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Projects

Recent Projects

With increasing temperatures due to climate change and the inherent interannual variability in precipitation of most grasslands, droughts will likely increase in frequency and intensity across the Great Plains. Precipitation legacies from previous years can impact current year productivity in arid grasslands by shifting tiller and bud bank densities of the dominant grasses. Belowground bud survival during drought and the ability of buds to break...
Post-fire resiliency of plant communities in northern mixed-grass prairie and eastern sagebrush steppe depends largely on plant regeneration from aboveground and belowground buds. Canopy and stem regeneration occurs more quickly via the bud bank than via seedling recruitment. To better predict plant community responses to fire, we need an enhanced understanding of the immediate and long-term bud responses of key forb, grass, and shrub species to...
Both southwestern white pine and limber pine are threatened by the non-native pathogen Cronartium ribicola that causes the lethal disease white pine blister rust. Identifying genetic resistance to white pine blister rust in the pines and planting seedlings with those resistance traits are critical components of proactive and restoration strategies to conserve and sustain the species.
In order to evaluate bristlecone pine's potential vulnerability to climate shifts, we defined the suitable climate space for each of the four genetic lineages of bristlecone pine and other subalpine tree species in close proximity to bristlecone forests. 
The research objective is to develop western white pine management strategies focused on regeneration establishment and young forest development by 1) developing canopy opening size thresholds where western white pine can establish and grow, 2) developing alternative tending methods to enable managers to continue to manage western white pine plantations, 3) evaluating plantation resilience to wildfire, and 4) evaluating understory plant...
The Regeneration for Resilience (R4R) framework provides a decision structure to prioritize limited resources to manage and increase the resilience of pine stands against the risk of extirpation by white pine blister rust. Effective management of forest regeneration dynamics can increase forest resilience and adaptive capacity to mitigate impacts of invasive species.
Through fire management and riparian ecosystem restoration RMRS researchers Terrie Jain, Kate Dwire, and Travis Warziniack are partnering with the University of Idaho and the Idaho City Ranger District to develop, implement, and evaluate different adaptive management strategies to improve the fire resiliency of the Boise National Forest. 
RMRS scientists have teamed up with the Dixie National Forest (DNF) to develop an environmental DNA (eDNA) assay for boreal toads. Because toads do not persistently inhabit wetlands, determinations of when, where, and how to sample are critical for the development of protocols based on eDNA.
This project is an interdisciplinary working group focused on collecting, documenting, exchanging, and archiving information about R4 groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs), particularly springs and wetlands.Current partners include Kate Dwire (RMRS), John Proctor (R4 Botanist), Mark Muir (R4 Hydrologist), Cynthia Tait (R4 Aquatic Program Manager), and Jeff Bruggink (R4 Soil Scientist).
Rangeland managers and livestock producers need timely and consistent tools that can inform grazing strategies, risk management, and allotment management plans. On the ground monitoring is expensive and resources can be limited, making it difficult to do consistently. The new Rangeland Production Monitoring Service can help make monitoring processes more effective and easier to implement.

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