USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Northwest Research Station

 
 
 
Pacific Northwest Research Station
1220 SW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

Research Programs and Teams

2008 Science Accomplishments

2008 Science accomplishments cover
Alaska Communities and Forest Environments (Kruger)
Alaska Research and Analysis (Barrett)
Alaska Wood Utilization Center (Brackley)
Aquatic and Land Interactions-Corvallis (Reeves)
  • Pivotal research contributes to amphibian conservation worldwide

    A scientist determined the geographic and taxonomic scope of chytridiomycosis, an amphibian disease implicated in amphibian species decline and species extinctions around the world.

  • Landslide model useful in managing fish habitat

    The role of landslides in creating and maintaining fish habitat is a much-debated topic, but recent research suggests that they may be important sources of wood and spawning gravels, which are building blocks for fish habitat. Scientists developed a model that identifies landslide initiation sites and assesses the likelihood that a landslide from that site will reach a fishbearing stream.

  • When evaluating salmon habitat, life stage of salmon matters

    Researchers analyzed the relationships between salmon life-history stages and landscape characteristics at multiple spatial scales to assess salmon distribution and abundance.

  • Juvenile coho salmon move through culverts at lower flows than expected

    Streams that are intermittent during the summer but flow during the winter can be critical rearing areas for juvenile coho salmon in the Oregon Coast Range. Scientists found that fish begin moving into these streams with the first high flows of the fall season and over a much shorter period than previously thought.

Aquatic and Land Interactions-Olympia (Bisson)
  • Riparian forests regulate stream flow through evapotranspiration

    ALI scientists found that riparian forests are the primary location of lost streamflow from evapotranspiration in late summer in small watersheds. Their research highlights naturally occurring signals that could be used to improve understanding of watershed processes and to help inform management designed to protect or improve water quality.

  • Trout in Spirit Lake have unusual adaptations

    Spirit Lake's rainbow trout population has expanded rapidly since Mount St. Helens' catastrophic 1980 eruption, and the fish are exhibiting exceptional growth rates and unusual life histories. The unusual adaptations of Spirit Lake trout to the volcanic environment have piqued international scientific interest.

Aquatic and Land Interactions-Wenatchee (Woodsmith)
  • Less water volume and earlier melts projected for snowpack

    Much of the interior Columbia River basin depends on snowpack for its water supply. ALI scientists modeled snow accumulation and melt to forecast the effects of increasing temperatures on the availability of water. Now, watershed planners are using these projections about water supply to plan ahead for anticipated shortages.

Aquatic and Land Interactions-Juneau (Edwards)
  • Scientists quantify carbon fluxes in southeast Alaska

    As the climate warms, the rate at which carbon is released from the soils of coastal temperate rain forests could increase. ALI scientists continue to measure rates and controls of major fluxes to better understand the carbon cycle and the interplay between terrestrial and aquatic systems.

  • Glacier-fed watersheds differ from those without glaciers and have climate change implications

    Scientists found that as warming continues, stream habitats and the annual pattern of carbon and nutrient inputs to the marine system in southeast Alaska will be dramatically affected as glacial inputs are lost and the timing of runoff changes. This work is leading to improved hydrologic models that will help managers respond to various climate scenarios.

Atmosphere and Fire Interactions Research and Engineering (Potter)
Behavioral Chemistry and Ecology of Insects and Disease (Kelsey)
Biology and Culture of Forest Plants (Anderson)
Boreal Ecology Cooperative Research Unit (Hanley)
  • Moose shape the flood plains of interior Alaska

    What moose choose to eat plays a major role in the large-scale, landscape pattern of floodplain plant communities and in within-stand dynamics and element cycling in interior Alaska. Findings generated by BECRU scientists are being used to test predicted patterns of moose use of the landscape.

Canopy Processes in Temperate Mesic Forests (Meinzer)
Communities and Forest Management (Charnley)
Disturbance Ecology and Management (Vavra)
East-Side Forest Health Restoration (Hessburg)
Ecologically Sustainable Production of Forest Resources (Deal)
Ecology, Management, and Conservation of Sensitive Wildlife Species (Raphael)
Environmental Analysis and Research (Fried)
  • Scientists estimate carbon emission from Biscuit Fire

    To determine how much stored carbon the 2002 Biscuit Fire released, scientists estimated the amount of carbon in fuel "pools" by using prefire data from areas that were later burned. It is one of but a few studies that has attempted to empirically quantify wildfire-induced carbon exchange between terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere.

