An open-source workflow for scaling burn severity metrics from drone to satellite to support post-fire watershed management
Released December 08, 2023 08:31 EST
2024, Environmental Modelling & Software (172)
Joshua W. Von Nonn, Miguel L. Villarreal, Leonhard Blesius, Jerry D. Davis, Skye C. Corbett
Mapping high marsh and salt pannes/flats along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast
Released December 08, 2023 06:39 EST
2023, Geocarto International (38)
Nicholas Enwright, Wyatt Charles Cheney, Kristine O. Evans, Hana R. Thurman, Mark S. Woodrey, Auriel M.V. Fournier, Jena A. Moon, Heather E. Levy, James A. Cox, Peter J. Kappes, John A. Nyman, Jonathan L. Pitchford
Coastal wetlands are predicted to undergo extensive transformation due to climate and land use change. Baseline maps of coastal wetlands can be used to help assess changes. Found in the upper portion of the estuarine zone, high marsh and salt pannes/flats provide ecosystem goods and services and are particularly important to fish and wildlife. We developed the first map of high marsh and salt pannes/flats along the northern Gulf of Mexico using regional models that included spectral indices related to greenness and wetness from optical satellite imagery, elevation data, irregularly flooded wetland probability information, and synthetic aperture radar backscatter. We found the greatest relative coverage of high marsh along the Texas coast (30% to 65%) and the Florida Panhandle (40%), whereas the greatest relative coverage of salt pannes/flats was along the lower Texas coast (74%) and the middle Texas coast (15%). As part of this effort, we also developed a map that highlighted irregularly flooded wetlands dominated by Juncus roemerianus (black needlerush) for part of the study area. Both maps had an overall accuracy of around 80%. Our results advance the understanding of estuarine marsh zonation and provide a baseline for assessing future transformations.
Nisqually River Delta—Humans and nature benefiting together
Released December 07, 2023 08:55 EST
2023, General Information Product 228
Kristin B. Byrd, Isa Woo, Glynnis Nakai, Debbie Preston, Shonté Jenkins
This product is temporarily unavailable.
Oil and gas reclamation—Operations, monitoring methods, and standards
Released December 06, 2023 15:12 EST
2023, Techniques and Methods 18-A1
Randi C. Lupardus, Janna Simonsen, Gordon Toevs, Barbara Sterling, Zachary H. Bowen, Zoe Davidson, Steven E. Hanser, Emily Kachergis, Alexander Laurence-Traynor, Nika Lepak, Rebecca K. Mann, Aleta Nafus, David S. Pilliod, Michael C. Duniway
This publication provides broad guidance for surface management of oil and gas development with a focus on promoting successful reclamation. Successful reclamation depends on sound best management practices, clear standards and expectations, defensible monitoring for effectiveness, and management of production facilities to minimize surface disturbance. This publication provides specific guidelines for surface management of oil and gas, including operations, standards, and monitoring. The development of this report was guided by existing Federal reclamation policy, a review of the scientific and other literature, as well as practical field experience. Expertise was pulled from multiple sources including Federal and State agencies, oil and gas contractors, and academia. The target audience for this report is primarily operators and contractors conducting oil and gas activities on U.S. Federal or Tribal lands and the surface management agencies responsible for guiding and enforcing these activities. The guidance on surface management presented here will also be useful for managing oil and gas activities on State and private lands and where private land occurs over Federal mineral estate (split estate).
Hyperspectral (VNIR-SWIR) analysis of roll front uranium host rocks and industrial minerals from Karnes and Live Oak Counties, Texas Coastal Plain
Released December 06, 2023 08:38 EST
2024, Journal of Geochemical Exploration (257)
Bernard E. Hubbard, Tanya J. Gallegos, Victoria G. Stengel, Todd M. Hoefen, Raymond F. Kokaly, Brent Elliott
VNIR-SWIR (400–2500 nm) reflectance measurements were made on the surfaces of various cores, cuttings and sample splits of sedimentary rocks from the Tertiary Jackson Group, and Catahoula, Oakville and Goliad Formations. These rocks vary in composition and texture from mudstone and claystone to sandstone and are known host rocks for roll front uranium occurrences in Karnes and Live Oak Counties, Texas. Spectral reflectance profiles, 569 in total, were reduced to 125 representative spectral signatures, which were analyzed using the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Material Identification and Characterization Algorithm (MICA). MICA uses an automated continuum-removal procedure together with a least-squares linear regression to determine the fit of observed sample spectral absorption features to those of reference mineral standards in a spectral library. The reference minerals include various clay, mica, carbonate, ferric and ferrous iron minerals and their mixtures. In addition, absorption feature band-depth analysis was done to identify rock surfaces exhibiting absorption features related to uranium and zeolite minerals, which were not included in the command files used to execute MICA.
Rocks from each of the four geologic units produced broadly similar spectral signatures as a result of comparable mineral compositions, but there were some notable differences. For example, Ca- and Na-montmorillonite was matched most frequently to the spectral absorption features in 2-μm (∼2000–2500 nm) wavelengths, while goethite occurred often at 1-μm (∼400–1000 nm) wavelengths. The latter is related to limonitic iron-staining in and around oxidized zones of the uranium roll front as described in previous papers. Rocks of the Jackson Group differed from those of the Catahoula, Oakville and Goliad units in that the former exhibited spectral features we interpret as being due to the presence of lignite-bearing mudstone layers. Goliad rocks exhibit spectral features related to dolomite, gypsum, anhydrite, and an unidentified green clay mineral that is possibly glauconite. Jackson Group rocks also exhibit weak but well-resolved absorption features at 964 and 1157 nm related to either or both zeolite minerals clinoptilolite and heulandite. These zeolite minerals and a few spectra exhibiting hydrous silica absorption features are indicative of alteration of volcanic glass in tuffaceous mudstone and claystone layers. A few sample spectra exhibited strong absorption features at around 1135 nm related to the uranium mineral coffinite. Both the 1135 nm coffinite and 1157 nm zeolite absorption features overlap somewhat, potentially making them difficult to distinguish without additional hyperspectral field, laboratory or remote sensing data.
The results of this study were compared to mixtures of minerals described for ore, gangue and alteration minerals in deposit models for sandstone-hosted uranium, sedimentary bentonite and sedimentary zeolite. Use of these spectra can help facilitate mapping of both waste materials from the legacy mining of the above commodities, as well as future exploration and resource assessment activities.
Reservoir stratification modulates the influence of impoundments on fish mercury concentrations along an arid land river system
Released December 05, 2023 11:30 EST
2023, Environmental Science & Technology
James Willacker, Collin Eagles-Smith, Jim Chandler, Jesse Naymik, Ralph Myers, David P. Krabbenhoft
Impoundment is among the most common hydrologic alterations with impacts on aquatic ecosystems that can include effects on mercury (Hg) cycling. However, landscape-scale differences in Hg bioaccumulation between reservoirs and other habitats are not well characterized nor are the processes driving these differences. We examined total Hg (THg) concentrations of Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) collected from reservoir, tailrace, and free-flowing reaches along an 863 km segment of the Snake River, USA, a semiarid river with 22 impoundments along its course. Across three size-classes (putative 1-year-old, first reproductive, and harvestable sized fish), THg concentrations in reservoirs and tailraces averaged 76% higher than those in free-flowing segments. Among reservoirs, THg concentrations were highest in reservoirs with inconsistent stratification patterns, 47% higher than annually stratified, and 144% higher than unstratified reservoirs. Fish THg concentrations in tailraces immediately downstream of stratified reservoirs were higher than those below unstratified (38–130%) or inconsistently stratified (32–79%) reservoirs. Stratification regimes influenced the exceedance of fish and human health benchmarks, with 52–80% of fish from stratifying reservoirs and downstream tailraces exceeding a human consumption benchmark, compared to 6–17% where stratification did not occur. These findings suggest that impoundment and stratification play important roles in determining the patterns of Hg exposure risk across the landscape.
Surficial geologic map of the Owlshead Mountains 30' x 60' quadrangle, Inyo and San Bernardino Counties, California
Released December 05, 2023 10:20 EST
2023, Scientific Investigations Map 3496
Christopher M. Menges, Pamela M. Cossette
The surficial geologic map of the Owlshead Mountains 30' x 60' quadrangle depicts the distribution and characteristics of surficial-deposit materials and neotectonic deformation for an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometers (km2) located in the western Basin and Range Province of eastern California. The map represents a new compilation of the surficial geology that encompasses deposits within the late Pliocene to Quaternary. The map is based primarily on new mapping conducted between 2001 and 2009. Map compilation was supported by field observations distributed across the map area, combined with reference to several published and unpublished mapping sources that mostly emphasized neotectonic deformation. The surficial-deposit units included in the map follow a classification scheme that systematically denotes depositional process, relative age, and any secondary sedimentologic or morphologic characteristics. Identification, correlation, and age estimation of map units are based primarily on the relative degree of development of certain time-dependent characteristics such as surface morphology, including local dissection and surface preservation, surface clast modification, and degree of soil development; these characteristics are implicitly incorporated into unit designations. The map represents a detailed and regionally uniform synthesis of the late Neogene geology for this large area that provides a framework applicable to many interpretative studies, such as regional patterns of deposition and dissection; surface drainage development and evolution; and the distribution, style, and timing of neotectonic deformation.
Evaluation of anticoagulant rodenticide sensitivity by examining in vivo and in vitro responses in avian species, focusing on raptors
Released December 05, 2023 07:04 EST
2024, Environmental Pollution (341)
Kraisiri Khidkhan, Fuyu Yasuhira, Aksorn Saengtienchai, Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, Ratiwan Sitdhibutr, Kohei Ogasawara, Hikaru Adachi, Yukiko Watanabe, Keisuke Saito, Hidefumi Sakai, Kazuo Horikoshi, Hajime Suzuki, Yusuke K. Kawai, Kazuki Takeda, Yared B. Yohannes, Yoshinori Ikenaka, Barnett A. Rattner, Mayumi Ishizuka, Shouta M.M. Nakayama
Selection of microhabitats, plants, and plant parts eaten by a threatened tortoise: Observations during a superbloom
Released December 05, 2023 06:50 EST
2023, Frontiers in Amphibian and Reptile Science (1)
W. Bryan Jennings, Kristin H. Berry
Populations of the threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) continue to decline throughout the geographic range, in part because of degraded and fragmented habitats in the Mojave and western Sonoran deserts. The species is herbivorous and highly selective in choice of plant species. To increase options for recovery, we analyzed behaviors, patterns of movements while foraging, and parts of plants consumed during a superbloom. We characterized foraging routes and the habitat strata and microhabitats where tortoises traveled to eat preferred wildflower species. Tortoises walked one foraging route per day in early spring, often switched to two routes per day in middle and late spring with rise of midday temperatures. They chose habitat strata (primarily hills and ephemeral stream channels) and three of seven microhabitats for foraging on preferred food plants. Preferred microhabitats were intershrub open space and small (1–2 m wide) ephemeral stream channels. They rarely took bites of forbs growing under and in the dripline of shrubs or nonnative forbs and grasses. Tortoises typically did not select specific plant parts to eat but important exceptions occurred. For example, they usually ignored the inflorescences of the annual Eremothera boothii and, when eating the non-native annual Erodium cicutarium, tended to focus on fruits. All such information aids recovery efforts to restore declining tortoise populations.
On the relationship between aquatic CO2 concentration and ecosystem fluxes in some of the world’s key wetland types
Released December 05, 2023 06:47 EST
2023, Wetlands (44)
Jessica L. Richardson, Ankur R. Desai, Jonathon Thom, Kim Lindgren, Hjalmar Laudon, Matthias Peichl, Mats B. Nilsson, Audrey Campeau, Jarvi Jarveoja, Peter Hawman, Deepak R. Mishra, Dontrece Smith, Brenda D'Acunha, Sara H. Knox, Darian Ng, Mark S. Johnson, Joshua M. Blackstock, Sparkle L. Malone, Steve F. Oberbauer, Matteo Detto, Kimberly Wickland, Inke Forbrich, Nathaniel B Weston, Jacqueline K.Y. Hung, Colin W. Edgar, Eugenie S. Euskirchen, Syndonia Bret-Harte, Jason Dobkowski, George Kling, Evan S. Kane, Pascal Badiou, Matthew Bogard, Gil Bohrer, Thomas O'Halloran, Jonny Ritson, Ariane Arias-Otriz, Dennis Baldocchi, Patty Oikawa, Julie Shahan, Maiyah Matsumura
An interoperability strategy for the next generation of SEEA accounting
To understand patterns in CO2 partial pressure (PCO2) over time in wetlands’ surface water and porewater, we examined the relationship between PCO2 and land–atmosphere flux of CO2 at the ecosystem scale at 22 Northern Hemisphere wetland sites synthesized through an open call. Sites spanned 6 major wetland types (tidal, alpine, fen, bog, marsh, and prairie pothole/karst), 7 Köppen climates, and 16 different years. Ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross primary production (GPP), components of vertical CO2 flux, were compared to PCO2, a component of lateral CO2 flux, to determine if photosynthetic rates and soil respiration consistently influence wetland surface and porewater CO2 concentrations across wetlands. Similar to drivers of primary productivity at the ecosystem scale, PCO2 was strongly positively correlated with air temperature (Tair) at most sites. Monthly average PCO2 tended to peak towards the middle of the year and was more strongly related to Reco than GPP. Our results suggest Reco may be related to biologically driven PCO2 in wetlands, but the relationship is site-specific and could be an artifact of differently timed seasonal cycles or other factors. Higher levels of discharge do not consistently alter the relationship between Reco and temperature normalized PCO2. This work synthesizes relevant data and identifies key knowledge gaps in drivers of wetland respiration.
Released December 04, 2023 08:31 EST
Ferdinando Villa, Stefano Balbi, Kenneth J. Bagstad, Alessio Bulckaen
The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) is a set of international environmental-economic standards, adopted by the UN Statistical Commission in 2012 (SEEA Central Framework) and 2021 (SEEA Ecosystem Accounting); the latter in particular requires the integration of large and diverse data streams. These include geospatial and other data sources, which have proven challenging for some National Statistical Offices (NSOs) to implement. Although a variety of ecosystem service modelling platforms have been built over the last 15 years to meet various user demands, they often duplicate efforts, rely on data that are siloed, and rarely effectively reuse the knowledge gained from past modelling efforts.
By making the data and models that underlie SEEA interoperable, NSOs and the scientific community can advance the accessibility, speed, quality, and transparency of SEEA accounts by making it possible to rapidly integrate and share new scientific data and models. Doing so requires an understanding of the benefits of interoperability, the costs of the status quo, and concrete pathways toward community-endorsed approaches for interoperability. The ARIES Network, which powers the ARIES for SEEA Explorer web application, offers such a path toward interoperability, providing substantial benefits to NSOs and scientific and policy communities.
Proximity to roads does not modify inorganic nitrogen deposition in a topographically complex, high traffic, subalpine forest
Released December 04, 2023 06:55 EST
2023, Water, Air, Soil Pollution (234)
Katherine S. Rocci, M. Francesca Catrufo, Jill Baron
Groundwater flow model investigation of the vulnerability of water resources at Chaco Culture National Historical Park related to unconventional oil and gas development
Vehicles are an important source for N deposition that may negatively impact roadside ecosystems. While elevated roadside N deposition has been found in many locations, it is not yet known if vehicle emissions cause measurable increases of N deposition in complex, mountainous terrain adjacent to roads. To address this, this study investigated the effect of vehicle N emissions on throughfall (through trees) and open N deposition in a high traffic corridor in mountainous terrain of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. We measured bulk (wet + dry) atmospheric N deposition in throughfall and open samplers along two transects of 750 (throughfall) and 225 (open) m moving away from the road using ion exchange resin (IER) collectors. Contrary to most studies of roadside N deposition, we found no influence of road proximity on inorganic N deposition in throughfall or open sites, possibly due to terrain complexity. Interactions with vegetation modified regional N deposition; throughfall sites had 69% higher nitrate (NO3−) deposition than open sites and larger trees were associated with higher ammonium (NH4+) deposition as compared to smaller trees. When comparing to regional sites that are part of national monitoring networks, we confirmed that our estimates were unaffected by vehicle emissions as our throughfall IER collectors had similar total inorganic N deposition as wet + dry deposition from regional sites (8.64–13.56 vs 10.72–12.14 g N ha−1 day−1, respectively). These findings do not negate vehicles as a local source of N emissions but suggest elevated N deposition adjacent to busy roads cannot be assumed for complex terrains. Instead, environmental variables may be more important drivers than proximity to roads in topographically complex ecosystems.
