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National Aquatic Resource Surveys

Journal Articles Applying National Aquatic Resource Survey Data

In addition to development of the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) reports on the condition of the nation's waters, the data from the surveys are used by scientists and researchers to conduct additional research. 

The following is a collection of citations of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that apply NARS data. These articles are organized by water resource type.

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Coastal Waters and the Great Lakes


Hale, S.S., H.W. Buffum, J.A. Kiddon, and M.M. Hughes. 2017. Subtidal benthic invertebrates shifting northward along the US Atlantic coast. Estuaries and Coasts 40(6):1744-1756. doi:10.1007/s12237-017-0236-z


Gillett, D.J., S.B. Weisberg, T. Grayson, et al. 2015. Effect of ecological group classification schemes on performance of the AMBI benthic index in US coastal waters. Ecological Indicators 50:99-107.

Kelly, J.R., P. Yurista, M. Starry, J. Scharold, W. Bartsch, and A. Cotter. 2015. Exploration of spatial variability in nearshore water quality using the first Great Lakes National Coastal Condition Assessment survey. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(4):1060-1074.

Lietz, J.E., J.R. Kelly, J.V. Scharold, and P.M. Yurista. 2015. Can a rapid underwater video approach enhance the benthic assessment capability of the National Coastal Condition Assessment in the Great Lakes? Environmental Management 55(6):1446-1456.

Scharold, J.V., T.D. Corry, P.M. Yurista, and J.R. Kelly. 2015. Benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in the US nearshore zone of Lake Erie, 2009: Status and linkages to landscape-derived stressors. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(2):338-347.

Yurista, P.M., J.R. Kelly, and J.V. Scharold. 2015. Great Lakes nearshore-offshore: Distinct water quality regions. Journal of Great Lakes Research 42(2): 375-385.


Stahl. L.L., B.D. Snyder, A.R. Olsen, T.M. Kincaid, J.B. Wathen, and H.B. McCarty. 2014. Perfluorinated compounds in fish from US urban rivers and the Great Lakes. Science of the Total Environment 499:185-195.

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Beaver, J.R., T.R. Renicker, C.E. Tausz, and B.T. Vitanye. 2018. Distribution of six taxa in the family Bosminidae Baird (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Anomopoda) in the plankton of lakes and reservoirs within the continental United States, including expanded range of the invasive cladoceran Bosmina (Eubosmina) coregoni Baird. Zootaxa 4407(4):506-520.

Bowen, G.J., A. Putman, J.R. Brooks, D.R. Bowling, E.J. Oerter, and S.P. Good. 2018. Inferring the source of evaporated waters using stable H and O isotopes. Oecologia 187(4):1025-1039.

Hill, R.A., M.H. Weber, R.M. Debbout, S.G. Leibowitz, and A.R. Olsen. 2018. The Lake-Catchment (LakeCat) Dataset: characterizing landscape features for lake basins within the conterminous USA. Freshwater Science 37(2):208-221.

Lin, S., L.N. Novitski, J. Qi, and R.J. Stevenson. 2018. Landsat TM/ETM+ and machine-learning algorithms for limnological studies and algal bloom management of inland lakes. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 12(2):26003. DOI: 10.1117/1.JRS.12.026003

Pollard, A.I., S.E. Hampton, and D.M. Leech. 2018. The promise and potential of continental-scale limnology using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Lakes Assessment. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin 27(2): 36-41.


Lapierre, J.-F., D.A. Seekell, C.T. Filstrup, S.M. Collins, C. Emi Fergus, P.A. Soranno, and K.S. Cheruvelil. 2017. Continental-scale variation in controls of summer CO2 in United States lakes. Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences 122:875-885. doi 10.1002/2016JG003525.

Marion, J.W., F. Zhang, D. Cutting, and J. Lee. 2017. Associations between county-level land cover classes and cyanobacteria blooms in the United States. Ecological Engineering 108:556-563.

