehicles on the ground. These experiments reveal that large birds can be readily trained to follow and most will return north (and south) in subsequent migrations unassisted. These techniques can now be used to teach birds new (or forgotten) migration paths. Although we are constantly improving our training techniques, we now have an operational program that can be broadly applied to those species where juveniles learn migration routes from their parents.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
The development of water resources to satisfy urban water needs has had serious impacts on freshwater ecosystem integrity and on valuable ecosystem services, but positive trends are emerging that point the way toward a solution. We demonstrate this through case studies of water resource development in and around five large urban areas: Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, San Antonio, and Atlanta. Providing freshwater ecosystems with the water flows necessary to sustain their health, while meeting the other challenges of urban water management, will require greatly increased water productivity in conjunction with improvements in the degree to which planning and management take ecosystem needs into account. There is great...
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The present status of research on discrimination of natural and cultivated vegetation using radar imaging systems is sketched. The value of multiple polarization radar in improved discrimination of vegetation types over monoscopic radars is also documented. Possible future use of multi-frequency, multi-polarization radar systems for all weather agricultural survey is noted.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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Scientific knowledge about ecosystem structure and function has expanded greatly during the past few decades. Terrestrial and aquatic nutrient cycling, ecosystem energetics, population dynamics, belowground processes, and food webs have been studied at the plot, stand, watershed, and landscape levels at many locations around the globe. Ideas about terrestrial-atmospheric interactions and human interference in these processes have changed dramatically. There is new appreciation of the need to incorporate into ecosystem studies the interactions between human populations and the ecosystem, not only because humans affect ecosystem processes, but because these systems support human populations (Glantz 1988, Holden 1988,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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To conduct field biology requires tenacity, grit, and flexibility; to endeavor to achieve conservation success requires patience, persistence, and passion. The essence of field biology and the hope for conservation success are both reflected admirably in George B. Schaller's most recent book, Tibet Wild: A Naturalist's Journeys on the Roof of the World. I can think of no living biologist who embodies these characteristics more than Schaller does. Nearly 80 years old, he still regularly treks in faraway lands, observing and recording the natural history of species that the vast majority of us will never see in the wild. Schaller is a vanguard, and Tibet Wild, like his other books, is a sentinel of urgent conservation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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The accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is expected to warm the earth's climate at an unprecedented rate (Ramanathan 1988, Schneider 1989). If the climate models are correct, within 100 years the earth will not only be warmer than it has been during the past million years, but the change will have occurred more rapidly than any on record. Many profound changes in the earth's environment are expected, including rising sea level, increasing aridity in continental interiors, and melting permafrost. Ecosystems are expected to respond variously to a rapidly changing climate. Tree ranges in eastern North American are expected to shift northward, and seed dispersal may not be adequate to maintain current...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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Each May, red knots (Calidris canutus rufa) congregate in Delaware Bay during their northward migration to feed on horseshoe crab eggs (Limulus polyphemus) and refuel for breeding in the Arctic. During the 1990s, the Delaware Bay harvest of horseshoe crabs for bait increased 10-fold, leading to a more than 90% decline in the availability of their eggs for knots. The proportion of knots achieving weights of more than 180 grams by 26-28 May, their main departure period, dropped from 0.6-0.8 to 0.14-0.4 over 1997-2007. During the same period, the red knot population stopping in Delaware Bay declined by more than 75%, in part because the annual survival rate of adult knots wintering in Tierra del Fuego declined. Despite...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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The US Botanical Capacity Assessment Project (BCAP) was initiated as a first step to gauge the nation's collective ability to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. The project, in which the authors of this article are involved, specifically aimed to identify multisector contributions to and gaps in botanical capacity in order to develop growth opportunities to address research and management problems. One of the primary gaps revealed by the BCAP surveys was that the skills graduate students identified as their greatest strengths closely matched the areas future employers (government and private sectors) identified as needing greatest improvement. Although our survey focused on only one discipline...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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To maximize the utility of research to decisionmaking, especially given limited financial resources, scientists must set priorities for their efforts. We present a list of the top 40 high-priority, multidisciplinary research questions directed toward informing some of the most important current and future decisions about management of species, communities, and ecological processes in the United States. The questions were generated by an open, inclusive process that included personal interviews with decisionmakers, broad solicitation of research needs from scientists and policymakers, and an intensive workshop that included scientifically oriented individuals responsible for managing and developing policy related...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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Ongoing changes in disturbance regimes are predicted to cause acute changes in ecosystem structure and function in the coming decades, but many aspects of these predictions are uncertain. A key challenge is to improve the predictability of postdisturbance biogeochemical trajectories at the ecosystem level. Ecosystem ecologists and paleoecologists have generated complementary data sets about disturbance (type, severity, frequency) and ecosystem response (net primary productivity, nutrient cycling) spanning decadal to millennial timescales. Here, we take the first steps toward a full integration of these data sets by reviewing how disturbances are reconstructed using dendrochronological and sedimentary archives and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience