USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Southwest Research Station


  fs.fed.us
 
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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.

Research Topics Air Quality

Emerging Research

Understanding impacts of long-range transport of air pollution on the North American background ozone

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a. St. Mary’s College collaborators installing 2B Technologies O3 instrument at the White Mountains Summit, the highest O3 monitoring site in North America (elevation 4,344 m); b. instrument close-up. (U.S. Forest Service/Andrzej Bytnerowicz)

Smoke obscures the sun across a mountainous landscape with vegetation  shadowed in the foreground.

Characterizing air pollution distribution in complex mountain terrain of California

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Establishing passive sampler site for monitoring concentrations of ozone, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds at the Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe Basin. (U.S. Forest Service/Andrzej Bytnerowicz)

Evaluating impacts of wildland fire emissions on ambient air quality standards

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Particulate matter (PM2.5) monitoring with E-Bam instrument at Devils Postpile National Monument, eastern Sierra Nevada, during the Aspen Fire, July 2013. (U.S. Forest Service/Andrzej Bytnerowicz)

Evaluation of atmospheric nitrogen deposition impacts on California ecosystems

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Rinsing lodgepole pine branches to determine atmospheric nitrogen dry deposition at Emerald Lake, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. (U.S. Forest Service/Alex Friend).

Photo below shows coastal sage scrub habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area where nitrogen deposition studies are underway (University of California, Riverside/Justin Valliere).

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Understanding interactive effects of air pollution and climate change on forests

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Ponderosa pine stressed by long-term impacts of elevated ozone, N deposition and drought experience after bark beetle attack (Barton Flats, the San Bernardino Mountains). (U.S. Forest Service/Andrzej Bytnerowicz).

Analyses of forest tree growth and mortality responses to nitrogen deposition at broad scales

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Figure on the left shows the location of the FIA plots where growth measurement data were taken for this study. The map figure also shows nitrogen deposition fluxes for the state of California. PSW is also involved in similar nationwide analyses of forest responses to nitrogen, largely based on FIA data.

Below: Measurement of tree basal diameter as part of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. FIA data are being used in conjunction with atmospheric nitrogen deposition and ozone exposure data to evaluate the effects of air pollution on tree growth and mortality in California forests. (U.S. Forest Service/PNW Resource Monitoring and Assessment Program’s Data Collection crews).

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Efforts to link critical loads for atmospheric nitrogen deposition effects to the ecosystem services provided

A multiagency workshop was held in Thousand Oaks, California in winter 2015 that began a process of linking critical loads for nitrogen deposition with a scientific approach so that it can be determined what ecosystem services are impacted and who are the beneficiaries of such threatened services. These efforts are ongoing along with other efforts at linking air pollution and air pollution effects research to policy and management, and ultimately to include economic impacts.

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An example of ecological effects of chronic nitrogen deposition to shrublands in California-specifically invasive species may produce greater biomass under the influence of nitrogen deposition, leading to increased fire frequency and vegetation type change. In the top right corner of this figure is a list of the beneficiaries that utilize or otherwise benefit from these shrubland habitats and who may be affected by the ecological deterioration described. The photograph in the lower right hand corner shows the increased fire frequency in locations where invasive species predominate. (National Park Service/Mike Bell)
Last Modified: Sep 25, 2017 02:46:17 PM