Taranu, Z.E., I. Gregory-Eaves, R.J. Steele, M. Beaulieu, and P. Legendre. 2017. Predicting microcystin concentrations in lakes and reservoirs at a continental scale: A new framework for modelling an important health risk factor. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26:625-637.

Yuan, L.L., and A.I. Pollard. 2017. Using national-scale data to develop nutrient-microcystin relationships that guide management decisions. Environmental Science & Technology 51:6972-6980.


Beisner, B.E., and C.C. Carey. 2016. Lake Name or Name Lake? The etymology of lake nomenclature in the United States. Freshwater Biology 61(9):1601-1609.

Hollister, J.W., and B.J. Kreakie. 2016. Associations between chlorophyll a and various microcystin-LR health advisory concentrations. F1000Research 5:151 10.12688/f1000research.7955.2

Hollister, J.W., W.B. Milstead, and B.J. Kreakie. 2016. Modeling lake trophic state: A random forest approach. Ecosphere 7:3 10.1002/ecs2.1321

Loftin, K.A., J.L. Graham, E.D. Hilborn, S.C. Lehmann, M.T. Meyer, J.E. Dietze, and C.B. Griffith. 2016. Cyanotoxins in inland lakes of the United States: Occurrence and potential recreational health risks in the EPA National Lakes Assessment 2007. Harmful Algae 56:77-90

Stoddard, J.L., J. Van Sickle, A.T. Herlihy, J. Brahney, S. Paulsen, D.V. Peck, R. Mitchell, and A.I. Pollard. 2016. Continental-scale increase in lake and stream phosphorus: are oligotrophic systems disappearing in the United States? Environmental Science and Technology 50(7):3409-3415. doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b05950


Doubek, J.P., C.C. Carey, and B.J. Cardinale. 2015. Anthropogenic land use is associated with N-fixing cyanobacterial dominance in lakes across the continental United States. Aquatic Sciences 77:681-694.

Ferrey, M.L., S. Heiskary, R. Grace, M.C. Hamilton, and A. Lueck. 2015. Pharmaceuticals and other anthropogenic tracers in surface water: A randomized survey of 50 Minnesota lakes. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 34(11):2475-2488. doi:10.1002/etc.3125.

Knoll, L.B., E.J. Hagenbuch, M.H. Stevens, M.J. Vanni, W.H. Renwick, J.C. Denlinger, R.S. Hale, and M.J. Gonzalez. 2015. Predicting eutrophication status at large spatial scales using landscape and morphometric variables. Inland Waters 5(3):202-214.

Read, E.K., V.P. Patil, S.K. Oliver, A.L. Hetherington, J.A. Brentrup, J.A. Zwart, K.M. Winters, J.R. Corman, E.R. Nodine, R.I. Woolway, H.A. Dugan, A. Jaimes, A.B. Santoso, G.S. Hong, L.A. Winslow, P.C. Hanson, and K.C. Weathers. 2015. The importance of lake-specific characteristics for water quality across the continental United States. Ecological Applications 25(4):943-955.

Yuan, L.L., and A.I. Pollard. 2015. Classifying lakes to quantify relationships between epilimnetic chlorophyll a and hypoxia. Environmental Management 55(3):578-587. 

Yuan, L.L., and A.I. Pollard. 2015. Deriving nutrient targets to prevent excessive cyanobacterial densities in U.S. lakes and reservoirs. Freshwater Biology 60(9):1901-1916. doi:10.1111/fwb.12620

Zwart, J.A., C.T. Solomon, and S.E. Jones. 2015. Phytoplankton traits predict ecosystem function in a global set of lakes. Ecology 96(8):2257-2264.


Beaver, J.R., E.E. Manis, K.A. Loftin, J.L. Graham, A.I. Pollard, and R.M. Mitchell. 2014. Land use patterns, ecoregion, and microcystin relationships in U.S. lakes and reservoirs: A preliminary evaluation. Harmful Algae 36:57-62. 

Brooks, J.R., J.J. Gibson, S.J. Birks, M.H. Weber, K.D. Rodecap, and J.L. Stoddard. 2014. Stable isotope estimates of evaporation: inflow and water residence time for lakes across the United States as a tool for national lake water quality assessments. Limnology and Oceanography 59(6):2150-2165.

Heiskary, S. M. Lindon, and J. Anderson. 2014. Summary of microcystin concentrations in Minnesota lakes. Lake and Reservoir Management 30(3):268-272.

Kaufmann, P.R., R.M. Hughes, J. Van Sickle, T.R. Whittier, C.W. Seeliger, and S.G. Paulsen. 2014. Lakeshore and littoral physical habitat structure: A field survey method and its precision. Lake and Reservoir Management 30(2):157-176.

Kaufmann, P.R., R.M. Hughes, T.R. Whittier, S.A. Bryce, and S.G. Paulsen. 2014. Relevance of lake physical habitat assessment indices to fish and riparian birds. Lake and Reservoir Management 30(2):177-191. 

Kaufmann, P.R., D.V. Peck, S.G. Paulsen, C.W. Seeliger, R.M. Hughes, T.R. Whittier, and N.C. Kamman. 2014. Lakeshore and littoral physical habitat structure in a national lakes assessment. Lake and Reservoir Management 30(2):192-215. 

Rigoisi, A., C.C. Carey, B.W. Ibelings, and J.D. Brookes. 2014. The interaction between climate warming and eutrophication to promote cyanobacteria is dependent on trophic state and varies among taxa. Limnology and Oceanography 59(1):99-114.

Yuan, L.L., and A.I. Pollard. 2014. Classifying lakes to improve precision of nutrient–chlorophyll relationships. Freshwater Science 33(4):1184-1194.

Yuan, L.L., A.I. Pollard, S. Pather, J.L. Oliver, and L. D’Anglada. 2014. Managing microcystin: identifying national-scale thresholds for total nitrogen and chlorophyll a. Freshwater Biology 59(9):1970-1981. 

Zimmerman, E.K., and B.J. Cardinale. 2014. Is the relationship between algal diversity and biomass in North American lakes consistent with biodiversity experiments? Oikos 124(3):267-278.


Beaulieu, M., F.R. Pick, and I. Gregory-Eaves. 2013. Nutrients and water temperature are significant predictors of cyanobacterial biomass in a 1147 lakes dataset. Limnology and Oceanography 58:1736-1746.

Herlihy, A.T., N.C. Kamman, J.C. Sifneos, D. Charles, M.D. Enache, and R.J. Stevenson. 2013. Using multiple approaches to develop nutrient criteria for lakes in the conterminous USA. Freshwater Science 32(2):367-384.

Milstead, W.B., J.W. Hollister, R.B. Moore, and H.A. Walker. 2013. Estimating summer nutrient concentrations in northeastern lakes from SPARROW load predictions and modeled hydraulic residence time. PLoS ONE 8(11):e81457 10.1371/journal.pone.0081457

Peck, D.V., A.R. Olsen, M.H. Weber, S.G. Paulsen, C. Peterson, and S.M. Holdsworth. 2013. Survey design and extent estimates for the National Lakes Assessment. Freshwater Science 32(4):1231-1245.

Stahl, L.L., B.D. Snyder, A.R. Olsen, and L.S. Walters. 2013. A national probabilistic study of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in fish from US lakes and reservoirs. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 185(12):10351-10364. 

Van Sickle, J. 2013. Estimating the risks of multiple, covarying stressors in the National Lakes Assessment. Freshwater Science 32(1):204-216. 


Hollister, J.W., W.B. Milstead, and M.A. Urrutia. 2011. Predicting maximum lake depth from surrounding topography. PLoS ONE 6(9):e25764 10.1371/journal.pone.0025764


Whittier, T.R., S.G. Paulsen, D.P. Larsen, S.A. Peterson, A.T. Herlihy, and P.R. Kaufmann. 2002. Indicators of ecological stress and their extent in the population of Northeastern lakes: a regional-scale assessment. Bioscience 52(3):235-247.

