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Highlight IDTitleStrategic Program Area(s)YearStation
Photo of Composite critical load exceedance map for seven major vegetation types in California. The figure indicates areas where and by how much atmospheric nitrogen deposition is higher than the critical load (e.g., threshold) for risk of harmful ecological effects.  Forest Service
ID: 96
Air-Pollution Thresholds Protect Ecosystems

Research benefits air-quality specialists, land managers, scientists, and policymakers

Principal Investigator : Mark E. Fenn

Water, Air, and Soil2012PSW
Photo of Prescribed fires, like this one in El Dorado National Forest,  can reduce wildfire fuels. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 942
Balancing Forest Carbon Storage, Wildfire, and Sensitive Species Habitat

Land managers can increase carbon stocks while providing endangered species habitat if fuels reduction (primarily prescribed fire, but also unde ...

Principal Investigator : Malcolm P. North

Wildland Fire and Fuels
Resource Management and Use
2016PSW
Photo of Researcher applying pheromone-releasing flakes to a whitebark pine bole. <i>Forest Service</i>
ID: 86
Beetle Pheromones Save Endangered Pines From Bark Beetles

High-elevation pines protected by turning beetles' own pheromones against them

Principal Investigator : Nancy E. Gillette

Resource Management and Use2012PSW
Photo of Forest Service visiting scientists Sergio Prats and Maruxa Malvar (standing) from the University of Aveiro in Portugal prepare for a rainfall simulation. The three rainfall simulator legs and metal plot frame are visible in the foreground. The black matting around the plot was used to capture rainsplash, one component of the erosion within the plot. The tent was used to protect the simulation from wind.
ID: 1331
Bringing the rain after the fire

With not a cloud in the sky and temperatures soring into the triple digits, watershed scientists brought a cooling respite to the California int ...

Principal Investigator : Joe Wagenbrenner

Wildlife and Fish
Water, Air, and Soil
2017PSW
Photo of Passive samplers for monitoring ozone and nitrogenous air pollutants at the White Mountains Summit. Andrzej Bytnerowicz, Forest Service
ID: 362
Characterizing high altitude surface ozone in the White Mountains of California

We present surface ozone data for high-elevation sites in the White Mountains. At 4342 and 3783 m, our measurements are higher in elevation than ...

Principal Investigator : Andrzej Bytnerowicz

Water, Air, and Soil2011PSW
Photo of An adult goldspotted oak borer, an exotic insect threatening red oaks in California. T.W. Coleman, USDA Forest Service
ID: 685
Delimiting the invaded range of the goldspotted oak borer, a threat to red oaks in California and Oregon

The goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus auroguttatus, traveled in infested firewood from southeastern Arizona into southern California where it is ki ...

Principal Investigator : Steven J. Seybold

Invasive Species2014PSW
Photo of Forest Service fire fighter using a drip torch on a prescribed burn.
ID: 1385
Developing strategies to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration.

Two published papers by Forest Service scientists are a foundation for the new forest plans being developed by three of the eight early adopter ...

Principal Investigator : Malcolm P. North

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2017PSW
Photo of
ID: 234
Development of Critical Loads and Critical Load Exceedance Maps for Protecting California Ecosystems from Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition

More than 50,000 km2 of the land area in California receive atmospheric deposition inputs of at least 10 kg N/ha/yr. Many ecosystems are negativ ...

Principal Investigator : Mark E. Fenn

Water, Air, and Soil2010PSW
Photo of
ID: 373
Development of Interactive Web Based Maps for Predicting Expected Numbers of Large Fires on US federal Lands

A new tool for fire managers, allows anticipation of significant fire events and suppression costs

Principal Investigator : Haiganoush K. Preisler

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011PSW
Photo of
ID: 355
Do forests reduce flood risk

Two lines of research converged at the North Fork Caspar Creek Experimental Watershed in northwest California to address two long-standing quest ...

Principal Investigator : Leslie M. Reid

Water, Air, and Soil2011PSW
Photo of A coastal sage scrub community from Box Springs Mountain located to the east of the University of California campus in Riverside, California, in which exotic annual grasses are invading the existing plant community resulting in decreased native plant diversity. When the grass becomes dry later in summer, it creates elevated fire danger, resulting in more frequent fire that impedes regeneration of the native species. The end result is vegetation type change and resulting loss of native plant diversity and associated impacts on other organisms that depend on the native plant species.
ID: 1393
Ecosystem services affected by atmospheric nitrogen seposition

Forest Service scientists describe the ecosystem services affected by chronic N deposition in the southern California coastal sage scrub vegetat ...