Released December 02, 2023 07:50 EST
2023, Scientific Investigations Report 2023-5097
Zachary M. Shephard, Andre B. Ritchie, Benjamin S. Linhoff, John Joseph Lunzer
Chaco Culture National Historical Park (CCNHP), located in northwestern New Mexico, protects the greatest concentration of Chacoan historical sites in the American Southwest. Geologically, CCNHP is located within the San Juan structural basin, which consists in part of complex Cretaceous stratigraphy and hosts a variety of energy resources. As part of a larger study to investigate the vulnerability of water resources at CCNHP related to oil and natural gas extraction activities, a MODFLOW groundwater model of the Mancos Shale and Gallup Sandstone units was created by the U.S. Geological Survey, as a part of a cooperative study with the National Park Service, to assess advective groundwater flow paths and traveltimes. The model determined that groundwater flow directions currently trend from south-southeast to north-northwest within the vicinity of CCNHP, groundwater traveltime through the Gallup Sandstone ranges from thousands to tens of thousands of years, and traveltime through the Mancos Shale may range from millions to tens of millions of years. The capture zone of the main CCNHP well (referred to as the “Chaco well”) extends to the south-southeast and ranges in width from approximately 1 to 12 miles, depending on pumping rate. Eighteen inactive hydrocarbon related wells are located within the capture zone and within 10 kilometers of the Chaco well. Given model estimates of traveltimes of groundwater in the Gallup Sandstone aquifer, advective groundwater transport to the Chaco well would take approximately 430 years from the nearest inactive hydrocarbon related wells. Differencing of historical and modern-day potentiometric surfaces of the Gallup Sandstone indicate a drop in groundwater levels between 34 and 96 feet within the CCNHP boundaries. Hydraulic fracturing, simulated as increased hydraulic conductivity zones, decreased groundwater traveltimes (from millions to thousands of years) and acted as permeable pathways from the Mancos Shale to the Gallup Sandstone.
Long-term mercury loading and trapping dynamics in a Western North America reservoir
Released December 02, 2023 06:34 EST
2023, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies (50)
Eric D. Morway, Robert M. Hirsch, Angela Paul, Mark C. Marvin-DiPasquale, Carl E Thodal
The Carson River including Lahontan Reservoir in Northwestern Nevada, USA
The discovery, mining, and processing of silver and gold from the Comstock Lode in northwestern Nevada heavily contaminated the Carson River system with mercury (Hg). The river now contains some of the highest recorded water column and bed sediment Hg concentrations reported in peer-reviewed literature. Acute Hg contamination in river and reservoir bed sediment has led to elevated methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations across all trophic levels of Lahontan Reservoir, culminating in significant health risks to humans. Lahontan Reservoir, located downstream from the mills that processed Comstock ore, has served as a Hg trap since the completion of the dam in 1915. Starting in 1997 and extending through 2021, the U.S. Geological Survey has collected and analyzed hundreds of discrete water samples entering and exiting Lahontan Reservoir for unfiltered total Hg (uf.THg), thereby providing a first-of-its-kind opportunity for studying long-term Hg trapping efficiencies within a western North American reservoir. Continuous time series of uf.THg concentration and flux above and below the reservoir were estimated using the weighted regressions on time, discharge, and season with the Kalman filtering (WRTDS-K) method employed with newly developed methods to account for non-natural (i.e., managed) hydrographs below a reservoir.
An inventory of three-dimensional geologic models—U.S. Geological Survey, 2004–22
New hydrological insights for the region
An estimated 31,650 kg (34.89 US tons) of uf.THg entered Lahontan Reservoir during the 25 year period of analysis, accounting for approximately 0.5% of the total uf.THg estimated to have been released to the Carson River system [6.8 million kg (7500 US tons)] over a multi-decade mining boom. Moreover, approximately 92% of the estimated uf.THg entering Lahontan Reservoir was trapped. On an annual basis, however, trapping efficiencies range between 34% and 98%, and are closely related to the total annual discharge. Results also indicate that flow-normalized uf.THg concentrations and loads above and below the reservoir are trending down.
Released December 01, 2023 10:00 EST
2023, Data Report 1183
Donald S. Sweetkind, Kristine L. Zellman
A database of spatial footprints and characteristics of three-dimensional geological models that were constructed by the U.S. Geological Survey between 2004 and 2022 was compiled as part of ongoing development of subsurface geologic information by the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. This initial inventory resulted in the compilation of 38 three-dimensional geological models that vary widely in their spatial extent, the type and purpose of the model, the number of subsurface units characterized by the model, and the software platforms used to create the model. This Data Report provides the scientific rationale and explanation of the contents of a companion USGS digital data release of spatial data and attributes associated with each three-dimensional model.
Pacific coastal and marine science of the U.S. Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, California
Released December 01, 2023 09:38 EST
2023, General Information Product 225
The Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center is one of three U.S. Geological Survey science centers that serve the mission of the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program, the primary Federal marine geology and physical science research program focused on the Nation’s coastal and marine landscape. Our portfolio of coastal and marine projects in the Pacific Ocean provides the scientific information necessary to sustainably manage coastal and marine resources, to prepare for natural hazard events such as landslides and tsunamis, and to build resilience in coastal communities vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as well as storms, flooding, and risks to groundwater resources. The Nation’s demand for societally relevant coastal and marine science has never been greater, and we invite you to explore some of our ongoing Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center activities in these pages.
Documentation of a pilot workflow for reanalyzing the U.S. Geological Survey principal aquifers datasets and prototype principal aquifer version 2 dataset for three aquifer systems
Released December 01, 2023 09:18 EST
2023, Open-File Report 2023-1078
Martha G. Nielsen
A pilot workflow to refine the principal aquifers of the United States as defined in the Ground Water Atlas of the United States and create a new version of the principal aquifers (referred to as “version 2”) is documented in this report. The workflow incorporates decision points for creating finer scale spatial data for the principal aquifers and refining the original principal aquifer definitions if warranted. This workflow was applied to four principal aquifers in the upper Midwest region of the United States that were not previously refined as part of a U.S. Geological Survey regional groundwater availability study: the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system, the Jacobsville aquifer, the Silurian-Devonian aquifer, and the upper carbonate aquifer. The refinement resulted in the consolidation of two of these aquifers (the Silurian-Devonian and upper carbonate aquifers), an expansion of the Jacobsville aquifer into a larger newly defined Midcontinent Rift sandstone aquifers unit, and a slight refinement of the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system to exclude Precambrian units. The U.S. Geological Survey State Geologic Map Compilation geodatabase provided the base data used in the refined version 2 dataset, which are published in an accompanying U.S. Geological Survey data release as a prototype version 2 shapefile and include attributes describing the aquifer, data lineage, and source of the originally defined principal aquifer.
Fractures, scarps, faults, and landslides mapped using LiDAR, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Released December 01, 2023 08:48 EST
Chad Hults, Jeffrey A. Coe, Nikita N. Avdievitch
This map of fractures, scarps, faults, and landslides was completed to identify areas in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve that may present a landslide-generated tsunami hazard. To address the potential of landslide and tsunami hazards in the park, the National Park Service (NPS) and the US Geological Survey (USGS) partnered to conduct a multi-year hazard assessment of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. To produce the map described in this report, we used the newly acquired (2019-2020) light detection and ranging (LiDAR) 0.5 to 1.0 m digital elevation models (DEMs) that cover all the coastal areas of the park and extend up to the ridgetops in places with steep slopes. A bare earth DEM was used to identify and map areas of incipient landslides (i.e., fractures and scarps), fault scarps, and areas where landslides have clearly occurred in the past (i.e., areas where scars and deposits are clearly visible). This map provides a baseline data set that can be used to aid forecasts of where landslides are most likely to occur in the future.
Blue snowflakes in a warming world: Karner blue butterfly climate change vulnerability synthesis and best practices for adaptation
Released December 01, 2023 08:23 EST
2023, Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/CCRP/NRR—2023/2602
Gregor W. Schuurman, Christopher L. Hoving, Anna N. Hess, Lainey V. Bristow, Philip J. Delphey, Jessica J. Hellmann, Heather L. Keough, Randy L. Knutson, Annie Kellner
This report—developed at the request of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service-led Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Team by Recovery Team members and partners—provides a Karner blue butterfly climate change vulnerability synthesis, explores a range of potential responses, and presents best practices for climate change-informed conservation of the species.
Comparison of δ13C analyses of individual foraminifer (Orbulina universa) shells by secondary ion mass spectrometry and gas source mass spectrometry
The three decades since the Karner blue butterfly’s (Lycaeides [Plebejus] melissa samuelis Nabokov) listing as federally endangered in the United States have seen a diverse and dedicated research and management community coalesce around the species’ recovery. This geographically expansive conservation collaboration has broken new ground for threatened and endangered species recovery. Many Karner blue recovery areas are making steady progress towards recovery goals, but some are not. An extremely hot and dry 2012, perhaps aided by adverse longer-term climate trends such as declining snow cover, extirpated the Karner blue from Indiana Dunes National Park and the surrounding Indiana Dunes Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Unit—the southernmost recovery unit and once host to one of the species’ largest populations—as well as from northwest Ohio.
Because of the fundamental challenge that climate change represents to Karner blue butterfly recovery and of the general need for endangered species conservation plans to better address climate change, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service-led Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Team tasked a subset of the team to:
Explore the species’ climate change sensitivity and adaptive capacity, review ongoing and projected climate change across the Karner blue range and associated uncertainties, and develop and suggest best practices concerning long-term adaptation strategies.
Consistent with that mandate, this report synthesizes what is known about Karner blue climate change vulnerability and applies current thinking in climate change adaptation to help foster strategic, long-term, climate change-informed Karner blue recovery and conservation. It develops and explores a range of potential climate change-informed butterfly- and habitat-stewardship responses, using the resist-accept-direct (RAD) framework to foster a broad range of approaches, and provides guidance regarding how they may be pursued. The report also provides suggestions for improving the climate change-exposure component of Karner blue vulnerability assessment.
Released December 01, 2023 06:42 EST
2024, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry (38)
Jody Brae Wycech, Daniel Clay Kelly, Reinhard Kozdon, Akizumi Ishida, Kouki Kitajima, Howard J. Spero, John W. Valley
Rationale: The use of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to perform micrometer-scale in situ carbon isotope (δ13C) analyses of shells of marine microfossils called planktic foraminifers holds promise to explore calcification and ecological processes. The potential of this technique, however, cannot be realized without comparison to traditional whole-shell δ13C values measured by gas source mass spectrometry (GSMS).
Methods: Paired SIMS and GSMS δ13C values measured from final chamber fragments of the same shell of the planktic foraminifer Orbulina universa are compared. The SIMS–GSMS δ13C differences (Δ13CSIMS-GSMS) were determined via paired analysis of hydrogen peroxide-cleaned fragments of modern cultured specimens and of fossil specimens from deep-sea sediments that were either untreated, sonicated, and cleaned with hydrogen peroxide or vacuum roasted. After treatment, fragments were analyzed by a CAMECA IMS 1280 SIMS instrument and either a ThermoScientific MAT-253 or a Fisons Optima isotope ratio mass spectrometer (GSMS).
Results: Paired analyses of cleaned fragments of cultured specimens (n = 7) yield no SIMS–GSMS δ13C difference. However, paired analyses of untreated (n = 18) and cleaned (n = 12) fragments of fossil shells yield average Δ13CSIMS-GSMS values of 0.8‰ and 0.6‰ (±0.2‰, 2 SE), respectively, while vacuum roasting of fossil shell fragments (n = 11) removes the SIMS–GSMS δ13C difference.
Conclusions: The noted Δ13CSIMS-GSMS values are most likely due to matrix effects causing sample–standard mismatch for SIMS analyses but may also be a combination of other factors such as SIMS measurement of chemically bound water. The volume of material analyzed via SIMS is ~105 times smaller than that analyzed by GSMS; hence, the extent to which these Δ13CSIMS-GSMS values represent differences in analyte or instrument factors remains unclear.
The 3D Elevation Program—Supporting Minnesota's economy
Released November 30, 2023 13:20 EST
2023, Fact Sheet 2023-3047
Mitch Bergeson, David Nail
In Minnesota, high-quality elevation data are essential for agriculture and precision farming, natural resources conservation, flood risk management, infrastructure and construction management, water supply and quality, coastal zone management, and many other business uses. Critical applications that meet the State’s management needs depend on light detection and ranging (lidar) data that provide a highly detailed three-dimensional (3D) model of the Earth’s surface and aboveground features.
The 3D Elevation Program—Supporting Montana’s economy
Released November 30, 2023 13:15 EST
2023, Fact Sheet 2023-3041
Montana, America’s fourth largest State with an area of 147,040 square miles, is defined by its diverse terrain. The western two-fifths of the State falls within the Rocky Mountains and the eastern three-fifths is in the Great Plains. Because of its location along the Continental Divide, the rivers in Montana drain into either the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. Montana is often called the Treasure State due to its mineral wealth, which includes oil, gas, and coal, but the State’s primary economic activity is agriculture. Other economic activities include natural resources conservation, water supply and quality, infrastructure and construction management, flood risk management, and geologic resource assessment and hazard mitigation. Critical applications that meet the State’s management needs depend on light detection and ranging (lidar) data that provide a highly detailed three-dimensional (3D) model of the Earth’s surface and aboveground features.
Hawksbill and green turtle niche overlap in a marine protected area, US Virgin Islands
Released November 30, 2023 07:06 EST
2023, Endangered Species Research (52) 265-283
Melissa A. Moorehouse, John D. Baldwin, Kristen Hart
Studying how species interact with their environment and other co-occurring species are 2 main aspects of ecology. For marine turtles, ocean currents drive migratory routes and may determine the location of surrounding foraging grounds. As a result, circumglobal species like the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and green turtle Chelonia mydas adapt to diverse foraging habitats and employ varied feeding strategies. Dietary specializations may reduce competition for available food and space resources between co-occurring hawksbill and green turtles in US Virgin Island shallow reef habitats. This study analyzed isotopic data from immature hawksbill (n = 49; range: 18.7-49.8 cm straight carapace length [SCL]) and green turtles (n = 225; range: 24.1-69.4 cm SCL) to examine foraging niche. We used nitrogen stable isotope (δ15N) values as an indicator of trophic positioning and carbon stable isotope (δ13C) values as a habitat variable. Turtles were hand-captured across an 8 yr period (2012-2019), which facilitated the distinction of isotopic patterns in both the environment and among individual turtles. Understanding variations in habitat, community dynamics, and dietary consumption allowed us to utilize a 5 point framework to translate isotopic space to foraging niche. We found that the site’s relatively stable environmental conditions allow for isotopic overlap between hawksbill and green turtles despite the specialized feeding strategies each species employs. We also underscore the need to evaluate species-specific tissue turnover estimates as evidenced by the influence of tropical storms on recaptured turtle isotopic signatures. These findings inform our understanding of resource use for these imperiled species at our study site and are useful for future global isotopic comparisons.
Predicted distribution of ‘ua‘u (Hawaiian petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis) nest sites on Haleakalā, Maui
Released November 30, 2023 07:05 EST
2023, Endangered Species Research (52) 231-246
Josh Adams, Jonathan J. Felis, Robert C. Klinger, Emily C. Kelsey, Joy Tamayose, Raina Kaholoa'a, Cathleen Natividad Bailey, Jay F. Penniman, Jennifer Learned, Ciara Ganter, John Medeiros, Huisheng Chen
Haleakalā National Park and montane areas on east Maui, Hawaiian Archipelago, support critical nesting habitat for endangered ‘ua‘u Hawaiian petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis. Habitat loss, non-native predators, and damage by feral ungulates are limiting factors for ground-nesting petrels at Haleakalā and throughout Hawai‘i. Because nesting habitats differ among the Hawaiian Islands, habitat distribution modeling for Hawaiian petrel has been island specific. Based on 2453 known nest site locations, we provide the first landscape-scale predictive model describing relative abundance and habitat available for nesting petrels throughout upper Haleakalā (1830 to 3055 m). We evaluated (principal components analyses and Pearson’s correlation) 13 spatial landscape and climate predictor variables associated with nest sites and the background landscape followed by random forest modeling to predict nest site density. Six variables (elevation, slope, topographic position index at 2 scales, heat load index, presence-absence ash/cinder, and presence-absence vegetation) indicated nest sites occurred non-randomly throughout the central part of the summit and crater; greatest concentrations were predicted along the crater rim and a ridgeline extending southwest from the summit. Moderately high predicted density occurred in the northeastern and northern crater. Lower elevations to the north, west, and south flanks of Haleakalā had relatively fewer predicted nest sites. Although we focused on higher elevations on Haleakalā, there is no reason to suspect that conservation efforts would not be successful at lower elevations, provided nesting petrels were protected from invasive predators, grazing ungulates, and significant land alteration.
