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Publications

The USGS publishes peer-reviewed reports and journal articles which are used by Chesapeake Bay Program resource managers and policy makers to make science-based decisions for ecosystem conservation and restoration. Use the Search box below to find publications on selected topics.

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Filter Total Items: 843

A case study: Temporal trends of environmental stressors and reproductive health of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) from a site in the Potomac River Watershed, Maryland, USA

Decades of poor reproductive success and young-of-the-year survival, combined with adult mortality events, have led to a decline in the smallmouth bass (SMB; Micropterus dolomieu) population in sections of the Potomac River. Previous studies have identified numerous biologic and environmental stressors associated with negative effects on SMB health. To better understand the impact of these stresso

Estrogenic activity response to best management practice implementation in agricultural watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Best management practices (BMPs) have been predominantly used throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed (CBW) to reduce nutrients and sediments entering streams, rivers, and the bay. These practices have been successful in reducing loads entering the estuary and have shown the potential to reduce other contaminants (pesticides, hormonally active compounds, pathogens) in localized studies and modeled

Review of harmful algal blooms effects on birds with implications for avian wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay region

The Chesapeake Bay, along the mid-Atlantic coast of North America, is the largest estuary in the United States and provides critical habitat for wildlife. In contrast to point and non-point source release of pesticides, metals, and industrial, personal care and household use chemicals on biota in this watershed, there has only been scant attention to potential exposure and effects of algal toxins

Identifying key stressors driving biological impairment in freshwater streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA

Biological communities in freshwater streams are often impaired by multiple stressors (e.g., flow or water quality) originating from anthropogenic activities such as urbanization, agriculture, or energy extraction. Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA seek to improve biological conditions in 10% of freshwater tributaries and to protect the biological integrity of existing healt

Explainable machine learning improves interpretability in the predictive modeling of biological stream conditions in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, USA

Anthropogenic alterations have resulted in widespread degradation of stream conditions. To aid in stream restoration and management, baseline estimates of conditions and improved explanation of factors driving their degradation are needed. We used random forests to model biological conditions using a benthic macroinvertebrate index of biotic integrity for small, non-tidal streams (upstream area ≤2

Tracking geomorphic changes after suburban development with a high density of green stormwater infrastructure practices in Montgomery County, Maryland

Stream morphology is affected by changes on the surrounding landscape. Understanding the effects of urbanization on stream morphology is a critical factor for land managers to maintain and improve vulnerable stream corridors in urbanizing landscapes. Stormwater practices are used in urban landscapes to manage runoff volumes and peak flows, potentially mitigating alterations to the flow regime that

Bedrock depth influences spatial patterns of summer baseflow, temperature and flow disconnection for mountainous headwater streams

In mountain headwater streams, the quality and resilience of summer cold-water habitat is generally regulated by stream discharge, longitudinal stream channel connectivity and groundwater exchange. These critical hydrologic processes are thought to be influenced by the stream corridor bedrock contact depth (sediment thickness), a parameter often inferred from sparse hillslope borehole information,

Thirteen novel ideas and underutilized resources to support progress towards a range-wide American eel stock assessment

A robust assessment of the American eel (Anguilla rostrata) stock, required to guide conservation efforts, is challenged by the species’ vast range, high variability in demographic parameters and data inadequacies. Novel ideas and underutilised resources that may assist both analytic assessments and spatially oriented modelling include (1) species and environmental databases; (2) mining of data fr

A water quality barometer for Chesapeake Bay: Assessing spatial and temporal patterns using long-term monitoring data

This paper develops a barometer that indexes water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and summarizes quality over spatial regions and temporal periods. The barometer has a basis in risk assessment and hydrology, and is a function of three different metrics of water quality relative to numerical criteria: relative frequency of criterion attainment; magnitude of deviation from a numerical criterion; and

Predicting near-term effects of climate change on nitrogen transport to Chesapeake Bay

Understanding effects of climate change on nitrogen fate and transport in the environment is critical to nutrient management. We used climate projections within a previously calibrated spatially referenced regression (SPARROW) model to predict effects of expected climate change over 1995 through 2025 on total nitrogen fluxes to Chesapeake Bay and in watershed streams. Assuming nitrogen inputs and

A lesser scaup (Aythya affinis ) naturally infected with Eurasian 2.3.4.4 highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus – Movement ecology and host factors

Despite the recognized role of wild waterfowl in the potential dispersal and transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus, little is known about how infection affects these birds. This lack of information limits our ability to estimate viral spread in the event of an HPAI outbreak, thereby limiting our abilities to estimate and communicate risk. Here we present telemetry data fro

Ephemeral stream network extraction from lidar-derived elevation and topographic attributes in urban and forested landscapes

Under-representations of headwater channels in digital stream networks can result in uncertainty in the magnitude of headwater habitat loss, stream burial, and watershed function. Increased availability of high-resolution (