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Publications

FORT scientists have produced more than 1,500 peer reviewed publications that are registered in the USGS Publications Warehouse, along with many others prior to their work at the USGS or in conjunction with other government agencies. 

Filter Total Items: 1942

Prairie grouse and wind energy: The state of the science and implications for risk assessment

How to shape the anticipated build-out of industrial-scale renewable energy in a way that minimizes risk to wildlife remains contentious. This challenge is well-illustrated in the grasslands and shrub-steppe of North America. Here, several endemic species of grouse are the focus of intensive, long-term conservation action by a host of governmental and non-governmental entities, many of whom are no

2021 assessment of the Joint Fire Science Program’s Fire Science Exchange Network

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), on behalf of the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP), conducted an evaluation of the Fire Science Exchange Network (FSEN), which connects wildland fire scientists and practitioners through 15 individual exchanges across the United States to help address complex wildfire needs and challenges. The study was divided into two phases: The first phase was a literature re

Living with wildfire in Teton County, Wyoming: 2021 data report

Wildfire affects many types of communities and is a particular concern for communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI), such as those of Teton County, Wyoming. The core intent of this project was to provide evidence to support the Teton Area Wildfire Protection Coalition (TAWPC) and affiliated organizations in their wildfire mitigation and education programming. This report analyzes existing

Scale-dependent influence of the sagebrush community on genetic connectivity of the sagebrush obligate Gunnison sage-grouse

Habitat fragmentation and degradation impacts an organism's ability to navigate the landscape, ultimately resulting in decreased gene flow and increased extinction risk. Understanding how landscape composition impacts gene flow (i.e., connectivity) and interacts with scale is essential to conservation decision-making. We used a landscape genetics approach implementing a recently developed statisti

Economic benefits supported by surface water in eastern Oregon’s Harney Basin

The Harney Basin is a closed river basin in southeastern Oregon. Surface water in the basin is used for a variety of social, economic, and ecological benefits. While some surface water uses compete with one another, others are complementary or jointly produce multiple beneficial outcomes. The objective of this study is to conduct a baseline economic assessment of surface water in the Basin as it r

Balancing model generality and specificity in management-focused habitat selection models for Gunnison sage-grouse

Identifying, protecting, and restoring habitats for declining wildlife populations is foundational to conservation and recovery planning for any species at risk of decline. Resource selection analysis is a key tool to assess habitat and prescribe management actions. Yet, it can be challenging to map suitable resource conditions across a wide range of ecological contexts and use the resulting model

Riparian forest productivity decline initiated by streamflow diversion then amplified by atmospheric drought 40 years later

Riparian trees and their annual growth rings can be used to reconstruct drought histories related to streamflow. Because the death of individual trees reduces competition for survivors, however, tree-ring chronologies based only on surviving trees may underestimate drought impacts. This problem can be addressed by calculating productivity at the stand scale to account for tree mortality and establ

The reuse of avian samples: Opportunities, pitfalls and a solution

Tissue samples are frequently collected to study various aspects of avian biology, but in many cases these samples are not used in their entirety and are stored by the collector. The already collected samples provide a largely overlooked opportunity because they can be used by different researchers in different biological fields. Broad reuse of samples could result in multispecies or large-scale s

Fingerprinting historical tributary contributions to floodplain sediment using bulk geochemistry

Sediment deposition on floodplains is essential for the development and maintenance of riparian ecosystems. Upstream erosion is known to influence downstream floodplain construction, but linking these disparate processes is challenging, especially over large spatial and temporal scales. Sediment fingerprinting is thus a robust tool to establish process linkages between downstream floodplain develo

Murky waters: Divergent ways scientists, practitioners, and landowners evaluate beaver mimicry

Beaver mimicry is a fast-growing conservation technique to restore streams and manage water that is gaining popularity within the natural resource management community because of a wide variety of claimed socio-environmental benefits. Despite a growing number of projects, many questions and concerns about beaver mimicry remain. This study draws on qualitative data from 49 interviews with scientist

From flowering to foliage: Accelerometers track tree sway to provide high-resolution insights into tree phenology

Trees are bioindicators of global climate change and regional urbanization, but available monitoring tools are ineffective for fine-scale observation of many species. Using six accelerometers mounted on two urban ash trees (Fraxinus americana), we looked at high-frequency tree vibrations, or change in periodicity of tree sway as a proxy for mass changes, to infer seasonal patterns of flowering and

Bridging the gap between spatial modeling and management of invasive annual grasses in the imperiled sagebrush biome

Invasions of native plant communities by non-native species present major challenges for ecosystem management and conservation. Invasive annual grasses such as cheatgrass, medusahead, and ventenata are pervasive and continue to expand their distributions across imperiled sagebrush-steppe communities of the western United States. These invasive grasses alter native plant communities, ecosystem func