Western Ecological Research Center

Publications

Below is a list of WERC's peer-reviewed publications. If you are searching for a specific publication and cannot find it in this list, please contact werc_web@usgs.gov

Filter Total Items: 3,115
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Year Published: 2020

Using remotely sensed data to map Joshua Tree distributions at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, 2018

Species distribution models (SDMs) that are derived through inference have been used to provide important insights toward species distributions. Their inferences can be robust in relation to known presences, but SDMs have error rates that cannot be quantified with certainty. For large plant species with unique signatures and in sparsely vegetated...

Esque, Todd C.; Baird, Patrick E.; Chen, Felicia C.; Housman, David C.; Holton, Tom J.
Esque, T.C., Baird, P.E., Chen, F.C., Housman, D., and Holton, J.T., 2020, Using remotely sensed data to map Joshua Tree distributions at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5053, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205053.

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Year Published: 2020

Black abalone surveys at Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island, California: 2019, annual report

The U.S. Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center’s Santa Cruz Field Station, Santa Cruz, California, has been funded by the U.S. Navy to continue monitoring a suite of intertidal black abalone sites at San Nicolas Island, California. The nine rocky intertidal sites were established in 1980 by Glenn VanBlaricom (then of the U.S. Fish...

Kenner, Michael C.
Kenner, M.C., 2020, Black abalone surveys at Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island, California: 2019, annual report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1047, 41 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201047.

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Year Published: 2020

19-day-old greater sage-grouse chick killed by Great Basin gopher snake

Despite extensive range overlap between Great Basin gopher snakes (Pituophis catenifer deserticola) and Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) within sagebrush ecosystems, there are few documented predator–prey interactions between these species. Although gopher snakes have been observed preying on nests of other prairie grouse, studies...

McIntire, Sarah E; Rabon, Jordan C; Coates, Peter S.; Ricca, Mark A.; Johnson, Tracey N

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Year Published: 2020

High-throughput sequencing reveals distinct regional genetic structure among remaining populations of an endangered salt marsh plant in California

Conservation of rare species requires careful consideration to both preserve locally adapted traits and maintain genetic diversity, as species’ ranges fluctuate in response to a changing climate and habitat loss. Salt marsh systems in California have been highly modified and many salt marsh obligate species have undergone range reductions and...

Milano, Elizabeth R.; Mulligan, Margaret R; Rebman, Jon P.; Vandergast, Amy G.

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Year Published: 2020

Abundance and productivity of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) off central California during the 2019 breeding season

Marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) have been listed as “endangered” by the State of California and “threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1992 in California, Oregon, and Washington. Information regarding marbled murrelet abundance, distribution, population trends, and habitat associations is critical for risk assessment...

Felis, Jonathan J.; Kelsey, Emily C.; Adams, Josh; Horton, Cheryl; White, Laura (Laney)
Felis, J.J., Kelsey, E.C., Adams, J., Horton, C., and White, L., 2020, Abundance and productivity of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) off central California during the 2019 breeding season: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1123, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds 1123.

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Year Published: 2020

An uncertain future for a population of desert tortoises experiencing human impacts

We evaluated the status of a population of Mojave Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), a threatened species, in the El Paso Mountains of the northwestern Mojave Desert in California, USA. The study area lies north of and adjacent to a designated critical habitat unit for the species, is adjacent to a state park, and is a short distance from the...

Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Lyren, Lisa L.; Mack, Jeremy S

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Year Published: 2020

Mapping fire regime ecoregions in California

The fire regime is a central framing concept in wildfire science and ecology and describes how a range of wildfire characteristics vary geographically over time. Understanding and mapping fire regimes is important for guiding appropriate management and risk reduction strategies and for informing research on drivers of global change and altered...

Syphard, Alexandra D.; Keeley, Jon

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Year Published: 2020

Spatial epidemiological patterns suggest mechanisms of land-sea transmission for Sarcocystis neurona in a coastal marine mammal

Sarcocystis neurona was recognised as an important cause of mortality in southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) after an outbreak in April 2004 and has since been detected in many marine mammal species in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Risk of S. neurona exposure in sea otters is associated with consumption of clams and soft-sediment prey and...

Burgess, Tristan; Tinker, TIm M; Miller, Melissa A.; Smith, Woutrina A.; Bodkin, James L.; Murray, Michael J.; Nichol, Linda M.; Saarinen, Justin A.; Larson, Shawn E.; Tomoleoni, Joseph; Conrad, Patricia A.; Johnson, Christine K.

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Year Published: 2020

Amphibian responses in the aftermath of extreme climate events

Climate change-induced extinctions are estimated to eliminate one in six known species by the end of the century. One major factor that will contribute to these extinctions is extreme climatic events. Here, we show the ecological impacts of recent record warm air temperatures and simultaneous peak drought conditions in California. From 2008–2016,...

Bucciarelli, Gary M.; Clark, Morgan; Delaney, Katy S.; Riley, Seth P D; Shaffer, H Bradley; Fisher, Robert N.; Honeycutt, Rodney L; Kats, Lee B.
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Year Published: 2020

Broad-scale impacts of an invasive native predator on a sensitive native prey species within the shifting avian community of the North American Great Basin

Human enterprise has modified ecosystem processes through direct and indirect alteration of native predators’ distribution and abundance. For example, human activities subsidize food, water, and shelter availability to generalist predators whose subsequent increased abundance impacts lower trophic-level prey species. The common raven (Corvus corax...

Coates, Peter S.; O'Neil, Shawn; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Jackson, Pat J.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Howe, Kristy B.; Moser, Ann M.; Foster, Lee J.; Delahunty, David J

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Year Published: 2020

Timing, frequency, and duration of incubation recesses in dabbling ducks

Nest attendance is an important determinant of avian reproductive success, and identifying factors that influence the frequency and duration of incubation recesses furthers our understanding of how incubating birds balance their needs with those of their offspring. We characterized the frequency and timing (start time, end time, and duration) of...

Croston, Rebecca; Hartman, C. Alex; Herzog, Mark P.; Casazza, Michael L.; Feldheim, Cliff L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.
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Year Published: 2020

Genes in space: What Mojave desert tortoise genetics can tell us about landscape connectivity

Habitat loss and fragmentation in the Mojave Desert have been increasing, which can create barriers to movement and gene flow leading to decreased populations of native species. Disturbance and degradation of Mojave desert tortoise habitat includes linear features (e.g. highways, railways, and a network of dirt roads), urbanized areas, and their...

Dutcher, Kirsten E; Vandergast, Amy G.; Esque, Todd C.; Mitelberg, Anna; Matocq, Marjorie D; Heaton, Jill S.; Nussear, Ken E