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Rivers and Streams


Bellmore, R.A., J.E. Compton, J.R. Brooks, E.W. Fox, R.A. Hill, D.J. Sobota, D.J. Thornbrugh, and M.H. Weber. 2018. Nitrogen inputs drive nitrogen concentrations in US streams and rivers during summer low flow conditions. Science of the Total Environment 639:1349-1359.

Huerta, B., S. Rodriguez-Mozaz, J. Lazorchak, D. Barcelo, A. Batt, J. Wathen, and L. Stahl. 2018. Presence of pharmaceuticals in fish collected from urban rivers in the U.S. EPA 2008-2009 National Rivers and Streams Assessment. Science of the Total Environment 634:542-549. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.387.

Thornbrugh, D.J., S.G. Leibowitz, R.A. Hill, M.H. Weber, Z.C. Johnson, A.R. Olsen, J.E. Flotermersch, J.L. Stoddard, and D.V. Peck. 2018. Mapping watershed integrity for the conterminous United States. Ecological Indicators 85:1133-1148.


Batt, A.L., J.B. Wathen, J.M. Lazorchak, A.R. Olsen, and T.M. Kincaid. 2017. Statistical survey of persistent organic pollutants: risk estimations to humans and wildlife through consumption of fish from U.S. rivers. Environmental Science and Technology 51(5):3021-3031. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05162

Carlisle, D.M., T.E. Grantham, K. Eng, and D.M. Wolock. 2017. Biological relevance of streamflow metrics: regional and national perspectives. Freshwater Science 36(4):927-940.

Hill, B.H., C.M. Elonen, A.T. Herlihy, T.M. Jicha, and R.M. Mitchell. 2017. A synoptic survey of microbial respiration, organic matter decomposition, and carbon efflux in U.S. streams and rivers. Limnology and Oceanography 62(S1):S147-S159. doi:10.1002/lno.10583

Hill, R.A., E.W. Fox, S.G. Leibowitz, A.R. Olsen, D.J. Thornbrugh, and M.H. Weber. 2017. Predictive mapping of the biotic condition of conterminous U.S. rivers and streams. Ecological Applications 27(8):2397-2415.

Van Metre, P.C., D.A. Alvarez, B.J. Mahler, L. Nowell, M. Sandstrom, and P. Moran. 2017. Complex mixtures of pesticides in midwest U.S. streams indicated by POCIS time-integrating samplers. Environmental Pollution 220:431-440.


Batt, A.L., T.M. Kincaid, M.S. Kostich, J.M. Lazorchak, and A.R. Olsen. 2016. Evaluating the extent of pharmaceuticals in surface waters of the United States using a national-scale rivers and streams assessment survey. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 35(4):874-881. doi:10.1002/etc.3161.

Hill. R.A., M.H. Weber, S.G. Leibowitz, A.R. Olsen, and D.J. Thornbrugh. 2016. The Stream‐Catchment (StreamCat) Dataset: A Database of Watershed Metrics for the Conterminous United States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 52(1):120-128.

Hubler, S., D.D. Huff, P. Edwards, and Y. Pan. 2016. The Biological Sediment Tolerance Index: Assessing fine sediments conditions in Oregon streams using macroinvertebrates. Ecological Indicators 67:132-145.

Omernik, J., S. Paulsen, G. Griffith, and M. Weber. 2016. Regional patterns of total nitrogen concentrations in the National Rivers and Streams Assessment. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 71(3): 167-181.

Stoddard, J.L., J. Van Sickle, A.T. Herlihy, J. Brahney, S. Paulsen, D.V. Peck, R. Mitchell, and A.I. Pollard. 2016. Continental-scale increase in lake and stream phosphorus: are oligotrophic systems disappearing in the United States? Environmental Science and Technology 50(7):3409-3415. doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b05950

Van Metre, P.C., J.W. Frey, M. Musgrove, N. Nakagaki, S. Qi, B.J. Mahler, M.E. Wieczorek, and D.T. Button. 2016. High nitrate concentrations in some midwest United States streams in 2013 after the 2012 drought. Journal of Environmental Quality 45:1696–1704.


