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

Integrating environmental DNA results with diverse data sets to improve biosurveillance of river health

Autonomous, robotic environmental (e)DNA samplers now make it possible for biological observations to match the scale and quality of abiotic measurements collected by automated sensor networks. Merging these automated data streams may allow for improved insight into biotic responses to environmental change and stressors. Here, we merged eDNA data...

Sepulveda, Adam J.; Hoegh, Andrew B.; Gage, Joshua A.; Caldwell Eldridge, Sara L.; Birch, James M.; Stratton, Christian; Hutchins, Patrick R.; Barnhart, Elliott

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Year Published: 2021

The smell of success: Reproductive success related to rub behavior in brown bears

Several species of bears are known to rub deliberately against trees and other objects, but little is known about why bears rub. Patterns in rubbing behavior of male and female brown bears (Ursus arctos) suggest that scent marking via rubbing functions to communicate among potential mates or competitors. Using DNA from bear hairs collected from...

Morehouse, Andrea T.; Loosen, Anne E.; Graves, Tabitha; Boyce, Mark S.

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Year Published: 2021

Genomic association with pathogen carriage in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)

Genetic composition can influence host susceptibility to, and transmission of, pathogens, with potential population‐level consequences. In bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), pneumonia epidemics caused by Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae have been associated with severe population declines and limited recovery across North America. Adult survivors...

Martin, Alynn Marie; Cassirer, E. Frances; Waits, Lisette P.; Plowright, Raina K.; Cross, Paul C.; Andrews, Kimberly R.

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Year Published: 2021

Accommodating the role of site memory in dynamic species distribution models

First-order dynamic occupancy models (FODOMs) are a class of state-space model in which the true state (occurrence) is observed imperfectly. An important assumption of FODOMs is that site dynamics only depend on the current state and that variations in dynamic processes are adequately captured with covariates or random effects. However, it is...

Direnzo, Graziella Vittoria; Miller, David A. W.; Hossack, Blake R.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Howell, Paige E.; Muths, Erin L.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.

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Year Published: 2021

Elk migration influences the risk of disease spillover in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Wildlife migrations provide important ecosystem services, but they are declining. Within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) some elk (Cervus canadensis) herds are losing migratory tendencies, which may increase spatiotemporal overlap between elk and livestock (domestic bison [Bison bison] and cattle [Bos taurus]), potentially exacerbating...

Rayl, Nathaniel D.; Merkle, J. A.; Proffitt, Kelly M.; Almberg, E. S.; Jones, Jennifer D.; Gude, Justin; Cross, Paul

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Year Published: 2021

Towards an urgent yet deliberate conservation strategy: Sustaining social-ecological systems in rangelands of the Northern Great Plains, Montana

Urgency and deliberateness are often at odds when executing conservation projects, especially as the scale and complexity of objectives increases. The pace of environmental degradation supports immediate and measurable action. However, best practices for adaptive governance and building resilient social-ecological systems call for more deliberate...

Epstein, Katie; Wood, David J. A.; Roemer, Kelli; Currey, Bryce; Duff, Hannah; Gay, Justin D; Goemann, Hannah; Loewen, Sasha; Milligan, Megan C; Wendt, John A F; Brookshire, E N Jack; Maxwell, Bruce D.; McNew, Lance B.; McWethy, Dave B; Stoy, Paul C.; Haggerty, Julia Hobson

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Year Published: 2021

Patterns and processes of pathogen exposure in gray wolves across North America

The presence of many pathogens varies in a predictable manner with latitude, with infections decreasing from the equator towards the poles. We investigated the geographic trends of pathogens infecting a widely distributed carnivore: the gray wolf (Canis lupus). Specifically, we investigated which variables best explain and predict geographic...

Brandell, E. E.; Cross, Paul; Craft, Meggan E.; Smith, Douglas W.; Dubovi, E. J.; Gilbertson, Marie L. J.; Wheeldon, Tyler; Stephenson, John A.; Barber-Meyer, Shannon; Borg, B. L.; Sorum, Mathew; Stahler, Daniel R.; Kelly, Allicia P; Anderson, Morgan; Cluff, H. D.; MacNulty, Daniel R.; Watts, David L.; Roffler, G.; Schwantje, Helen M.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Beckman, K.; Hudson, P. J.

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Year Published: 2021

A regional spatio-temporal analysis of large magnitude snow avalanches using tree rings

Snow avalanches affect transportation corridors and settlements worldwide. In many mountainous regions, robust records of avalanche frequency and magnitude are sparse or non-existent. However, dendrochronological methods can be used to fill this gap and infer historical avalanche patterns. In this study, we developed a tree-ring-based avalanche...

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

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Year Published: 2021

American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

American black bears (Ursus americanus) are endemic to North America, having speciated from other ursids some 1.2 to 1.8 million years ago (Kurtn & Anderson 1994). During that time, black bears came to occupy nearly all of the forested areas of the North American continent. Historically, black bears were one of the most important mammals to...

Clark, Joseph D.; Beckmann, Jon P.; Boyce, Mark S.; Leopold, Bruce D; Pelton, Michael R.
Clark, J. D., J. P. Beckmann, M. S. Boyce, B. D. Leopold, A. E. Loosen, and M. R. Pelton. 2021. American black bears. Pages 122-138 in Bears of the World: Ecology, Conservation and Management, V. Penteriani and M. Melletti, eds., Cambridge University Press,l Cambridge, United Kingdom.

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Year Published: 2021

Human activities and weather drive contact rates of wintering elk

Wildlife aggregation patterns can influence disease transmission. However, limited research evaluates the influence of anthropogenic and natural factors on aggregation. Many managers would like to reduce wildlife contact rates, driven by aggregation, to limit disease transmission. We develop a novel analytical framework to quantify how management...

Janousek, William Michael; Graves, Tabitha; Berman, Ethan; Chong, Geneva W.; Cole, Eric K; Dewey, Sarah; Johnston, Aaron; Cross, Paul

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Year Published: 2021

A metapopulation model of social group dynamics and disease applied to Yellowstone wolves

The population structure of social species has important consequences for both their demography and transmission of their pathogens. We develop a metapopulation model that tracks two key components of a species’ social system: average group size and number of groups within a population. While the model is general, we parameterize it to mimic the...

Brandell, E E; Dobson, A P; Hudson, PJ; Cross, Paul; Smith, Douglas W.

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Year Published: 2021

Adaptive monitoring in action: Reconsidering design-based estimators reveals underestimation of whitebark pine disease prevalence in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Identifying and understanding status and trends in ecological indicators motivates continual monitoring over decades. Many programs rely on probability surveys and their companion design-based estimators for status assessments (e.g. Horvitz–Thompson). Design-based estimators do not easily extend to trend estimation nor situations with observation...

Shanahan, Erin; Wright, Wilson; Irvine, Kathryn