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Browse more than 160,000 publications authored by our scientists over the past 100+ year history of the USGS.  Publications available are: USGS-authored journal articles, series reports, book chapters, other government publications, and more.

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2020 Status of the Lake Ontario lower trophic levels

Significant Findings for Year 2020: Note that due to covid-19 restrictions, offshore sampling was limited in 2020.1) May – Oct total phosphorus (TP) in 2020 was 10.6 µg/L (offshore) and 7.7 µg/L (nearshore), higher than the long-term (1995-2019) average in the offshore (6.2 µg/L) and close to average in the nearshore (7.8 µg/L); mean TP values for the past decade (2010-2019) were 6.0 µg/L and 7.9
Kristen T. Holeck, Lars G. Rudstam, Christopher Hotaling, Dave Lemon, Web Pearsall, Jana Lantry, Mike Connerton, Chris Legard, Zy Biesinger, Brian F. Lantry, Brian C. Weidel, Brian O'Malley

Tools and technologies for quantifying spread and impacts of invasive species

The need for tools and technologies for understanding and quantifying invasive species has never been greater. Rates of infestation vary on the species or organism being examined across the United States, and notable examples can be found. For example, from 2001 to 2003 alone, ash (Fraxinus spp.) mortality progressed at a rate of 12.97 km year −1 (Siegert et al. 2014), and cheatgrass (Bromus tecto
Matt Reeves, Ines Ibanez, Dana Blumenthal, Gang Chen, Qinfeng Guo, Catherine S. Jarnevich, Jennifer Koch, Frank Sapio, Michael D. Schwartz, Ross K. Meentemeyer, Bruce Wylie, Stephen P. Boyte

Restoration of mangrove forest

Mangrove forests occur worldwide along tropical coasts in inundated soils where primary production and anaerobic conditions contribute to the building of soil organic matter (Also see Mangroves Hot-spot, Volume 2). Note that peat may accumulate in certain coastal mangrove (Middleton and McKee, 2001). The actual amount of soil organic matter stored in these wetlands depends on the balance between p
Beth Middleton, Eric Ward

Restoration of organic coastal and inland freshwater forests

Peatland forests occur worldwide in inundated soils where primary production and anaerobic conditions contribute to the building of soil organic matter (Günther et al., 2020). Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) can be substantial from drained freshwater forests with organic soils. Therefore, rewetting peat via hydrologic restoration (see factsheet n°12 on Peatland restoration, this volume) can restore
Beth Middleton, Eric Ward, Lorenzo Menichetti

Preserving soil organic carbon in prairie wetlands of central North America

Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) in the Great Plains of central North America are numerous, densely distributed, and have highly productive plant and animal communities (Photo 49). When in a natural, unaltered condition, these wetlands store relatively large amounts of organic carbon in their soils (Photo 50). Human alterations, such as extensive drainage and land-use conversion for ag
Sheel Bansal, Brian Tangen

Permafrost thaw in northern peatlands: Rapid changes in ecosystem and landscape functions

Peatlands within the northern permafrost region cover approximately 2 million km2 and are characterized by organic soils that can be several meters thick, and a fine-scale mosaic of permafrost and non-permafrost landforms interspersed by shallow ponds and lakes. Ongoing permafrost thaw is transforming these peatlands, causing abrupt changes to their morphology, hydrology, ecology, and biogeochemis
David Olefeldt, Liam Hefferman, Miriam C. Jones, A. Britta Sannel, Claire C. Treat, Merritt R. Turetsky

Extreme events trigger terrestrial and marine ecosystem collapses: A tale of two regions

We outline the multiple, cross-scale, and complex consequences of terrestrial and marine ecosystem heatwaves in two regions on opposite sides of the planet: the southwestern USA and southwestern Australia, both encompassing Global Biodiversity Hotspots, and where ecosystem collapses or features of it have occurred in the past two decades. We highlight ecosystem shifts that have clearly demonstrate
Katinka X. Ruthrof, Joseph B. Fontaine, David D. Breshears, Jason P. Field, Craig D. Allen

Navigating the science-policy interface

As a wildlife population ecologist who wants to conduct useful science, I find the Endangered Species Act (ESA), like other federal wildlife statutes, an intriguing read. The topic is in my wheelhouse—fish, wildlife, and plants, with a focus at the population and species levels. There is an emphasis on science, in fact, the “best scientific and commercial data available.” And there are intriguin
Michael C. Runge

A decision-analytical framework for developing harvest regulations

The development of harvest regulations for fish or wildlife is a complex decision that needs to weigh multiple objectives, consider a set of alternative regulatory options, integrate scientific understanding about the population dynamics of the harvested species as well as the human response to regulations, account for uncertainty, and provide an avenue for feedback from monitoring programs. The a
Michael C. Runge

Engaging hunters in selecting duck season dates using decision science: Problem framing, objective setting, devising management alternatives

Waterfowl hunters have an important economic impact on local, state, and national economies, and are important stakeholders in decisions regarding waterfowl harvest season dates. Individual states are responsible for annually setting duck season dates that conform to the migratory game bird season frameworks as set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The federal framework specifies season lengt
Angela K. Fuller, Joshua C. Stiller, William F. Siemer, Kelly A. Perkins

Using structured decision making to incorporate ecological and social values into harvest decisions: Case studies of white-tailed deer and walleye

Harvest decisions for fish and wildlife populations often include conflicting ecological, economic, and social values. Using decision analysis, such as structured decision making and adaptive management, as a framework to aid decision makers in multi-objective decision making for setting harvest regulations can lead to a more transparent and resilient decision. The process includes opportunities f
Kelly F. Robinson, Angela K. Fuller, Michael Jones

The future of managing ungulate species: White-tailed eeer as a case study

The future challenge to managing ungulate populations to meet objectives is likely to become more difficult as participation in recreational hunting declines and ungulate populations become more abundant. The authors use the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in North America as a case study to illustrate the management challenges facing decision makers. In states with fewer licensed deer
Duane R. Diefenbach, W. Matthew Knox, Christopher S. Rosenberry