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Larry R. Brown

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Climate change is driving rapid changes in environmental conditions and affecting population and species’ persistence across spatial and temporal scales. Integrating climate change assessments into biological resource management, such as conserving endangered species, is a substantial challenge, partly due to a mismatch between global climate forecasts and local or regional conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate how outputs of global climate change models can be downscaled to the watershed scale, and then coupled with ecophysiological metrics to assess climate change effects on organisms of conservation concern. We employed models to estimate future water temperatures (2010–2099) under several climate change...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Anthropogenic climate change amounts to a rapidly approaching, “new” stressor in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta system. In response to California’s extreme natural hydroclimatic variability, complex water-management systems have been developed, even as the Delta’s natural ecosystems have been largely devastated. Climate change is projected to challenge these management and ecological systems in different ways that are characterized by different levels of uncertainty. For example, there is high certainty that climate will warm by about 2°C more (than late-20th-century averages) by mid-century and about 4°C by end of century, if greenhouse-gas emissions continue their current rates of acceleration. Future precipitation...
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Estuaries are dynamic environments at the land–sea interface that are strongly affected by interannual climate variability. Ocean–atmosphere processes propagate into estuaries from the sea, and atmospheric processes over land propagate into estuaries from watersheds. We examined the effects of these two separate climate-driven processes on pelagic and demersal fish community structure along the salinity gradient in the San Francisco Estuary, California, USA. A 33-year data set (1980–2012) on pelagic and demersal fishes spanning the freshwater to marine regions of the estuary suggested the existence of five estuarine salinity fish guilds: limnetic (salinity = 0–1), oligohaline (salinity = 1–12), mesohaline (salinity...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
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Providing freshwater to human populations while protecting or rehabilitating ecosystem health is a significant challenge to water resource managers and requires accurate knowledge of aquatic resources. Previous studies of fish assemblages in the San Francisco Estuary and watershed have focused on specific habitat types, water bodies, or geographic subregions. In this study, we use seining data from two monitoring programs to provide an integrated view of spring nearshore resident fish species composition and life history characteristics in five regions: the San Joaquin River, the upper Sacramento River, the lower Sacramento River, the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (North Delta), and the Interior Delta. Data...
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We assessed the structure of periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrate, and fish assemblages and their associations with environmental variables at 17 sites on streams of the highly urbanized Santa Ana River basin in Southern California. All assemblages exhibited strong differences between highly urbanized sites in the valley and the least-impacted sites at the transition between the valley and undeveloped mountains. Results within the urbanized area differed among taxa. Periphyton assemblages were dominated by diatoms (>75% of total taxa). Periphyton assemblages within the urbanized area were not associated with any of the measured environmental variables, suggesting that structure of urban periphyton assemblages might...
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