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Pacific Northwest Research Station
Blue Mountains National Resources Institute

Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory
1401 Gekeler Lane
La Grande, OR 97850

United States Forest Service.

BMNRI Home > Research > Research Framework > Table 1


Research

Research Framework
   
   

Table 1. Research elements grouped by major study area.


 

1. MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

  1. Demonstrate and test management practices for rehabilitating and maintaining ecosystems.
    Develop demonstration areas to showcase alternative management practices.
    Determine social and economic consequences and tradeoffs (ecologic and economic) of management practices.
    Determine the effect of management practices on insects, diseases, and natural enemies (practices such as: silvicultural tools—thinning, cutting practices; salvage of dead and dying trees; prescribed burning; chemical applications—aerial applied insecticides, fertilizers).
    Evaluate water management practices such as riparian buffers and utilization for effect on water quality, riparian areas, and fish.
    Determine cumulative effects/assimilative capacity of riparian systems on water quality.
    Develop cost-effective ecosystem monitoring strategies.
    Identify critical factors in managing noxious weeds.
    Identifying sites at risk and determine factors which keep us from achieving noxious weed control.
    Determine effects of management practices on potential resource outputs.
  2. Evaluate linkages of landscape ecology to management practices.
    Determine effects of noxious weeds on succession.
    Determine social and economic consequences and tradeoffs (ecological and economic) of ecosystem management alternatives.
    Identify impacts of road systems including environmental effects of low-impact construction practices.
    Determine risks that are created on land, private and public, from "insufficient" management.
    Determine procedures to safeguard stressed ecosystems.
 
 

2. UPLAND, RIPARIAN, AND AQUATIC INTERACTION

  1. Determine historical water quality and quantity trends, both seasonal and annual cycles.
    Determine present use and demand of water and analyze tradeoffs.
    Determine impacts of water use on quality and quantity trends.
  2. Determine interactions between upland, riparian, and aquatic ecosystems.
 
 

3. LANDSCAPE PATTERNS AND PROCESSES AS INFLUENCED BY DISTURBANCE AGENTS

  1. Determine how historical landscape patterns, present patterns, and alternative future patterns compare and how trends relate to ecosystem and landscape diversity.
  2. Describe the natural fire regimes of the various plant associations (extent, intensity, and frequency).
  3. Describe the natural insect and disease population dynamics and that of their natural enemies (include influence of drought).
 
 

4. ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION AND STRUCTURE

  1. Determine the critical and/or limiting ecosystem functions and structures that limit achieving sustainability (define structural legacies that are needed—most important for the long term).
    Determine the limiting factors on forest productivity, growth, yield, regeneration, and net primary productivity.
  2. Determine disturbance effects on structure and function, and relate to sustainable resource productivity.
    Determine what successional patterns (distribution and composition) are required to maintain ecosystem function, structure, and process and structural diversity (includes old-growth structural attributes).
  3. Define the social, economic, and biological values of biodiversity.
 
 

5. FIRE EFFECTS—PAST AND PRESENT

  1. Define fire effects both in the past and under the present conditions on biomass, air quality, plant dynamics, soils, and wildlife and how they relate to fire intensity, seasonality, and frequency of fire.
    Identify the impacts of prescribed and wildfires on cultural resources.
    Determine effects of wildfire on insects, diseases, and their natural enemies.
    Determine effects of prescribed and wildfire on soils and microorganisms (flora and fauna).
    Determine fire effects on ecosystem function.
  2. Air, water quality, and productivity risks.
    Determine air and water quality interactions with fire and public values.
    Determine and analyze the tradeoffs and assess risk of continued fire suppression and of use of prescribed fire on air quality, water quality, and site productivity.
    Analyze the social, economic, and legal viability of fire as a tool.
 
 

6. ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ADAPTABILITY

  1. Conduct a detailed assessment of realistic development alternatives including linkages, conflicts, and potential trade-offs. Alternatives include rural entrepreneurship (availability of capital), recreational development, retirement impacts (shift to retirement community), diversification of wood-based industry; potential for rural enterprise zones.
    Evaluate potential special forest products such as mushrooms, medicinal or extractive, which might support stand manipulations.
  2. Community adaptability.
    Determine how communities are changing and adapting due to all forces (identify strengths and weaknesses in ability to adapt).
    Determine the skills, culture, and willingness-to-change within communities.
 
 

7. CRITICAL FACTORS FOR THREATENED, ENDANGERED & SENSITIVE (TE&S;) SPECIES

  1. Prioritize TE&S species and determine specific information/research needs (prioritization based on endemic species, species affected by management activities, and politically and ecologically important species). Autecology, synecology, determine amount of genetic diversity.
  2. What are the critical and/or limiting factors for survival of TE&S species (Prioritize TE&S species).
    Determine if current management is adequate for addressing critical and/or limiting factors for survival of TE&S species.
    Evaluate potential for T&E species recovery under various management actions.
    Define the social, economic, and biological values of TE&S species.
 
 

8. ALTERNATIVE FIBER UTILIZATION AND MARKETING

  1. Identify or develop harvesting systems that are most appropriate for the Blue Mountains.
    Develop information on costs of multiple-entry logging including costs associated with various systems and silvicultural prescriptions.
    Evaluate automated harvesting systems for thinning and selective cuts.
  2. Develop material properties for the species present in the region.
    Develop reliable information on properties and value of salvaged timber.
    Complete recovery studies of salvaged logs and extend studies to include products other than lumber.
  3. Identify potential value-added markets for Blue Mountain species.
    Develop information on use of regional species for furniture stock.
    Develop market information on use of species for preservative-treated poles and posts.
    Identify systems for reliably segregating high-strength veneers from Blue Mountain species for use in laminated veneer lumber (LVL).
  4. Improve information on effects of forest practices on quality of wood produced.
    Develop a better understanding of effects of management practices on the development of high-quality or high-value wood products.
    Develop decisionmaking tools and models for applying management practices to optimize wood value.
    Develop better information on flow of materials into various wood products.
 
 

9. PLANT AND ANIMAL INTERACTIONS

  1. Determine the effect of abundant wildlife species on other components of ecosystems.
    Determine livestock interactions with the other resources.
  2. Determine relations of species with habitat and their response to ecosystem dynamics (i.e. successional trends and changing landscape patterns).
    Describe minimum requirements of landscape connectors (habitat linkages) to achieve ecosystem and landscape diversity.
    Develop quantitative measures/models of the mixture of forest interior and edges needed to predict how to maintain viable populations of sensitive and important species.
    Determine the effect of management practices on wildlife and biodiversity on a landscape level (includes genetic diversity and effect on edge habitat).
    Determine base-line information on less-studied species.
    Determine the effect of intermixed public and private land management on important wildlife habitat linkages.
  3. Determine links between forest insects, disease, and pathogens and wildlife.
  4. Define ecosystem sustainability and relate to habitat requirements of TE&S, keystone, and featured species.
 
 

10. INSTITUTIONAL BARRIERS

  1. Identify constraints that affect a community's ability to adapt.
    Determine property rights issue and implications on landscape management (i.e., impacts on adjoining ownerships).
    Evaluate the effects of laws and regulations on landscape management.
  2. Identify methods to resolve conflicts among user groups, special interests, and resource managers.
    Develop educational methods and evaluate social acceptability of management alternatives for addressing forest health issues.
 
 

11. GENETIC DIVERSITY AND MONITORING

  1. Determine the amount of genetic diversity
 

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station, Blue Mountains National Resources Institute
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:42 CST


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