Released November 29, 2023 09:06 EST
2011, Book chapter, Encyclopedia of modern coral reefs: Structure, form and process
Barbara H Lidz
No abstract available.
Climate change impacts on bird migration and highly pathogenic avian influenza
Released November 29, 2023 07:24 EST
2023, Nature Microbiology (8) 2223-2225
Diann Prosser, Claire S. Teitelbaum, Shenglai Yin, Nichola J. Hill, Xiangming Xiao
U.S. Geological Survey Core Research Center: A gateway to subsurface discovery for geoscience research
The unprecedented extent of highly pathogenic avian influenza coincides with intensifying global climate changes that alter host ecology and physiology, and could impact virus evolution and dynamics.
Released November 29, 2023 07:15 EST
2023, Geological Society, London, Special Publications (527) 355-363
Jeannine Honey, Dawn O Ivis
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operates the Core Research Center (CRC) in Denver, Colorado, USA, a public access repository of rock cores from over 9800 wells and drill cuttings from over 53 000 wells, primarily from states in or adjacent to the Rocky Mountain Region. Annually, approximately 1400 visitors use the collection for traditional and innovative research.
The CRC has an online, searchable database which includes downloadable core photos, analytical data, and thin-section images. When visitors sample for analyses, the results must be returned to the CRC for public dissemination providing immediate, free access to users while sparing the finite, irreplaceable collection from redundant testing. A representative quantity of every core depth is preserved in perpetuity.
Studies on CRC materials, paired with new extraction methods, have unlocked new productive deposits. Materials drilled and curated decades ago remain in high demand while materials receiving little attention today may be crucial for future research.
Organic layers preserved in ice patches: A new record of Holocene environmental change on the Beartooth Plateau, USA
The collection provides immediate, inexpensive access to subsurface materials at a fraction of the cost of new drilling, sparing money, time and environmental impacts.
Released November 29, 2023 07:11 EST
2023, The Holocene
Mio Alt, Kathryn Puseman, Craig Lee, Gregory T. Pederson, Joseph R. McConnell, Nathan J. Chellman, David B. McWethy
Use of multiparameter instruments for routine field measurements
Growing season temperatures play a crucial role in controlling treeline elevation at regional to global scales. However, understanding of treeline dynamics in response to long-term changes in temperature is limited. In this study, we analyze pollen, plant macrofossils, and charcoal preserved in organic layers within a 10,400-year-old ice patch and in sediment from a 6000-year-old wetland located above present-day treeline in the Beartooth Mountains, Wyoming, to explore the relationship between Holocene climate variability and shifts in treeline elevation. Pollen data indicate a lower-than-present treeline between 9000 and 6200 cal yr BP during the warm, dry summer and cold winter conditions of the early Holocene. Increases in arboreal pollen at 6200 cal yr BP suggest an upslope treeline expansion when summers became cooler and wetter. A possible hiatus in the wetland record at ca. 4200–3000 cal yr BP suggests increased snow and ice cover at high elevations and a lowering of treeline. Treeline position continued to fluctuate with growing season warming and cooling during the late-Holocene. Periods of high fire activity correspond with times of increased woody cover at high elevations. The two records indicate that climate was an important driver of vegetation and treeline change during the Holocene. Early Holocene treeline was governed by moisture limitations, whereas late-Holocene treeline was sensitive to increases in growing season temperatures. Climate projections for the region suggest warmer temperatures could decrease effective growing season moisture at high elevations resulting in a reduction of treeline elevation.
Released November 28, 2023 15:15 EST
2023, Techniques and Methods 9-A6.8
U.S. Geological Survey
The “National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data” (NFM) provides guidelines and procedures for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel who collect data used to assess the quality of the Nation’s surface-water and groundwater resources. This chapter, NFM A6.8, provides guidance and protocols for the use of multiparameter instruments for routine field measurements, which includes storage and maintenance of equipment, calibration, troubleshooting, and procedures for measurement and reporting. It updates and supersedes USGS Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, book 9, chapter A6.8, version 1.1, by Jacob Gibs, Franceska D. Wilde, and Heather A. Heckathorn. The use of multiparameter instruments for conducting field measurements has become routine. The methods described here are specific to the use of multiparameter instruments. The field methods described in this chapter are applicable to most natural waters.
Before 2017, the NFM chapters were released in the USGS Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations series. Effective in 2018, new and revised NFM chapters are being released in the USGS Techniques and Methods series; this series change does not affect the content and format of the NFM. More information is in the general introduction to the NFM (USGS Techniques and Methods, book 9, chapter A0) at https://doi.org/10.3133/tm9A0. The authoritative current versions of NFM chapters are available in the USGS Publications Warehouse at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/. Comments, questions, and suggestions related to the NFM can be addressed to email@example.com.
New England Water Science Center—Bringing quality and reliable water science to New England
Released November 28, 2023 13:20 EST
2023, General Information Product 227
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) New England Water Science Center provides timely and reliable information to Federal, State, Tribal, and local stakeholders on the water resources of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This information product broadly describes the center’s research priorities and monitoring network and how its work benefits the public and environment.
Editorial: Remote sensing of volcanic gas emissions from the ground, air, and space
Released November 28, 2023 06:56 EST
2023, Frontiers in Earth Science (11)
Christoph Kern, Santiago Arellano, Robin Campion, Silvana Hidalgo, Ryunosuke Kazahaya
When magma rises in volcanic systems, volatile species exsolve from the melt and are outgassed to the atmosphere. The melt composition and temperature, depth at which degassing occurs, extent of gas-water-rock interactions, and volume of ascending magma are all factors that determine the composition and rate of gas emissions at the surface. Interpreted in a petrological framework, gas measurements thus provide information on these fundamental parameters of volcanic systems. Volcanic gases have traditionally been sampled in the field and later analyzed with standard laboratory methods, but remote sensing measurements are playing an increasingly central role in characterizing emissions and the volcanoes from which they originate. The 17 contributions in this Research Topic summarize the state-of-the-art in volcanic gas remote sensing and identify key areas in which the field could further improve our understanding of global volcanism and its impact on Earth’s environment in the next decade.
At what scales does a river meander? Scale-specific sinuosity (S3) metric for quantifying stream meander size distribution
Released November 28, 2023 06:52 EST
2023, Geomorphology (436)
Larry Stanislawski, Barry J. Kronenfeld, Barbara P. Buttenfield, Ethan J. Shavers
Understanding the drivers of volcano deformation through geodetic model verification and validation
Released November 28, 2023 06:44 EST
2023, Bulletin of Volcanology (85)
Joshua Allen Crozier, Leif Karlstrom, Emily Montgomery-Brown, Mario Angarita, Valérie Cayol, Mary Grace Bato, Taiyi Wang, Ronni Grapenthin, Tara Shreve, Kyle R. Anderson, Ana Astort, Olivier Bodart, Flavio Cannavò, Gilda Currenti, Farshid Dabaghi, Brittany A. Erickson, Deepak Garg, Matthew Head, Adriana Iozzia, Young Cheol Kim, Hélène Le Mével, Camila Novoa Lizama, Cody Rucker, Francesca Silverii, Yan Zhan
Volcano geodesy often involves the use of models to explain observed surface deformation. A variety of forward models are used, from analytical point sources to numerical simulations that consider complex magma system geometries, topography, and material properties. Various inversion methods can then be used to relate observed volcano data to models. Ideally, forward models should be verified through intercomparison, to check for implementation errors and quantify the error induced by any approximations used. Additionally, forward models and inversion methods should be validated through tests with synthetic and/or real data, to determine their ability to match data and estimate parameter values within uncertainty. However, to date, there have not been comprehensive verification and validation efforts in volcano geodesy. Here, we report on the first phase of the Drivers of Volcano Deformation (DVD) exercises, which were designed to build community involvement through web-based exercises involving calculations of static elastic displacement around pressurized magma reservoirs. The forward model exercises begin with a spherical reservoir in a homogeneous half space, then introduce topography, heterogeneous elastic properties, and spheroidal geometries. The inversion exercises provide synthetic noisy surface displacement data for a spherical reservoir in a homogeneous half space and assess consistency in estimates of reservoir location and volume/pressure change. There is variability in the results from both forward modeling and inversions, which highlights the strengths and limitations of different forward models, as well as the importance of inversion method choice and uncertainty quantification. This first phase of the DVD exercises serves as a community resource and will facilitate further efforts to develop standards of reproducibility.
Fire regime shapes butterfly communities through changes in nectar resources in an Australian tropical savanna
Released November 27, 2023 09:19 EST
2023, Ecosphere (14)
Julia B. Leone, Diane L. Larson, Anna E. Richards, Jon Schatz, Alan N. Andersen
Fire-dependent savanna provides key habitat for butterflies globally, but we know little about how fire regimes, including fire frequency and season, affect them. These impacts are likely to be primarily indirect, through changes in overall habitat structure, the abundance of larval host plants, and/or the provision of nectar resources for adults. We examined the relationships among fire regime, butterfly abundance and diversity, and vegetation structure and floral resources within a long-term fire experiment near Darwin in the Australian monsoon tropics. We surveyed butterflies and floral resources throughout the 2019–2020 wet season in three replicate plots of each of six experimental treatments that had been operating for 15 years. All plots subject to fire had been burned in the previous dry season. We observed 24 butterfly species and 280 individuals representing all five butterfly families found in Northern Australia. Butterfly abundance was highest under early dry-season (June) fire regimes (mean = 11.9 individuals per plot survey) compared with a late dry-season (October) regime (mean = 6.7) and in the long-term absence of fire (mean = 5.3), and this was correlated with the abundance of floral resources. The distribution of butterflies was also highly associated with floral resources within plots regardless of fire treatment. Butterfly species richness was significantly higher in early dry-season (mean = 6.8) compared with unburned (mean = 3.3) plots but did not differ between early and late dry-season (mean = 4.7) plots. Butterfly and floral diversity were similar across all early dry-season fire treatments regardless of whether they had been burned every 1, 2, 3, or 5 years. Our finding that early dry-season burning promotes butterfly diversity and abundance by increasing the supply of nectar resources has important implications for biodiversity management more broadly, given that nectar is a critical resource for many animal taxa.
An assessment of HgII to preserve carbonate system parameters in organic-rich estuarine waters
Released November 27, 2023 06:51 EST
2023, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
Christopher Moore, Robert H. Byrne, Kimberly Yates
Need and vision for global medium-resolution Landsat and Sentinel-2 data products
This work assesses the effectiveness of sample preservation techniques for measurements of pHT (total scale), total dissolved inorganic carbon (CT), and total alkalinity (AT) in organic-rich estuarine waters as well as the internal consistency of measurements and calculations (e.g., AT, pHT, and CT) in these waters. Using mercuric chloride (HgCl2)-treated and untreated water samples, measurements of these carbonate system parameters were examined over a period of 3 months. Respiration of dissolved organic matter in untreated samples created large discrepancies in CT concentrations (~37 μmol kg−1 increase, p < 0.0001), while CT was effectively constant in treated samples (3095.0 ± 1.14 μmol kg−1). AT changes were observed for both treated and untreated samples, with HgCl2-treated samples showing the greatest variation (~ 26 μmol kg−1 decrease, p < 0.001). In response to changing AT/CT ratios, pHT changes occurred in both treated and untreated samples but were relatively small in treated samples. Results in organic-rich estuarine waters that reflect the in situ carbonate system characteristics of the samples at the time of collection can be improved when samples obtained for CT and AT analysis are collected and stored separately. Accurate analyses of CT can be obtained by filtration and preservation with HgCl2. Accuracy of AT analyses can be improved by filtration and storage without adding HgCl2. The quality of pHT measurements can be improved by prompt analysis in the field and, if this cannot be accomplished, then samples can be preserved with HgCl2 and measured in the laboratory within 1 week.
Released November 27, 2023 06:39 EST
2024, Remote Sensing of Environment (300)
Volker C. Radeloff, David P. Roy, Mike Wulder, Martha Anderson, Bruce D. Cook, Christopher J. Crawford, Mark Friedl, Feng Gao, Noel Gorelick, Matthew Hansen, Sean Healey, Patrick Hostert, Glynn Hulley, Justin Huntington, Dave Johnson, Christopher Neigh, Alexei Lyapustin, Leo Lymburner, Nima Pahlevan, Jean-Francois Pekel, Theodore A. Scambos, Crystal Schaaf, Peter Strobl, Eric Vermote, Curtis Woodcock, Hankui K. Zhang, Zhe Zhu
Global changes in climate and land use are threatening natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the ecosystem services people rely on. This is why it is necessary to track and monitor spatiotemporal change at a level of detail that can inform science, management, and policy development. The current constellation of multiple Landsat and Sentinel-2 satellites collecting imagery at predominantly ≤30-m spatial resolution affords an opportunity for the generation of global medium- resolution products every few days. Our goal is to both identify the information needs and provide direction towards the generation of a suite of global, high-level, systematically-generated, medium-resolution products designed for both management and science. Our vision builds on the success of the NASA MODIS/VIIRS product suite, while recognizing the unique strengths of medium-resolution satellite data given their higher spatial resolution and longer time series. We propose a suite of 13 essential products that enable the characterization of the current state and changes in the biosphere, cryosphere, and hydrosphere, and would fill information needs identified by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites for the Global Climate Observing System and the Global Terrestrial Observing System, by the National Research Council of the US National Academies in the decadal survey, and by others. These products are: land cover, land cover change, burned area, forest loss, vegetation indices, phenology, dynamic habitat indices, albedo, land surface temperature, snow cover, ice extent, surface water extent, and evapotranspiration. Furthermore, we provide a list of desirable products poised for addition to the essential products (e.g., crop type, emissivity, and ice sheet velocity). Lastly, we suggest aspirational products requiring further algorithm development (e.g., forest structure and crop yield). For the identified essential products, algorithms are in place, making it feasible to begin generating products systematically. These products should be accompanied by quality and accuracy assessments undertaken following consensus protocols. Five decades after the first Landsat satellite, and two decades after the MODIS products were first produced, it is time now for readily available, standardized, and consistent high-level products built upon medium-resolution imagery, thereby fulfilling the promise and the vision that inspired the Landsat program since its inception.
Characterizing the movement of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in an avian aquatic–terrestrial food web
Released November 24, 2023 06:52 EST
2023, Environmental Science and Technology
Kailee E. Hopkins, Melissa A. McKinney, Amandeep Saini, Robert J. Letcher, Natalie K. Karouna-Renier, Kim J. Fernie
Deer management generally reduces densities of nymphal Ixodes scapularis, but not prevalence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto
The movement of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through linked aquatic–terrestrial food webs is not well understood. Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) in such systems may be exposed to PFAS from multiple abiotic and/or biotic compartments. We show from fatty acid signatures and carbon stable isotopes that tree swallow nestlings in southwestern Ontario fed on both terrestrial and aquatic macroinvertebrates. The PFAS profiles of air, terrestrial invertebrates, and swallows were dominated by perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). Short-chain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) were largely restricted to air, surface water, and sediment, and long-chain PFAAs were mainly found in aquatic invertebrates and tree swallows. PFOS, multiple long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids [perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA)] and perfluorooctane sulfonamide precursors were estimated to bioaccumulate from air to tree swallows. PFOS bioaccumulated from air to terrestrial invertebrates, and PFOS, PFDA, and perfluorooctane sulfonamidoacetic acids (FOSAAs) bioaccumulated from water to aquatic invertebrates. PFOS showed biomagnification from both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates to tree swallows, and PFDA and FOSAAs were also biomagnified from aquatic invertebrates to tree swallows. The movement of PFAS through aquatic–terrestrial food webs appears congener- and compartment-specific, challenging the understanding of PFAS exposure routes for multiple species involved in these food webs.
Released November 24, 2023 06:43 EST
2023, Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (14)
Alynn Martin, Danielle Buttke, Jordan Raphael, Kelsey Taylor, Sarah Maes, Christina M. Parise, Howard Ginsberg, Paul Cross
Human Lyme disease–primarily caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) in North America–is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Research on risk mitigation strategies during the last three decades has emphasized methods to reduce densities of the primary vector in eastern North America, the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). Controlling white-tailed deer populations has been considered a potential method for reducing tick densities, as white-tailed deer are important hosts for blacklegged tick reproduction. However, the feasibility and efficacy of white-tailed deer management to impact acarological risk of encountering infected ticks (namely, density of host-seeking infected nymphs; DIN) is unclear. We investigated the effect of white-tailed deer density and management on the density of host-seeking nymphs and B. burgdorferi s.s. infection prevalence using surveillance data from eight national parks and park regions in the eastern United States from 2014–2022. We found that deer density was significantly positively correlated with the density of nymphs (nymph density increased by 49% with a 1 standard deviation increase in deer density) but was not strongly correlated with the prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.s. infection in nymphal ticks. Further, while white-tailed deer reduction efforts were followed by a decrease in the density of I. scapularis nymphs in parks, deer removal had variable effects on B. burgdorferi s.s. infection prevalence, with some parks experiencing slight declines and others slight increases in prevalence. Our findings suggest that managing white-tailed deer densities alone may not be effective in reducing DIN in all situations but may be a useful tool when implemented in integrated management regimes.
