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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: 3608

Neotropical migratory bird monitoring study at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California—2021 annual data summary

Executive SummaryTwo Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) stations were operated at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (MCBCP), California, in 2021: one at De Luz Creek and one at the Santa Margarita River. The stations were established to provide data on Neotropical migratory birds at MCBCP to support the dual missions of environmental stewardship and military readiness.A total of
Authors
Shannon Mendia, Barbara E. Kus

Status of greater sage-grouse in the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment—An evaluation of population trends, habitat selection, and efficacy of conservation actions

PrefaceThis study was completed to provide timely scientific information regarding greater sage-grouse population trends, habitat selection, and the efficacy of previous conservation actions implemented to benefit the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS). Specifically, we provide these analyses to inform the current (2024) status review and pending listing decision for the DPS being undertak
Authors
Peter S. Coates, Megan C. Milligan, Brian G. Prochazka, Brianne E. Brussee, Shawn T. O'Neil, Carl G. Lundblad, Sarah C. Webster, Cali L. Weise, Steven R. Mathews, Michael P. Chenaille, Cameron L. Aldridge, Michael S. O'Donnell, Shawn P. Espinosa, Amy C. Sturgill, Kevin E. Doherty, John C. Tull, Katherine Miller, Lief A. Wiechman, Steve Abele, John Boone, Heather Stone, Michael L. Casazza

A comparison of eDNA sampling methods in an estuarine environment on presence of longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys) and fish community composition

The loss of tidal wetlands in the San Francisco Bay estuary have led to declines in native fish presence. Restoration of tidal wetlands in this area has intensified, with a primary goal of increasing the number of native fishes. We compared the presence of longfin smelt in naturally accreted and beneficial dredge reuse wetlands as a measure of successful restoration. We used environmental DNA (eDN
Authors
Lizabeth Bowen, Shannon C. Waters, Lyndsay Lee Rankin, Karen M. Thorne, Daphne Gille, Susan De La Cruz, Isa Woo, Levi Lewis, Katie Karpenko, Cheryl Dean, Gregg Schumer

Best practices for genetic and genomic data archiving

Genetic and genomic data are collected for a vast array of scientific and applied purposes. Despite mandates for public archiving, data are typically used only by the generating authors. The reuse of genetic and genomic datasets remains uncommon because it is difficult, if not impossible, due to non-standard archiving practices and lack of contextual metadata. But as the new field of macrogenetics
Authors
Deborah M. Leigh, A. G. Vandergast, Maggie Hunter, Eric D. Crandall, W. Chris Funk, Colin J Garroway, Sean M. Hoban, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Christian Rellstab, Gernot Segelbacher, Chloe Schmidt, Ella Vázquez-Domínguez, Ivan Paz-Vinas

Distribution and abundance of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus) on the Upper San Luis Rey River, San Diego County, California—2023 data summary

Executive SummaryWe surveyed for Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus; flycatcher) along the upper San Luis Rey River near Lake Henshaw in Santa Ysabel, California, in 2023. Surveys were completed at four locations: three downstream from Lake Henshaw, where surveys previously occurred from 2015 to 2022 (Rey River Ranch [RRR], Cleveland National Forest [CNF], Vista Irrigation
Authors
Scarlett L. Howell, Barbara E. Kus

Modeling coupled dynamics of an empirical predator-prey system to predict top predator recovery

Limited data, time, and funding lead conservation managers to make difficult choices in managing species recovery. Coupled dynamical models are relied upon for decision support, but their application to empirical predator-prey systems has generally been restricted to small, tractable species. To broaden their use in conservation decision-making, we developed a model suitable for predicting the pop
Authors
Samantha N. M. Hamilton, M. T. Tinker, Joseph Jackson, Joseph A. Tomoleoni, Michael C. Kenner, Julie L. Yee, Tomoko Bell, Max C. N. Castorani, Benjamin H. Becker, Brent B. Hughes

Tool use increases mechanical foraging success and tooth health in southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Although tool use may enhance resource utilization, its fitness benefits are difficult to measure. By examining longitudinal data from 196 radio-tagged southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), we found that tool-using individuals, particularly females, gained access to larger and/or harder-shelled prey. These mechanical advantages translated to reduced tooth damage during food processing. We a
Authors
Chris J. Law, M. Tim Tinker, Jessica A. Fujii, Teri Nicholson, Michelle M. Staedler, Joseph A. Tomoleoni, Colleen Young, Rita S. Mehta

Homogenization of soil seed bank communities by fire and invasive species in the Mojave Desert

Soil seed banks help maintain species diversity through temporal storage effects and function as germination pools that can optimize fitness across varying environmental conditions. These characteristics promote the persistence of native plant communities, yet disturbances such as fire and associated invasions by non-native species can disrupt these reserves, fundamentally altering successional tr
Authors
Steven R. Lee, Robert C. Klinger, Matthew L. Brooks, Scott Ferrenberg

Landscape fragmentation overturns classical metapopulation thinking

Habitat loss and isolation caused by landscape fragmentation represent a growing threat to global biodiversity. Existing theory suggests that the process will lead to a decline in metapopulation viability. However, since most metapopulation models are restricted to simple networks of discrete habitat patches, the effects of real landscape fragmentation, particularly in stochastic environments, are
Authors
Yun Tao, Alan Hastings, Kevin D. Lafferty, Ilkka Hanski, Otso Ovaskainen

Stony coral tissue loss disease indirectly alters reef communities

Many Caribbean coral reefs are near collapse due to various threats. An emerging threat, stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), is spreading across the Western Atlantic and Caribbean. Data from the U.S. Virgin Islands reveal how SCTLD spread has reduced the abundance of susceptible coral and crustose coralline algae and increased cyanobacteria, fire coral, and macroalgae. A Caribbean-wide struct
Authors
Sara D. Swaminathan, Kevin D. Lafferty, Nicole S. Knight, Andrew H. Altieri

Season of grazing interacts with soil texture, selecting for associations of biocrust morphogroups

Livestock grazing, a widespread land use in semi-arid systems, is often placed in opposition to the perpetuation of biological soil crusts (“biocrusts”: lichens, mosses, and algal crusts including cyanobacteria) that live on the soil surface and provide ecosystem functions. The composition of biocrusts and vascular plants varies with climate, soils, and disturbance. In general, ruderal mosses and
Authors
Lea A. Condon, Roger Rosentreter, Kari E. Veblen, Peter S. Coates

Global mercury concentrations in biota: Their use as a basis for a global biomonitoring framework

An important provision of the Minamata Convention on Mercury is to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the adopted measures and its implementation. Here, we describe for the first time currently available biotic mercury (Hg) data on a global scale to improve the understanding of global efforts to reduce the impact of Hg pollution on people and the environment. Data from the peer-reviewed lit
Authors
David C. Evers, Josh T. Ackerman, Staffan Åkerblom, Dominique Bally, Niladri Basu, Kevin Bishop, Nathalie Bodin, Hans Fredrik Veitberg Braaten, Mark Burton, Paco Bustamante, Celia Y. Chen, John Chételat, Linroy Christian, Rune Dietz, Paul Drevnick, Collin Eagles-Smith, Luis Fernandez, Neil Hammerschlag, Mireille Harmelin-Vivien, Agustin Harte, Eva Kruemmel, Jose Lailson-Brito, Gabriella Medina, Cesar Rodriguez, Iain Stenhouse, Elsie M. Sunderland, Akinori Takeuchi, Timothy Tear, Claudia Vega, Simon Wilson, Pianpian Wu