Spatial Patterns and Biodiversity

EPA Grant Number: R825433C055
Subproject: this is subproject number 055 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825433
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EERC - Center for Ecological Health Research (Cal Davis)
Center Director: Rolston, Dennis E.
Title: Spatial Patterns and Biodiversity
Investigators: Quinn, James , Jassby, Alan D. , Moyle, Peter
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 2000
RFA: Exploratory Environmental Research Centers (1992) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Center for Ecological Health Research , Targeted Research


This project seeks to manage a large variety of GIS and biodiversity databases. This allows for a number of unique analyses that can be closely coupled with other modeling and ecosystem projects to help determine such things as species composition, habitat availability, population estimates, risks of toxic substances to wildlife, and non-point source loading to rivers.


The Core's computer center has developed into a National center for GIS and environmental database design and dissemination, and has recently been named the California - Southwest Regional Node of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (one of the five regional federal data centers established by Congress last session). Work done in the core has proven of considerable value to a number of agencies, and the Core has attracted over 60 additional grants and contracts to extend Center work, including over a dozen from EPA Region 9. In the biodiversity arena, recent projects include developing data standards for international exchange of information on invasive species for the Inter-Americas Biodiversity Information Network (the biological information exchange mechanism under the Summit of the Americas) and the North American Biodiversity Information Network (the corresponding mechanism under NAFTA), agreements with the California Department of Transportation to evaluate the impacts of long-term roadbuilding and urbanization on rare habitats and threatened and endangered species. We also are the major state center for mapping occurrences of rare fish and amphibians, and continue to maintain on-line databases of species records in California State Parks, U. S. National Parks, and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves worldwide.

Geographic Information System (GIS). A sophisticated GIS facility, supporting 11 graduate students, with 14 GIS-specialist staff, over 30 ArcInfo workstations, and a variety of peripheral equipment, is now well established. The facility has about 150 statewide GIS layers of environmental themes, especially land forms, land use, biodiversity and water quality, mostly online, and has become the most active California university GIS program in interagency GIS development (under the aegis of the California Biodiversity Council, the California Geographic Information Association, and the National Biological Information Infrastructure) . The Center is the major developer and repository in the state for the National Hydrography Database (the successor to the EPA River Reach Files), the EPA Waterbody system, and other systems used by EPA and collaborating state agencies in managing water quality, water supply, biodiversity issues, and ecological risk assessment. Many of the techniques developed by the Center and its collaborators in the Department of Fish and Game have now been adopted for national implementation.

Clean Water Act Reports. The Center is continuing a project with EPA Region IX and the State Water Resources Control Board to update, modernize, and disseminate the water body reports required under Sections 303(d) and 305(b) of the Clean Water Act for California. Software to help Regional Water Quality Control Boards prepare 303(d) and TMDL designations were installed last year, and we continue to provide updates, training, and technical support. In the last year, we completed and created web sites to help agencies and the interested public to identify, couple and map existing restoration activities, Best Management Practices, monitoring activities along impaired waterways. We are continuing a cooperative programs with Region 9, the California Department of Forestry, the California Department of Transportation and the SWRCB to make their non-point-source and stormwater assessment data interoperable.

World Wide Web. The Core facility's World Wide Web server disseminates data and model results to collaborators, managers, and the general public. The Internet activities have been incorporated into a number of electronic data access initiatives, including CERES in California, and the National Biological Information Infrastructure and the Government Information Locator Service at the national level, and the Smithsonian and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program internationally. It has been a leader in developing interactive mapping technologies, and now experience 10-20,000 downloads per day.

Expected Results:

As a result of the variety of GIS and biodiversity databases managed by the Core, we have the ability to do a number of unique analyses, which will be closely coupled with and complementary to the other Core models and the ecosystem projects.

Investigators are constructing new models, using somewhat similar statistical approaches, to predict the species composition and critical habitats for fish, amphibians, and some indicator invertebrates, in rivers and streams that have not been surveyed. The growing databases of aquatic and riparian species occurrences (some 220,000 records to date) will allow investigators to both estimate the parameters of an aquatic "Species Analyst" model and to test its accuracy. (Preliminary studies in three northern California watersheds suggest that the accuracy of pilot analyses exceeds 80%).

Supplemental Keywords:

Watershed, data integration, mathematics, environmental statistics, mechanistic models, GIS, California, training and outreach, computer science, transport modeling., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Water, ECOSYSTEMS, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Water & Watershed, Restoration, Aquatic Ecosystem, Fate & Transport, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Microbiology, computing technology, Biochemistry, Terrestrial Ecosystems, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Watersheds, fate and transport, aquatic modeling, habitat, aquatic, biodiversity, watershed management, ambient particle properties, decision support systems, alternative mechanistic models, ecosystem assessment, sediment transport, computer science, hydrological transport model, restoration strategies, modeling, watershed influences, hydrology, computer simulation modeling, data management, integrated watershed model, aquatic ecosystems, environmental stress, watershed sustainablility, data analysis, GIS, material transport, ecosystem stress, ecology assessment models, ecological impact, ecological models, transport modeling, analytical models, ecological research, watershed restoration, database