Principal Investigator : Mark E. Fenn

Wildlife and Fish
Water, Air, and Soil
2017PSW
Photo of
ID: 229
Effective treatments for eradication of Sudden Oak Death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, in nursery soils

Researchers at the University of California - Davis, funded via a grant from PSW's competitive Sudden Oak Death Research Program, determined tha ...

Principal Investigator : Susan J. Frankel

Invasive Species2010PSW
Photo of Smoke hangs over a large wildfire burning in the northeast corner of Alberta, Canada, in this natural color image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on June 8, 2011. Red outlines actively burning are NASA, MODIS Rapid Response Team. NASA, MODIS Rapid Response Team.
ID: 1079
Effects of a Megafire on Air Quality

Few studies have addressed the effects of forest fires on atmospheric levels of reactive nitrogen pollutants, which function as precursors to oz ...

Principal Investigator : Mark E. Fenn

Water, Air, and Soil2016PSW
Photo of Map showing projected risk level for each mile-square for 2017 based on site characteristics and history of precipitation and tree mortality up to September 2016. The accompanying boxplots show the range and distribution of expected values for each of the ten risk levels based on data from 2005-2016.
ID: 1378
Forecasts of tree mortality in California and the Pacific Northwest

Tree mortality forecasts aid forest managers in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Principal Investigator : Haiganoush K. Preisler

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2017PSW
Photo of Prescribed burning in central Oregon ponderosa pine research plots.
ID: 1338
Forest soil resilience following biomass thinning and repeated prescribed fire

The soil organic horizon, or forest floor, it vital to the function and health of most conifer forests. As a source of soil carbon and nutrients ...

Principal Investigator : Matt D. Busse

Inventory and Monitoring
Wildland Fire and Fuels
Water, Air, and Soil
Wildlife and Fish
Resource Management and Use
2017PSW
Photo of Pushing the limits of soil disturbance. This image shows the extensive lateral root development found on severely compacted research plots in mixed-conifer forest types of the Sierra Nevada. Soils were compacted to a root limiting density prior to planting. Carol Shestak, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1028
Impacts of Timber and Biomass Harvesting on Soil Biological Quality

Soil is essential to the health and sustainability of global ecosystems and human populations. And while much attention often is spent on what†...

Principal Investigator : Matt D. Busse

Water, Air, and Soil2016PSW
Photo of Decaying snag provides a diversity of ecological functions. USDA Forest Service
ID: 818
Improving the Ability to Map and Estimate Snags Across Forested Landscapes Using Airborne LiDAR Data

Forest Service researchers have developed a new method that uses airborne LiDAR data to identify, estimate, and monitor snags across the landsca ...

Principal Investigator : Brian M. Wing

Inventory and Monitoring2015PSW
Photo of Passive samplers for air pollution in Athabasca Oil Sands Region. Forest Service
ID: 87
Industrial Air Pollution May Have Ecological Consequences

Elevated concentrations of ammonia can negatively impact lichen communities and elevated levels of nitrogen and sulfur deposition can potentiall ...

Principal Investigator : Andrzej Bytnerowicz

Water, Air, and Soil
Inventory and Monitoring
2012PSW
Photo of
ID: 374
Levels of delayed tree mortality following early and late season burns in ponderosa and Jeffrey pine forests

Historically, wildfires occurred most frequently in the late summer and early fall in ponderosa and Jeffrey pine forests. Accordingly, late sea ...

Principal Investigator : Chris Fettig

Resource Management and Use2011PSW
Photo of
ID: 377
Monitoring Tool for the Insect Vector of Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut

A newly discovered pheromone can be used to detect the insect vector of thousand cankers disease of walnut. Intermediate and low population den ...

Principal Investigator : Steven J. Seybold

Invasive Species2011PSW
Photo of
ID: 117
New Report Assesses Impact of Climate Change on Forest Diseases

Climate change is projected to have far-reaching environmental effects domestically and abroad

Principal Investigator : Susan J. Frankel

Invasive Species2012PSW
Photo of
ID: 378
Novel fungal genotypes drive the success of an invasive bark beetle/fungus complex

In the mid-1980s, the red turpentine beetle was inadvertently sent from the U.S. Pacific Northwest to China, where it acquired novel fungal symb ...

Principal Investigator : Nancy E. Gillette

Invasive Species2011PSW
Photo of Impacts of drought and insects at Bass Lake Ranger District, Sierra National Forest, May 2016. Christopher J. Fettig, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1023
Observed and Anticipated Impacts of Drought on Forest Insects and Diseases

Changes to Earth’s climate are projected to include increases in temperature and changes in precipitation patterns that will increase the freq ...

