RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program US Forest Service - RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program

US Forest Service Research and Development


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Rocky Mountain Research Station
 RMRS Science Program Areas
 Air, Water and Aquatics Science Program
 Research Subject Areas
 Field Locations
About the Rocky Mountain Research Station

AWAE Program Headquarters
322 East Front St., Ste 401

Boise, ID 83702

(208) 373-4340


Rocky Mountain Research Station Headquarters

2150 Centre Ave., Bldg A
Fort Collins, CO 80526

(970) 295-5923

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link


RMRS Home | Field Units | Research Subjects | Publication Search | Contact Us


Fire & Fuels: awae research subject areas

Fire and Fuels - photo of a fire in a forest along the Middle Fork of the Boise River Wildland fires in the arid west create a cause for concern for many inhabitants and an area of interest for researchers. Wildfires dramatically change watersheds, yielding floods and debris flows that endanger water supplies, human lives, and valuable fish habitats. Fuel management is intended to mitigate the effects of wildfire but poses risks to water quality and aquatic habitat. AWAE scientists search for solutions for simultaneous restoration of forests and aquatic ecosystems. Although the problem is typically cast as a tradeoff between management actions like fuel reduction, fire suppression, and emergency stabilization versus wildfire, new ideas about appropriate
management response to wildfire require understanding how to build resilient ecosystems. There is a need for strategic restoration that addresses terrestrial as well as aquatic needs.

Scientists (profile pages)

bulletJohn Buffington

bulletKate Dwire

bulletBill Elliot

bulletDan Isaak

bulletCharlie Luce

bulletDan Neary

bulletChuck Rhoades

bulletBruce Rieman

bulletPeter Robichaud

bulletNatalie Wagenbrenner

bulletMichael Young

Subcategories (quick jump)

bulletFeatured Fires and Fuels Publications

bulletAquatic Ecology

bulletClimate Change

featured Publications


Battaglia, M.; Rocca, M., Rhoades, C. and M.G. Ryan. 2010. Surface fuel loadings within mulching treatments in Colorado coniferous forests. Forest Ecology and Management doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.08.004


Collins, B.; Rhoades, C.; Battaglia, M.; and R. Hubbard. 2012. The effects of bark beetle outbreaks on forest development, fuel loads and potential fire behavior in salvage logged and untreated lodgepole pine forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 284: 260-268.

Fornwalt, Paula J.; Rhoades, Charles C. 2011. Rehabilitating slash pile burn scars in upper montane forests of the Colorado Front Range. Natural Areas Journal. 31(2): 177-182.

Rhoades, C. C.; Battaglia, M. A.; Rocca, M. E.; Ryan, M. G. 2012. Short- and medium-term effects of fuel reduction mulch treatments on soil nitrogen availability in Colorado conifer forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 276: 231-238.

Rhoades, Charles C.; Entwistle, Deborah; Butler, Dana. 2011. The influence of wildfire extent and severity on streamwater chemistry, sediment and temperature following the Hayman Fire, Colorado. International Journal of Wildfire Science. 20: 430-442.

featured Science


Aquatic Ecology


Forest Biomass Utilization and Watershed Processes

Forest Biomass Utilization and Watershed Processes

Forest biomass utilization can be used to improve forest health and decrease the risk of wildfire, both of which improve watershed health.


Science Briefing

Climate Change & Stream Temperature



Climate & Wildfires Image

Climate Change & Wildfires: Effects on Stream Temperatures & Thermal Habitats

Temperature has an important influence on the distribution and abundance of stream organisms. A warming climate is expected to increase stream temperatures, but documentation of such increases is rare and usually limited to trend monitoring at a few sites. Broader understanding of climate effects on thermal characteristics of streams is needed to inform management strategies, but developing this understanding requires modeling techniques that provide valid interpolations between temperature measurement sites. Widespread use of digital temperature loggers provides abundant data in many places that may facilitate development of broad stream temperature models.


Science Briefing

Other Resources

AWAE Fire & Aquatic Ecosystems HomePage


Research Subject Areas




bulletAquatic Ecology

bulletAtmospheric Sciences


bulletClimate Change




Fire & Fuels








Plant Physiology

bulletSediment & Erosion

bulletSpatial Analysis

bulletWater & Watershed Processes




Stream Temperature Modeling Website

River Bathymetry Toolkit (RBT)


Bull Trout and Climate Change - Risks, Uncertainties and Opportunities for Mapping the Future


Western Watersheds and Climate Change Workshop - November 17-19, 2009


Fire and Aquatic Ecosystems


Rocky Mountain Research Station - Air, Water and Aquatic Environments Sciences Program
Last Modified:  Thursday, 03 April 2014 at 18:36:45 CDT

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