Scott, T. 2015. Does collaboration make any difference? Linking collaborative governance to environmental outcomes. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 34(3):537-566. doi:10.1002/pam.21836

Wathen, J.B., J.M. Lazorchak, A.R. Olsen, and A. Batt. 2015. A national statistical survey assessment of mercury concentrations in fillets of fish collected in the U.S. EPA national rivers and streams assessment of the continental USA. Chemosphere 122:52-61. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.11.005.


Hill, B.H., R.K. Kolka, F.H. McCormick, and M.A. Starry. 2014. A synoptic survey of ecosystem services from headwater catchments in the United States. Ecosystem Services 7:106-115. 

Jessup, B.K., P.R. Kaufmann, F. John, L.S. Guevara, and S. Joseph. 2014. Bedded sediment conditions and macroinvertebrate responses in New Mexico streams: A first step in establishing sediment criteria. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 50(6):1558-1574. doi:10.1111/jawr.12224.

Stahl. L.L., B.D. Snyder, A.R. Olsen, T.M. Kincaid, J.B. Wathen, and H.B. McCarty. 2014. Perfluorinated compounds in fish from US urban rivers and the Great Lakes. Science of the Total Environment 499:185-195.

Wilkerson, G.V., D.R. Kandel, L.A. Perg, W.E. Dietrich, P.R. Wilcock, and M.R. Whiles. 2014. Continental-scale relationship between bankfull width and drainage area for single-thread alluvial channels. Water Resources Research 50(2):919-936. doi:10.1002/2013WR013916.


Hill, B.H., C.M. Elonen, L.R. Seifert, A.A. May, and E. Tarquinio. 2012. Microbial enzyme stoichiometry and nutrient limitation in US streams and rivers. Ecological Indicators 18:540-551.

Kaufmann, P.R., and J.M. Faustini. 2012. Simple measures of channel habitat complexity predict transient hydraulic storage in streams. In a special issue: The Importance of Habitat Complexity in Waterscapes Hydrobiologia 685(1):69-95. 

Pan, Y., R.M Hughes, A.T. Herlihy, and P.R. Kaufmann. 2012. Non-wadeable river bioassessment: spatial variation of benthic diatom assemblages in Pacific Northwest rivers, USA. Hydrobiologia 684(1):241-260. 


Hill, B.H., and D.W. Bolgrien. 2011. Nitrogen removal by streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi River basin. Biogeochemistry 102:183-194. DOI 10.1007/s10533-010-9431-8.

Hill, B.H., D.W. Bolgrien, A.T. Herlihy, T.M. Jicha, and T.R. Angradi. 2011. Synoptic survey of nitrogen and phosphorus in tributary streams and great rivers of the Upper Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River Basins. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 216:605–619. DOI 10.1007/s11270-010-0556-0.

Hughes, R.M., P.R. Kaufmann, and M. Weber. 2011. National and regional comparisons between Strahler order and stream size. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30(1):103-121.


Bryce, S.A., G.A. Lomnicky, and P.R. Kaufmann. 2010. Protecting sediment-sensitive aquatic species in mountain streams through the application of biologically based criteria streambed sediment criteria. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29(2):657-672.

Hughes, R.M., A.T. Herlihy, and P.R. Kaufmann. 2010. An evaluation of qualitative indices of physical habitat applied to agricultural streams in ten U.S. States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 46(4):792-806.

Yuan, L.L. 2010. Estimating the effects of excess nutrients on stream invertebrates from observational data. Ecological Applications 20(1):110-125.


Faustini, J.M., P.R. Kaufmann, and A.T. Herlihy. 2009. Downstream variation in bankfull width of wadeable streams across the conterminous United States. Geomorphology 108:292-311.

