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: 3,126
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Year Published: 2019

Sea-cliff bedstraw (Galium buxifolium) patterns and trends, 2005–14, on Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands, Channel Islands National Park, California

Sea-cliff bedstraw (Galium buxifolium [Rubiaceae]) is a delicate dioecious subshrub endemic to Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands, in the northern California Channel Islands. It was listed as endangered in 1997 under the Federal Endangered Species Act, threatened by soil loss, habitat alteration, and herbivory from more than a century of ranching...

McEachern, Kathryn; Chess, Katherine A.; Flagg, Karen; Niessen, Kenneth G.
McEachern, K., Chess, K.A., Flagg, K., and Niessen, K.G., 2019, Sea-cliff bedstraw (Galium buxifolium) patterns and trends, 2005–14, on Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands, Channel Islands National Park, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1054, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191054.

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Year Published: 2019

Species insurance trumps spatial insurance in stabilizing biomass of a marine macroalgal metacommunity

Because natural ecosystems are complex, it is difficult to predict how their variability scales across space and levels of organization. The species‐insurance hypothesis predicts that asynchronous dynamics among species should reduce variability when biomass is aggregated either from local species populations to local multispecies communities, or...

Lamy, Thomas; Wang, Shaopeng; Renard, Delphine; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Reed, Daniel C.; Miller, Robert J.

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Year Published: 2019

Postfire population dynamics of a fire-dependent cypress

Tecate cypress (Hesperocyparis forbesii) is a rare species restricted to four metapopulations in southern California, USA and a few isolated stands in northern Baja California, Mexico. It is a closed-cone, fire-dependent tree of conservation concern due to an increase in human-caused wildfires that have shortened the interval between fires in many...

Brennan, Teresa J.; Keeley, Jon

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Year Published: 2019

Wildfires as an ecosystem service

Wildfires are often viewed as destructive disturbances. We propose that when including both evolutionary and socioecological scales, most ecosystem fires can be understood as natural processes that provide a variety of benefits to humankind. Wildfires provide open habitats that enable the evolution of a diversity of shade-intolerant plants and...

Pausas, Juli G.; Keeley, Jon

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Year Published: 2019

The ecological uncertainty of wildfire fuel breaks: examples from the sagebrush steppe

Fuel breaks are increasingly being implemented at broad scales (100s to 10,000s of square kilometers) in fire‐prone landscapes globally, yet there is little scientific information available regarding their ecological effects (eg habitat fragmentation). Fuel breaks are designed to reduce flammable vegetation (ie fuels), increase the safety and...

Shinneman, Douglas; Germino, Matthew J.; Pilliod, David S.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Vaillant, Nicole; Coates, Peter S.

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Year Published: 2019

Drift and beaching patterns of sea otter carcasses and car tire dummies

Enumerating and examining marine animal carcasses is important for quantifying mortality rates and determining causes of mortality. Drifter experiments are one tool for estimating at‐sea mortality and determining factors affecting carcass drift, but they require validation to confirm drifters accurately replicate the drift characteristics of the...

Young, Colleen C.; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Ames, Jack A.; Staedler, Michelle M.; Hatfield, Brian; Harris, Mike; Golson-Fisch, Emily A

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Year Published: 2019

Feather mercury concentrations in North American raptors sampled at migration monitoring stations

We assessed total mercury (THg) concentrations in breast feathers of diurnal North American raptors collected at migration monitoring stations. For 9 species in the Pacific Flyway, we found species and age influenced feather THg concentrations whereas sex did not. Feather THg concentrations µg/g dry weight (dw) averaged (least-squared mean±...

Baurbour, Ryan; Martinico, Breanna L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hull, Angus C.; Fish, Allen M.; Hull, Joshua M.

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Year Published: 2019

Distinguishing disturbance from perturbations in fire-prone ecosystems

Fire is a necessary ecosystem process in many biomes and is best viewed as a natural disturbance that is beneficial to ecosystem functioning. However, increasingly we are seeing human interference in fire regimes that alter the historical range of variability for most fire parameters and result in vegetation shifts. Such perturbations can affect...

Keeley, Jon; Pausas, Juli G.

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Year Published: 2019

Sitting ducklings: Timing of hatch, nest departure, and predation risk for dabbling duck broods

For ground‐nesting waterfowl, the timing of egg hatch and duckling departure from the nest may be influenced by the risk of predation at the nest and en route to wetlands and constrained by the time required for ducklings to imprint on the hen and be physically able to leave the nest. We determined the timing of hatch, nest departure, and...

Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher; Croston, Rebecca; Feldheim, Cliff L.; Casazza, Michael L.

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Year Published: 2019

Topographic drivers of flight altitude over large spatial and temporal scales

Bird movements vary spatially and temporally, but the primary drivers that explain such variation can be difficult to identify. For example, it is well known that the availability of updraft influences soaring flight and that topography interacts with weather to produce these updrafts. However, the influences of topography on flight are not well...

Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Dunn, Leah; Bell, Douglas A.; Bloom, Peter H.; Fisher, Robert N.; Tracey, Jeff A.; Katzner, Todd E.
Duerr, A.E., Miller, T.A., Dunn, L., Bell, D.A., Bloom, P.H., Fisher, R.N., Tracey, J.A., Katzner, T.E., 2019, Topographic drivers of flight altitude over large spatial and temporal scales: The Auk: Ornithological Advances, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1093/auk/ukz002.

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Year Published: 2019

Which trees die during drought? The key role of insect host-tree selection

1. During drought, the tree subpopulations (such as size or vigor classes) that suffer disproportionate mortality can be conceptually arrayed along a continuum defined by the actions of biotic agents, particularly insects. At one extreme, stress dominates: insects are absent or simply kill the most physiologically stressed trees. At the...

Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian J.; Ampersee, Nicholas J.; Bulaon, Beverly M; Yee, Julie L.

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Year Published: 2019

Changes in breeding population sizes of double-crested Cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus in the Humboldt Bay area, California, 1924–2017

To better understand recent population growth of the Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus along the Pacific coast of North America, we assessed long-term breeding population trends in the Humboldt Bay area, California, using aerial photographic survey data collected since 1989 as well as available prior data. The earliest...

Capitolo, Phillip J.; Carter, Harry R; Yee, Julie L.; McChesney, Gerard J.; Parker, Michael W; Young, Richard J; Golightly, Richard T.; Tyler, W Breck