Multi-omic responses of fish exposed to complex chemical mixtures in the Shenandoah River watershed
Released November 24, 2023 06:35 EST
2023, Science of the Total Environment (902)
David Bertolatus, Larry Barber, Christopher J. Martyniuk, Huajun Zhen, Timothy W. Collette, Drew R. Ekman, Aaron Jastrow, Jennifer Rapp, Alan M. Vajda
To evaluate relationships between different anthropogenic impacts, contaminant occurrence, and fish health, we conducted in situ fish exposures across the Shenandoah River watershed at five sites with different land use. Exposure water was analyzed for over 500 chemical constituents, and organismal, metabolomic, and transcriptomic endpoints were measured in fathead minnows. Adverse reproductive outcomes were observed in fish exposed in the upper watershed at both wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent- and agriculture-impacted sites, including decreased gonadosomatic index and altered secondary sex characteristics. This was accompanied with increased mortality at the site most impacted by agricultural activities. Molecular biomarkers of estrogen exposure were unchanged and consistent with low or non-detectable concentrations of common estrogens, indicating that alternative mechanisms were involved in organismal adverse outcomes. Hepatic metabolomic and transcriptomic profiles were altered in a site-specific manner, consistent with variation in land use and contaminant profiles. Integrated biomarker response data were useful for evaluating mechanistic linkages between contaminants and adverse outcomes, suggesting that reproductive endocrine disruption, altered lipid processes, and immunosuppression may have been involved in these organismal impacts. This study demonstrated linkages between human-impact, contaminant occurrence, and exposure effects in the Shenandoah River watershed and showed increased risk of adverse outcomes in fathead minnows exposed to complex mixtures at sites impacted by municipal wastewater discharges and agricultural practices.
Arctic-boreal lakes of interior Alaska dominated by contemporary carbon
Released November 24, 2023 06:19 EST
2023, Environmental Research Letters (18)
Fenix Garcia-Tigreros, Clayton D. Elder, Martin R. Kurek, Benjamin L. Miller, Xiaomei Xu, Kimberly Wickland, Cluadia I. Czimczik, Mark M. Dornblaser, Robert G. Striegl, Ethan D. Kyzivat, Laurence C. Smith, Robert G.M. Spencer, Charles E. Miller, David Butman
Northern high-latitude lakes are critical sites for carbon processing and serve as potential conduits for the emission of permafrost-derived carbon and greenhouse gases. However, the fate and emission pathways of permafrost carbon in these systems remain uncertain. Here, we used the natural abundance of radiocarbon to identify and trace the predominant sources of methane, carbon dioxide, dissolved inorganic and organic carbon in nine lakes within the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge in interior Alaska, a discontinuous permafrost region with high landscape heterogeneity and susceptibility to climate, permafrost, and hydrological changes. We find that although Yukon Flats lakes primarily process young carbon (modern to 1290 ± 60 years before present), permafrost-derived carbon is present in some of the sampled lakes and contributes, at most, 30 ± 10% of the dissolved carbon in lake surface waters. Apportionment of young carbon and legacy carbon (carbon with radiocarbon age ⩾5000 years before present) is decoupled among the dissolved inorganic and organic carbon species, with methane showing a stronger legacy signature. Our observations suggest that permafrost-thaw-related transport of carbon through Yukon Flats lacustrine ecosystems and into the atmosphere is small, and likely regulated by surficial sediments, permafrost distribution, wildfire occurrence, or masked by contemporary carbon processes. The heterogeneity of lakes across our study area and northern landscapes more broadly cautions against using any one region (e.g. Yedoma permafrost lakes) to upscale their contribution across the pan-Arctic.
A community convention for ecological forecasting: Output files and metadata version 1.0
Released November 23, 2023 07:04 EST
2023, Ecosphere (14)
Michael C. Dietze, R. Quinn Thomas, Jody Peters, Carl Boettiger, Gerband Koren, Alexy N. Shiklomanov, Jamie Diamond Ashander
Quantifying the contributions of tributaries to large-river fish populations through mark-recapture modeling
This paper summarizes the open community conventions developed by the Ecological Forecasting Initiative (EFI) for the common formatting and archiving of ecological forecasts and the metadata associated with these forecasts. Such open standards are intended to promote interoperability and facilitate forecast communication, distribution, validation, and synthesis. For output files, we first describe the convention conceptually in terms of global attributes, forecast dimensions, forecasted variables, and ancillary indicator variables. We then illustrate the application of this convention to the two file formats that are currently preferred by the EFI, netCDF (network common data form), and comma-separated values (CSV), but note that the convention is extensible to future formats. For metadata, EFI's convention identifies a subset of conventional metadata variables that are required (e.g., temporal resolution and output variables) but focuses on developing a framework for storing information about forecast uncertainty propagation, data assimilation, and model complexity, which aims to facilitate cross-forecast synthesis. The initial application of this convention expands upon the Ecological Metadata Language (EML), a commonly used metadata standard in ecology. To facilitate community adoption, we also provide a Github repository containing a metadata validator tool and several vignettes in R and Python on how to both write and read in the EFI standard. Lastly, we provide guidance on forecast archiving, making an important distinction between short-term dissemination and long-term forecast archiving, while also touching on the archiving of code and workflows. Overall, the EFI convention is a living document that can continue to evolve over time through an open community process.
Released November 23, 2023 06:53 EST
2023, North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Brian Daniel Healy, Emily C. Omana Smith
Sediment sources and connectivity linked to hydrologic pathways and geomorphic processes: A conceptual model to specify sediment sources and pathways through space and time
Tributaries may play a vital role in maintaining populations of large river fishes, although the specific contributions of tributaries toward recruitment of river-wide populations are not often understood. Tributaries may experience fewer cumulative anthropogenic impacts relative to mainstem rivers and may offer more natural conditions supportive of native fish populations, which may provide opportunities for fish population restoration. Thus, an improved understanding of tributary-mainstem population dynamics may inform targeted conservation actions for spatially structured populations of large-river fishes. Colorado River tributaries in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA are a focus of imperiled Humpback Chub Gila cypha conservation, which includes translocations to enhance population redundancy and to expand the overall population. However, the fate of fish dispersed to the mainstem has not been thoroughly quantified. Using open population mark-recapture models, we quantified the relative contribution of three groups of Humpback Chub, including fish of confirmed tributary origin that were either translocated or produced in situ, and others presumed to be Colorado River mainstem origin fish, to three mainstem populations. Our specific study objectives were to 1) estimate Colorado River abundances of tributary and mainstem-origin fish over time, 2) compare relative group-specific contributions to three mainstem populations, and 3) compare group-specific survival rates of Humpback Chub in the Colorado River and in a tributary where a recent translocation has occurred. Tributaries contributed 26% and 43% of the overall abundance in two tributary inflow reach populations, and zero in a third, which we attributed to uncharacteristically low tributary survival immediately following translocation. In the mainstem, survival of tributary-origin fish was higher compared to mainstem-origin fish, suggesting an advantage of tributary residence. Our contrasting results from three different tributary inflow populations highlight the potential role for tributaries in sustaining large-river fish populations, which may have important implications for long-term maintenance of river metapopulations.
Released November 23, 2023 06:48 EST
2023, Frontiers in Water (5)
Se Jong Cho, Diana Karwan, Katherine Skalak, James Pizzuto, Max Huffman
Divergent community trajectories with climate change across a fine-scale gradient in snow depth
Sediment connectivity is a conceptualization for the transfer and storage of sediment among different geomorphic compartments across upland landscapes and channel networks. Sediment connectivity and dysconnectivity are linked to the water cycle and hydrologic systems with the associated multiscale interactions with climate, soil, topography, ecology, and landuse/landcover under natural variability and human intervention. We review current sediment connectivity and modeling approaches evaluating and quantifying water and sediment transfer in catchment systems. Many studies highlight the interaction between sediment and water in defining landscape connectivity, but many efforts to quantify and/or simulate sediment connectivity rely on the topographic/structural controls on sediment erosion and delivery. More recent modeling efforts integrate functional and structural connectivity to capture hydrologic properties influencing sediment delivery. Though the recent modeling development is encouraging, a comprehensive sediment connectivity framework, which integrates geomorphic and hydrologic processes across spatiotemporal scales, has not yet been accomplished. Such an effort requires understanding the hydrologic and geomorphic processes that control sediment source, storage, and transport at different spatiotemporal scales and across various geophysical conditions. We propose a path for developing this new understanding through an integrated hydrologic and sediment connectivity conceptual model that broadly categorizes dominant processes and patterns relevant to understanding sediment flux dynamics. The conceptual model describes hydrologic–sediment connectivity regimes through spatial-temporal feedback between hydrologic processes and geomorphic drivers. We propose that in combining hydrologic and sediment connectivity into a single conceptual model, patterns emerge such that catchments will exist in a single characteristic behavior at a particular instance, which would shift with space and time, and with landscape disturbances. Using the conceptual model as a “thinking” tool, we extract case studies from a multidisciplinary literature review—from hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, and watershed modeling to remote-sensing technology—that correspond to each of the dominant hydrologic–sediment connectivity regimes. Sediment and water interactions in real-world examples through various observational and modeling techniques illustrate the advancements in the spatial and temporal scales of landscape connectivity observations and simulations. The conceptual model and case studies provide a foundation for advancing the understanding and predictive capability of watershed sediment processes at multiple spatiotemporal scales. Plain language summary: Soil erosion and movement across the landscape are closely linked to rain events and flow pathways. Landscape connectivity is a way to consider how soil erosion from different parts of the landscape is connected to the streams. We explore where soil erosion occurs and how eroded soil moves across the landscape through the interaction with rainfall and drainage. The comprehensive understanding of sediment connectivity and its dependence on rainfall characteristics and watershed hydrology may help to inform the effective distribution of conservation funds and management actions to address water pollution from excess sediment.
Released November 22, 2023 07:22 EST
2023, Journal of Ecology
Meagan Ford Oldfather, Sarah C. Elmendorf, Elisa Van Cleemput, Jonathan J. Henn, Jared D. Huxley, Caitlin T. White, Hope C. Humphries, Marko J. Spasojevic, Katharine N. Suding, Nancy C. Emery
Implementing a dual-spectrometer approach for improved surface reflectance estimation
- Fine-scale microclimate variation due to complex topography can shape both current vegetation distributional patterns and how vegetation responds to changing climate. Topographic heterogeneity in mountains is hypothesized to mediate responses to regional climate change at the scale of metres. For alpine vegetation especially, the interplay between changing temperatures and topographically mediated variation in snow accumulation will determine the overall impact of climate change on vegetation dynamics.
- We combined 30 years of co-located measurements of temperature, snow and alpine plant community composition in Colorado, USA, to investigate vegetation community trajectories across a snow depth gradient.
- Our analysis of long-term trends in plant community composition revealed notable directional change in the alpine vegetation with warming temperatures. Furthermore, community trajectories are divergent across the snow depth gradient, with exposed parts of the landscape that experience little snow accumulation shifting towards stress-tolerant, cold- and drought-adapted communities, while snowier areas shifted towards more warm-adapted communities.
- Synthesis: Our findings demonstrate that fine-scale topography can mediate both the magnitude and direction of vegetation responses to climate change. We documented notable shifts in plant community composition over a 30-year period even though alpine vegetation is known for slow dynamics that often lag behind environmental change. These results suggest that the processes driving alpine plant population and community dynamics at this site are strong and highly heterogeneous across the complex topography that is characteristic of high-elevation mountain systems.
Released November 22, 2023 07:00 EST
2023, Remote Sensing (15)
Mahesh Shrestha, Joshua J. Mann, Emily Maddox, Terry J. Robbins, Jeffrey Irwin, Travis Kropuenske, Dennis Helder
Surface reflectance measurement is an integral part of the vicarious calibration of satellite sensors and the validation of satellite-derived top-of-atmosphere (TOA) and surface reflectance products. A well-known practice for estimating surface reflectance is to conduct a field campaign with a spectrometer and a calibration panel, which is labor-intensive and expensive. To address this issue, the Radiometric Calibration Network, RadCalNet, has been developed, which automatically collects surface reflectance over several selected sites. Neither of these approaches can continuously track the atmosphere, which limits their ability to compensate for atmospheric transmittance change during target measurement. This paper presents the dual-spectrometer approach that uses a stationary spectrometer dedicated to continuously tracking changes in atmospheric transmittance by staring at a calibrated reference panel while the mobile spectrometer measures the target. Simultaneous measurement of the reflectance panel and target help to transfer calibration from the stationary spectrometer to the mobile spectrometer and synchronize the measurements. In this manner, atmospheric transmittance changes during target measurement can be tracked and used to reduce the variability of the target surface reflectance. This paper uses field measurement data from combined field campaigns between different calibration groups at Brookings, South Dakota, and Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 underfly efforts over Coconino National Forest, Arizona, and Guymon, Oklahoma. Preliminary results show that even in a clear sky condition, where atmospheric transmittance changes are minimal, the precision of target surface reflectance estimated using the dual-spectrometer approach is 2–6% better than the single-spectrometer approach. The dual-spectrometer approach shows the potential for a substantial improvement in the precision of the target spectral profile when the atmospheric transmittance is changing rapidly during field measurement. Results show that during non-optimal atmospheric conditions, the dual-spectrometer approach improved the precision of the surface reflectance by 50–60% compared to the single-spectrometer approach across most spectral regions. The ability to estimate surface reflectance more precisely using the dual-spectrometer approach in different atmospheric conditions improves the vicarious calibration of optical satellite sensors and the validation of both TOA and surface reflectance products.
Spatial asynchrony and cross-scale climate interactions in populations of a coldwater stream fish
Released November 21, 2023 09:32 EST
2023, Global Change Biology
George Valentine, Xinyi Lu, Evan S. Childress, C. Andrew Dolloff, Nathaniel P. Hitt, Matthew Kulp, Benjamin Letcher, Kasey C. Pregler, Jacob Rash, Mevin B. Hooten, Yoichiro Kanno
Climate change affects populations over broad geographic ranges due to spatially autocorrelated abiotic conditions known as the Moran effect. However, populations do not always respond to broad-scale environmental changes synchronously across a landscape. We combined multiple datasets for a retrospective analysis of time-series count data (5–28 annual samples per segment) at 144 stream segments dispersed over nearly 1,000 linear kilometers of range to characterize the population structure and scale of spatial synchrony across the southern native range of a coldwater stream fish (brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis), which is sensitive to stream temperature and flow variations. Spatial synchrony differed by life stage and geographic region: it was stronger in the juvenile life stage than in the adult life stage and in the northern sub-region than in the southern sub-region. Spatial synchrony of trout populations extended to 100–200 km but was much weaker than that of climate variables such as temperature, precipitation, and stream flow. Early life stage abundance changed over time due to annual variation in summer temperature and winter and spring stream flow conditions. Climate effects on abundance differed between sub-regions and among local populations within sub-regions, indicating multiple cross-scale interactions where climate interacted with local habitat to generate only a modest pattern of population synchrony over space. Overall, our analysis showed higher degrees of response heterogeneity of local populations to climate variation and consequently population asynchrony than previously shown based on analysis of individual, geographically restricted datasets. This response heterogeneity indicates that certain local segments characterized by population asynchrony and resistance to climate variation could represent unique populations of this iconic native coldwater fish that warrant targeted conservation. Advancing the conservation of this species can include actions that identify such priority populations and incorporate them into landscape-level conservation planning. Our approach is applicable to other widespread aquatic species sensitive to climate change.
Stress gradients structure spatial variability in coastal tidal marsh plant composition and diversity in a major Pacific coast estuary
Released November 21, 2023 06:47 EST
2023, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (11)
Lyndsay Lee Rankin, Scott F. Jones, Christopher N. Janousek, Kevin J. Buffington, John Takekawa, Karen M. Thorne
Observing coastal wetland transitions using national land cover products
Understanding the drivers of variability in plant diversity from local to landscape spatial scales is a challenge in ecological systems. Environmental gradients exist at several spatial scales and can be nested hierarchically, influencing patterns of plant diversity in complex ways. As plant community dynamics influence ecosystem function, understanding the drivers of plant community variability across space is paramount for predicting potential shifts in ecosystem function from global change. Determining the scales at which stress gradients influence vegetation composition is crucial to inform management and restoration of tidal marshes for specific functions. Here, we analyzed vegetation community composition in 51 tidal marshes from the San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA. We used model-based compositional analysis and rank abundance curves to quantify environmental (elevation/tidal frame position, distance to channel, and channel salinity) and species trait (species form, wetland indicator status, and native status) influences on plant community variability at the marsh site and estuary scales. While environmental impacts on plant diversity varied by species and their relationships to each other, overall impacts increased in strength from marsh to estuary scales. Relative species abundance was important in structuring these tidal marsh communities even with the limited species pools dominated by a few species. Rank abundance curves revealed different community structures by region with higher species evenness at plots higher in the tidal frame and adjacent to freshwater channels. By identifying interactions (species–species, species–environment, and environment–trait) at multiple scales (local, landscape), we begin to understand how variability measurements could be interpreted for conservation and land management decisions.