Principal Investigator : Chris Fettig

Resource Management and Use
Wildlife and Fish
Wildland Fire and Fuels
2016PSW
Photo of Louisiana Pine Snakes inhabit fire-maintained pine forests. Daniel Saenz, USDA Forest Service
ID: 717
Progress in Reintroducing the Louisiana Pine Snake

The Louisiana pine snake is subject to extinction in the near future. Forest Service researchers are monitoring the status of remnant population ...

Principal Investigator : Carline Rudolph

Wildlife and Fish2014SRS
Photo of Location of study installations across the United States and Canada. USDA Forest Service
ID: 821
Pushing the Limits of Forest Resilience

Intense demand for forest resources has been a fact of life in the United States, from the early days of western expansion to today's rapid pace ...

Principal Investigator : Matt D. Busse

Water, Air, and Soil2015PSW
Photo of
ID: 115
Report Offers New Management Strategies for Sierra Nevada Forests

Concrete examples of science-based strategies are a hit with managers and stakeholders

Principal Investigator : Malcolm P. North

Resource Management and Use2012PSW
Photo of
ID: 230
Research Determines Carbon Costs and Benefits of Fuels Treatments

In the western United States, nearly a century of fire suppression has increased tree densities and fuel accumulations. In forests that were his ...

Principal Investigator : Malcolm P. North

Wildlife and Fish2010PSW
Photo of Lures slowly releases male-produced aggregation pheromone of the walnut twig beetle. Stacy M. Hishinuma, Steven J Seybold, USDA Forest Service
ID: 539
Scientists Develop Successful Lure to Attrack Beetle That Causes Thousand Cankers Disease in Walnut Trees

In response to the threat posed by the walnut twig beetle, which spreads thousand cankers disease in walnut trees, the Forest Service's Pacific ...

Principal Investigator : Steven J. Seybold

Invasive Species2013PSW
Photo of Burn piles in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Carol Shestak,  Matt Busse, USDA Forest Service
ID: 542
Scientists Study the Effects of Pile Burning in the Lake Tahoe Basin

Burning piles of conifer slash is a common fuel reduction practice in forests of the western United States that may detrimentally effect soil a ...

Principal Investigator : Matt D. Busse

Water, Air, and Soil2013PSW
Photo of Forest Service rangers and passive samplers in Desolation Wilderness. Forest Service
ID: 97
Sources of Air Quality in the Lake Tahoe Basin Analyzed

Scientists determine elevated concentrations of ambient ozone in the Lake Tahoe Basin are caused mainly by local emissions

Principal Investigator : Andrzej Bytnerowicz

Water, Air, and Soil
Inventory and Monitoring
2012PSW
Photo of The American pika, a small non-hibernating mammal related to rabbits that lives in high mountains of western North America. Dr. Andrew Smith, Arizona State University.
ID: 941
The American Pika: From Icon of Climate Vulnerability to Model of Resilience

Despite their small size, mountain dwelling American pikas have gained a big reputation for their supposed vulnerability to climate change and l ...

Principal Investigator : Constance I. Millar

Wildlife and Fish2016PSW
Photo of Limber pine seedlings are migrating upslope in the White Mountains, California, but at only a few locations. Such sites are characterized by the presence of ancient bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva), which grew there in millennia past under favorable climates, but not at present. Limber pines at this location recruited during the period 1963-2000. White Mountain Peak (14,252'), California's third highest mountain, is in the background. USDA Forest Service
ID: 819
Up, down, and Aaound: High-elevation Pines Respond to Warming in More Ways Than One

Under warming climates, models predict that high-elevation species will migrate up mountain slopes tracking cool conditions. With nowhere to go ...

Principal Investigator : Constance I. Millar

Resource Management and Use2015PSW
Photo of Class I and II Wilderness areas and lakes evaluated for acidification vulnerability. Glen Shaw, USDA Forest Service
ID: 680
Vulnerability of High Elevation Lakes of the Sierra Nevada to Atmospheric Acidic Deposition

In at least some years, hundreds of wilderness lakes are likely receiving acid loading in excess of their buffering capacity. The most vulnerabl ...

Principal Investigator : Mark E. Fenn

Water, Air, and Soil2014PSW
Photo of Dark sap staining on the bark surface of a walnut tree (Pterocarya stenoptera) branch caused by underlying damage from the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis) and fungus (Geosmithia morbida) surrounding two beetle entrance or emergence holes.
ID: 1386
Wingnut trees at risk to thousand cankers disease

The walnut twig beetle vectors a fungus that colonizes and kills the plant tissure known as phloem of walnut and butternut trees. Over the past ...

Principal Investigator : Steven J. Seybold

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2017PSW