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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, November 15, 2012  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Faculty of 1000 Recommendation for USGS Publication: The Faculty of 1000, a publication that identifies and evaluates important articles in biology and medical research, has rated a USGS National Wetlands Research Center publication as Recommended Reading for the field of ecology. The paper on next-generation data analysis methodology was recently published in the journal Ecosphere by a consortium of USGS, National Park Service, and university scientists. The Faculty of 1000 review provides a strong recommendation for the methodology. (Jim Grace; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

  • New Report Addresses Wetland Management Issues in NWR System: A new USGS Scientific Investigations Report (SIR) authored by USGS National Wetland Research Center scientists Rebecca Howard and Larry Allain addresses wetland management issues within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge system. The report, entitled “Effects of a drawdown on plant communities in a freshwater impoundment at Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana” (SIR 2012-5221), analyzes and synthesizes data on vegetation and soil characteristics collected in the 1990s following water level manipulation and application of prescribed fire. Conclusions from this study help inform resource managers on the consequences of manipulating disturbance regimes in freshwater impoundments that support wetland habitats. (Rebecca Howard; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8639)

  • New Hydrodynamic and Water Quality Model for Everglades Water Management: A compartment-based hydrodynamic and water quality model was developed by scientists from the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the Water Institute of the Gulf, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gulf Ecology Division for the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, a northern Everglades wetland area. This compartment-based model allows resource managers, in a few minutes using a desktop computer, to simulate stage and constituents (chloride, sulfate, and total phosphorus) in the rim canal and marsh areas in the refuge, for multiple years. The model represents a substantial improvement over previous efforts on the development of a computationally efficient screening tool that couples physical and ecological processes to detect the spatial gradients (from canal to interior marsh) of water quality constituents across the refuge. The model should greatly improve the capability to forecast water quality across the refuge under different water management scenarios for optimal management. An article, “Compartment-based hydrodynamics and water quality modeling of a Northern Everglades Wetland, USA,” discussing the model and the impact of rim canal water intrusion on marsh water quality was published in the December 2012 issue of Ecological Modelling. The research was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Hongqing Wang; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-578-7482)

  • Occurrence of Wading Bird Parasites Examined: A new paper, “Prevalence of a potentially lethal parasite of wading birds in natural and agricultural wetlands in South Louisiana,” was recently published in the September issue of Southeastern Naturalist . USGS National Wetlands Research Center contractor Melissa Collins and USGS Wildlife Biologist Clint Jeske sampled an important prey, Gambusia affinis (Western Mosquitofish), for nesting wading birds in Louisiana for the prevalence of a potentially lethal parasite. Parasites were more prevalent in agricultural wetlands than natural wetlands. Because wading birds often forage in agricultural wetlands, they may be at greater risk of ingesting the parasite. (Melissa Collins; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8591)

  • CRMS-Wetlands Seminar Presented at LSU: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Ecologist Sarai Piazza presented a seminar entitled “An Introduction to Louisiana's Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS-Wetlands) - Web Applications, Visualizations, and Available Data” for Louisiana State University's School of the Coast and Environment Seminar Series on November 9. The seminar was attended by LSU faculty, students, and agency personnel. Piazza presented information on recent updates to the CRMS website and demonstrated how to acquire CRMS data. (Sarai Piazza; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-578-7044)

  • Math and Science Teachers Guide to Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands: The new “Turning the Tide” film and curriculum, which report on coastal land loss and restoration in Louisiana, was shared with educators participating in the Louisiana Science Teachers Association and the Louisiana Teachers of Mathematics joint conference held November 12-14, in Shreveport, Louisiana. USGS NWRC/Five Rivers Services contractor Susan Testroet-Bergeron presented the information during two sessions and managed an exhibit designed to help educators learn more about coastal Louisiana and the issues affecting this crucial wetland ecosystem. (Susan Testroet-Bergeron; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8623)

  • AGU Chapman Conference on Tidal Freshwater River Ecosystems: USGS NWRC Branch Chief Tom Doyle and Ecologists Ken Krauss, Camille Stagg, and Nicole Cormier will deliver oral and poster presentations during the American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference on Hydrogeomorphic Feedbacks and Sea Level Rise in Tidal Freshwater River Ecosystems, November 13-16, in Reston, Virginia. Advancing knowledge of tidal river ecosystems requires multidisciplinary efforts and collaboration among wetland ecologists, biogeochemists, and both fluvial and estuarine geomorphologists and hydrologists. This Chapman Conference is designed to unify discussions on tidal freshwater river ecosystems by focusing on the feedbacks that link the disciplines of fluvial, estuarine, and wetland science. (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8647)

  • NWRC Participates in GIS Day: Staff of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center will have two posters included in a display at the Louisiana State Capitol Rotunda on November 14 in celebration of GIS Day. GIS Day takes place annually on the Wednesday of the National Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week and celebrates the widespread use of geospatial technology. Events provide an opportunity for people to learn how geographic information systems are used within the community. NWRC’s posters will be on display from November 12-16. (Chris Cretini; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8621)

  • Bays and Bayous Symposium: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Ecologist Kate Spear will present “Emergent wetlands status and trends in the northern Gulf of Mexico: 1950-2010” during the 2012 Mississippi-Alabama Bays and Bayous Symposium in Biloxi, Mississippi November 14-15. The biennial symposium provides a forum for the exchange of technical yet practical information among scientists, resource managers, elected officials, community leaders, citizens, marine related industries, and private citizens. This study examines emergent wetlands in eight estuarine areas located within the northern Gulf of Mexico. (Kate Spear; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8645)

  • Monitoring and Modeling Mangrove Forests: As part of an invited scientific exchange between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, NWRC Branch Chief Tom Doyle will travel to several university laboratories and mangrove nature reserves around Guangzhou and Hainan Island, China, the week of November 18. Doyle will present USGS mangrove research and tour the Dongzhaigang National Nature Reserve in Hainan to discuss monitoring and modeling advances for mangrove forest management. Dongzhaigang mangrove forest has 26 "true" mangrove species belonging to 12 families, and 40 semi-mangrove and mangrove-associated species belonging to 22 families. Due to their unique physiology and ecology, mangroves provide optimal breeding areas for many kinds of fish and shrimps, as well as feeding habitats for resident and migrant water birds. Dongzhaigang was declared a Ramsar site in 1992, identifying it as a wetland of international importance. (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8647)

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