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Publications

USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center staff publish results of their research in USGS series reports and in peer-reviewed journals. Publication links are below.  Information on all USGS publications can be found at the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Filter Total Items: 1784

Protocols for collecting and processing macroinvertebrates from the benthos and water column in depressional wetlands

Freshwater aquatic macroinvertebrates are key links in food webs and nutrient cycles, and thus often serve as biological indicators of ecosystem health. Macroinvertebrate investigations in research and monitoring require consistent and reliable field and laboratory procedures. Comprehensive standard operating procedures for sampling macroinvertebrates from depressional wetlands, which can range fr

Prairie wetlands as sources or sinks of nitrous oxide: Effects of land use and hydrology

National and global greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets are continually being refined as data become available. Primary sources of the potent GHG nitrous oxide (N2O) include agricultural soil management and burning of fossil fuels, but comprehensive N2O budgets also incorporate less prominent factors such as wetlands. Freshwater wetland GHG flux estimates, however, have high uncertainty, and wetlands hav

Reassessing perennial cover as a driver of duck nest survival in the Prairie Pothole Region

Conservation plans designed to sustain North American duck populations prominently feature a key hypothesis stating that the amount of the landscape in perennial cover surrounding upland duck nests positively influences nest survival rates. Recent conflicting research testing this hypothesis creates ambiguity regarding which management actions to pursue and where to prioritize conservation deliver

Space use and site fidelity of wintering whooping cranes on the Texas Gulf Coast

The Aransas-Wood Buffalo population (the only non-reintroduced, migratory population) of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) overwinters along the Texas Gulf Coast, USA. Understanding whooping crane space use on the wintering grounds reveals essential aspects of this species' ecology, which subsequently assists with conservation. Using global positioning system telemetry data from marked w

Experimental evaluation of predator exclosures on nest, chick, and adult survival of piping plovers

Species of conservation concern often receive intensive management to improve vital rates and facilitate recovery. Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) are federally listed in the United States and concerns over nest depredation have prompted widespread use of plover-permeable predator exclosures placed around nests (0.5–2-m radius). While effectiveness of exclosures for improving nest survival has

Vulnerable waters are essential to watershed resilience

Watershed resilience is the ability of a watershed to maintain its characteristic system state while concurrently resisting, adapting to, and reorganizing after hydrological (for example, drought, flooding) or biogeochemical (for example, excessive nutrient) disturbances. Vulnerable waters include non-floodplain wetlands and headwater streams, abundant watershed components representing the most di

Are wild wolves southpaws? Including potential conservation implications

Lateralization, or a left-right bias in behavior (e.g., handedness), was originally thought to exclusively exist in humans, but is now known to be widespread. Lateralization can exist at the individual or group level. In dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), tests of paw preference have produced inconsistent results. Because wolves (C. l.) differ genetically, morphologically, and behaviorally from dogs,

Conservation under uncertainty: Innovations in participatory climate change scenario planning from U.S. national parks

The impacts of climate change (CC) on natural and cultural resources are far-reaching and complex. A major challenge facing resource managers is not knowing the exact timing and nature of those impacts. To confront this problem, scientists, adaptation specialists, and resource managers have begun to use scenario planning (SP). This structured process identifies a small set of scenarios—description

Human-cougar interactions: A literature review related to common management questions

Interactions between humans and cougars (Puma concolor) present unique challenges for wildlife managers; reducing occurrences that lead to conflict is a priority for state and provincial wildlife agencies throughout western North America, including Washington. With an increase in management emphasis of human-wildlife conflict resolution, a growing body of scientific literature related to cougar wi

The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus)

The keys to Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) management are maintaining expansive grasslands; preventing populations of Greater Prairie-Chickens from becoming small and isolated; managing grasslands to maintain proper grassland height, density, and vigor; and reducing woody plant invasion and excessive litter buildup. Within these grasslands, areas should contain short herbace

Perils of life on the edge: Climatic threats to global diversity patterns of wetland macroinvertebrates

Climate change is rapidly driving global biodiversity declines. How wetland macroinvertebrate assemblages are responding is unclear, a concern given their vital function in these ecosystems. Using a data set from 769 minimally impacted depressional wetlands across the globe (467 temporary and 302 permanent), we evaluated how temperature and precipitation (average, range, variability) affects the r

The impact of future climate on wetland habitat in a critical migratory waterfowl corridor of the Prairie Pothole Region

Depressional wetlands are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation, so understanding how wetland inundation dynamics respond to changes in climate is essential for describing potential effects on wildlife breeding habitat. Millions of depressional basins make up the largest wetland complex in North America known as the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). The wetland ecosystems tha