  • Scientists model carbon stores and flux in California forests

    California wants to lower its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. As part of this process, the legislature mandated a state-wide greenhouse gas inventory, which PNW scientists supported by modeling estimates of forest carbon stores and flux for the state circa 1990.

  • Carbon dynamics can be evaluated with inventory plots and satellite imagery

    Forests are both a sink and a source of carbon. Quantifying the direction and amount of change in forest carbon storage is necessary to evaluate the contribution of forests to global warming. Scientists compared the ability of maps, images, and a model with that of inventory data to estimate carbon amounts.

  • Effects of budworm outbreak analyzed for private lands in eastern Oregon

    Between 1980 and 1994, eastern Oregon was plagued by a severe outbreak of western spruce budworm. Scientists estimated the effects of the outbreak on private forest land in eastern Oregon, helping the Oregon Department of Forestry to prepare a briefing for the governor.

  • Tree growth response to climate warming depends on timing

    Trees growing at treeline at high latitudes are generally thought to be limited by available warmth, and most studies on treeline report tree growth increases with warmer temperatures. However, population-wide responses of treeline trees to climate remain largely unexamined. Scientists filled this knowledge gap by systematically sampling white spruce trees at treeline sites in the Brooks and Alaska Ranges.

  • Lichens indicate patterns of biodiversity, air quality, and climate

    Scientists found that lichen communities indicate key patterns in air quality, climate, and biodiversity in forests of Washington, Oregon, and California.

Fire and Environmental Research Applications (Peterson)
Science Delivery Team (Barbour)
Reducing Fire Risk to People and Resources Issue (Barbour)
Sustainable Wood Production Issue (Deal)
Forest Genetics (St. Clair)
Forest Landscapes and Ecosystems (Spies)
Inventory Reporting (Campbell)
Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics (Alig)
Mapped Atmosphere-Plant-Soil Systems (Neilson)
Portland Economics Team (Barbour)
Urban-Wildland Interactions (Blahna)
Silviculture and Ecology of Southeast Alaska (McClellan)
  • Scientists quantify carbon fluxes in southeast Alaska

    As the climate warms, the rate at which carbon is released from the soils of coastal temperate rain forests could increase. Station scientists continue to measure rates and controls of major fluxes to better understand the carbon cycle and the interplay between terrestrial and aquatic systems.

  • Glacier-fed watersheds differ from those without glaciers and have climate change implications

    Watersheds in southeast Alaska will be significantly altered as the climate warms. As warming continues, the loss of glacial inputs and changes in the timing of runoff related to changes in snowpack and snow-to-rain ratios will dramatically affect stream habitats and the annual pattern of carbon and nutrient inputs to the marine system.

  • New technique identifies sources of soil and stream productivity

    Soils provide important ecosystem services in the maintenance of terrestrial and aquatic biological systems, but it is difficult to identify the source of this easily degraded material that sustains primary production in soils and streams. Scientists used a novel modeling technique to determine if the type of organic material in watersheds is usable by stream microorganisms, an indicator of proper ecosystem function.

  • Western hemlock and Sitka spruce respond well to thinning

    Twenty years after it was begun, a long-term silviculture experiment on Alaska's Tongass National Forest is helping scientists understand how western hemlock Sitka spruce stands of different ages and site productivities respond to a range of thinning intensities.

Silviculture and Forest Models (Reutebuch)
Sustainable Ecosystem Productivity (Bormann)
  • Central Oregon 's sandy loam soils tolerant to postfire logging

    Logging activities can compact the soil, reducing its pore size and decreasing oxygen availability and the movement of water and nutrients to tree roots. In a recent study, scientists examined the effects of compaction and subsoiling-a practice in which the subsoil is fractured to release compaction-on soil microbes.

  • Intense wildfire alters forest soil

    For the first time, scientists were able to directly measure the effects of an intense wildfire on forest soils.

Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,18November2014 at11:49:43CST


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