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Below are publications associated with the Southwest Biological Science Center's research.

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Filter Total Items: 1319

Dryland soil recovery after disturbance across soil and climate gradients of the Colorado Plateau

Drylands impacted by energy development often require costly reclamation activities to reconstruct damaged soils and vegetation, yet little is known about the effectiveness of reclamation practices in promoting recovery of soil quality due to a lack of long-term and cross-site studies. Here, we examined paired on-pad and adjacent undisturbed off-pad soil properties over a 22-year chronosequence of
Kathryn Delores Eckhoff, Sasha C. Reed, John B. Bradford, Nikita C. Daly, Keven Griffen, Robin H. Reibold, Randi Lupardus, Seth M. Munson, Aarin Sengsirirak, Miguel L. Villarreal, Michael C. Duniway

Biological soil crusts are more prevalent in warmer and drier environments within the Great Basin ecoregion: Implications for managing annual grass invasion

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) can thrive under environmental conditions that are stressful for vascular plants such as high temperatures and/or extremely low moisture availability. In these settings, and in the absence of disturbance, cover of biocrusts commonly exceeds cover of vascular plants. Arid landscapes are also typically slow to recover from disturbance and prone to altered vegetatio
Lea A. Condon, John B. Bradford, Peter S. Coates

Modeling the impacts of Glen Canyon Dam operations on Colorado River resources

At the time of this report, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is writing two supplemental Environmental Impact Statements (sEIS ) and a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will analyze the effects of changing water flow out of Glen Canyon Dam (GCD) (U.S. Department of Interior, 2024). These actions have the potential to affect downstream resources, including threatened and endanger
Charles Yackulic, Lucas Bair, Drew Elliot Eppehimer, Gerard Lewis Salter, Bridget Deemer, Bradley J. Butterfield, Alan Kasprak, Joshua Caster, Helen C. Fairley, Paul Grams, Bryce Anthony Mihalevich, Emily C. Palmquist, Joel B. Sankey

Fishes move to transient local refuges, not persistent landscape refuges during river drying experiment

Anthropogenically driven flow intermittency is increasing in freshwater streams, with important implications for the management and conservation of aquatic ecosystems. Because most freshwater fishes are mobile, they are expected to emigrate from intermittent reaches, but this may not be true in streams transitioning from perennial to intermittent. Here, we attempt to determine if riverine fishes v
Thomas P Archdeacon, Eric J. Gonzales, Charles Yackulic

Multiple stressors mediate the effects of warming on leaf decomposition in a large regulated river

Predicting how increasing temperatures interact with other global change drivers to influence the structure and dynamics of Earth's ecosystems is a primary challenge in ecology. Our study made use of multiple simultaneous “natural experiments” to examine how rapid warming, declining nutrients, invasive consumers, and riparian invasive species management interact to influence leaf decomposition in
Eric Arthur Scholl, Kyle R. Hanus, Tyler Gardner, Theodore Kennedy

Annotated bibliography of scientific research relevant to oil and gas reclamation best management practices in the western United States, published from 1969 through 2020

Integrating recent scientific knowledge into management decisions supports effective natural resource management and can lead to better resource outcomes. However, finding and accessing scientific knowledge can be time consuming and costly. To assist in this process, the U.S. Geological Survey has created a series of annotated bibliographies on topics of management concern for lands in the western
Rebecca K. Mann, Molly L. McCormick, Seth M. Munson, Hillary F. Cooper, Lee C. Bryant, Jared K. Swenson, Laura A. Johnston, Savannah L. Wilson, Michael C. Duniway

Rising water temperature in rivers: Ecological impacts and future resilience

Rising water temperatures in rivers due to climate change are already having observable impacts on river ecosystems. Warming water has both direct and indirect impacts on aquatic life, and further aggravates pervasive issues such as eutrophication, pollution, and the spread of disease. Animals can survive higher temperatures through physiological and/or genetic acclimation, behavioral and phenolog
Matthew F. Johnson, Lindsey K. Albertson, Adam C. Algar, Stephen J. Dugdale, Patrick Edwards, Judy England, Christopher Gibbins, So Kazama, Daisuke Komori, Andrew Maccoll, Eric Arthur Scholl, Robert Wilby, Fabio de Oliveira Roque, Paul F. Wood

Wildfire probability estimated from recent climate and fine fuels across the big sagebrush region

BackgroundWildfire is a major proximate cause of historical and ongoing losses of intact big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) plant communities and declines in sagebrush obligate wildlife species. In recent decades, fire return intervals have shortened and area burned has increased in some areas, and habitat degradation is occurring where post-fire re-establishment of sagebrush is hindered b
Martin C. Holdrege, Daniel Rodolphe Schlaepfer, Kyle A. Palmquist, Michele R. Crist, Kevin E. Doherty, William K. Lauenroth, Thomas E. Remington, Karin L. Riley, Karen C. Short, John C. Tull, Lief A. Wiechman, John B. Bradford

Forest fire, thinning, and flood in wildland-urban interface: UAV and lidar-based estimate of natural disaster impacts

ContextWildland-urban interface (WUI) areas are facing increased forest fire risks and extreme precipitation events due to climate change, which can lead to post-fire flood events. The city of Flagstaff in northern Arizona, USA experienced WUI forest thinning, fire, and record rainfall events, which collectively contributed to large floods and damages to the urban neighborhoods and city infrastruc
Temuulen Ts. Sankey, Lauren Tango, Julia Tatum, Joel B. Sankey

Environmental variation structures reproduction and recruitment in long-lived mega-herbivores: Galapagos giant tortoises

Migratory, long-lived animals are an important focus for life-history theory because they manifest extreme trade-offs in life-history traits: delayed maturity, low fecundity, variable recruitment rates, long generation times, and vital rates that respond to variation across environments. Galapagos tortoises are an iconic example: they are long-lived, migrate seasonally, face multiple anthropogenic
Stephen Blake, Fredy Cabrera, Sebastian Cruz, Diego Ellis-Soto, Charles Yackulic, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, Martin Wikelski, Franz Kuemmeth, James P. Gibbs, Sharon L. Deem

Trajectories and tipping points of piñon–juniper woodlands after fire and thinning

Piñon–juniper (PJ) woodlands are a dominant community type across the Intermountain West, comprising over a million acres and experiencing critical effects from increasing wildfire. Large PJ mortality and regeneration failure after catastrophic wildfire have elevated concerns about the long-term viability of PJ woodlands. Thinning is increasingly used to safeguard forests from fire and in an attem
Michala Lee Phillips, Cara Marie Lauria, Tova Spector, John B. Bradford, Catherine A. Gehring, Brooke B. Osborne, Armin J. Howell, Edmund E. Grote, Renee Rondeau, Gillian Trimber, Benjamin Robinson, Sasha C. Reed

Establishing quantitative benchmarks for soil erosion and ecological monitoring, assessment, and management

Soil erosion can have a multitude of negative impacts on agroecosystems and society and there remains an urgent need for tools to support its management. Quantitative benchmarks based on holistic understanding of erosion processes, ecosystem function, and land use objectives can be used with monitoring data and models to inform assessments and make objective and actionable decisions about erosion
Nicholas P. Webb, Brandon L. Edwards, Alexandra Heller, Sarah E. McCord, Jeremy W. Schallner, Ronald S. Treminio, Brandi E. Wheeler, Nelson G. Stauffer, Sheri Spiegal, Michael C. Duniway, Alexander C.E. Traynor, Emily Kachergis, Carrie-Ann Houdeshell