Released November 20, 2023 09:41 EST
2023, Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment
Nicholas Enwright, Michael Osland, Karen M. Thorne, Glenn R. Guntenspergen, James Grace, Gregory Steyer, Nate Herold, Bogdan Chivoiu, Minoo Han
Over the coming century, climate change and sea-level rise are predicted to cause widespread change to coastal wetlands. Estuarine vegetated wetlands can adapt to sea-level rise through both vertical development (i.e., biophysical feedbacks and sedimentation) and upslope/horizontal migration. Quantifying changes to estuarine vegetated wetlands over time can help to inform current and future decisions regarding land management and resource stewardship. In this study, we show how coastal land cover maps readily available in the US can be used to assess and understand estuarine vegetated wetland changes. This assessment involves two steps: (1) identifying the net gain/loss of estuarine vegetated wetlands and (2) determining which land cover types contribute to the net gain/loss. From this information, we developed estuarine vegetated wetland change scenarios that evaluate whether estuarine vegetated wetland gain kept up with loss and whether the contribution was from: (1) estuarine vegetated wetland migration or tidal restoration; (2) land building (i.e., development); or (3) both. We assessed changes from 1996 to 2016 for: (1) the conterminous US; (2) each major US coastline; and (3) focal estuaries with the most change per coast. We found that the change scenario (1, 2, or 3) varied across coastlines. Moving forward, national coastal land cover programs can be informed by utilizing methodologies that leverage contemporary information for delineating the estuarine zone from upslope/adjacent wetlands. We highlight approaches that could be used to address this challenge and provide complementary information related to wetland condition changes.
Grizzly bear responses to restrictions of recreation in Yellowstone National Park
Released November 20, 2023 09:37 EST
2023, Journal of Wildlife Management
Elise Loggers, Andrea R. Litt, Frank T. van Manen, Mark A. Haroldson, Kerry A. Gunther
Avoiding humans will be more difficult and energetically costly for animals as outdoor recreation increases and people venture farther into wildland areas that provide high-quality habitat for wildlife. Restricting human access can be an attractive management tool to mitigate effects of human recreation activities on wildlife; however, the efficacy of such measures is rarely assessed. In 1982, Yellowstone National Park identified areas important to grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) to help protect critical grizzly bear habitat and reduce the likelihood of human injuries by bears. Referred to as bear management areas (BMAs), human access is restricted in these areas for 2–8 months each year, with timing and type of restrictions varying by area. We examined 2 datasets to evaluate grizzly bear selection of BMAs and differences of bear density in BMAs and non-BMAs. First, we used 17 years of recent global positioning system telemetry data for grizzly bears to assess their selection of BMAs during periods when human access was allowed, and when access was restricted. We used step-selection functions to test the hypothesis that bears spend time in places that allow them to avoid people and select quality food sources. There was support that grizzly bears differentially select for BMAs regardless of whether human access was restricted at the time, compared with areas outside BMAs, and that selection changed with sex and season. Only males during the summer and hyperphagic seasons changed their selection of BMAs based on whether access restrictions were in place, and overall, male bears preferred unrestricted BMAs (BMAs without restrictions in place). Females preferentially selected BMAs regardless of whether the area had access restrictions in place only during the mating season. Individuals varied widely in their preference for BMAs and access restrictions. Bears likely choose to spend time in BMAs based on available food resources rather than restrictions to human access. Supporting this interpretation, our analyses indicated that a greater proportion of BMA in an area was associated with higher densities of grizzly bear. Thus, restrictions to human access likely help reduce the potential for human–bear interactions, accomplishing one of the original objectives for establishing the BMAs.
Evaluation of the US COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub for informing pandemic response under uncertainty
Released November 20, 2023 07:08 EST
2023, Epidemics (14)
Emily Howerton, Lucie Contamin, Luke C Mullany, Michelle Qin, Nicholas G. Reich, Samantha Bents, Rebecca K. Borchering, Sung-mok Jung, Sara L Loo, Claire P. Smith, John Levander, Jessica Kerr, J. Espino, Willem G. van Panhuis, Harry Hochheiser, Marta Galanti, Teresa K Yamana, Sen Pei, Jeffrey L. Shaman, Kaitlin Rainwater-Lovett, Matt Kinsey, Kate Tallaksen, Shelby Wilson, Lauren Shin, Joseph C Lemaitre, Joshua Kaminsky, Juan Dent Hulse, Elizabeth C. Lee, Clif McKee, Alison Hill, Dean Karlen, Matteo Chinazzi, Jessica T Davis, Kunpeng Mu, Xinyue Xiong, Ana Pastore Piontti, Alessandro Vespignani, Erik T Rosenstrom, Julie S Ivy, Maria E Mayorga, Julie L Swann, Guido España, Sean Cavany, Sean Moore, Alex Perkins, Thomas J. Hladish, Alexander N. Pillai, Kok Ben Toh, Ira Longini Jr., Shi Chen, Rajib Paul, Daniel Janies, Jean-Claude Thill, Anass Bouchnita, Kaiming Bi, Michael Lachmann, Spencer Fox, Lauren Ancel Meyers, Ajitesh Srivastava, Przemyslaw Porebski, Srinivasan Venkatramanan, Aniruddha Adiga, Bryan Lewis, Brian Klahn, Joseph Outten, Benjamin Hurt, Jiangzhuo Chen, Henning Mortveit, Amanda Wilson, Madhav Marathe, Stefan Hoops, Parantapa Bhattacharya, Dustin Machi, Betsy L Gunnels, Jessica M Healy, Rachel B. Slayton, Michael A Johansson, Matthew Biggerstaff, Shaun Truelove, Michael C. Runge, Katriona Shea, Cécile Viboud, Justin Lessler
Symposia summaries 2023
Our ability to forecast epidemics far into the future is constrained by the many complexities of disease systems. Realistic longer-term projections may, however, be possible under well-defined scenarios that specify the future state of critical epidemic drivers. Since December 2020, the U.S. COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub (SMH) has convened multiple modeling teams to make months ahead projections of SARS-CoV-2 burden, totaling nearly 1.8 million national and state-level projections. Here, we find SMH performance varied widely as a function of both scenario validity and model calibration. We show scenarios remained close to reality for 22 weeks on average before the arrival of unanticipated SARS-CoV-2 variants invalidated key assumptions. An ensemble of participating models that preserved variation between models (using the linear opinion pool method) was consistently more reliable than any single model in periods of valid scenario assumptions, while projection interval coverage was near target levels. SMH projections were used to guide pandemic response, illustrating the value of collaborative hubs for longer-term scenario projections.
Released November 20, 2023 06:38 EST
Brian Daniel Healy, Joshua A. Israel
Peter Turcik, editor(s)
No abstract available.
Chemistry and petrography of early 19th century basaltic andesites and basalts from the Kamakaiʻa Hills in the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano, Hawaiʻi
Released November 20, 2023 06:33 EST
2023, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (444)
Drew T. Downs, May Sas, Richard W. Hazlett
Kīlauea is a frequently active, open-system volcano on the Island of Hawaiʻi known for erupting olivine-dominated tholeiitic basalt compositions. On rare occasions it erupts more differentiated magmas (<1% of erupted volume), such as basaltic andesites and andesites, from its rift zones. These differentiated magmas offer an opportunity to understand better the petrology, magma storage, magma mixing, and eruptive triggers that occur in Kīlauea's rift zone reservoirs. This study focuses on an eruption from the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea, which is dominantly basaltic andesite with subordinate basalt. This eruption originated at the Kamakaiʻa Hills during the early 19th century and has two eruptive phases: 1) an early ‘a‘ā phase that is primarily exposed in the eastern part of the flow field, with minor western lobes, and 2) a late pāhoehoe phase that makes up most of the western part of the flow field. The early ‘a‘ā phase covers at least 5.8 km2 with an erupted volume of ∼150 × 106 m3 and consists of uniform composition basaltic andesites with 3.72–4.15 wt% MgO over its ∼7 km flow length. The late pāhoehoe phase reached >10 km from its vent, covers an area of ∼7.1 km2, has a volume of ∼100 × 106 m3, and initially erupted basaltic andesite near its vent (4.50–5.64 wt% MgO extending to 3.8 km from vent) with channel and tube-fed basalt (6.21–12.38 wt% MgO sampled at >3.8 km from vent) emplaced during its waning stages. Most Kamakaiʻa Hills lavas are crystal-poor, containing ≤1.5% glomerocrysts and individual phenocrysts of plagioclase + clinopyroxene + FeTi oxides ± orthopyroxene, as well as olivine in lavas with >6 wt% MgO.
Major-oxide and trace-element concentrations throughout the Kamakaiʻa Hills lavas demonstrate the involvement of three distinct magmatic processes. First, the basaltic andesites of the early ‘a‘ā phase are the products of fractionation of plagioclase + clinopyroxene + FeTi oxides ± orthopyroxene, indicative of magmas that have been stored in rift zone reservoirs for decades or longer. Second, the near-vent (within ∼400 m of vent) basaltic andesites of the late pāhoehoe phase yield chemical concentrations that indicate magma mixing with a more differentiated magma (of a similar evolved composition to basaltic andesites at ∼55–56 wt% SiO2 and ∼3.4–4.1 wt% MgO that erupted in the lower East Rift Zone in 2018). Third, the progressively more mafic magma (containing olivine + plagioclase + clinopyroxene) that continued to erupt throughout the waning stages of activity suggests an eruptive triggering process whereby an intruding summit or uprift reservoir basalt overpressurized and forced out the stored, differentiated magma of the Kamakaiʻa Hills rift zone reservoir.
Evaluating management alternatives for Wyoming elk feedgrounds in consideration of chronic wasting disease
Released November 17, 2023 17:35 EST
2023, Open-File Report 2023-1015
Jonathan D. Cook, Paul C. Cross, Emily M. Tomaszewski, Eric K. Cole, Evan H. Campbell Grant, James M. Wilder, Michael C. Runge
The authors used decision and modeling analyses to evaluate management alternatives for a decision on whether to permit Cervus canadensis (elk) feeding on two sites on Bridger-Teton National Forest, Dell Creek and Forest Park. Supplemental feeding of elk could increase the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) locally and disease spread regionally, potentially impacting elk populations over time with wider implications for Odocoileus hemionus (mule deer) and Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer) populations and hunting, tourism, and regional revenue. Supplemental feeding is thought to improve overwinter elk survival and reduce the commingling of elk with cattle during months when brucellosis transmission risk is highest. We worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to identify their fundamental objectives and associated performance metrics related to this feedground decision. We then developed disease and habitat selection models to quantify the effect of four management alternatives on select performance metrics. The four alternatives were to continue to permit feeding, phaseout permits to feed in three years, permit feeding on an emergency basis, or stop permitting feeding. In this report, we present methods and summarized results on disease and habitat selection models and summaries of other performance metrics analyzed by BIO-WEST, Inc. and Cirrus Ecological Solutions as part of an Environmental Impact Statement.
Data from Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) supported the assumption that supplemental elk feeding allows for larger elk populations in a region. We documented that herd units (HU) without feedgrounds had 23 percent lower densities of elk per area of winter range when compared against HUs with feedgrounds, after accounting for differences in sightability of elk during counts on and off feedgrounds. Thus, throughout our analyses, we assumed feedground closures would reduce elk carrying capacity resulting in an average decline of previously fed elk population segments by 23 percent (5th and 95th percentiles = [11 percent, 35 percent]) by year 20. Most of that decline occurred within the first few years after a feedground ceases to operate. We used a panel of CWD experts to help estimate CWD trans-mission in fed and unfed elk population segments. In aggregate, the expert panel estimated that median values of direct and indirect transmission of CWD are expected to be 1.9 and 4 times higher, respectively, in fed elk populations compared to unfed elk. We used these disease transmission estimates in combination with local elk demographic rates and carrying capacity estimates to project disease and population dynamics.
In year 20, we predicted CWD prevalence would increase to 42 percent (5th and 95th percentiles = [29 percent, 55 percent]), and 13 percent (5th and 95th percentiles = [4 percent, 26 percent]) on average for fed and unfed elk population segments, respectively, given a starting prevalence of 1.6 percent. The prevalence estimates for the unfed elk population segments are in the range of previous observations of CWD in elk in the western United States. The average CWD prevalence from 2016 to 2018 in the unfed elk population of Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota was 18 percent overall but up to 30 percent in some regions (Sargeant and others, 2021). Meanwhile, CWD prevalence in the Iron Mountain and Laramie Peak elk herds in Wyoming from 2016 to 2018 was 14 percent and 7 percent, respectively, despite being present since at least 2002 (Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 2020b).
From 2016 to 2020, elk that were fed at Dell Creek and Forest Park constituted on average 12–20 percent of the total elk on their respective HUs. As a result, the differences between management alternatives are modest when considering the closure of only one feedground on a HU. The no feeding alternative for Forest Park resulted in a CWD prevalence of 17 percent (SD = 7 percent) in the Afton HU compared to 20 percent (SD = 7 percent) with continued feeding by year 20. In the Upper Green River HU, no feeding on Dell Creek resulted in a CWD prevalence of 27 percent (SD = 6 percent) compared to 30 percent (SD = 5 percent) with continued feeding. In terms of disease-associated mortality, we predicted the closure of Forest Park and Dell Creek feedgrounds would reduce the total number of CWD mortalities by 9 percent in the Upper Green River HU and 26 percent in the Afton HU during the 20-year timespan.
Our spatial analyses predicted that management alternative effects vary by HU as a function of private property and other wildlife winter ranges proximity relative to feedground location. The predicted number of elk abortions on private land, as a proxy for brucellosis risk to cattle, may increase by 8–21 percent in the absence of feeding at Dell Creek and Forest Park.
Eight feedgrounds are located on Bridger-Teton National Forest, all of which have permits that have expired or will expire prior to 2028. In addition, WGFD could change their management of feedgrounds given new information; therefore, we also assessed the cumulative effects of continued feeding, phaseout, and no feeding management alternatives across five HUs south of Jackson, Wyoming (Afton HU, Fall Creek HU, Piney HU, Pinedale HU, and Upper Green River HU). These five HUs ranged from about 41 to 85 percent of the elk herd using feedgrounds, which corresponded to a CWD prevalence at year 20 of 23–34 percent if all feedgrounds in those five HUs remained open relative to 12 to 14 percent if all feedgrounds were closed. We predicted feedground closures may result in immediate reductions in population size relative to alternatives that continue feeding (for example, continued feeding and emergency feeding alternatives); however, over longer periods of time, CWD-associated mortality leads to larger population reductions. The no feeding alternative resulted in higher elk population sizes compared to the continued feeding alternative after about 10 years of implementation. Delayed action under a phaseout alternative resulted in increasing the CWD prevalence to 20 percent relative to 12 to 14 percent, on average, without feeding on HUs with a large population of fed elk such as the Upper Green River HU.
Summarizing our cumulative results across all five of the analyzed HUs, we predicted continued feeding will lead to fewer elk by year 20 (mean = 8,300, standard deviation [SD] = 740) compared to no feeding at U.S. Department of Agri-culture Forest Service sites (10,700, SD = 890). The closure of all feedgrounds was projected to result in the largest elk populations at year 20 (12,500, SD = 980). No feeding at all sites also resulted in the largest cumulative harvest of 57,700 (SD = 2,600) compared to 51,100 (SD = 3,800) for continued feeding at all current feedground sites on the five HUs. Continued feeding also resulted in the lowest brucellosis costs to producers ($194,600, SD = $11,500) compared to no feeding on all feedgrounds ($243,000, SD = $13,700). Assuming moderate reductions in hunter interest because of increasing CWD prevalence in elk, we predicted that no feeding resulted in regional revenues generated by hunting activities of $190 million (SD = $10 million) compared to $173 million (SD = $10 million) for continued feeding over the 20-year timeframe.
