Research & Development
abiotic: not involving or produced by organisms;
abiotic agents or stressors - forces or factors that aren't biological,
such as weather or soil parent material; stressors are stress-causing
forces or factors.
age-class distributions: an age-class is a distinct
aggregation of trees originating from a single natural event or
regeneration activity, or a grouping of trees, e.g., a 10-year age
class, as used in inventory or management. An age-class distribution
is the location and/or proportionate representation of different
age classes in a forest.
anthropogenic: of, relating to, or influenced
by the impact of humans on nature.
aquatic ecosystems: abiotic and biotic components
of bodies of water and associated terrestrial areas, including streams,
lakes, ponds, springs, estuaries, and oceans.
atmospheric deposition: the transfer of materials
from the atmosphere by dry and wet deposition to the surface of
the earth. Acidic deposition involves the transfer of acidic or
atmospheric pollution: solid, liquid, or gaseous
materials that occur in the troposphere in quantities in excess
of normal amounts--they may result from both human and natural processes.
biocontrol:the control of insect pests and diseases
through the use of a living organism (e.g., viruses, parasitic wasps,
and mice and all feed on or use the life stages of the gypsy moth
biological diversity: the variety and abundance
of life forms, processes, functions, and structures, including the
relative complexity of species, communities, gene pools, and ecosystems
at spatial scales that range from local through regional to global.
biogeochemical cycling: the flow of energy, water,
and elements between the atmosphere, biomass, soil, and geologic
material. Nutrient cycles focus on chemical elements essential for
life (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, or calcium).
bioindicator: changes in organisms that can be
reliably used to indicate a change in the environment. These changes
may be physiological, chemical, or behavioral.
biomass: the total quantity, at a given time,
of living organisms of one or more species per unit area.
biorational: the control of insect pests and diseases
through the use of a biological agent other than a living organism
-- for example proteins (e.g., Bt toxins) that are toxic to insects
are used as biorational control agents.
carbon budget: the balance of exchanges of carbon
between carbon reservoirs (e.g., forest biomass, forest soil) --
carbon budgets indicate whether a reservoir is emitting or storing
exotic organisms: non-indigenous plants, animals,
and microbes found beyond their natural ranges.
experimental forest: an area administered by the
United States Forest Service, sometimes with cooperators, "to
provide for the research necessary for the management of the land."
FIBER: "Forest Increment Based on Ecological
Rationale" is a stand projection growth model for the major
commercial tree species in New England -- a range of even-aged and
uneven-aged silviculture treatments and harvesting schedules can
be applied to forest stands growing ecological land classifications
of sugar maple-ash, beech-red maple, oak-white pine, spruce-fir,
hemlock-spruce, and cedar-black spruce.
gap dynamics: a regeneration process whereby small-scale,
localized disturbance gaps form in the canopy, as one or a few trees
die, and release resources of light, nutrients, water, etc. for
colonization of the gap by seedlings or saplings of the same or
genetic engineering: the manipulation of nucleic
acid sequences -- the manipulation of a gene(s) in an organism to
achieve a desired change in phenotype -- the transfer of a gene
from one organism (e.g., the human insulin gene) into another (e.g.,
E. coli) for the purpose of producing the protein coded for by that
gene (human insulin).
genotype: the genetic constitution of an individual
geomorphology: the study of the land and submarine
relief features of the earth's surface and their genetic interpretation.
genetic marker: a dominant gene or trait that
can be used to identify a gene or phenotypic trait(s) associated
geographic information systems: systems known
as Geographic Information Systems vary widely in capability, but
they all essentially contain functions for the capture, storage,
retrieval, transformation, manipulation, analysis and display of
spatial data--a spatial database management system.
GypsES: a GIS-based decision support system for
gypsy moth management, under development by the Northeastern Research
Station and cooperators.
hardwood log grading: a method of classifying
merchantable woods-run logs in log classes (grades) that reflect
yield and potential value.
hydrological cycle: the continuous circulation
of water from the atmosphere to earth and oceans and back again,
powered by solar energy.
in vitro selection: the choice and propagation
of desirable trees or other plants using plant cultures and biotechnology.
molecular marker: a gene or DNA sequence that
can be used to identify an organism, species, or strain or phenotypic
trait(s) associated with it.
natural disturbance regimes: the temporal and
spatial relationships of a disturbance on a site; includes the frequency
of occurrence, the return interval (time to the next occurrence),
and the rotation interval (time to disturb an entire area).
NED: a set of computer-based decision-support
tools for natural resource management for multiple objectives, under
development by the Northeastern Research Station and cooperators.
nutrient budget: the measure of the input and
outflow of elements through the various components of an ecosystem.
pathogen: a specific causative agent of disease.
remote sensing: the acquisition of information
about an object without physical contact. The result can be either
photographs or digital imagery, and can contain a wide range of
spectral, spatial, and temporal scales. Image analysis, whether
manual or computer-assisted, is an important technique for deriving
information from remotely-sensed imagery for input into a GIS.
riparian: relating to or situated on the bank
of a river or stream.
silvics: the study of the life history and general
characteristics of forest trees and stands with particular reference
to locality factors, as a basis for the practice of silviculture.
silviculture: the art and science of controlling
the establishment, growth, composition, health and quality of forests
and woodlands to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners
and society on a sustainable basis.
smolt: a young salmon that is about two years
old and at the stage of development when it assumes the silvery
color of the adult.
spatial scale: the size of area at which different
ecological processes occur -- for example, photosynthesis occurs
at a cellular scale, measured in microns, while tornadoes occur
at a landscape scale, measured in tens to thousands of square miles.
stand: a contiguous group of trees sufficiently
uniform in age class distribution, composition, and structure, and
growing on a site of sufficiently uniform quality, to be a distinguishable
sustainability: a measure of the extent to which
our activities meet "the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
technology transfer: the transfer of ideas, information,
methods, procedures, techniques, tools, or technology from the developers
to potential users. Methods of technology transfer include scientific
publications in peer-reviewed journals, articles in management-oriented
publications, computer programs, training sessions, tours, workshops
understory: generally, trees and woody species
growing under the largest trees in a forest or forest stand; sometimes
the plant community on the forest floor, including tree seedlings.
urban forestry: the management of vegetation,
particularly trees and forests, to improve the urban environment
and the quality of life of people who live, work, and spend their
leisure time in urban and urbanizing landscapes.
vegetative strata: a distinct layer of vegetation
within a forest community.
vernal pool: a temporary pool of water formed
during a spring thaw.