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Climate Change

Projects

Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists and collaborators are working to determine how bark beetle attacks change the moisture and chemistry of several tree species and how these changes affect flammability. Findings will allow us to improve fire behavior and risk models to better predict and manage wildfires and protect property and human life. 
Wet meadow ecosystems host threatened and endangered species and are at high risk from climate change, wildfires, and water diversion. A typical wet meadow in the upper Middle Fork Salmon River, Idaho is the site of several prior and current investigations of stream ecosystem dynamics.
Stem initiation of key mixed-grass prairie species will be examined under a range of temperature, clipping, and moisture treatments in a series of growth chamber and greenhouse experiments. 
The climate niche for Wyoming big sagebrush was model for contemporary and 2050 climate. Climate change is predicted to have a negative impact on this subspecies with a 39% reduction in climate niche space between now and 2050.
Variation in composition, structure,  recruitment history, and genetic heterozygosity are being assessed for Great Basin bristlecone pine stands across the full geographic and ecological range of distribution.
Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists are evaluating biochar as a seed coating and as an amendment to nursery substrates to improve germination and growth of native plants.
Sonic anemometry is fundamental to all eddy-covariance studies of surface energy and ecosystem carbon and water balance. Recent studies have shown some anemometers underestimate vertical wind.
Innovative quantitative approaches have been developed for evaluating wildfire and prescribed fire effects on wildlife communities in several western North American national forests.
This study measured the plant species composition changes within pika (Ochotona princeps) foraging zones compared to species composition 10+ meters outside of the zone.
Puccinia psidii is the cause of rust disease of many host species in the Myrtaceae, including guava, eucalypts, rose apple, and ‘ōhi’a. Our ongoing project indicates a single biotype is present in the United States (as well as Costa Rica, Mexico, and Jamaica) that is capable of infecting multiple host species. Data from South America indicate multiple genotypes are present, each associated with a particular host. Furthermore, our analyses revealed that the biotype in the United States is quite distinct from genotypes found in South America.

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