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Carbon

Projects

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 diversity under 30-year or older western white pine plantations.  
Storage of atmospheric carbon is an important ecosystem service of healthy forests and woodlands because it mitigates the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. International reporting of this service places a premium on the specificity and precision of monitoring data used to estimate carbon storage or emission. An inventory of land cover change is a critical component of most national-level accounting systems, and the Landsat series of satellites is a uniquely positioned to provide this land cover change “activity data.” In Eastern Africa, there are already high-quality Landsat-based cover maps for 2 or 3 points in time. However, these maps do not provide the annual land cover change information needed for higher-tier IPCC reporting, and land cover changes inferred from independent maps at different dates cannot easily be assigned a level of uncertainty.
A historically consistent and broadly applicable monitoring, reporting, and verification system based on lidar sampling and Landsat time-series (tested in the US, and applied to the US NGHGI reporting system).
The Lassen and Modoc National Forests are revising their Forest Plans, guided by the 2012 Planning Rule. This requires public and tribal input throughout the process and embraces the fact that ecological, social, and economic objectives are interrelated. Because ecological, social, and economic conditions have changed since the original forest plans were written and new science is available, preparing a science synthesis, guided by input from the public, tribes, and forest staffs, is the first step in a multi-step process that eventually leads to revised forest plans.
Successful ecosystem restoration often relies on outplanting seedlings grown in nurseries. These seedlings must be of high quality; a healthy, vigorous root system is essential. This project examines how root modification achieved in nurseries affects long-term root architecture and current fine-root growth of ponderosa pine.
Wildland fires emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases, particulate matter, and ozone precursors. This can have a significant negative effect on public health at multiple scales.
FPARDY (Fuel PARticle DYnamics), is one of many new efforts to explore surface fuel characteristics at the particle, layer, and fuelbed levels across major forest ecosystem types in the US northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) to develop a set of products that integrate these findings into standard fuel applications.
The National Forest Climate Change Maps project was developed to meet the need of National Forest managers for information on projected climate changes at a scale relevant to decision making processes, including Forest Plans.  The maps use state-of-the-art science and are available for every National Forest in the contiguous United States with relevant data coverage. Currently, the map sets include variables related to precipitation, air temperature, snow (including April 1 snow-water equivalent (SWE) and snow residence time), and stream flow.
Researchers are using existing long-term studies to answer questions about overstory and understory carbon accumulation in western larch forests.Four western larch stands were remeasured in the summer of 2015. Stand growth and carbon sequestration were evaluated by estimating the carbon pools of live trees, understory vegetation, dead woody material, and the forest floor (decomposing plant material).
Many range and mine land sites are degraded because of disturbance and overgrazing. Researchers applied biochar — made by burning woody material in the absence of oxygen — to range and mine sites and observed improved soil water holding capacity, organic matter, and carbon sequestration, as well as increased production of native forbs and grasses. This research will continue for approximately 3-5 years to determine the longer-term impacts of biochar additions on different soil textures, climatic regimes, and plant species.

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