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Forest Inventory and Analysis

Science Spotlights

Permanent study plot in 2008 one year following timber harvest.
Scientists with the Rocky Mountain Research Station and university partners are investigating the short- and long-term resiliency of understory vegetation of ponderosa pine forests to a variety disturbances associated with timber harvest. Creating and maintaining a healthy forest relies on the resiliency of understory vegetation.
China has significant and growing forest resources, but those resources have been a mystery to most of the world until recently. RMRS work with the Chinese National Forest Inventory has helped to document methods and conclusions of China’s efforts to understand its own forests.
Climate change is dramatically altering the distribution, population connectivity and adaptive variation of conifer trees across the western United States, including large range shifts, reorganization of tree communities, die-offs, and decreases in productivity. This project has provided several important tools and applications to managers, including spatially explicit, fine-scale, broad-extent, quantitative predictions of changes in species...
Example of high-resolution LiDar data of canopy heights.
Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology uses lasers mounted on aircraft to image the 3-D structure of trees and other objects on the ground. RMRS Research Forester Andrew Hudak and others are developing relationships between LiDAR estimates and traditional forestry measures collected on the ground to develop maps of forest biomass and predict changes over time. Managers can benefit from this precise, spatially explicit...
A recently implemented science-based ponderosa pine restoration treatment site on the Pike National Forest near Manitou Experimental Forest (photo by Mike A Battaglia).
The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program provides data for monitoring forest biomass at state, regional, and national scales. In 2000, the FIA program shifted from a periodic inventory to an annual inventory. Our study illustrated the effect of comparing population estimates from the old periodic inventories with population estimates from annual inventory plots, versus comparing only plots that were measured during both periodic and...