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Publications

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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Positively selected genes in the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) lineage: Prominence of thymus expression, immune and metabolic function, and regions of ancient synteny

BackgroundBats of the genus Lasiurus occur throughout the Americas and have diversified into at least 20 species among three subgenera. The hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is highly migratory and ranges farther across North America than any other wild mammal. Despite the ecological importance of this species as a major insect predator, and the particular susceptibility of lasiurine bats to wind turb

Mass balance of two perennial snowfields: Niwot Ridge, Colorado and the Ulaan Taiga, Mongolia.

Perennial snowfields are generally receding worldwide, though the precise mechanisms causing recessions are not always well understood. Here we apply a numerical snowpack model to identify the leading factors controlling the mass balance of two perennial snowfields that have significant human interest: Arapaho glacier, located at Niwot Ridge in the Colorado Rocky Mountains (United States), and a s

Geophysical imaging of the Yellowstone hydrothermal plumbing system

The nature of Yellowstone National Park’s plumbing system linking deep thermal fluids to its legendary thermal features is virtually unknown. The prevailing concepts of Yellowstone hydrology and chemistry are that fluids reside in reservoirs with unknown geometries, flow laterally from distal sources and emerge at the edges of lava flows. Here we present a high-resolution synoptic view of pathways

Towards improving an Area of Concern: Main-channel habitat rehabilitation priorities for the Maumee River

The Maumee River watershed in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin has been impacted by decades of pollution and habitat modification due to human settlement and development. As such, the lower 35 km of the Maumee River and several smaller adjacent watersheds comprising over 2000 km2 were designated the Maumee Area of Concern (AOC) under the revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1987. As part

MIS 5e sea-level history along the Pacific coast of North America

The primary last interglacial, marine isotope substage (MIS) 5e records on the Pacific coast of North America, from Washington (USA) to Baja California Sur (Mexico), are found in the deposits of erosional marine terraces. Warmer coasts along the southern Golfo de California host both erosional marine terraces and constructional coral reef terraces. Because the northern part of the region is tecton

FishStan: Hierarchical Bayesian models for fisheries

Fisheries managers and ecologists use statistical models to estimate population-level relations and demographic rates (e.g., length-maturity curves, growth curves, and mortality rates). These relations and rates provide insight into populations and inputs for other models. For example, growth curves may vary across lakes showing fish populations differ due to management actions or underlying envir

Using carbon, nitrogen, and mercury isotope values to distinguish mercury sources to Alaskan lake trout

Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), collected from 13 remote lakes located in southwestern Alaska, were analyzed for carbon, nitrogen, and mercury (Hg) stable isotope values to assess the importance of migrating oceanic salmon, volcanic activity, and atmospheric deposition to fish Hg burden. Methylmercury (MeHg) bioaccumulation in phytoplankton (5.0–6.9 kg L–1) was also measured to quantify the bas

Reply to “Evidence for humans at White Sands National Park during the Last Glacial Maximum could actually be for Clovis people ~13,000 years ago” by C. Vance Haynes, Jr.

Bennett et al. (2021, Science 373, 1528–1531) reported that ancient human footprints discovered in White Sands National Park, New Mexico date to between ∼23,000 and 21,000 years ago. Haynes (2022, PaleoAmerica, this issue) proposes two alternate hypotheses to explain the antiquity of the footprints. One is that they were made by humans crossing over older sediments sometime during the Holocene. Th

Greater sage-grouse respond positively to intensive post-fire restoration treatments

Habitat loss is the most prevalent threat to biodiversity in North America. One of the most threatened landscapes in the United States is the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem, much of which has been fragmented or converted to non-native grasslands via the cheatgrass-fire cycle. Like many sagebrush obligates, greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) depend upon sagebrush for food and cov

Microbial source tracking and evaluation of best management practices for restoring degraded beaches of Lake Michigan

Attempts to mitigate shoreline microbial contamination require a thorough understanding of pollutant sources, which often requires multiple years of data collection (e.g., point/nonpoint) and the interacting factors that influence water quality. Because restoration efforts can alter shoreline or beach morphology, revisiting source inputs is often necessary. Microbial source tracking (MST) using so

Heterogeneous patterns of aged organic carbon export driven by hydrologic flow paths, soil texture, fire, and thaw in discontinuous permafrost headwaters

Climate change is thawing and potentially mobilizing vast quantities of organic carbon (OC) previously stored for millennia in permafrost soils of northern circumpolar landscapes. Climate-driven increases in fire and thermokarst may play a key role in OC mobilization by thawing permafrost and promoting transport of OC. Yet, the extent of OC mobilization and mechanisms controlling terrestrial-aquat