Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

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The Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) is a USGS Ecosystems Mission Area operation serving primarily California and Nevada. WERC scientists work closely with Federal, State, academic, and other collaborators to address a diverse array of high-profile topics. Topics include research on effects of wildfire, sea level rise, drought, energy development and more on federal Trust species.

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Stories from the Field

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News

Screenshot from the USGS video, "Living With Fire."
November 30, 2017

Visit our new USGS fire webpage to learn how USGS fire science is making a difference

WERC sea otter
November 9, 2017

As part of the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series, WERC's Tim Tinker is giving a free "science talk" for the public on Thursday, 11/30/17 at 7PM PST. Watch live or online.

Hoary bat
October 30, 2017

Around Halloween, USGS celebrates bats and other "spooky" creatures by sharing some of its research on these fascinating creatures! Check out social media on Gabe Reyes' and Brian Halstead's projects with bats at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, CA.

Publications

Year Published: 2018

MHC class II DRB diversity predicts antigen recognition and is associated with disease severity in California sea lions naturally infected with Leptospira interrogans

We examined the associations between California sea lion MHC class II DRB (Zaca-DRB) configuration and diversity, and leptospirosis. As Zaca-DRB gene sequences are involved with antigen presentation of bacteria and other extracellular pathogens, we predicted that they would play a role in determining responses to these pathogenic spirochaetes....

Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Gulland, Frances; Bowen, Lizabeth
Acevedo-Whitehouse, K, FMD Gulland, L Bowen. 2018. MHC class II DRB diversity predicts antigen recognition and is associated with disease severity in California sea lions naturally infected with Leptospira interrogans. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 57: 158-165. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.11.023

Year Published: 2017

Ecosystem features determine seagrass community response to sea otter foraging

Comparing sea otter recovery in California (CA) and British Columbia (BC) reveals key ecosystem properties that shape top-down effects in seagrass communities. We review potential ecosystem drivers of sea otter foraging in CA and BC seagrass beds, including the role of coastline complexity and environmental stress on sea otter effects. In BC, we...

Hessing-Lewis, Margot; Rechsteiner, Erin U.; Hughes, Brent B.; Tinker, M. Tim; Monteith, Zachary L.; Olson, Angeleen M.; Henderson, Matthew Morgan; Watson, Jane C.
Hessing-Lewis, M, EU Rechsteiner, BB Hughes, MT Tinker, ZL Monteith, AM Olson, MM Henderson, JC Watson. 2018. Ecosystem features determine seagrass community response to sea otter foraging. Marine Pollution Bulletin. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.09.047

Year Published: 2017

Landscape-scale variation in canopy water content of giant sequoias during drought

Recent drought (2012–2016) caused unprecedented foliage dieback in giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), a species endemic to the western slope of the southern Sierra Nevada in central California. As part of an effort to understand and map sequoia response to droughts, we studied the patterns of remotely sensed canopy water content (CWC),...

Paz-Kagan, Tarin; Vaughn, Nicolas R.; Martin, Roberta E.; Brodrick, Philip G.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian; Nydick, Koren R.; Asner, Gregory P.
Paz-Kagan, T, NR Vaughn, RE Martin, PG Brodrick, NL Stephenson, AJ Das, KR Nydick, GP Asner. 2018. Landscape-scale variation in canopy water content of giant sequoias during drought. Forest Ecology and Management. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2017.11.018