US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Chuck Rhoades

Charles (Chuck) C. Rhoades

Research Biogeochemist
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

Phone: 970-498-1250
Fax: 970-498-1212
Contact Charles (Chuck) C. Rhoades

Current Research

Current research projects address the following biogeochemical linkages:

  • Watershed biogeochemistry research examines the atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic processes that regulate soil and water quality and that sustain forest productivity. Specific studies consider the influence of:
    • Bark beetle outbreak on stream water quality and nutrient export
    • Headwater springs on basin-scale streamwater chemistry
    • Atmospheric dust deposition on snowpack chemistry
    • Snow redistribution on alpine biogeochemistry
    • Wildfire severity on streamwater chemistry
  • Research supporting sound resource management efforts to improve the health of western forests by reducing hazardous fuel loads, decommissioning roads or treating insect infestations will benefit from better understanding of the interplay between natural ecosystem dynamics and management actions. Specific studies assess:
    • The effectiveness of riparian buffers at maintaining aquatic condition and reducing water quality degradation caused by sediment and nutrient movement during timber harvesting operations
    • How recovery of soil nitrogen cycling processes regulates post-harvest nutrient retention and leaching in subalpine forests
    • The consequences of post-beetle outbreak salvage logging on soil and forest productivity
  • How mechanical fuel reduction alters water quality, soil productivity and forest regeneration

Recent Publications

Pelz, K. A.; Rhoades, C. C.; Hubbard, R. M.; Battaglia, M. A.; Smith, F. W. 2015. Species composition influences management outcomes following mountain pine beetle in lodgepole pine-dominated forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 336: 11-20.

Rhoades, Charles C.; Fornwalt, Paula J. 2015. Pile burning creates a fifty-year legacy of openings in regenerating lodgepole pine forests in Colorado. Forest Ecology and Management. 336: 203-209.

Research Interests

My research evaluates biogeochemical linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in managed and unmanaged areas. Much of my work addresses the role of upland and riparian soils and vegetation in regulating nitrogen and carbon retention and export from forest watersheds and how natural and anthropogenic disturbance alters these processes.

Past Research

Available Posters

Long-term Water Quality and Stream Nutrient Responses to Forest Harvest and Disturbance at US Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges. Johnson,S.L.; Sebestyen,S.D.; Adams,M.; Amatya,D.M.; Bailey,S.W.; Jones,J.B.; Knoepp,J.D.; McCaughey,W.; McDowell,W.H.; McGuire,K.J.; Rhoades,C.C.; Wohlgemuth,P.M. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008, abstract #H13C-0926.

Streamwater Nitrogen During Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation of Subalpine Watersheds at the US Forest Service, Fraser Experimental Forest. Chuck Rhoades, Kelly Elder, Rob Hubbard, Mark Dixon. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008.

Chemical composition of stream water in mixed alpine & subalpine watersheds at the Fraser Experimental Forest, Colorado. C. Rhoades, J. Norman III, E. Kelly and K. Elder. July 2008. CUASHI Biennial Colloquium on Hydrologic Science and Engineering, Boulder, CO.

A Striking Profile - Soils Knowledge Applied to Restoration Science. Rhoades, C.C., Miller, S.P. Callaham, Jr., M.A. and L. Heneghan, December 2006. Soil Ecology Restoration Workshop, DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

The Influence of a Dust Event on Snow Chemistry. C. Rhoades, K. Elder and E. Greene. October 2006. International Snow Science Workshop, Telluride, CO. nbsp;

Assessing biogeochemical & hydrologic change during incipient bark beetle outbreak in managed and unmanaged subalpine watersheds. C. Rhoades, K. Elder, R. Hubbard and M. Dixon. July 2006. Advances in Threat Assessment and their application to forest and range management. Boulder, CO.

Soil nitrogen turnover and release 25 & 50 years after harvesting subalpine forests in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. C. Rhoades, R. Hubbard, B. Starr and M. Ryan. October 2005. Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.

The Influence of Hillside Springs on Subalpine Streamwater. Rhoades, C.C., Quiet, N., Dwire, K.A. and K. Brewer. September 2005. Forest Service Watershed Research Meeting, Fraser Experimental Forest, Fraser, CO.

Landscape-scale patterns in N biogeochemistry of high elevation ridges: Preliminary findings and hypothesized controls. Rhoades, C.C., E.F. Kelly, M. Stromberger, R.L. Sandford, Jr. August 2005. Ecological Society of America, Montreal, Ontario, Canada.

Streamwater chemistry and sediment responses to wildfire in the Colorado Front Range. C. Rhoades, D. Entwistle, D. Butler and B. Starr. December 2004. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Why This Research is Important

Biogeochemical research helps land managers evaluate how well watershed conservation practices protect water quality and other aquatic resources. In snow-dominated watersheds of the central Rockies, the biogeochemical consequences of climate change, wildfire and insect outbreak are poorly understood. Research evaluates the elemental links between atmospheric deposition, vegetation and soil nutrient retention and transformation, and streamwater export. Study findings increase understanding of the natural range of variability in watershed processes and support efforts to monitor the consequences of management manipulations and assess the success of restoration treatments. Such work is also integral to long-term monitoring of Fraser Experimental Forest watersheds.

Biogeochemistry Lab webpage


  • Colorado State University, B.S. Forest Management 1984
  • Colorado State University, M.S. Forest Ecology 1992
  • University of Georgia, Ph.D. Forest Biogeochemistry and Soil Ecology 1997

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Last updated on : 01/14/2016