Kaufmann, P.R., D.P. Larsen, and J.M. Faustini. 2009. Bed stability and sedimentation associated with human disturbances in Pacific Northwest streams. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 45(2):434-459.


Kaufmann, P.R., J.M. Faustini, D.P. Larsen, and M.A. Shirazi. 2008. A roughness-corrected index of relative bed stability for regional stream surveys. Geomorphology 99:150-170.

Stribling, J.B., K.L. Pavlik, S.M. Holdsworth, and E.W. Leppo. 2008. Data quality, performance, and uncertainty in taxonomic identification for biological assessments. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27(4):906-919. doi: 10.1899/07-175.1.

Yuan, L.L., C.P. Hawkins, and J. Van Sickle. 2008. Effects of regionalization decisions on an O/E index for the US national assessment. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27(4):892-905.


Faustini, J.M., and P.R. Kaufmann. 2007. Adequacy of visually classified particle count statistics from regional stream habitat surveys. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 43(5):1293-1315.


Kaufmann, P.R., and R.M. Hughes. 2006. Geomorphic and anthropogenic influences on fish and amphibians in Pacific Northwest coastal streams. In: R.M. Hughes, L. Wang and P.W. Seelbach (Editors), Landscape Influences on Stream Habitats and Biological Assemblages. American Fisheries Society Symposium 48:429-455, Bethesda, Maryland.(28 pp, 834 K, About PDF)


Kaufmann, P.R., P. Levine, E.G. Robison, C. Seeliger, and D.V. Peck. 1999. Quantifying physical habitat in wadeable streams. EPA 620/R-99/003. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Corvallis, OR. Search the EPA Archive for this document.

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Hill, B.H., C.M. Elonen, A.T. Herlihy, T.M. Jicha, and G. Serenbetz. 2018. Microbial ecoenzyme stoichiometry, nutrient limitation, and organic matter decomposition in wetlands of the conterminous United States. Wetlands Ecology and Management 26(3):425-439.

Stapanian, M.A., B. Gara, and W. Schumacher. 2018. Surrounding land cover types as predictors of palustrine wetland vegetation quality in conterminous USA. Science of The Total Environment 619:366-375.


Moon, J.B., T.H. DeWitt, M.N. Errend, R.J.F. Bruins, M.E. Kentula, S.J. Chamberlain, M.S. Fennessy, and K.J. Naithani. 2017. Model application niche analysis: assessing the transferability and generalizability of ecological models. Ecosphere 8(10): e01974.


Miller, K.M., B.R. Mitchell, and B.J. McGill. 2016. Constructing multimetric indices and testing ability of landscape metrics to assess condition of freshwater wetlands in the Northeastern US. Ecological Indicators 66:143-152. doi:

Nahlik, A.M., and M.S. Fennessy. 2016. Carbon storage in US wetlands. Nature Communications 7:13835 doi: 10.1038/ncomms13835

Stapanian, M.A., W. Schumacher, B. Gara, J.V. Adams, and N. Viau. 2016. Moss and vascular plant indices in Ohio wetlands have similar environmental predictors. Ecological Indicators 62:138-146.

Stapanian, M.A., W. Schumacher, B. Gara, and S.E. Monteith. 2016. Negative effects of excessive soil phosphorus on floristic quality in Ohio wetlands. Science of the Total Environment 551-552:556-562.


Hernandez, E.C., K.C. Reiss, and M.T. Brown. 2015. Effect of time on consistent and repeatable macrophyte index for wetland condition. Ecological Indicators 52:558-566.


Hansen, V.D., and J.A. Nestlerode. 2014. Carbon sequestration in wetland soils of the northern Gulf of Mexico coastal region. Wetlands Ecology and Management 22(3):289-303. doi:10.1007/s11273-013-9330-6. 

Nestlerode, J.A., V.D. Hansen, A. Teague, and M.C. Harwell. 2014. Application of a three-tier framework to assess ecological condition of Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 186(6):3477-3493. 

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