USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 

Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.
[image:] TreeSearch, links to http://treesearch.fs.fed.us/

Giving you access to over 30,000 online USDA Forest Service Research publications.

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Science that makes a difference.

The Pacific Southwest Research Station is a world leader in natural resources research through our scientific excellence and responsiveness to the needs of current and future generations.

We represent the research and development branch of the USDA Forest Service in the states of California and Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands. Our primary work occurs in California (the most populous state with the fifth largest economy in the world) and Hawaii (a strategic location in the Pacific Rim economies and tourism).
Our mission is to develop and communicate science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and their benefits to society.

What's new

Study helps assess impact of temperature on belowground soil decomposition
Laupahoehoe stream in the fallThe Earth’s soils store four times more carbon than the atmosphere and small changes in soil carbon storage can have a big effect on atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. A new paper in the journal Nature Climate Change concludes that climate warming does not accelerate soil organic carbon decomposition or affect soil carbon storage, despite increases in ecosystem productivity. [Read the full news release]

Study gives new perspective on agricultural plastic, debris burning, and air quality
Smoke emissions from debris piles (background) with plastic covers (not shown) were measured in burning mixtures of wood and polyethylene plastic (foreground). The addition of the plastic to the burning wood had little to no effect on trace gas and particulate emissions. Photo credit: David Weise, USDA Forest Service) To reduce fire hazard in the United States, wildland managers often utilize the silvicultural practice of mechanically cutting woody shrubs and suppressed trees (ladder fuels). These cuttings and other post-logging debris are then burned during periods of low fire danger in order to dispose of the material. To improve the burning and minimize hazardous air pollutants, managers often cover all or part of the debris pile with low-density polyethylene plastic, commonly referred to as agricultural plastic, in order to keep water out. A recent study published in the Journal of the Air and Water Association shows that inclusion of agricultural plastic in debris piles has no effect on smoke emissions. [Read the full news release]

State of wildland fire emissions, carbon, and climate research
This prescribed burn in maritime chaparral at Vandenberg Air Force Base demonstrates that describing the burning vegetation is critical to reliably predicting the impact of wildland fire on greenhouse gas emissions and black carbon. Photo credit: Joey Chong, USDA Forest ServiceScientists know that wildland fire emissions play a significant role in the global carbon cycle and that its principal component – carbon dioxide – is a primary driver of climate change. But predicting and quantifying the effects of potential future emissions is a difficult process requiring the integration of complex interactions of climate, fire, and vegetation. The current state of knowledge, critical knowledge gaps, and importance of fire emissions for global climate and terrestrial carbon cycling is the focus of nine science syntheses published in a special issue in the Forest Ecology and Management journal titled, Wildland Fire Emissions, Carbon, and Climate: Science Overview and Knowledge Needs. [Read the full news release]


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[image-text]: Recent Publications
Cover image psw-gtr-247

Long, Jonathan W.; Quinn-Davidson, Lenya N.; Skinner, Carl N., eds. 2014. Science synthesis to support socioecological resilience in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-247. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 723 p.

Cover image psw-gtr-241

Busse, Matt D.; Hubbert, Ken R.; Moghaddas, Emily E. Y. 2014. Fuel Reduction Practices and Their Effects on Soil Quality. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-241. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 156 p.

Cover image psw-rp-266

Hugh D. Safford and Kip M. Van de Water. 2014. Using Fire Return Interval Departure (FRID) Analysis to Map Spatial and Temporal Changes in Fire Frequency on National Forest Lands in California. Res. Pap. PSW-RP-266. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 59 p.

[image-text]: Featured Science

Global Climate Change

Last Modified: Oct 2, 2014 06:00:34 PM