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Plants convert carbon dioxide into sugars for food during photosynthesis, and this provides food for all animal life. However, photosynthesis is inhibited when a plant’s enzymes use oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. To avoid this use of oxygen, some plants developed a photosynthetic adaptation – called C4 photosynthesis – to concentrate carbon dioxide around the enzymes. While less than 5% of plants use the C4 photosynthetic pathway, they make up ~20% of global terrestrial gross primary productivity. Due to their high productivity, C4 plants have a profound impact on ecosystems, economies, the carbon cycle, and our climate. Corn and sugarcane are both C4 plants, as are foundational western livestock and wildlife...
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This dataset contains a raster representing current (2017-2020) core sagebrush, growth opportunity areas, and other rangelands on tribal and federal lands that are estimated to be climate resilient into the future (2030-2060). We determined climate-resiliency by comparing current (2017-2020) core sagebrush, growth opportunity areas, and other rangelands to estimated future (2030-2060) conditions of core and growth opportunity areas under mid-century climate change (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5) conditions (Doherty et al. 2022). The Department of the Interior (DOI) Sagebrush Keystone Initiative (KI) team worked with partners to identify areas within the sagebrush biome for strategic investments in conservation...
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Fresh water is arguably the most valuable resource on the planet, but human activities threaten freshwater ecosystems. For example, use of synthetic chemicals, such as pesticides, road salts, and nutrients, has led to the ubiquitous contamination of aquatic systems, jeopardizing the integrity of ecological communities. Given the importance biodiversity plays in maintaining ecosystem health and function and the continued decline of freshwater species, it is vital to understand the direct, indirect, and lasting effects of synthetic contaminants on biota in freshwater systems. The majority of our knowledge regarding contaminant effects is comprised of short-term, single-contaminant laboratory toxicity tests that describe...
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The sagebrush ecosystem spans over 175 million acres in the western United States, and is biologically, culturally, and economically significant to the country. Many disturbances including prolonged drought, pinyon-juniper encroachment, and cycles of invasive grasses and wildfire, pose significant threats to the resilience of the sagebrush biome. To conserve the sagebrush biome and promote community and economic sustainability, the Department of the Interior’s bureaus and offices are working together with many public and private partners to implement a “defend and grow the core” approach to conserve remaining intact sagebrush habitat and ecosystem functions, as well as restore other habitat types which are important...
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We used NLCD 2011, SSURGO, and SEGAP data to map the density of desired resources for open pine ecosystems and six focal species of birds and 2 reptiles within the historic range of longleaf pine east of the Mississippi River. Binary rasters were created of sites with desired characteristics such as land form, hydrology, land use and land cover, soils, potential habitat for focal species, and putative source populations of focal species. Each raster was smoothed using a kernel density estimator. Rasters were combined and scaled to map priority locations for the management of each focal species. Species’ rasters were combined and scaled to provide maps of overall priority for birds and for birds and reptiles. For...
Climate change is expected to have significant effects on the phenology of vectors of arthropod-borne diseases, particularly mosquitoes. However, forecasting the direction and magnitude of future phenological shifts requires a more detailed understanding of the climate drivers of mosquito phenology. Addressing this knowledge gap is particularly salient for mosquitoes, as they have the potential to affect human health through transmission of zoonotic disease. While models based on climate and mosquito life history have been created at local or regional scales, national-scale predictions of the timing of mosquito activity are not readily available for the U.S. Our workshop proposes to synthesize primary data on mosquito...
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Spatial patterns in mussel richness and endemism (i.e., weighted and corrected weighted endemism) at HUC4, HUC6, and HUC8 spatial scales were characterized. Stream SR was estimated by summing the total number of mussel species predicted within each stream. Stream-level weighted endemism was calculated by weighting each species’ presence in the stream by the inverse of the total number of streams it was predicted to occupy, then summing across all species predicted present within the stream. This biodiversity metric therefore provides context about the range extent of the species predicted within the stream (e.g., higher values indicate either high richness or the presence of several range-restricted species). Stream-level...
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Our ability to effectively manage natural resources is founded in an understanding of how our actions and the environment influence populations, communities, and ecosystems. Current practices use monitoring data from the past to determine key ecological relationships and make predictions about the future with the assumption that those relationships will remain constant. However, many natural systems are undergoing rapid changes due to external factors including climate change, urbanization, and energy development, leading to a situation in which our observations of the past are poor predictors of the future. Ignoring such changes could lead to management decisions that are sub-optimal at best or detrimental at worst....
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Drought impacts on terrestrial ecosystems have increased globally in the 21st century, and droughts are expected to become more frequent, extreme, and spatially extensive in the future. Historical site-based observations are inadequate to predict how future extreme water deficits will affect the global terrestrial surface, because future droughts and their impacts may be more extreme than they have been historically and reach well beyond a single ecosystem. This USGS Powell Center working group will conduct the first comprehensive synthesis of ecosystem impacts across a coordinated, globally distributed drought experiment network of over 100 sites that have imposed an extreme multi-year drought. Knowledge about...
Groundwater plays a critical role in the water balance, however the groundwater component of the hydrologic cycle is frequently overlooked at basin scales because it is difficult to observe and quantify. We address this problem through a novel framework that combines existing hydrological models and data sets with groundwater flux estimates across Earth's largest system of lakes; the Laurentian Great Lakes. Aside from serving as a template for combining surface and ground water data and models, the Laurentian Great Lakes recently transitioned from a period characterized by water scarcity (water levels on the lakes were persistently below average from 1998 through 2013) to extreme water abundance (all-time high...


    map background search result map search result map Prioritization of areas for open pine ecosystem restoration in the Southeastern United States: All Species Sagebrush Collaborative Restoration Landscapes to Support Management Efforts Improving Fire Resiliency and Restoration in the Sagebrush Biome Raster representing climate resilient core sagebrush and growth opportunity areas on federal lands Midwest Regional Mussel Hotspots Sagebrush Collaborative Restoration Landscapes to Support Management Efforts Improving Fire Resiliency and Restoration in the Sagebrush Biome Prioritization of areas for open pine ecosystem restoration in the Southeastern United States: All Species Midwest Regional Mussel Hotspots Raster representing climate resilient core sagebrush and growth opportunity areas on federal lands