Recent CWD detections in mule deer and elk in Grand Teton National Park has elevated the importance of the cur-rent decision on whether, and how, to permit elk feeding on Dell Creek and Forest Park and the management of the other feedgrounds. Aggressive male harvest has slowed, but not stopped, the increasing prevalence of CWD in mule deer (Conner and others, 2021). It is unclear whether harvest management can be an effective tool to slow the spread of CWD in elk. There are also no effective treatments or vaccines for CWD, and it is unlikely that any will be developed that can be easily deployed in the near future. Thus, reducing artificial aggregations is one of the few management approaches suggested by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (Almberg and others, 2017).
Future surveillance and monitoring can be designed to resolve uncertainties that can improve future decision-making. If feedgrounds close, research could quantify elk population reductions in the absence of feeding, the redistribution of fed elk to other places, or the consequences of elk movement on private property. If feedgrounds remain open, research could assess how rapidly CWD spreads in artificial aggregations of elk; however, surveillance programs would need to be designed with sufficient power to detect initial changes of CWD prevalence. Delaying action on feedground management was projected to be costly. Results of the phaseout alternative relative to the no feeding alternative suggested a 3-year delay was enough for substantial long-term changes in CWD prevalence. The long-term persistence of infectious CWD prions in the environment suggests that feedground management decisions may have long-lasting consequences.
Our results indicated tradeoffs in the ability of a management agency to achieve all their objectives, and all management alternatives resulted in significant reductions in elk population size. This report contains the foundational elements for formal decision analysis methods, which can be implemented to help decision makers transparently evaluate the consequences of decision alternatives and identify the set of actions that best achieve agency and stakeholder priorities.
Updates to the regional groundwater-flow model of the New Jersey Coastal Plain, 1980–2013
Released November 17, 2023 13:55 EST
2023, Scientific Investigations Report 2023-5066
Alison D. Gordon, Glen B. Carleton
A 21-layer three-dimensional transient groundwater-flow model of the New Jersey Coastal Plain was developed and calibrated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to simulate groundwater-flow conditions during 1980–2013, incorporating average annual groundwater withdrawals and average annual groundwater recharge. This model is the third version of the New Jersey Coastal Plain regional groundwater-flow model that was initially developed as part of the USGS Regional Aquifer System Analysis (RASA) program. The model simulates groundwater flow in 11 aquifers and 10 intervening confining units of the New Jersey Coastal Plain to provide a regional overview of groundwater conditions. Averaged groundwater withdrawal data for 1980 to 2013 were used in the model. The 11 aquifers in New Jersey are, from shallowest to deepest, the Holly Beach water-bearing zone and the confined Cohansey aquifer in Cape May County; the Rio Grande water-bearing zone; the Atlantic City 800-foot sand; the Piney Point, Vincentown, and Wenonah-Mount Laurel aquifers; the Englishtown aquifer system; and the upper, middle, and lower aquifers of the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy (PRM) aquifer system.
The model was developed with the MODFLOW–2005 numerical code and the UCODE parameter estimation technique and calibrated using water-level and base-flow observations. A total of 3,453 water-level observations from 392 wells in New Jersey and 48 wells in Delaware from 1983 to 2013 were used in model calibration, which includes historical water-level trends for 29 wells in New Jersey during 1980–2013 presented in time-series hydrographs. In addition, derived observations also were included by calculating the vertical gradient at 33 pairs of nested observation wells in New Jersey, for a total of 210 observations. Changes in water levels over time were calculated for 134 wells in New Jersey and four wells in Delaware where water levels had varied substantially (approximately 10 ft) over the 30-year span of synoptic water-level measurements, for a total of 767 observations. A total of 1,485 base-flow observations in 47 surface-water basins in New Jersey from 1980 to 2013 were used in model calibration.
Updates to the groundwater-flow model include the conversion to a fully three-dimensional model from the previous quasi-three-dimensional model. The new model will allow for potential future uses such as particle tracking or simulation of variable-density groundwater flow that could not be accomplished with earlier versions of the model. Spatially and temporally variable recharge estimated by using a soil-water balance model resulted in a spatially and temporally finer discretization. The Rio Grande water-bearing zone was added to the model as an aquifer layer to refine estimates of simulated flow in Atlantic and Cape May Counties, New Jersey. Hydrogeologic parameters were updated to include the confining units in New Jersey and corresponding hydrogeologic units in Delaware and eastern Maryland.
The simulated water levels for the New Jersey Coastal Plain aquifers were compared to water-level measurements made during 1980–2013. The average residual for 4,243 water-level observations for New Jersey (simulated water levels minus measured water levels) is 1.5 feet. The simulated water-level contours for the confined aquifers for 2013 were compared to potentiometric surfaces produced from water levels measured during 2013. Simulated water levels generally matched the 2013 potentiometric surfaces of the confined aquifers in the areas of large withdrawals. Hydrographs of wells in the confined Coastal Plain aquifers of New Jersey show that simulated water levels generally match the magnitude and seasonal variation of the observed water levels. Hydrographs of base flow for the 47 streamgaging stations in New Jersey indicate that most of the simulated and estimated data match reasonably well.
Groundwater withdrawals are an important resource for water supply, agricultural, industrial, and commercial needs in the New Jersey Coastal Plain. Groundwater withdrawals from the New Jersey Coastal Plain aquifers have resulted in persistent, regionally extensive cones of depression in the Englishtown aquifer system and Wenonah-Mount Laurel aquifer in Ocean and Monmouth Counties; Wenonah-Mount Laurel and upper, middle, and lower PRM aquifers in Camden County; and Atlantic City 800-foot sand in Atlantic County. Because hydrologic stresses and water-management needs change with time, periodic updates to the groundwater-flow model are required to provide current information about hydrologic conditions in the New Jersey Coastal Plain and to maintain its usefulness as a tool to manage water resources and develop water-resource strategies. The current updates will support the continued application of this model as a tool for evaluating the regional effects of changes in groundwater withdrawals and of current and potential future water-management strategies on groundwater levels in the New Jersey Coastal Plain.
The 3D Elevation Program—Supporting Missouri’s economy
Released November 17, 2023 13:50 EST
2023, Fact Sheet 2023-3042
Because of its geography, Missouri is frequently subject to natural disasters. Ice storms, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding are all common occurrences. Since 1990, Missouri has received 40 Federal major disaster declarations. Floods and droughts severely affect the State’s agriculture, which is a leading industry. Another potential major hazard is the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ), located in southeastern Missouri. Because Missouri is a major producer of lead, manufacturing and mining are very important to the State’s economy, as are restoring and reclaiming lands damaged by historical mining activities. Critical applications that meet the State’s management needs depend on light detection and ranging (lidar) data that provide a highly detailed three-dimensional (3D) model of the Earth’s surface and aboveground features.
Geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Texas
Released November 17, 2023 11:58 EST
2023, Scientific Investigations Map 3510
Allan K. Clark, James A. Golab, Robert R. Morris, Diana E. Pedraza
During 2020–22, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Edwards Aquifer Authority, revised a previous publication that described the geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Texas. This report presents the refined maps and descriptions of geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties that resulted from additional field data. Two informal geologic units and their corresponding informal hydrostratigraphic unit (HSU) names are introduced in this report; these informal units were identified during geologic mapping work done in counties adjoining the study area. Hydrostratigraphically, the rocks exposed in the study area represent a section of the upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer, the Edwards aquifer, the upper zone of the Trinity aquifer, the middle zone of the Trinity aquifer, and the lower confining unit to the middle zone of the Trinity aquifer. The Washita, Eagle Ford, Austin, and Taylor Groups are generally considered to be the upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer. The Edwards aquifer was subdivided into nine informally named HSUs (from top to bottom) as follows: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, Seco Pass, and VIII. The upper zone of the Trinity aquifer was subdivided into five informal HSUs and two subunits (from top to bottom) as follows: cavernous, Camp Bullis, upper evaporite, fossiliferous (subunits: upper and lower), and lower evaporite. The middle zone of the Trinity aquifer was subdivided into nine named HSUs (from top to bottom) as follows: Bulverde, Little Blanco, Twin Sisters, Doeppenschmidt, Herff Falls (where present), Rust, Honey Creek, Hensell, and Cow Creek. The middle zone of the Trinity aquifer is underlain by the confining Hammett HSU. Groundwater recharge and flow paths in the study area are influenced not only by the hydrostratigraphic characteristics of the individual HSUs but also by faults and fractures.
Machine-learning predictions of groundwater specific conductance in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, south-central United States, with evaluation of regional geophysical aerial electromagnetic data as explanatory variables
Released November 17, 2023 09:01 EST
2023, Scientific Investigations Report 2023-5099
Courtney D. Killian, Katherine J. Knierim
The Mississippi Alluvial Plain, located in the south-central United States, is undergoing long-term groundwater-level declines within the surficial Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer (hereinafter referred to as “alluvial aquifer”), which has raised concerns about future groundwater availability. In some parts of the alluvial aquifer, groundwater availability for common uses such as irrigation, public supply, and domestic use is limited by quality (for example, high salinity) rather than quantity of water stored in the aquifer. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain region has an abundance of water-quality measurements in the alluvial aquifer and deeper aquifers; however, large areas lack direct measurements of salinity to evaluate regional groundwater availability. Statistical models can interpolate between wells to fill in spatial data gaps. In 2021, the U.S. Geological Survey trained two boosted regression tree (BRT) machine-learning models on specific conductance data available between 1942 and 2020 to predict spatially continuous surfaces of groundwater salinity at multiple depths for the alluvial aquifer and deeper aquifers. Well construction information, water levels, and surficial variables such as geomorphology and soils were included as explanatory variables in this baseline model. Additionally, subsurface electrical resistivity data from the first aquifer-wide aerial electromagnetic (AEM) survey for the region were incorporated to create a geophysical model. This work expands on prior BRT salinity predictions of the alluvial aquifer and extends predictions south to the Gulf of Mexico, where groundwater salinity is high. AEM survey data were not available for the southern extent of the alluvial aquifer at the time of modeling. A BRT model was trained without (baseline) and with (geophysical) AEM variables to test the ability of the models to predict salinity where explanatory data are missing and response data are sparse. Additionally, model sensitivity to AEM survey data was evaluated to better understand how AEM variables influence specific conductance predictions. Model performance was improved with the addition of geophysical data, which added three-dimensional information, thereby improving salinity predictions at depth. Groundwater specific conductance predictions can help inform other geophysical investigations in the southern extent of the study area, where high groundwater specific conductance can obfuscate changes in aquifer sediment resistivity and could limit groundwater resources for agricultural, public supply, and domestic uses.
Toxicity of wildland fire retardants to rainbow trout in short exposures
Released November 17, 2023 07:17 EST
2023, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Holly J. Puglis, Michael G. Iacchetta
Crustal block-controlled contrasts in deformation, uplift, and exhumation in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California, USA, imaged through apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology and 3-D geological modeling
Long-term wildland fire retardants are one important tool used to control and suppress wildfires. During suppression activities, these retardants may enter waterbodies; thus, there is a need to understand their potential effects to aquatic biota. We investigated the effect of three current-use wildland fire retardants to juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) survival in short exposures more realistic to actual intrusion scenarios. Lethal effect concentrations decreased with time and varied among chemicals (LC95A-R > 259-Fx > MVP-Fx). The lowest effect concentrations observed were 2 to 10 times above the threshold used by federal agencies to assess potential impacts to aquatic organisms following a retardant intrusion. These data can be used by resource managers to balance wildfire control with potential environmental impacts of retardant use.
Released November 17, 2023 07:01 EST
2023, Geological Society of America Bulletin
Curtis William Baden, David L. Shuster, Jeremy H. Hourigan, Jared T. Gooley, Melanie Cahill, George E. Hilley
Geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Texas
Deformation along strike-slip plate margins often accumulates within structurally partitioned and rheologically heterogeneous crustal blocks within the plate boundary. In these cases, contrasts in the physical properties and state of juxtaposed crustal blocks may play an important role in accommodation of deformation. Near the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA, the Pacific−North American plate-bounding San Andreas fault bisects the Santa Cruz Mountains (SCM), which host numerous distinct, fault-bounded lithotectonic blocks that surround the San Andreas fault zone. In the SCM, a restraining bend in the San Andreas fault (the SCM bend) caused recent uplift of the mountain range since ca. 4 Ma. To understand how rheologic heterogeneity within a complex fault zone might influence deformation, we quantified plausible bounds on deformation and uplift across two adjacent SCM lithotectonic blocks on the Pacific Plate whose stratigraphic and tectonic histories differ. This was accomplished by combining 31 new apatite (U-Th)/He ages with existing thermochronological datasets to constrain exhumation of these two blocks. Additionally, surface exposures of the latest Miocene to late Pliocene Purisima Formation interpreted in 18 structural cross sections spanning the SCM allowed construction and restoration of Pliocene deformation in a three-dimensional geologic model. We found that rock uplift and deformation concentrated within individual Pacific Plate lithotectonic blocks in the SCM. Since 4 Ma, maximum principal strain computed for the more deformed block adjacent to the fault exceeded that computed for the less deformed block by at least 375%, and cumulative uplift has been more spatially extensive and higher in magnitude. We attribute the difference in uplift and deformation between the two blocks primarily to contrasts in lithotectonic structure, which resulted from diverging geologic histories along the evolving plate boundary.
Released November 17, 2023 00:00 EST
2016, Scientific Investigations Map 3366
Allan K. Clark, James A. Golab, Robert R. Morris
During 2014–16, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Edwards Aquifer Authority, documented the geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Texas. The Edwards and Trinity aquifers are major sources of water for agriculture, industry, and urban and rural communities in south-central Texas. Both the Edwards and Trinity are classified as major aquifers by the State of Texas.
The purpose of this report is to present the geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Tex. The report includes a detailed 1:24,000-scale hydrostratigraphic map, names, and descriptions of the geology and hydrostratigraphic units (HSUs) in the study area.
The scope of the report is focused on geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the outcrops and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Tex. In addition, parts of the adjacent upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer are included.
The study area, approximately 866 square miles, is within the outcrops of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers and overlying confining units (Washita, Eagle Ford, Austin, and Taylor Groups) in northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Tex. The rocks within the study area are sedimentary and range in age from Early to Late Cretaceous. The Miocene-age Balcones fault zone is the primary structural feature within the study area. The fault zone is an extensional system of faults that generally trends southwest to northeast in south-central Texas. The faults have normal throw, are en echelon, and are mostly downthrown to the southeast.
The Early Cretaceous Edwards Group rocks were deposited in an open marine to supratidal flats environment during two marine transgressions. The Edwards Group is composed of the Kainer and Person Formations. Following tectonic uplift, subaerial exposure, and erosion near the end of Early Cretaceous time, the area of present-day south-central Texas was again submerged during the Late Cretaceous by a marine transgression resulting in deposition of the Georgetown Formation of the Washita Group.
The Early Cretaceous Edwards Group, which overlies the Trinity Group, is composed of mudstone to boundstone, dolomitic limestone, argillaceous limestone, evaporite, shale, and chert. The Kainer Formation is subdivided into (bottom to top) the basal nodular, dolomitic, Kirschberg Evaporite, and grainstone members. The Person Formation is subdivided into (bottom to top) the regional dense, leached and collapsed (undivided), and cyclic and marine (undivided) members.
Hydrostratigraphically the rocks exposed in the study area represent a section of the upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer, the Edwards aquifer, the upper zone of the Trinity aquifer, and the middle zone of the Trinity aquifer. The Pecan Gap Formation (Taylor Group), Austin Group, Eagle Ford Group, Buda Limestone, and Del Rio Clay are generally considered to be the upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer.
The Edwards aquifer was subdivided into HSUs I to VIII. The Georgetown Formation of the Washita Group contains HSU I. The Person Formation of the Edwards Group contains HSUs II (cyclic and marine members [Kpcm], undivided), III (leached and collapsed members [Kplc,] undivided), and IV (regional dense member [Kprd]), and the Kainer Formation of the Edwards Group contains HSUs V (grainstone member [Kkg]), VI (Kirschberg Evaporite Member [Kkke]), VII (dolomitic member [Kkd]), and VIII (basal nodular member [Kkbn]).
The Trinity aquifer is separated into upper, middle, and lower aquifer units (hereinafter referred to as “zones”). The upper zone of the Trinity aquifer is in the upper member of the Glen Rose Limestone. The middle zone of the Trinity aquifer is formed in the lower member of the Glen Rose Limestone, Hensell Sand, and Cow Creek Limestone. The regionally extensive Hammett Shale forms a confining unit between the middle and lower zones of the Trinity aquifer. The lower zone of the Trinity aquifer consists of the Sligo and Hosston Formations, which do not crop out in the study area.