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825433    EERC - Center for Ecological Health Research (Cal Davis)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825433C001 Potential for Long-Term Degradation of Wetland Water Quality Due to Natural Discharge of Polluted Groundwater
    R825433C002 Sacramento River Watershed
    R825433C003 Endocrine Disruption in Fish and Birds
    R825433C004 Biomarkers of Exposure and Deleterious Effect: A Laboratory and Field Investigation
    R825433C005 Fish Developmental Toxicity/Recruitment
    R825433C006 Resolving Multiple Stressors by Biochemical Indicator Patterns and their Linkages to Adverse Effects on Benthic Invertebrate Patterns
    R825433C007 Environmental Chemistry of Bioavailability in Sediments and Water Column
    R825433C008 Reproduction of Birds and mammals in a terrestrial-aquatic interface
    R825433C009 Modeling Ecosystems Under Combined Stress
    R825433C010 Mercury Uptake by Fish
    R825433C011 Clear Lake Watershed
    R825433C012 The Role of Fishes as Transporters of Mercury
    R825433C013 Wetlands Restoration
    R825433C014 Wildlife Bioaccumulation and Effects
    R825433C015 Microbiology of Mercury Methylation in Sediments
    R825433C016 Hg and Fe Biogeochemistry
    R825433C017 Water Motions and Material Transport
    R825433C018 Economic Impacts of Multiple Stresses
    R825433C019 The History of Anthropogenic Effects
    R825433C020 Wetland Restoration
    R825433C021 Sierra Nevada Watershed Project
    R825433C022 Regional Transport of Air Pollutants and Exposure of Sierra Nevada Forests to Ozone
    R825433C023 Biomarkers of Ozone Damage to Sierra Nevada Vegetation
    R825433C024 Effects of Air Pollution on Water Quality: Emission of MTBE and Other Pollutants From Motorized Watercraft
    R825433C025 Regional Movement of Toxics
    R825433C026 Effect of Photochemical Reactions in Fog Drops and Aerosol Particles on the Fate of Atmospheric Chemicals in the Central Valley
    R825433C027 Source Load Modeling for Sediment in Mountainous Watersheds
    R825433C028 Stress of Increased Sediment Loading on Lake and Stream Function
    R825433C029 Watershed Response to Natural and Anthropogenic Stress: Lake Tahoe Nutrient Budget
    R825433C030 Mercury Distribution and Cycling in Sierra Nevada Waterbodies
    R825433C031 Pre-contact Forest Structure
    R825433C032 Identification and distribution of pest complexes in relation to late seral/old growth forest structure in the Lake Tahoe watershed
    R825433C033 Subalpine Marsh Plant Communities as Early Indicators of Ecosystem Stress
    R825433C034 Regional Hydrogeology and Contaminant Transport in a Sierra Nevada Ecosystem
    R825433C035 Border Rivers Watershed
    R825433C036 Toxicity Studies
    R825433C037 Watershed Assessment
    R825433C038 Microbiological Processes in Sediments
    R825433C039 Analytical and Biomarkers Core
    R825433C040 Organic Analysis
    R825433C041 Inorganic Analysis
    R825433C042 Immunoassay and Serum Markers
    R825433C043 Sensitive Biomarkers to Detect Biochemical Changes Indicating Multiple Stresses Including Chemically Induced Stresses
    R825433C044 Molecular, Cellular and Animal Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect
    R825433C045 Microbial Community Assays
    R825433C046 Cumulative and Integrative Biochemical Indicators
    R825433C047 Mercury and Iron Biogeochemistry
    R825433C048 Transport and Fate Core
    R825433C049 Role of Hydrogeologic Processes in Alpine Ecosystem Health
    R825433C050 Regional Hydrologic Modeling With Emphasis on Watershed-Scale Environmental Stresses
    R825433C051 Development of Pollutant Fate and Transport Models for Use in Terrestrial Ecosystem Exposure Assessment
    R825433C052 Pesticide Transport in Subsurface and Surface Water Systems
    R825433C053 Currents in Clear Lake
    R825433C054 Data Integration and Decision Support Core
    R825433C055 Spatial Patterns and Biodiversity
    R825433C056 Modeling Transport in Aquatic Systems
    R825433C057 Spatial and Temporal Trends in Water Quality
    R825433C058 Time Series Analysis and Modeling Ecological Risk
    R825433C059 WWW/Outreach
    R825433C060 Economic Effects of Multiple Stresses
    R825433C061 Effects of Nutrients on Algal Growth
    R825433C062 Nutrient Loading
    R825433C063 Subalpine Wetlands as Early Indicators of Ecosystem Stress
    R825433C064 Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
    R825433C065 Sierra Ozone Studies
    R825433C066 Assessment of Multiple Stresses on Soil Microbial Communities
    R825433C067 Terrestrial - Agriculture
    R825433C069 Molecular Epidemiology Core
    R825433C070 Serum Markers of Environmental Stress
    R825433C071 Development of Sensitive Biomarkers Based on Chemically Induced Changes in Expressions of Oncogenes
    R825433C072 Molecular Monitoring of Microbial Populations
    R825433C073 Aquatic - Rivers and Estuaries
    R825433C074 Border Rivers - Toxicity Studies