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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, March 4, 2010  

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Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Scientists Quantify Degree to Which Performance of Plant Restoration Materials Depend on Genetic Distance between Donor and Local Populations: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jim Grace and former NWRC scientist Steve Travis (now with the University of New England) published a paper the week of March 1, 2010, in the journal Ecological Applications entitled, “Predicting performance for ecological restoration: A case study using Spartina alterniflora.” In this experimental study, the authors found that the performance of Spartina transplants used in restorations in southwest Louisiana marshes were directly dependent on the genetic distance (degree of dissimilarity) between the donor populations and those in the local area receiving the transplants. Just as important, it was found that genetic distance, and therefore transplant performance, could be predicted from geographic distance and latitudinal distance, which means genetic studies are not always needed to screen plants for suitability. The authors used this information to propose maximum geographic distances for donor materials for the use of this species, which is widely used in coastal restorations in the region. (Jim Grace; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

  • NWRC Scientist and Collaborators Work to Close Gap Between Theory and Application: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jim Grace has a paper in the forthcoming issue of Ecological Monographs that illustrates new methods for understanding complex systems. In this work, coauthored by Michael Anderson of Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Han Olff of the University of Gronigen in The Netherlands and Samuel Scheiner of the National Science Foundation, the authors illustrate the use of “meta-models” as a formal device for linking general theory with specific applications. The goal of this work is to enhance our ability to understand complex behavior in ecosystems. (Jim Grace; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

  • USGS Publication Receives Honor of Being Listed in “Science Direct Top 25 Hottest Articles, Second Quarter, 2009”: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jim Grace was notified by Science Direct that the paper, “Factors controlling plant species density in herbaceous plant communities,” published in 1999 in “Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics” remains one of the most commonly downloaded articles for the journal. This article has received 202 citations in Scopus and 252 citations in Google Scholar to date. This paper reviews a complex literature on plant diversity and shows that a multivariate model integrating several dominant mechanisms can explain the majority of observed patterns of plant diversity in natural systems. (Jim Grace; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

  • NWRC Scientists Host University of Texas Geography Students Studying Deltaic Processes: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Geographer Richard Day and contractors Camille Stagg and Gabrielle Bodin gave presentations at NWRC on Louisiana land loss, coastal restoration efforts and deltaic processes within the Mississippi River Delta and the Atchafalaya Basin to geography students in a graduate class taught by Paul Hudson, a fluvial geomorphologist from the University of Texas at Austin on March 2, 2010. The following day, a field trip was led by Richard Day and contractor Andy From to see active lacustrine deltas forming within the Atchafalaya Basin. The geography students are studying watershed systems and environmental management in a course focusing this semester on the Lower Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. (Richard Day; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8557)

  • NWRC Scientists To Participate in USGS Climate Change Conference: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientists Tom Doyle, Ken Krauss and Jim Grace will represent NWRC and give presentations on the center’s climate change research at the 2010 USGS Climate Change Conference in Denver, Colo., March 9 – 11, 2010. The conference theme is “USGS climate change science: understanding the past, informing decisions for the future.” (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8647)

  • NWRC To Participate in LLA Annual Conference: USGS National Wetlands Research Center librarians Linda Broussard and Cassie Thibodaux will represent the center at the 2010 Louisiana Library Association Annual Conference being held in Baton Rouge, La., March 10 – 12, 2010. Also, center contractor Gabrielle Bodin will present “Louisiana wetlands: the heart of our culture” at the conference on March 12. The theme for this year’s conference is “Louisiana libraries: the heart of our communities.” (Linda Broussard; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8692)

  • NWRC Scientist To Moderate Panel for Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology Conference: USGS National Wetlands Research Center ecologist Beth Middleton will moderate a panel addressing natural resources science, technology and promotion of sustainability efforts for the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology Fifth Annual Conference on Sustainability March 11 – 14, 2010, in San Francisco, Calif. (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8618)

Press Inquiries/Media - Online

  • Love and Work: Former NAGC President bids fond farewell to government service (NAGC Communicator; February 2010) “The following is an excerpt from Gaye Farris’ retirement speech, January 5, 2010 at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.” (Scott Wilson and Tom Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

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