The upper zone of the Trinity aquifer is subdivided into five informal HSUs (top to bottom): cavernous, Camp Bullis, upper evaporite, fossiliferous, and lower evaporite. The middle zone of the Trinity aquifer is composed of the (top to bottom) Bulverde, Little Blanco, Twin Sisters, Doeppenschmidt, Rust, Honey Creek, Hensell, and Cow Creek HSUs. The underlying Hammett HSU is a regional confining unit between the middle and lower zones of the Trinity aquifer. The lower zone of the Trinity aquifer is not exposed in the study area.
Groundwater recharge and flow paths in the study area are influenced not only by the hydrostratigraphic characteristics of the individual HSUs but also by faults and fractures and geologic structure. Faulting associated with the Balcones fault zone (1) might affect groundwater flow paths by forming a barrier to flow that results in water moving parallel to the fault plane, (2) might affect groundwater flow paths by increasing flow across the fault because of fracturing and juxtaposing porous and permeable units, or (3) might have no effect on the groundwater flow paths.
The hydrologic connection between the Edwards and Trinity aquifers and the various HSUs is complex. The complexity of the aquifer system is a combination of the original depositional history, bioturbation, primary and secondary porosity, diagenesis, and fracturing of the area from faulting. All of these factors have resulted in development of modified porosity, permeability, and transmissivity within and between the aquifers. Faulting produced highly fractured areas that have allowed for rapid infiltration of water and subsequently formed solutionally enhanced fractures, bedding planes, channels, and caves that are highly permeable and transmissive. The juxtaposition resulting from faulting has resulted in areas of interconnectedness between the Edwards and Trinity aquifers and the various HSUs that form the aquifers.
System characterization report on the Pléiades Neo Imager
Released November 16, 2023 15:55 EST
2023, Open-File Report 2021-1030-P
Simon J. Cantrell, Aparajithan Sampath, James C. Vrabel, Paul Bresnahan, Cody Anderson, Minsu Kim, Seonkyung Park
This report addresses system characterization of the Pléiades Neo satellite and is part of a series of system characterization reports produced and delivered by the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science Cal/Val Center of Excellence. These reports present and detail the methodology and procedures for characterization; present technical and operational information about the specific sensing system being evaluated; and provide a summary of test measurements, data retention practices, data analysis results, and conclusions.
Pléiades Neo is a constellation of four identical very-high-resolution optical satellites operated by Airbus Defence and Space. The first two satellites, Pléiades Neo-3 and -4, were launched in April and August 2021, respectively. The next two satellites, launched in December 2022, did not reach orbit because of Vega-C launch vehicle failure. Pléiades Neo provides several technical improvements to previous Pléiades-HR satellites, including the addition of coastal aerosol (deep blue) and red edge spectral bands, with improved ground sample distance and swath. The Pléiades Neo satellites were designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space with the high-resolution, multispectral imager for Earth imaging and use the S950 optical satellite bus. The high-resolution sensor on Pléiades Neo collects Earth data in the visible and near-infrared region with six bands and a panchromatic band. The satellites can operate off nadir to achieve a revisit of less than 1 day. More information on Pléiades Neo satellites and sensors is available in the “Land Remote Sensing Satellites Online Compendium” (https://calval.cr.usgs.gov/apps/compendium#) and from the manufacturer (https://www.intelligence-airbusds.com/imagery/constellation/pleiades-Neo/).
The Earth Resources Observation and Science Cal/Val Center of Excellence system characterization team completed data analyses to characterize the geometric (interior and exterior), radiometric, and spatial performances. Results of these analyses indicate that Pléiades Neo has an interior geometric performance in the range of 0.01 meter (m; 0.008 pixel) to −0.017 m (−0.014 pixel) in band-to-band registration; an exterior geometric performance in the range of −7.015 m (−0.702 pixel) to 3.846 m (0.385 pixel) offset in comparison to Sentinel-2 using ground control points of 2.9 to 7.2 m (95-percent circular error); a radiometric performance in the range of −0.070 (minimum) to −0.053 (maximum) in offset and 1.107 (minimum) to 1.202 (maximum) in slope; and a spatial performance in the range of 1.002 to 1.226 pixels at full width at half maximum with a modulation transfer function at a Nyquist frequency in the range of 0.22 to 0.34 (bands 2–7).
Survival implications of diversion entrainment for outmigrating juvenile Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss)
Released November 16, 2023 10:27 EST
2023, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Tobias Kock, Scott D. Evans, Russell Perry, Patrick A. Monk, Michael S. Porter, Amy Hansen, Adam Pope
Efforts to ameliorate negative effects of diversion dams on aquatic species of concern are important in rivers where water withdrawal supports agricultural economies and are likely to become increasingly important with impending climate change. A multiyear study was conducted to evaluate the survival consequences of diversion dam passage for juvenile Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss) in the highly managed Yakima River, Washington. Canal entrainment and passage were evaluated at four diversion dams encountered by seaward migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead. Fish pass dams via spillbays or enter canals with downstream fish-screening facilities designed to collect entrained fish and return them to the mainstem river. Percent entrainment into canals was substantial (6–59%) at three of the four diversion dams studied, and entrainment probability was positively associated with the proportion of streamflow diverted into canals. Survival probability estimates for groups of tagged fish that were entrained into canals were lower than survival probability estimates for tagged fish that passed through spillbays on the dams. Absolute differences in survival probabilities between routes ranged from 0.099 to 0.369, demonstrating that canal entrainment reduced survival of outmigrating juvenile Chinook Salmon and steelhead. We also found that entrainment resulted in migration delays, which could further affect survival because fish are increasingly exposed to predation and decreased water quality as water temperature increases throughout the migration season. These results highlight the need to limit entrainment of juvenile salmon and steelhead at diversion dams in rivers where salmon recovery is important.
Investigating permafrost carbon dynamics in Alaska with artificial intelligence
Released November 16, 2023 07:09 EST
2023, Environmental Research Letters (18)
Bradley Gay, Neal Pastick, Andreas Zufle, Amanda Armstrong, Kimberly Miner, J.J. Qu
Springing forward: Migrating songbirds catch up with the start of spring in North America
Positive feedbacks between permafrost degradation and the release of soil carbon into the atmosphere impact land–atmosphere interactions, disrupt the global carbon cycle, and accelerate climate change. The widespread distribution of thawing permafrost is causing a cascade of geophysical and biochemical disturbances with global impacts. Currently, few earth system models account for permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) mechanisms. This research study integrates artificial intelligence (AI) tools and information derived from field-scale surveys across the tundra and boreal landscapes in Alaska. We identify and interpret the permafrost carbon cycling links and feedback sensitivities with GeoCryoAI, a hybridized multimodal deep learning (DL) architecture of stacked convolutionally layered, memory-encoded recurrent neural networks (NN). This framework integrates in-situ measurements and flux tower observations for teacher forcing and model training. Preliminary experiments to quantify, validate, and forecast permafrost degradation and carbon efflux across Alaska demonstrate the fidelity of this data-driven architecture. More specifically, GeoCryoAI logs the ecological memory and effectively learns covariate dynamics while demonstrating an aptitude to simulate and forecast PCF dynamics—active layer thickness (ALT), carbon dioxide flux (CO2), and methane flux (CH4)—with high precision and minimal loss (i.e. ALTRMSE: 1.327 cm [1969–2022]; CO2RMSE: 0.697 µmolCO2m−2s−1 [2003–2021]; CH4RMSE: 0.715 nmolCH4m−2s−1 [2011–2022]). ALT variability is a sensitive harbinger of change, a unique signal characterizing the PCF, and our model is the first characterization of these dynamics across space and time.
Released November 16, 2023 06:48 EST
2023, Journal of Animal Ecology
Claire E. Nemes, Peter P. Marra, Theodore J. Zenzal Jr., Samantha A. Collins, Bryant C. Dossman, Alexander R. Gerson, Camila Gómez, Ana M. González, Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez, Sarah A. Hamer, Joseph Marty, Phillip L. Vasseur, Emily B. Cohen
Editorial: Rapid, reproducible, and robust environmental modeling for decision support: worked examples and open-source software tools
- In temperate regions, the annual pattern of spring onset can be envisioned as a ‘green wave’ of emerging vegetation that moves across continents from low to high latitudes, signifying increasing food availability for consumers.
- Many herbivorous migrants ‘surf’ such resource waves, timing their movements to exploit peak vegetation resources in early spring. Although less well studied at the individual level, secondary consumers such as insectivorous songbirds can track vegetation phenology during migration as well.
- We hypothesized that four species of ground-foraging songbirds in eastern North America—two warblers and two thrushes—time their spring migrations to coincide with later phases of vegetation phenology, corresponding to increased arthropod prey, and predicted they would match their migration rate to the green wave but trail behind it rather than surfing its leading edge.
- We further hypothesized that the rate at which spring onset progresses across the continent influences bird migration rates, such that individuals adjust migration timing within North America to phenological conditions they experience en route.
- To test our hypotheses, we used a continent-wide automated radio telemetry network to track individual songbirds on spring migration between the U.S. Gulf Coast region and northern locations closer to their breeding grounds.
- We measured vegetation phenology using two metrics of spring onset, the spring index first leaf date and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), then calculated the rate and timing of spring onset relative to bird detections.
- All individuals arrived in the southeastern United States well after local spring onset. Counter to our expectations, we found that songbirds exhibited a ‘catching up’ pattern: Individuals migrated faster than the green wave of spring onset, effectively closing in on the start of spring as they approached breeding areas.
- While surfing of resource waves is a well-documented migration strategy for herbivorous waterfowl and ungulates, individual songbirds in our study migrated faster than the green wave and increasingly caught up to its leading edge en route.
- Consequently, songbirds experience a range of vegetation phenophases while migrating through North America, suggesting flexibility in their capacity to exploit variable resources in spring.
Released November 16, 2023 06:32 EST
2023, Frontiers in Earth Science (11)
Jeremy White, Michael N. Fienen, Catherine R. Moore, Anneli Guthke
No abstract available.
Environmental surveillance and detection of infectious highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in Iowa wetlands
Released November 15, 2023 10:52 EST
2023, Environmental Science & Technology Letters
Laura E. Hubbard, Carrie E Givens, Erin Stelzer, Mary L. Killian, Dana W. Kolpin, Christine M. Szablewski, Rebecca L. Poulson
Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) infect both wild birds and domestic poultry, resulting in economically costly outbreaks that have the potential to impact public health. Currently, a knowledge gap exists regarding the detection of infectious AIVs in the aquatic environment. In response to the 2021–2022 Eurasian strain highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A/goose/Guangdong/1/1996 clade 126.96.36.199 lineage H5 outbreak, an AIV environmental outbreak response study was conducted using a One Health approach. An optimized method was used to temporally sample (April and May 2022) and analyze (culture and molecular methods) surface water from five water bodies (four wetlands and one lake used as a comparison location) in areas near confirmed HPAI detections in wild bird or poultry operations. Avian influenza viruses were isolated from water samples collected in April from all four wetlands (not from the comparison lake sample); HPAI H5N1 was isolated from one wetland. No virus was isolated from the May samples. Several factors, including increased water temperatures, precipitation, biotic and abiotic factors, and absence of AIV-contaminated fecal material due to fewer waterfowl present, may have contributed to the lack of virus isolation from May samples. Results demonstrate surface water as a plausible medium for transmission of AIVs, including the HPAI virus.
Two new species of small-eared shrews of the Genus Cryptotis Pomel, 1848, from the Colombian Andes (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)
Released November 15, 2023 06:57 EST
2023, Annals of the Carnegie Museum (88) 203-234
Assessment of post-wildfire geomorphic change in the North Fork Eagle Creek stream channel, New Mexico, 2017–21
Shrews (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae) reach the southern limit of their New World distribution in the Andes and eastern coastal highlands of northern South America. South of Honduras, the family is represented only by species of the genus Cryptotis Pomel, 1848. In South America, soricids are restricted to moist, high-elevation environments above 1000 m, and their distribution appears to be discontinuous. Study of specimens from a previous gap in the known geographical range of shrews in the Central Cordillera of southwestern Colombia reveals the presence of two unique populations that are distinguishable from each other and their congeners by a combination of morphological and morphometrical characters. They are described herein as, Cryptotis huttereri, n. sp. and Cryptotis andinus, n. sp. Both species are members of the Cryptotis thomasi group, one of five species groups of small-eared shrews defined partly on the basis of postcranial morphology and potential locomotor behavior. Although species in the C. thomasi group share similar postcranial architecture, as exemplified by the morphology of the forelimb, the group appears to be polyphyletic, implying convergence in locomotor behavior, possibly one uniquely adapted for Andean-type montane habitats. Recognition of C. huttereri and C. andinus brings the total number of known South American soricids to 19 species, with 11 species occurring in Colombia. Of those, seven species are endemic to that country.
Released November 14, 2023 13:43 EST
2023, Scientific Investigations Report 2023-5116
Justin R. Nichols, Shaleene B. Chavarria, Alexander P. Graziano
The 2012 Little Bear Fire caused substantial vegetation loss in the Eagle Creek Basin of south-central New Mexico. This loss was expected to alter the localized hydrologic response to precipitation by creating conditions that amplify surface runoff, which might alter the geomorphology of North Fork Eagle Creek, a major tributary to Eagle Creek. To monitor short-term geomorphic change, annual geomorphic surveys of North Fork Eagle Creek were conducted from 2017 to 2021. The surveys measured 14 cross sections, stream gradients, woody debris accumulations, and pools found within the study reach. During the 2017–21 study period, the study reach experienced multiple high-flow events that resulted from both monsoonal rainfall and snowmelt runoff. Comparisons of the cross-section and channel profile data for the repeat geomorphic surveys indicate localized erosion and deposition occurred as a result of the high-flow events but overall study reach geomorphology shower little change through the study period. Additionally, the number of woody debris accumulations and pools increased during the study period. Evidence from the 5-year geomorphic survey indicates that the North Fork Eagle Creek’s geomorphology did not change substantially during the study period. Wildfire severity and frequency within mountainous regions of the Southwest are projected to increase and their effect on fluvial systems remains uncertain; however, continued geomorphic studies can provide informative insight on watershed post-wildfire resiliency and recovery by establishing baselines that can be used in the event of a future severe wildfire within the Eagle Creek Basin.
Biological responses of Pacific herring embryos to crude oil are quantifiable at exposure levels below conventional limits of quantitation for PAHs in water and tissues
Released November 14, 2023 10:07 EST
2023, Environmental Science and Technology
John P. Incardona, Tiffany L. Linbo, James R. Cameron, Barbara L. French, Jennie L. Bolton, Jacob L. Gregg, Carey E. Donald, Paul Hershberger, Nathaniel L. Scholz
Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii), a cornerstone of marine food webs, generally spawn on marine macroalgae in shallow nearshore areas that are disproportionately at risk from oil spills. Herring embryos are also highly susceptible to toxicity from chemicals leaching from oil stranded in intertidal and subtidal zones. The water-soluble components of crude oil trigger an adverse outcome pathway that involves disruption of the physiological functions of cardiomyocytes in the embryonic herring heart. In previous studies, impaired ionoregulation (calcium and potassium cycling) in response to specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) corresponds to lethal embryolarval heart failure or subtle chamber malformations at the high and low ends of the PAH exposure range, respectively. Sublethal cardiotoxicity, which involves an abnormal outgrowth (ballooning) of the cardiac ventricular chamber soon after hatching, subsequently compromises juvenile heart structure and function, leading to pathological hypertrophy of the ventricle and reduced individual fitness, measured as cardiorespiratory performance. Previous studies have not established a threshold for these sublethal and delayed-in-time effects, even with total (∑)PAH exposures as low as 29 ng/g of wet weight (tissue dose). Here, we extend these earlier findings showing that (1) cyp1a gene expression provides an oil exposure metric that is more sensitive than typical quantitation of PAHs via GC–MS and (2) heart morphometrics in herring embryos provide a similarly sensitive measure of toxic response. Early life stage injury to herring (impaired heart development) thus occurs below the quantitation limits for PAHs in both water and embryonic tissues as a conventional basis for assessing oil-induced losses to coastal marine ecosystems.
