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Ecology, Ecosystems, & Environment

Publications

Dry mixed-conifer forests are widespread in the interior Pacific Northwest, but their historical fire regimes are poorly characterized, in particular the relative mix of low- and high-severity fire. We reconstructed a multi-century history of fire from tree rings in dry mixed-conifer forests in central Oregon. These forests are dominated by ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C.
Population growth and climate change will combine to pose substantial challenges for water management in the United States. Projections of water supply and demand over the 21st century show that in the absence of further adaptation efforts, serious water shortages are likely in some regions. Continued improvements in water use efficiency are likely but will be insufficient to avoid future shortages.
Research Highlights: Two genets of Armillaria altimontana Brazee, B. Ortiz, Banik, and D.L. Lindner and five genets of Armillaria solidipes Peck (as A. ostoyae [Romagnesi] Herink) were identified and spatially mapped within a 16-year-old western white pine (Pinus monticola Doug.) plantation, which demonstrated distinct spatial distribution and interspecific associations. Background and Objectives: A. solidipes and A.
Climate change poses a serious threat to biodiversity and unprecedented challenges to the preservation and protection of natural landscapes. We evaluated how climate change might affect vegetation in 22 of the largest and most iconic protected area (PA) complexes across North America.
Mesocarnivores, fisher, marten, lynx, wolverine and others, are an important part of forest ecosystems, but they are often difficult to detect, occur in low densities, and have large home ranges. This makes it difficult for biologists to estimate the number of individuals in a specific species in a particular ecosystem. Publication: RMRS-GTR-388
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.
Old trees (defined here as ≥150 years old) can be rare in many forests because of past timber harvest, uncharacteristically severe wildfires, and - increasingly - climate change. Old trees provide unique structural, ecological, scientific, and aesthetic values missing in forests containing only younger trees.
Context: Habitat loss and fragmentation are the most pressing threats to biodiversity, yet assessing their impacts across broad landscapes is challenging. Information on habitat suitability is sometimes available in the form of a resource selection function model developed from a different geographical area, but its applicability is unknown until tested.
Resilience has become a common goal for science-based natural resource management, particularly in the context of changing climate and disturbance regimes. Integrating varying perspectives and definitions of resilience is a complex and often unrecognized challenge to applying resilience concepts to social-ecological systems (SESs) management.
Changes in land use/cover are the main drivers of global biodiversity loss, and thus tools to evaluate effects of landscape change on biodiversity are crucial.

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