Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

Publications

Below is a list of available NOROCK peer reviewed and published science. If you are in search of a specific publication and cannot find it below or through a search, please contact twojtowicz@usgs.gov.

Filter Total Items: 987
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Year Published: 2021

Genomic association with pathogen carriage in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)

Genetic composition can influence host susceptibility to, and transmission of, pathogens, with potential population‐level consequences. In bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), pneumonia epidemics caused by Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae have been associated with severe population declines and limited recovery across North America. Adult survivors...

Martin, Alynn Marie; Cassirer, E. Frances; Waits, Lisette P.; Plowright, Raina K.; Cross, Paul C.; Andrews, Kimberly R.

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Year Published: 2021

Elk migration influences the risk of disease spillover in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Wildlife migrations provide important ecosystem services, but they are declining. Within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) some elk (Cervus canadensis) herds are losing migratory tendencies, which may increase spatiotemporal overlap between elk and livestock (domestic bison [Bison bison] and cattle [Bos taurus]), potentially exacerbating...

Rayl, Nathaniel D.; Merkle, J. A.; Proffitt, Kelly M.; Almberg, E S; Jones, Jennifer D.; Gude, Justin; Cross, Paul

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Year Published: 2021

Towards an urgent yet deliberate conservation strategy: Sustaining social-ecological systems in rangelands of the Northern Great Plains, Montana

Urgency and deliberateness are often at odds when executing conservation projects, especially as the scale and complexity of objectives increases. The pace of environmental degradation supports immediate and measurable action. However, best practices for adaptive governance and building resilient social-ecological systems call for more deliberate...

Epstein, Katie; Wood, David J. A.; Roemer, Kelli; Currey, Bryce; Duff, Hannah; Gay, Justin D; Goemann, Hannah; Loewen, Sasha; Milligan, Megan C; Wendt, John A F; Brookshire, E N Jack; Maxwell, Bruce D.; McNew, Lance B.; McWethy, Dave B; Stoy, Paul C.; Haggerty, Julia Hobson

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Year Published: 2021

Patterns and processes of pathogen exposure in gray wolves across North America

The presence of many pathogens varies in a predictable manner with latitude, with infections decreasing from the equator towards the poles. We investigated the geographic trends of pathogens infecting a widely distributed carnivore: the gray wolf (Canis lupus). Specifically, we investigated which variables best explain and predict geographic...

Brandell, E. E.; Cross, Paul; Craft, Meggan E.; Smith, Douglas W.; Dubovi, E. J.; Gilbertson, Marie L. J.; Wheeldon, Tyler; Stephenson, John A.; Barber-Meyer, Shannon; Borg, B. L.; Sorum, Mathew; Stahler, Daniel R.; Kelly, Allicia P; Anderson, Morgan; Cluff, H. D.; MacNulty, Daniel R.; Watts, David L.; Roffler, G.; Schwantje, Helen M.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Beckman, K.; Hudson, P. J.

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Year Published: 2021

A regional spatio-temporal analysis of large magnitude snow avalanches using tree rings

Snow avalanches affect transportation corridors and settlements worldwide. In many mountainous regions, robust records of avalanche frequency and magnitude are sparse or non-existent. However, dendrochronological methods can be used to fill this gap and infer historical avalanche patterns. In this study, we developed a tree-ring-based avalanche...

Peitzsch, Erich; Hendrikx, Jordy; Stahle, Daniel Kent; Pederson, Gregory T.; Birkeland, Karl W.; Fagre, Daniel B.

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Year Published: 2021

American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

American black bears (Ursus americanus) are endemic to North America, having speciated from other ursids some 1.2 to 1.8 million years ago (Kurtn & Anderson 1994). During that time, black bears came to occupy nearly all of the forested areas of the North American continent. Historically, black bears were one of the most important mammals to...

Clark, Joseph D.; Beckmann, Jon P.; Boyce, Mark S.; Leopold, Bruce D; Pelton, Michael R.
Clark, J. D., J. P. Beckmann, M. S. Boyce, B. D. Leopold, A. E. Loosen, and M. R. Pelton. 2021. American black bears. Pages 122-138 in Bears of the World: Ecology, Conservation and Management, V. Penteriani and M. Melletti, eds., Cambridge University Press,l Cambridge, United Kingdom.

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Year Published: 2021

Human activities and weather drive contact rates of wintering elk

Wildlife aggregation patterns can influence disease transmission. However, limited research evaluates the influence of anthropogenic and natural factors on aggregation. Many managers would like to reduce wildlife contact rates, driven by aggregation, to limit disease transmission. We develop a novel analytical framework to quantify how management...

Janousek, William Michael; Graves, Tabitha; Berman, Ethan; Chong, Geneva W.; Cole, Eric K; Dewey, Sarah; Johnston, Aaron; Cross, Paul

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Year Published: 2021

A metapopulation model of social group dynamics and disease applied to Yellowstone wolves

The population structure of social species has important consequences for both their demography and transmission of their pathogens. We develop a metapopulation model that tracks two key components of a species’ social system: average group size and number of groups within a population. While the model is general, we parameterize it to mimic the...

Brandell, E E; Dobson, A P; Hudson, PJ; Cross, Paul; Smith, Douglas W.

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Year Published: 2021

Thermal constraints on energy balance, behaviour and spatial distribution of grizzly bears

1. Heat dissipation limit theory posits that energy available for growth and reproduction in endotherms is limited by their ability to dissipate heat. In mammals, endogenous heat production increases markedly during gestation and lactation, and thus female mammals may be subject to greater thermal constraints on energy expenditure than males. Such...

Rogers, Savannah A.; Robbins, Charlie T.; Mathewson, Paul D.; Carnahan, Anthony M.; van Manen, Frank T.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Porter, Warren P.; Rogers, Taylor R.; Soule, Terrence; Long, Ryan A.

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Year Published: 2021

Identification of Global Priorities for New Mountain Protected and Conserved Areas

Mountain ecosystems are extremely diverse and fragile. They include astonishing biodiversity in terms of number of taxa and endemicity, and globally provide the most diverse range of ecosystem services. The world’s system of protected and conserved areas includes many outstanding areas within the earth’s mountainous landscape: about 19% of...

Jacobs, Peter; Beever, Erik A.; Carbutt, Clinton; Foggin, Marc; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Martin, Madeline Thomas; Orchard, Shane; Sayre, Roger

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Year Published: 2021

Freezing in a warming climate: Marked declines of a subnivean hibernator after a snow drought

Recent snow droughts associated with unusually warm winters are predicted to increase in frequency and affect species dependent upon snowpack for winter survival. Changes in populations of some cold‐adapted species have been attributed to heat stress or indirect effects on habitat from unusually warm summers, but little is known about the...

Johnston, Aaron; Christophersen, Roger G; Beever, Erik A.; Ransom, Jason I.

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Year Published: 2021

Snowpack signals in North American tree rings

Climate change has contributed to recent declines in mountain snowpack and earlier runoff, which in turn has intensified hydrological droughts in western North America. Climate model projections suggest that continued and severe snowpack reductions are expected over the 21st century, with profound consequences for ecosystems and human welfare. Yet...

Coulthard, Bethany L.; Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Pederson, Gregory T.; Cook, Edward R; Littell, Jeremy S.; Smith, Dan J.