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Keyword: Northern Rockies

Rare carnivore detections from environmental DNA in snow

Media Gallery Posted on: September 05, 2019
A new project showed that animal footprints in snow contain enough DNA for species identification, even when the snow was many months old. The study extracted DNA from snow samples collected within animal tracks as well as areas where the animal had been photographed months earlier. Newly developed genetic assays were applied and positively detected the DNA of each species, performing nearly flawlessly on samples previously considered too poor to provide usable DNA. This method could revolutionize winter surveys of rare species by greatly reducing or eliminating misidentifications and missed detections.

Rare carnivore detections from environmental DNA in snow

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 05, 2019
A new project showed that animal footprints in snow contain enough DNA for species identification, even when the snow was many months old. The study extracted DNA from snow samples collected within animal tracks as well as areas where the animal had been photographed months earlier. Newly developed genetic assays were applied and positively detected the DNA of each species, performing nearly flawlessly on samples previously considered too poor to provide usable DNA. This method could revolutionize winter surveys of rare species by greatly reducing or eliminating misidentifications and missed detections.

Fire enhances the complexity of forest structure in alpine treeline ecotones

Publications Posted on: October 05, 2018
Alpine treelines are expected to move upward in a warming climate, but downward in response to increases in wildfire. We studied the effects of fire on vegetation structure and composition across four alpine treeline ecotones extending from Abies lasiocarpa/Picea engelmannii forests at lower elevations, through Pinus albicaulis/Larix lyallii parkland, to alpine tundra.

Here today, here tomorrow: Managing forests for fisher habitat in the northern rockies

Pages Posted on: March 14, 2018
The fisher is a unique member of the weasel family and a sensitive species in the northern Rockies. Forest managers need information on fisher distribution and habitat needs to conserve this species while balancing multiple uses of forest lands and to maintain fisher populations under climate change. Researchers from the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) matched DNA samples from fishers to habitat features at various scales and found that fishers require large trees and forests with a lot of cover and structure, all nested within a larger forested landscape. Models of fisher habitat in the future under a warming climate suggest that the amount of favorable area is likely to expand and move eastward into the Interior West, but it could become more fragmented. Now and in the future, fisher management will require retention and fostering of mature, complex, mesic forests with a high degree of habitat connectivity.

Effects of climate change on wildlife in the Northern Rockies [Chapter 8]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2017
Few data exist on the direct effects of climatic variability and change on animal species. Therefore, projected climate change effects must be inferred from what is known about habitat characteristics and the autecology of each species.

Wildlife dispersal ability and landscape connectivity in the northern Rocky Mountains

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 14, 2015
Increasing human populations have fueled urban development and land conversion, causing substantial loss and fragmentation of wildlife habitat. Researchers evaluated conditions for 108 different species across a large portion of the Northern Rockies in order to predict current and potential future patterns of fragmentation, prioritize keystone corridors for protection and enhancement, and identify which species in which places might require habitat restoration or assisted migration.

Is proportion burned severely related to daily area burned?

Publications Posted on: October 03, 2014
The ecological effects of forest fires burning with high severity are long-lived and have the greatest impact on vegetation successional trajectories, as compared to low-to-moderate severity fires. The primary drivers of high severity fire are unclear, but it has been hypothesized that wind-driven, large fire-growth days play a significant role, particularly on large fires in forested ecosystems.

Progress towards a lightning ignition model for the Northern Rockies

Publications Posted on: October 07, 2011
We are in the process of constructing a lightning ignition model specific to the Northern Rockies using fire occurrence, lightning strike, ecoregion, and historical weather, NFDRS (National Fire Danger Rating System), lightning efficiency and lightning "possibility" data. Daily grids for each of these categories were reconstructed for the 2003 fire season (184 days- May through October) in an area defined by the boundaries of USFS Region 1.

Restoring historic landscape patterns through management: Restoring fire mosaics on the landscape

Publications Posted on: September 04, 2007
Seral, fire dependent lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.) communities are an important component of upper elevation forests throughout the Northern Rockies, where they cover 4 million acres, or about 17 percent of the land base. On the Bitterroot National Forest, lodgepole pine occurs mostly between 5,500 and 7,500 feet.

The role of fire in Research Natural Areas in the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest

Publications Posted on: September 04, 2007
Forest Service Research Natural Areas are established to preserve examples of all significant natural ecosystems for comparison with those influenced andlor managed by humans, to provide educational and research areas for ecological and environmental studies, and to preserve gene pools for typical and rare and endangered species.