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Keyword: disturbance

Living on the edge: Trailing edge forests at risk of fire-facilitated conversion to non-forest

Publications Posted on: March 21, 2019
Forests are an incredibly important resource across the globe, yet they are threatened by climate change through stressors such as drought, insect outbreaks, and wildfire. Trailing edge forests - those areas expected to experience range contractions under a changing climate - are of particular concern because of the potential for abrupt conversion to non-forest.

Spruce beetle outbreaks guide American Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides dorsalis occupancy patterns in subalpine forests

Publications Posted on: October 04, 2018
American Three-toed Woodpeckers Picoides dorsalis are considered a sensitive species by the United States Bureau of Land Management and are on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Watch List. In Idaho, Oregon and Washington, they are of conservation concern due to low abundance and an apparent reliance on disturbed, old-growth forests.

Is increased precipitation during the 20th century statistically or ecologically significant in the eastern US?

Publications Posted on: September 26, 2018
We address the climate versus disturbance debate to understand drivers of change in human-environment systems. We examine whether recent increased precipitation episodes (‘pluvials’) are unique and have ecological implications for the humid climate of the eastern United States. Robust statistical analyzes presented here indicate that the 20th century was wet, but not significantly different than other centuries during the last millennium.

Landscape-scale assessments of whitebark pine

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2018
Forest inventory data show that more than half of all standing whitebark pine trees in the U.S. are dead. Regeneration of whitebark pine is widespread, especially in lodgepole pine stands, which suggests that active management of whitebark pine should target mixed-species stands to take advantage of natural regeneration. 

Composition and structure of forest fire refugia: What are the ecosystem legacies across burned landscapes?

Publications Posted on: August 17, 2018
Locations within forest fires that remain unburned or burn at low severity—known as fire refugia - are important components of contemporary burn mosaics, but their composition and structure at regional scales are poorly understood.

Shrub cover and fire history predict seed bank composition in Great Basin shrublands

Publications Posted on: August 17, 2018
Dormant seeds in the soil are an important contribution to the regenerative potential of an area. Understanding factors that affect seed bank dynamics in arid regions provides insight into how communities respond to disturbance and environmental change.

Whitebark pine distribution and regeneration

Media Gallery Posted on: June 04, 2018
Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is an ecologically important species in high-altitude areas of the West due to the habitat and food source it provides for Clark’s nutcrackers, red squirrels, grizzly bears, and other animals. Whitebark pine stands have recently experienced high mortality due to wildfire, white pine blister rust, and a mountain pine beetle outbreak, leading to questions about the species’ long-term viability. This project seeks to quantify the current distribution and regeneration status of whitebark pine throughout its US range.

Whitebark pine distribution and regeneration in mixed-species stands

Projects Posted on: June 01, 2018
Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is an ecologically important species in high-altitude areas of the West due to the habitat and food source it provides for Clark’s nutcrackers, red squirrels, grizzly bears, and other animals. Whitebark pine stands have recently experienced high mortality due to wildfire, white pine blister rust, and a mountain pine beetle outbreak, leading to questions about the species’ long-term viability. This project seeks to quantify the current distribution and regeneration status of whitebark pine throughout its US range.

Overlapping bark beetle outbreaks, salvage logging and wildfire restructure a lodgepole pine ecosystem

Publications Posted on: April 12, 2018
The 2010 Church’s Park Fire burned beetle-killed lodgepole pine stands in Colorado, including recently salvage-logged areas, creating a fortuitous opportunity to compare the effects of salvage logging, wildfire and the combination of logging followed by wildfire.

Fire and fuel treatments increase tree resistance to bark beetles

Science Spotlights Posted on: April 10, 2018
The frequency of fire in low-elevation coniferous forests in western North America has greatly declined since the late 1800s. In many areas, this has increased tree density, increased the proportion of shade-tolerant species, reduced resource availability, and increased forest susceptibility to forest insect pests and high-severity wildfire. This study investigated how low-intensity fire affects tree defenses and whether fuel treatments impact resistance to a mountain pine beetle outbreak.

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