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Keyword: disturbance

The hidden potential within soil seed banks

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 31, 2019
Wildfire and other disturbances to plant communities are becoming larger and more frequent across arid lands of the western U.S. Degradation caused by these disturbances affects the ability of these plant communities to deliver important food and shelter to wildlife. Understanding how to predict the presence of native seeds within the soil seed bank, and where there are abundant seeds of invasive species, will help land managers determine the regeneration potential within the seed bank and inform restoration planning to reestablish biodiversity and ecosystem function in disturbed areas. Wildfire and other disturbances to plant communities are becoming larger and more frequent across arid lands of the western U.S. Degradation caused by these disturbances affects the ability of these plant communities to deliver important food and shelter to wildlife. Understanding how to predict the presence of native seeds within the soil seed bank, and where there are abundant seeds of invasive species, will help land managers determine the regeneration potential within the seed bank and inform restoration planning to reestablish biodiversity and ecosystem function in disturbed areas.

The ecology and significance of below-ground bud banks in plants

Publications Posted on: July 10, 2019
Background: Below-ground bud banks have experienced much recent interest due to discoveries that they (1) account for the majority of seasonal population renewal in many communities, (2) are crucial to regeneration following disturbance, and (3) have important consequences for plant population dynamics and plant and ecosystem function across a number of habitats.

Historical range of variability for restoration and management in Wisconsin

Publications Posted on: June 26, 2019
In Wisconsin, as in other states, management goals sometimes include restoration of historical forest conditions, which may prepare forests to be more compatible with future climates, disturbances such as drought and fire, and forest health threats.

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.

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