Assessing the ecological risk of heavy metal sediment contamination from Port Everglades Florida USA
Released November 14, 2023 06:57 EST
2023, PeerJ (11)
Dimitrios G. Giarikos, Laura White, Andre Daniels, Radleigh G. Santos, Paul E. Baldauf, Amy C. Hirons
Data mining reveals tissue-specific expression and host lineage-associated forms of Apis mellifera filamentous virus
Port sediments are often contaminated with metals and organic compounds from anthropogenic sources. Remobilization of sediment during a planned expansion of Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale, Florida (USA) has the potential to harm adjacent benthic communities, including coral reefs. Twelve sediment cores were collected from four Port Everglades sites and a control site; surface sediment was collected at two nearby coral reef sites. Sediment cores, sampled every 5 cm, were analyzed for 14 heavy metals using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Results for all three locations yielded concentration ranges (µg/g): As (0.607–223), Cd (n/d–0.916), Cr (0.155–56.8), Co (0.0238–7.40), Cu (0.004–215), Pb (0.0169–73.8), Mn (1.61–204), Hg (n/d–0.736), Mn (1.61–204), Ni (0.232–29.3), Se (n/d–4.79), Sn (n/d–140), V (0.160–176), and Zn (0.112–603), where n/d = non-detected. The geo-accumulation index shows moderate-to-strong contamination of As and Mo in port sediments, and potential ecological risk indicates moderate-to-significantly high overall metal contamination. All four port sites have sediment core subsamples with As concentrations above both threshold effect level (TEL, 7.24 µg/g) and probable effect level (PEL, 41.6 µg/g), while Mo geometric mean concentrations exceed the background continental crust level (1.5 µg/g) threshold. Control site sediments exceed TEL for As, while the reef sites has low to no overall heavy metal contamination. Results of this study indicate there is a moderate to high overall ecological risk from remobilized sediment due to metal contamination. Due to an imminent dredging at Port Everglades, this could have the potential to harm the threatened adjacent coral communities and surrounding protected habitats.
Released November 14, 2023 06:53 EST
Robert S. Cornman
Apis mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) is a large double-stranded DNA virus of uncertain phylogenetic position that infects honey bees (Apis mellifera). Little is known about AmFV evolution or molecular aspects of infection. Accurate annotation of open-reading frames (ORFs) is challenged by weak homology to other known viruses. This study was undertaken to evaluate ORFs (including coding-frame conservation, codon bias, and purifying selection), quantify genetic variation within AmFV, identify host characteristics that covary with infection rate, and examine viral expression patterns in different tissues.
Living on the edge: Predicting songbird response to management and environmental changes across an ecotone
Released November 14, 2023 06:42 EST
2023, Ecology and Evolution (13)
Nicholas J. Van Lanen, Adrian P. Monroe, Cameron L. Aldridge
Determination and prediction of micro scale rare earth element geochemical associations in mine drainage treatment wastes
Effective wildlife management requires robust information regarding population status, habitat requirements, and likely responses to changing resource conditions. Single-species management may inadequately conserve communities and result in undesired effects to non-target species. Thus, management can benefit from understanding habitat relationships for multiple species. Pinyon pine and juniper (Pinus spp. and Juniperus spp.) are expanding into sagebrush-dominated (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems within North America and mechanical removal of these trees is frequently conducted to restore sagebrush ecosystems and recover Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). However, pinyon-juniper removal effects on non-target species are poorly understood, and changing pinyon-juniper woodland dynamics, climate, and anthropogenic development may obscure conservation priorities. To better predict responses to changing resource conditions, evaluate non-target effects of pinyon-juniper removal, prioritize species for conservation, and inform species recovery within pinyon-juniper and sagebrush ecosystems, we modeled population trends and density-habitat relationships for four sagebrush-associated, four pinyon-juniper-associated, and three generalist songbird species with respect to these ecosystems. We fit hierarchical population models to point count data collected throughout the western United States from 2008 to 2020. We found regional population changes for 10 of 11 species investigated; 6 of which increased in the highest elevation region of our study. Our models indicate pinyon-juniper removal will benefit Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri), Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus), and Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus) densities. Conversely, we predict largest negative effects of pinyon-juniper removal for species occupying early successional pinyon-juniper woodlands: Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii), Black-throated Gray Warblers (Setophaga nigrescens), Gray Flycatcher (Empidonax wrightii), and Juniper Titmouse (Baeolophus ridgwayi). Our results highlight the importance of considering effects to non-target species before implementing large-scale habitat manipulations. Our modeling framework can help prioritize species and regions for conservation action, infer effects of management interventions and a changing environment on wildlife, and help land managers balance habitat requirements across ecosystems.
Released November 14, 2023 06:31 EST
2024, Chemosphere (346)
Benjamin C. Hedin, Mengling Y. Stuckman, Charles A. Cravotta III, Christina L. Lopano, Rosemary C. Capo
Acid mine drainage (AMD) has been proposed as a novel source of rare earth elements (REE), a group of elements that includes critical metals for clean energy and modern technologies. REE are sequestered in the Fe–Al–Mn-rich precipitates produced during the treatment of AMD. These AMD solids are typically managed as waste but could be a REE source. Here, results from AMD solids characterization and geochemical modeling are presented to determine the minerals/solid phases that are enriched in REE and identify the mechanism(s) of REE attenuation.
AMD solids collected from limestone-based AMD treatment systems were subjected to sequential extraction and synchrotron microprobe analyses to characterize the binding nature of the REE. The results of these analyses indicated REEs were mainly associated with Al or Mn phases. Only selected REE (Gd, Dy) were associated with Fe phases, which were less abundant than Al and Mn phases in analyzed samples. The sequential extractions demonstrated that acidic and/or reducing extractions effectively mobilize REE from the AMD solids evaluated. The observed element associations in solids are consistent with geochemical model results that indicate dissolved REE can be effectively attenuated by adsorption on freshly precipitated Fe, Al, and Mn oxides/hydroxides. The model, which simulates dissolution of CaCO3 and the precipitation of Fe, Al, and Mn oxides with increased pH, accurately predicts the pH dependent accumulation of dissolved REE with Al, Mn, and Fe oxides/hydroxides in the studied AMD treatment systems.
The methods and results presented here can be used to identify conditions favorable for accumulation of REE-enriched AMD solids and possible passive or active treatment(s) to extract REE from AMD. This information can be used to design AMD treatment systems for the recovery of REE and is an opportunity to transform the challenges of addressing polluted mine drainage into an environmental and economic asset.
Developing fluvial fish species distribution models across the conterminous United States—A framework for management and conservation
Released November 13, 2023 11:15 EST
2023, Scientific Investigations Report 2023-5088
Hao Yu, Arthur R. Cooper, Jared Ross, Alexa McKerrow, Daniel J. Wieferich, Dana M. Infante
This report explains the steps and specific methods used to predict fluvial fish occurrences in their native ranges for the conterminous United States. In this study, boosted regression tree models predict distributions of 271 ecologically important fluvial fish species using relations between fish presence/absence and 22 natural and anthropogenic landscape variables. Models developed for the freshwater portions of the ranges for species represented 28 families. Cyprinidae was the family with the most species (87 of 271) modeled for this study, followed by Percidae (34) and Ictaluridae (17). Model predictive performance was evaluated using four metrics: area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, sensitivity, specificity, and True Skill Statistic, which are all from tenfold cross-validation results. The relative importance of the predictor variables in the boosted regression tree models was calculated and ranked for each species. The three strongest natural predictors of fish distributions were network catchment area, the mean annual air temperature of the local catchment, and the maximum elevation of the local catchment, while the three strongest anthropogenic predictors were downstream main stem dam density, distance to downstream main stem dam, and the percentage of pasture/hay land use area within network catchment boundaries. Study results showed 61 fish species were sensitive to climate variables, and 40 fish species were sensitive to anthropogenic stressors. The models developed in this study can be used to derive critical information regarding habitat protection priorities, anthropogenic threats, and potential effects of climate change on habitat suitability, aiding in efforts to conserve fluvial fishes now and into the future.
Linking meso-scale spatial variation in methylmercury production to bioaccumulation in tidal marsh food webs
Released November 13, 2023 06:40 EST
2023, Environmental Science and Technology
Laurie Anne Hall, Isa Woo, Mark C. Marvin-DiPasquale, John Y. Takekawa, David P. Krabbenhoft, Donald Yee, Letitia Grenier, Susan E. W. De La Cruz
A comparison of stable isotopes and polychlorinated biphenyls 1 among genetic strains of Lake Ontario lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush)
Differences in sediment biogeochemistry among tidal marsh features with different hydrological and geomorphological characteristics, including marsh interiors, marsh edges, first-order channels, and third-order channels, can result in spatial variation in MeHg production and availability. To better understand the link between MeHg production in sediments and bioaccumulation in primary and secondary consumer invertebrates and fish, we characterized mesoscale spatial variation in sediment biogeochemistry and MeHg concentrations of sediments, water, and consumer tissues among marsh features. Our results indicated that marsh interiors had biogeochemical conditions, including greater concentrations of organic matter and sulfate reduction rates, that resulted in greater MeHg concentrations in sediments and surface water particulates from marsh interiors compared to other features. Tissue MeHg concentrations of consumers also differed among features, with greater concentrations from marsh edges and interiors compared to channels. This spatial mismatch of MeHg concentrations in sediments and water compared to those in consumers may have resulted from differences in behavior and physiology among consumers that influenced the spatial scale over which MeHg was integrated into tissues. Our results highlight the importance of sampling across a suite of marsh features and considering the behavioral and physiological traits of sentinel taxa for contaminant monitoring studies.
Released November 11, 2023 08:58 EST
2023, Journal of Great Lakes Research
Nicole E. Saavedra, N. Roxanna Razavi, Donald J. Stewart, Brian F. Lantry, Gordon Paterson
This study quantified stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations and growth rates among multiple genetic strains of Lake Ontario lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) to evaluate the potential role of genetics in these parameters. Fish ranging in age from 1 to 31 years (n = 72) and representing nine genetic strains including wild-recruits to hatchery fish derived from Lakes Ontario, Superior and Champlain watersheds, and individuals of unknown hatchery origin. Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope values averaged −22.2 ‰ and 17.4 ‰, respectively, but did not differ significantly among genetic strains. ΣPCB concentrations ranged from 42 to 1820 ng/g and varied significantly among individuals including those of similar age and genetic strain. For example, Sum PCB (ΣPCB) concentrations among 7-year-old fish (n = 16) ranged from 159 to 607 ng/g, which compares to growth rates of 3.5 – 32.9 %/yr for these same fish. Multivariate analysis of stable isotope and PCB profiles, however, provided considerable resolution among the strains. For example, fish of unknown hatchery origin ordinated most similar to Seneca Lake fish, the predominant strain stocked in Lake Ontario. Wild fish had a unique ordination with only Lake Superior Klondike strain fish overlapping into their ordination space. Lakes Champlain and Superior strain individuals had similar ordinations but did not overlap substantially with wild or Klondike strain fish. Combined, these differences agree with the ecologies described for these strains in their native ecosystems suggesting that insight can be gained from strain specific evaluations of ecological tracers and these pollutants among Great Lakes lake trout.
Global dataset of soil organic carbon in tidal marshes
Released November 11, 2023 07:25 EST
2023, Scientific Data (10)
Tania L. Maxwell, André S. Rovai, Maria Fernanda Adame, Janine B. Adams, José Álvarez-Rogel, William E.N. Austin, Kim Beasy, Francesco Boscutti, Michael E. Böttcher, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Richard H. Bulmer, Annette Burden, Shannon A. Burke, Saritta Camacho, Doongar R. Chaudhary, Gail L. Chmura, Margareth Copertino, Grace M. Cott, Christopher Craft, John W. Day, Carmen B. de los Santos, Lionel Denis, Weixin Ding, Joanna C. Ellison, Carolyn J. Ewers Lewis, Luise Giani, Maria Gispert, Swanne Gontharet, José A. González-Pérez, M. Nazaret González-Alcaraz, Connor Gorham, Anna Elizabeth L. Graversen, Anthony Grey, Roberta Guerra, Qiang He, James R. Holmquist, Alice R. Jones, José A. Juanes, Brian P. Kelleher, Karen E. Kohfeld, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Anna Lafratta, Paul S. Lavery, Edward A. Laws, Carmen Leiva-Dueñas, Pei Sun Loh, Catherine E. Lovelock, Carolyn J. Lundquist, Peter I. Macreadie, Inés Mazarrasa, J. Patrick Megonigal, Joao M. Neto, Juliana Nogueira, Michael Osland, Jordi F. Pagès, Nipuni Perera, Eva-Maria Pfeiffer, Thomas Pollmann, Jacqueline L. Raw, María Recio, Ana Carolina Ruiz-Fernández, Sophie K. Russell, John M. Rybczyk, Marek Sammul, Christian Sanders, Rui Santos, Oscar Serrano, Matthias B. Siewert, Craig Smeaton, Zhaoliang Song, Carmen Trasar-Cepeda, Robert R. Twilley, Marijn Van de Broek, Stefano Vitti, Livia Vittori Antisari, Baptiste Voltz, Christy N. Wails, Raymond D. Ward, Melissa Warden, Jaxine Wolfe, Renmin Yang, Sebastian Zubrzycki, Emily Landis, Lindsey Smart, Mark Spalding, Thomas A. Worthington
Effect of florfenicol administered through feed on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) gut and its microbiome
Tidal marshes store large amounts of organic carbon in their soils. Field data quantifying soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks provide an important resource for researchers, natural resource managers, and policy-makers working towards the protection, restoration, and valuation of these ecosystems. We collated a global dataset of tidal marsh soil organic carbon (MarSOC) from 99 studies that includes location, soil depth, site name, dry bulk density, SOC, and/or soil organic matter (SOM). The MarSOC dataset includes 17,454 data points from 2,329 unique locations, and 29 countries. We generated a general transfer function for the conversion of SOM to SOC. Using this data we estimated a median (± median absolute deviation) value of 79.2 ± 38.1 Mg SOC ha−1 in the top 30 cm and 231 ± 134 Mg SOC ha−1 in the top 1 m of tidal marsh soils globally. This data can serve as a basis for future work, and may contribute to incorporation of tidal marsh ecosystems into climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and policies.
Released November 10, 2023 07:24 EST
2024, Aquaculture (580)
Giovanna Monticelli, Joseph Bisesi Jr., Jason Tyler Magnuson, Daniel Schlenk, Carlos Zarza, David Peggs, Daniela Pampanin
Although concerns about the impacts of antibiotics in aquatic organisms are reported worldwide, the potential adverse effects on fish gut microbial communities and fish health are still not well known. In this study, we investigated the effects of florfenicol (FFC) on the gut microbiome and gastrointestinal (GIT) gene expression in juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Three doses of FFC were used to coat experimental feed at 10, 20 and 30 mg/kg/ fish body weight (bw). The feed was administered for 18 days, followed by a 10-day recovery period. The metatranscriptome analysis revealed that 10 and 30 mg/kg bw of FFC led to the downregulation of genes involved in the transcription of NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase chain-1, suggesting that the antibiotic targets bacterial respiratory metabolism. The 30 mg/kg bw FFC treatment upregulated genes that encode glycolytic enzymes, such as phosphoglycerate kinase, indicating a disruption of energy metabolism in the microbiome. Analysis of the fish host transcriptome showed that the FFC treatment affected cellular processes in the GIT system of fish, including pathways related to apoptosis and DNA metabolism. The 30 mg/kg bw FFC treatment specifically activated pathways related to cellular regulation, including LXR/RXR activation, FXR/RXR activation, and protein ubiquitination. At the end of the recovery phase, the 30 mg/kg bw FFC treated group altered pathways related to EIF2 signaling and lysine degradation.
A review of grass carp and related species literature on diet, behavior, toxicology, and physiology focused on informing development of controls for invasive grass carp populations in North America
Released November 10, 2023 07:21 EST
2023, Fishes (8)
Mark L. Wildhaber, Benjamin M West, Karlie K Ditter, Adrian Parr Moore, Alex S. Peterson
Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) are globally important in aquaculture and aquatic vegetation control. However, escaped grass carp have established invasive populations. A targeted keyword search was performed on a carp (order: Cypriniformes) literature database maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey to identify literature relevant to grass carp. Additional sources cited in reviewed documents and provided by numerous reviewers were also included. There were three focus areas designed to provide support for invasive grass carp management: (1) diet and behavior; (2) physiological constraints, toxicity, and biology; and (3) gut physiology. Each focus area provides information to guide development of potential pathways for invasive grass carp control. Information from other carp species was used to fill in gaps where grass carp information was lacking and provide additional, potential research directions. Diet-related information included food selection and aquacultural diet formulations. Behavioral information included stimuli and non-physical barriers to attract, repel, or stop movement. Physiological constraints, toxicology, reproductive control, and biological control provide a research review for control options. Gut physiology and related control pathways provide knowledge to improve toxin or pathogen delivery. This review provides a basis for developing approaches and research for controlling invasive grass carp populations, aquaculture, and native population management.
Molecular detection and characterization of highly pathogenic H5N1 clade 188.8.131.52b avian influenza viruses among hunter-harvested wild birds provides evidence for three independent introductions into Alaska
Released November 10, 2023 07:00 EST
2024, Virology (589)
Andrew M. Ramey, Laura Celeste Scott, Christina Ahlstrom, Evan James Buck, Alison Williams, Mia Kim Torchetti, David E. Stallknecht, Rebecca L. Poulson