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Landscape ecology

Science Spotlights

Western larch
Researchers compiled a literary database about native plant transfer guidelines, climate change, and assisted migration. This database can help inform scientists, land managers, and university students about climate change and assisted migration through presentations and publications that cover the historical, biological, social, legal, and ethical aspects of assisted migration.
A recently implemented science-based ponderosa pine restoration treatment site on the Pike National Forest near Manitou Experimental Forest (photo by Mike A Battaglia).
Ponderosa pine forests vary greatly from region to region across the western United States. Our research on the Colorado Front Range demonstrates that ponderosa pine forest structure was historically a mixture of openings, single trees, and groups of two - five trees growing together. There were a variety of age classes within a stand and tree diameters were generally smaller than those observed in other regions.
Scientists with the Rocky Mountain Research Station and their collaborators have made great contributions to the development and application of broad-scale, representative, multi-resource monitoring protocols. They have played a key role in developing and improving sampling methodology, survey design, and analysis of non-invasively collected genetic data.
Elk bugleing
One of the biggest challenges that wildlife and plant populations face is the speed at which climate change is predicted to occur. For some species the rapid rate of change will outpace their ability to migrate to more suitable habitats. What is needed is an understanding of the evolutionary and genetic responses to climate change and accurate identification of which species will be unable to persist given various climatic predictions. Our...
Fruiting bodies of Armillaria spp.
Invasive root pathogens are a major threat to forest health worldwide, and the fungal pathogens that cause Armillaria root disease (Armillaria species) impact diverse tree species and are distributed globally. Studies to document the distribution of Armillaria species are essential for assessing potential invasive threats and potential impacts of climate change. Collaborative studies have begun to document the distribution of Armillaria...

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