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Climate Change

Projects

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.
This project will predict the potential distribution of Armillaria solidipes (A. ostoyae) under present and future climate scenarios across the interior Western United States. The three proposed elements of the project include:
Wildfires occur at the intersection of dry weather, available fuel, and ignition sources. Weather is the most variable and largest driver of regional burned area. Temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speed independently influence wildland fire spread rates and intensities. The alignment of multiple weather extremes, such as the co-occurrence of hot, dry, and windy conditions, leads to the most severe fires.
Global surface temperatures have increased about 0.89°C during the period from 1901 to 2012. Northern Eurasia has experienced the greatest temperature increase to date and is projected to continue experiencing the largest temperature increase globally. High-latitude boreal and temperate ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate change, and fire – a major disturbance in these ecosystems – responds rapidly to climate change.

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