Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

Publications

Below is a list of available NOROCK peer reviewed and published science. If you are in search of a specific publication and cannot find it below or through a search, please contact twojtowicz@usgs.gov.

Filter Total Items: 1,023
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Year Published: 2021

Is the grass always greener? Land surface phenology reveals differences in peak and season-long vegetation productivity responses to climate and management

Vegetation phenology—the seasonal timing and duration of vegetative phases—is controlled by spatiotemporally variable contributions of climatic and environmental factors plus additional potential influence from human management. We used land surface phenology derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer and climate data to examine...

Wood, David J. A.; Powell, Scott; Stoy, Paul C.; Thurman, Lindsey Leigh; Beever, Erik A.

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Year Published: 2021

Evaluating corticosterone as a biomarker for amphibians exposed to increased salinity and ambient corticosterone

Physiological biomarkers are commonly used to assess the health of taxa exposed to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Glucocorticoid (GC) hormones are often used as indicators of physiological stress in wildlife because they affect growth, reproduction and survival. Increased salinity from human activities negatively influences amphibians and...

Tornabene, Brian J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Crespi, Erica J; Breuner, Creagh W

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Year Published: 2021

Metal accumulation varies with life history, size, and development of larval amphibians

Amphibian larvae are commonly used as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health because they are susceptible to contaminants. However, there is limited information on how species characteristics and trophic position influence contaminant loads in larval amphibians. Importantly, there remains a need to understand whether grazers (frogs and...

Smalling, Kelly; Oja, Emily Bea; Cleveland, Danielle; Davenport, Jon D; Eagles-Smith, Collin; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Halstead, Brian J.; Stemp, Kenzi M; Tornabene, Brian J.; Bunnell, Zachary J; Hossack, Blake R.

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Year Published: 2021

Resilience to fire and resistance to annual grass invasion in sagebrush ecosystems of US National Parks

Western North American sagebrush shrublands and steppe face accelerating risks from fire-driven feedback loops that transition these ecosystems into self-reinforcing states dominated by invasive annual grasses. In response, sagebrush conservation decision-making is increasingly done through the lens of resilience to fire and annual grass...

Rodhouse, Thomas J.; Lonneker, Jeffrey; Bowersock, Lisa; Popp, Diana; Thompson, Jamela; Dicus, Gordon; Irvine, Kathryn M.

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Year Published: 2021

Spatial Gaussian processes improve multi-species occupancy models when range boundaries are uncertain and nonoverlapping

Species distribution models enable practitioners to analyze large datasets of encounter records and make predictions about species occurrence at unsurveyed locations. In omnibus surveys that record data on multiple species simultaneously, species ranges are often nonoverlapping and misaligned with the administrative unit defining the spatial...

Wright, Wilson; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Rodhouse, Tom; Litt, Andrea R.

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Year Published: 2021

Integration of geophysical evidence suggests that anorthosite composes a significant portion of Grand Marais ridge, an inferred basement high in western Lake Superior

The Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) is expressed geophysically by a semi-linear, regional gravity high that trends across the Midcontinent and Great Lakes region of North America. The gravity high is interrupted by two prominent, semi-circular gravity lows, which have been interpreted from modeling and seismic-reflection sections as basement highs...

Grauch, V. J.; Heller, Samuel J.

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Year Published: 2021

Broad-scale surface and atmospheric conditions during large fires in south-central Chile

The unprecedented size of the 2017 wildfires that burned nearly 600,000 hectares of central Chile highlight a need to better understand the climatic conditions under which large fires develop. Here we evaluate synoptic atmospheric conditions at the surface and free troposphere associated with anomalously high (active) versus low (inactive) months...

McWethy, David B.; Garreaud, René; Holz, Andrés; Pederson, Gregory T.

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Year Published: 2021

Climate drivers of large magnitude snow avalanche years in the U.S. northern Rocky Mountains

Large magnitude snow avalanches pose a hazard to humans and infrastructure worldwide. Analyzing the spatiotemporal behavior of avalanches and the contributory climate factors is important for understanding historical variability in climate-avalanche relationships as well as improving avalanche forecasting. We used established dendrochronological...

Peitzsch, Erich; Pederson, Gregory T.; Birkeland, Karl W.; Hendrikx, Jordy; Fagre, Daniel B.

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Year Published: 2021

Growth and defense characteristics of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var latifolia) in a high-elevation, disturbance-prone mixed-conifer forest in northwestern Montana, USA

Recent, widespread tree mortality in the western U.S. resulting from changes in climate, pathogens, insect activity, and forest management practices has led to concerns for many ecologically and culturally important species. Within conifers, resin-based defenses have long been recognized as a primary defense mechanism against a variety of insects...

Kichas, Nicholas E.; Trowbridge, Amy M.; Raffa, Kenneth F.; Malone, Shealyn C.; Hood, Sharon M.; Everett, Richard G.; McWethy, David B.; Pederson, Gregory T.

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Year Published: 2021

Enigmatic near‐extirpation in a boreal toad metapopulation in northwestern Montana

North America's protected lands harbor biodiversity and provide habitats where species threatened by a variety of stressors in other environments can thrive. Yet disease, climate change, and other threats are not limited by land management boundaries and can interact with conditions within protected landscapes to affect sensitive populations. We...

McCaffery, Rebecca; Russell, Robin E.; Hossack, Blake R.

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Year Published: 2021

Anthropogenic edge effects in habitat selection by sun bears in a protected area

Wildlife populations in southeast Asia are increasingly experiencing a broad array of anthropogenic threats, and mammalian carnivores are particularly vulnerable. Populations of the Malayan sun bear Helarctos malayanus are estimated to have declined by 30% over the last 30 years from forest conversion to industrial plantations and...

Tee, T. L; van Manen, Frank T.; Kretzschmar, P.; Sharp, S. P.; Wong, S. T.; Gadas, S.; Ratnayeke, S.