RESEARCH TOPICS IN THIS PROJECT
Air Quality Impacts on High-elevation Ecosystems
– Methods to identify and quantify the effects of atmospheric
deposition, particularly ozone and nitrogen, on high elevation
ecosystems. This research will help managers develop monitoring
systems and air quality standards to protect vegetation.
Atmospheric-Biospheric Interactions - Mathematical
and computer modeling of the interaction between vegetation,
soil and trace gases, such as carbon dioxide and ozone. This
research will - 1. Help managers develop air quality standards
for ozone to protect vegetation and 2. Increase our ability
to track carbon storage in forests.
Ecology and Ecophysiology of High-elevation conifers
– The ecology, genetic structure and adaptive variation
of five-needle pines to help managers develop potential management
options for – 1. Mitigating the impacts of an exotic
blister rust on white pine ecosystems and 2. Reforestation
after fires in the Center Rockies.
Forest Insects - Study the biology and ecology
of bark beetles and seed and cone insects. Create models to
estimate probabilities of infestation, extent of mortality
based on stand conditions, and the contribution of insects
in fuel loads. This research will help define the impact of
insects for managing vegetation in western forest ecosystems.
Landscape Pathology, Disease Economics, and Impact Assessment
- Methods and metrics to quantify the impact of diseases on commercial
and non-commercial resources of forests, natural disturbances as
a silvicultural tool, and the integration of pest assessment and
evaluation into forest management decision support systems.
Silviculture and Mensuration in the Central Rocky
Mountains – Research stand dynamics, including
regeneration, of aspen, spruce-fir, and ponderosa pine forests,
vegetation manipulation, and primarily silviculture. This
research will help managers balance production of multi-resource
production and the sustainability of forested ecosystems in
the central Rockies and Southwest.
Fire - Types and methods of fuel reduction
alternatives, for treating high fuel levels, that would restore
a more natural mix of ecological conditions and that would
allow reintroduce fire as a management tool. Incorporate satellite
imagery of disturbance into determining fire hazard and spread
of wildfire. Examine the regeneration dynamics of white pines
after fire and assess the geographic distribution of quantitative
traits and rust resistance to provide management options for
post-fire restoration of high elevation conifer ecosystems
in the presence of the non-native white pine blister rust
Climate Change – Assessment of the impact
of climate change and climate variability on forest ecosystems and
the forest economic sector so the potential of climate change impacts
along with its uncertainty can be addressed in ‘least regrets’
Long-term Research Sites
Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site
– monitoring and research on atmospheric deposition
and carbon dioxide dynamics in high-elevation ecosystems.
Manitou Experimental Forest – research
on the establishment and growth of pines, and the role of
vegetation management in the urban-wildland interface.
Fraser Experimental Forest – research
on stand and landscape diversity or specific plant allocation
and water processes that better define ecosystem function.
Black Hills Experimental Forest –
past and on-going research has expanded our understanding
of the ecology of ponderosa pine and other ecosystems in the
Long-term Vegetation Plots – located
throughout Station’s region to quantify seed production,
tree growth, and insect and disease impacts over time.