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Keyword: Rocky Mountains

Species-specific differences in detection and occupancy probabilities help drive ability to detect trends in occupancy

Publications Posted on: April 05, 2019
Occupancy-based surveys are increasingly used to monitor wildlife populations because they can be more cost-effective than abundance surveys and because they may track multiple species, simultaneously. The design of these multi-species occupancy surveys affects statistical power to detect trends in occupancy because individual species vary in resource selection, detection probability, and rarity.

Modeling the interactive effects of spruce beetle infestation and climate on subalpine vegetation

Publications Posted on: December 06, 2018
In the subalpine zone of the Rocky Mountains, climate change is predicted to result in an increase in the frequency and severity of spruce beetle outbreaks. Climate change itself may affect vegetation, potentially leading to changes in species composition. The direct and indirect effects of climate and disturbances on forest composition, biomass, and dynamics open the possibility for non-linear ecosystem responses.

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.

Severity of overstory mortality influences conifer recruitment and growth in mountain pine beetle-affected forests

Publications Posted on: October 04, 2018
The severity of lodgepole pine mortality from mountain pine beetle outbreaks varies with host tree diameter, density, and other structural characteristics, influencing subcanopy conditions and tree regeneration.

Climate variability and fire effects on quaking aspen in the central Rocky Mountains, USA

Publications Posted on: January 30, 2017
Our understanding of how climate and fire have impacted quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) communities prior to the 20th century is fairly limited. This study analysed the period between 4500 and 2000 cal. yr BP to assess the pre-historic role of climate and fire on an aspen community during an aspen-dominated period.

Partial cambial mortality in high-elevation Pinus aristata (Pinaceae)

Publications Posted on: September 30, 2016
Partial cambial mortality is a growth form that is characteristic of Pinus aristata trees. To better elucidate their cambial death pattern, tree size and aspect of cambial death data were gathered from three Pinus aristata forests in central Colorado, USA. Stripping frequency tended to be higher for larger diameter classes. Partial cambial mortality exhibits significant directionality within each stand.

A decade of streamwater nitrogen and forest dynamics after a mountain pine beetle outbreak at the Fraser Experimental Forest, Colorado

Publications Posted on: August 30, 2016
Forests of western North America are currently experiencing extensive tree mortality from a variety of bark beetle species, and insect outbreaks are projected to increase under warmer, drier climates. Unlike the abrupt biogeochemical changes typical after wildfire and timber harvesting, the outcomes of insect outbreaks are poorly understood.

Restoration planting options for limber pine (Pinus flexilis) in the southern Rocky Mountains

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 25, 2016
Successful restoration planting of limber pine is essential to sustain healthy populations in the wake of native insect outbreaks (mountain pine beetle) and the spread of a non-native lethal disease (white pine blister rust). Planting guidelines are needed to facilitate the effective introduction of seedling genotypes resistance to white pine blister rust and adapted to future climates.   

Surface fuel characteristics, temporal dynamics, and fire behavior of masticated mixed-conifer fuelbeds in the western U.S.

Projects Posted on: August 18, 2016
For the past three years, scientists from the RMRS Fire Sciences Lab in Missoula and the Forestry Sciences Lab in Moscow have been researching mastication as a fuel treatment in the Rocky Mountains. Specifically, they have been interested in how the materials age when they are left on the ground to decompose and how that aging affects their flammability.

A 15,000 year record of vegetation and climate change from a treeline lake in the Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, USA

Publications Posted on: March 28, 2016
Future climate projections predict warming at high elevations that will impact treeline species, but complex topographic relief in mountains complicates ecologic response, and we have a limited number of long-term studies examining vegetation change related to climate. In this study, pollen and conifer stomata were analyzed from a 2.3 m sediment core extending to 15,330 cal.

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