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Recent Publications

As highly productive and biologically diverse communities, healthy quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides; hereafter aspen) forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services across western North America. Western aspen decline during the last century has been attributed to several causes and their interactions, including altered fire regimes, drought, excessive use by domestic and wild ungulates, and conifer encroachment.
For millennia, natural disturbance regimes, including anthropogenic fire and hunting practices, have led to forest regeneration patterns that created a diversity of forest lands across the USA. But dramatic changes in climates, invasive species, and human population, and land use have created novel disturbance regimes that are causing challenges to securing desired natural regeneration.
Root disease caused by Armillaria mexicana and/or A. mellea is associated with tree mortality in peach (Prunus persica) orchards within their primary production zone of the Mexican sub-tropics. To improve management options for this disease, the resistance/susceptibility reactions of three Prunus rootstocks to infection by A. mexicana (isolate MEX85) and A. mellea (isolate MEX100) were evaluated under greenhouse and field conditions.
The FireFlux II experiment was conducted in a tall grass prairie located in south-east Texas on 30 January 2013 under a regional burn ban and high fire danger conditions. The goal of the experiment was to better understand micrometeorological aspects of fire spread. The experimental design was guided by the use of a coupled fire–atmosphere model that predicted the fire spread in advance.
The Science Framework is intended to link the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy with long-term strategic conservation and restoration actions in the sagebrush biome. The focus is on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems and sagebrush dependent species with an emphasis on Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).
Species at risk of extinction are not uniformly distributed in space. Concentrations of threatened species may occur where threatening processes are intense, in refuges from those processes, or in areas of high species diversity. However, there have been few attempts to identify the processes that explain the distribution of at-risk species.
The concept of ecological integrity has been applied widely to management of aquatic systems, but still is considered by many to be too vague and difficult to quantify to be useful for managing terrestrial systems, particularly across broad areas.
Remotely sensed data are commonly used as predictor variables in spatially explicit models depicting landscape characteristics of interest (response) across broad extents, at relatively fine resolution. To create these models, variables are spatially registered to a known coordinate system and used to link responses with predictor variable values.
In recent years airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology has received a great deal of attention. Using airborne LiDAR, analysts have successfully related height measurements to forest characteristics such as tree size, basal area, and number of trees.
The wildfires that burned in the Northern Rockies region of the USA during the 2017 fire season provided an opportunity to evaluate the suitability of using broadscale and temporally limited infrared data on hot spot locations to determine the influence of several environmental variables on spotting distance.