Grasslands, deserts, mountains and fire: US Geological Survey presents studies at ecological society of America
Birds and small animals in America's grasslands: Can they live together in harmony?
What is causing the high mortality rates of grassland birds in Colorado? A chief cause may be small mammals such as ground squirrels and mice that invade the nests and eat the eggs. Some of the bird species that may be threatened are lark bunting and horned lark. Scientists already know that the number of birds that survive to adulthood in grassland areas is very low and that the reason why may relate to differences in vegetation type. Scientists also know that the number of small mammals in a grassland area may relate directly to the number of nests that are invaded.
2002: International year of the mountain
Half of the fresh water that is consumed by humans comes from mountainous areas, and, mountains are home to one-tenth of the world's population. These days, mountain environments are of great interest in climate change studies because scientists have learned that their steep gradients make environmental changes easier to detect. Because of their importance, the year 2002 has been declared the International Year of the Mountain, and a number of studies are underway. One is the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, which monitors high-elevation vegetation responses to climate change. Based in Austria, the project monitors 65 sites in 31 countries. USGS studies some of these sites including ones in the Sierra Nevada, the Central and Northern Rockies and in the Olympic Mountains. USGS researchers have found that similar, decades-long climate changes have occurred in all of the U.S. regions they have studied.
Experimental fires have immediate impact on seed banks in Mojave Desert
The invasion of nonnative annual grasses along with a higher incidence of wildfires in Mojave Desert sc
Contact: United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey