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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Basic Processes
Basic Processes

Basic Processes seek to understand how basic water, air, and soil processes operate, and how they help maintain water and air quality and safe stream flows.

Disturbances such as fire, drought, insect and disease outbreaks, invasive species, and storms (hurricanes, ice storms) are natural events that affect forests and rangelands. These disturbances profoundly affect the structure and functioning of forest and rangeland ecosystems. These ecosystems have evolved with disturbances over hundreds of years, and in many instances, depend on certain patterns of disturbances, such as repeated fires, to maintain their structure and functioning. Human activities have greatly altered disturbance patterns by changing the frequency, size, intensity, seasonality, duration, and types of disturbances. Some of the causes and effects of these changes in disturbance patterns on forests and rangelands are poorly understood, and, in some cases, abrupt and extreme changes have major impacts on forests and rangelands and the goods and services they are providing.

Monitoring Station

Interactions Among Vegetation, Soils & the Atmosphere

We conduct long-term, multiple-scale research on the interactions among vegetation, soils, and the atmosphere, and how these interactions affect water quality and quantity in wild, managed, rural, and urban forest and rangeland watersheds.


Forest Road

Influence of Land Management over Water Quantity & Quality

We work to determine how land management activities and the pattern of activities across small watersheds to very large watersheds influence water quantity and quality in wild, managed, urban, and rural forest and rangeland ecosystems.