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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Plant Ecophysiologist

Anna W. Schoettle

Research Plant Ecophysiologist
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

Phone: 970-498-1333
Contact Anna W. Schoettle

Current Research

1. Physiological response of high elevation pines to multiple stresses and implications on population resiliency in a changing climate.2. Ecological genetics of Pinus aristata: geographic patterns in population structure and adaptive traits.3. Development of a population genetic infection model for high elevation five-needle pines to evaluate efficacy of management strategies to sustain pine population in the presence of a non-native pathogen..4. Identification and characterization of white pine blister rust disease resistance mechanisms and frequencies in Pinus flexilis, P. aristata and P. longaeva.5. Regeneration and colonization dynamics of high elevation five-needle pines. 6. Ecological and economic trade-offs of proactive vs reactive management strategies in high elevation pine ecosystems impacted or threatened by an invasive non-native disease (white pine blister rust)7. Development of management strategies to sustain ecosystem function under multiple stresses.

Research Interests

My research interests are to continue to provide a solid scientific foundation for proactive management to facilitate a shift from crisis management of natural resources to proactive management for sustained ecosystem function and resiliency. I want to continue to use an integrated interdisciplinary approach to further the scientific knowledge and inform land managers.

Past Research

Our natural ecosystems are being challenged by new and interactive stresses more and more as we move into a global economy and continue to transport organisms into new ecosystems, pollute the atmosphere and alter land use. The old paradigm of crisis management in which no action is taken until ecosystems are impaired and then restoration efforts are initiated will not ensure ecosystems sustainability into the future under multiple novel stresses. There is a need for development of new management approaches that provide early intervention to increase ecosystem resiliency before ecosystem function is compromised. A small investmnet now to increase ecosystem resiliency will save funds later and sustain delivery of ecosystem services. The high elevation pine ecosystems are a perfect system to promote this change in management approach because these ecosystems are already showing impacts of non-native invasives, elevated insect outbreaks caused by climate warming and direct growth effects from global changes in the physical and chemical climate. There are still ecosystems that have not been impacted heavily and therefore opportunity to alter the trajectory of those healthy but threatened ecosystems to one that retain sustainability in the future. We know from our research that people value and are willing to pay to see that the high elevation pines persist on the landscape for future generations of people.

Why This Research is Important

1. Participated in some of the first studies that quantified the effects of air pollution on tree and crop growth and physiology and contributed to refinement of predicting impacts from pollutant uptake rather than pollutant exposure. Applied this prospective to predict pollutant loadings that could impact plants in Class 1 Wilderness areas for use in evaluation of permits for new pollutant sources. 2. Quantifies the ecological significance of variable leaf longevity on tree carbon gain and demonstrated the interactions of physiological traits, light capture and crown architecture.3. Quantified the effects of environmental gradients on plant physiological traits among species with different ecological amplitudes to assess adaptive significance.4. Quantified the spatial pattern of colonization of large stand replacing burns in P. ponderosa, P. flexilis, P. albicaulis. and P. aristata ecosystems. Characterizes the preferred regeneration sites for each species.


  • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, B.S. Biology - botany and biochemistry 1978
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, M.S. Seed physiology and crop science 1982
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, Ph.D. Botany - ecophysiology and biophysics 1990

Professional Experience

  • Research Plant Ecophysiologist, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station
    1985 - Current
  • Research Specialist, The Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
    1982 - 1984

Professional Organizations

  • IUFRO Working Group 2.02.15 Genetic Resources of Five-Needle Pines, Deputy Coordinator (2012 - Current)
    Host and co-organizer of the Joint International IUFRO Conference: Genetics of Five-Needle Pines, Rusts of Forest Trees, and Strobusphere. June, 2014. Fort Collins, CO
  • Ecological Society of America, Secretary - Rocky Mountain Chapter (2002 - 2009)

Awards & Recognition

  • Science in the Media Award - RMRS, 2015
  • National Forest Systems 2011 Invasive Species Award Winner for Innovative Control and Management. , 2012
    For her leadership of a program to integrate research, strategic planning, &management activities to sustain Rocky Mtn bristlecone & limber pine populations & mitigate the impact of invasion by the invasive pathogen that causes the white pine blister rust
  • Nominated for "Best National Invasives Success Story, Disease Category" by Region 2 FHP, 2006
    FHP for development and application of the Proactive Strategy in the Rocky Mountain Region at USFS Nat’l Conference on Invasive Species. Denver CO. June, 2006.
  • Certificate of Merit - RMRS, 2006
    “outstanding efforts to facilitate the serious consideration of common shared function space in the Prospect new laboratory design” from Lab Coordinator RMRS. Shared space concept was adopted as the foundation of the new Fort Collins lab design.
  • Certificate of Merit - RMRS, 2004
    RMRS, “for participating in the Region 2 Chief’s Review and representing Rocky Mountain Research Station programs”
  • Certificate of Merit - RMRS, 1999
    RMRS, for “extra effort in synthesizing the impacts of human-caused air pollution on resources within the Interior Columbia River Basin”
  • Best Scientific Publication Award - RMRS, 1999
    For the publication “Interrelationships among light, photosynthesis and nitrogen in the crown of mature Pinus contorta ssp. latifolia.” Tree Physiology 19:13-22
  • Certificate of Merit - RMRS, 1995
    RM Forest & Range Experiment Station, for “your efforts to bring to fruition the vision of a multicultural organization within the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station”
  • Certificate of Merit - RMRS, 1988
    RM Forest and Range Experimental Station, for "development of a screening method to identify vegetation sensitive to air pollution"
  • Sigma Xi, for research achievements, 1987
    Elected to full membership
  • Cornell University Honor Society, 1978
    Top 5% of the graduating class

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


A Proactive Strategy To Control Invasive Species in Mountaintop Ecosystems

High-elevation pine forests, under the threat of multiple stressors, serve as an excellent flagship to lead the shift away from crisis managemen ...


Back From the Brink: Framework to Sustain Resilience to Species at Risk

The Regeneration for Resilience framework provides a decision structure to prioritize limited resources and utilize seedling planting and natura ...


Conservation of bristlecone pine: proactive management today and resources for tomorrow

Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines are long-lived, exhibit delayed maturation, have low genetic diversity, and inhabit cold, high-elevation enviro ...


Potential for Maladaptation During Active Management of Limber Pine

Active management is needed to sustain healthy limber pine (Pinus flexilis) forests in the southern Rocky Mountains as they are threatened by th ...


Restoration Planting Options for Limber Pine in the Southern Rocky Mountains

Successful restoration planting of limber pine (Pinus flexilis) is essential to sustain healthy populations in the wake of native insect outbrea ...


Last updated on : 09/13/2021