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National Wetlands Research Center

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Wetlands

Wetlands are ecotones, or transitional areas, commonly located between open water bodies and uplands. This means that the boundaries surrounding a wetland are either predominantly aquatic or mostly dry. Because they are intermediate areas, ecotones often contain more plants and animals than the adjacent habitat found along their edges.

DRAGON Partnership

The DRAGON partnership is creating an international community of practice to share data on the great deltas and rivers of the world and to develop comparative models and visualization tools in order to facilitate ecological forecasting regarding climate change and development that ultimately helps in guiding decision making.

Louisiana Land Change

Coastal Louisiana wetlands make up the seventh largest delta on Earth, contain about 37 percent of the estuarine herbaceous marshes in the conterminous United States, and support the largest commercial fishery in the lower 48 States. These wetlands are in peril because Louisiana currently undergoes about 90 percent of the total coastal wetland loss in the continental United States. Documenting and understanding the occurrence and rates of wetland loss are necessary for effective planning, protection, and restoration activities.

Forecast Mekong

The great deltas of the world are among our most heavily populated and agriculturally productive landscapes, yet these low-lying coastal areas are extremely vulnerable to climate change and anthropogenic development. An international challenge is to transform these vulnerable ecosystems into resilient ones. Through comparative studies and ecological forecasting, such as what is being done with the Mississippi and Mekong Rivers, we can work towards balancing natural landscape functions with economic development to produce healthy ecosystems and sustainable deltas.

Hurricane Science

Hurricanes are large-scale disturbances of such force and size that their influence on landscape pattern and process of coastal systems is evident though still poorly understood. The regularity and severity of tropical storms are major determinants controlling ecosystem structure and succession for coastal ecosystems. Hurricane landfall rates vary greatly for given coastal stretches of the southeastern United States.

Invasive Species

Invasive plants and animals have been recognized as playing a large part in the loss of wetland and coastal habitats. Scientists at the National Wetlands Research Center are studying several invasive species.

Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

The Department of Interior (DOI) has identified Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) as part of their strategy for protecting and managing the Nation’s treasured natural and cultural resources.  LCCs provide a vehicle for States, Tribes, Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities and other conservation partners to agree on common long-term goals.  LCCs jointly develop the scientific information and tools needed to prioritize and guide more effective conservation actions toward these goals.

Amphibians

The amphibian monitoring program has two main areas of research. The first involves developing methods to improve monitoring techniques for amphibians. Work includes field sampling and statistical analyses of data. Models are used to determine the status and trends of amphibian populations. Our other main line of research focuses on using amphibians as indicator species to determine the effect of ecosystem processes. These studies may include researching management actions such as wetland restoration or large-scale process such as climate change.

Lower Mississippi Valley

Land-use actions, water management, habitat conservation, species protection and recovery, and ecosystem restoration are efforts that increasingly need landscape-level approaches to help integrate scientific information with management decisions. These issues are particularly relevant to the LMV, the largest floodplain in the U.S., extending from southern Missouri and Illinois to the northern Gulf of Mexico.

South Central ARMI

The U.S. Geological Survey's Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is divided into seven regions.  The south-central region includes the States of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.  We are currently conducting research projects designed to monitor amphibians on Federal lands in these States and to research possible causes of declines in amphibian populations.  These potential threats include loss or degradation of habitat, disease, and contamination or pollution.

USGS Gulf of Mexico Science

The overarching goal of USGS Gulf Coast science is to provide scientific information, knowledge, and tools to local, State, and Federal agencies so that constructive decisions about land resource use, management practices, and future development in the coastal zone and adjacent watersheds can be made. Those decisions can promote restoration, increase coastal resilience, and mitigate risks associated with both human-induced and natural hazards.

Wildlife Mortality Events

USGS and a network of partners across the country work on documenting wildlife mortality events in order to provide timely and accurate information on locations, species and causes of death.  This information is used by natural resource managers, researchers, public health officials and  legislators  to help design disease prevention and mitigation strategies, to address interconnections between human, domestic animal and wildlife disease, and to assist in identification of 'normal' disease issues vs. biosecurity concerns.

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 28-Sep-2015 14:02:16 EDT