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Science Spotlights

The Florida Everglades ecosystem has been greatly altered by water control structures and land cover change.
Annual and seasonal changes in carbon sequestration potential are linked to extreme ENSO phases in Everglades ecosystems. Dry season precipitation increases during El Niño and declines in La Niña phases causing a shift in ecosystem carbon uptake with changes in water levels. Results suggest that changes in season length and intensity−as a result of climate change −will likely become one of the most important factors affecting carbon dynamics in...
Nonresponse bias in forest monitoring programs can result in under-estimation of forest attributes. This study presented a modified stratification scheme for New Mexico that compensated for nonresponse bias and produced more accurate forest inventory.
Samples are stored in a climate-controlled facility for future study (photo by Roger Pilkington).
Tree-ring studies are used for a wide variety of purposes, including the reconstruction of past climate. In 2009, the Interior West Forest Inventory and Analysis program started a project to inventory and archive approximately 11,000 increment cores collected in most of the Interior West states during periodic inventories of the 1980s and 1990s. 
A recently implemented science-based ponderosa pine restoration treatment site on the Pike National Forest near Manitou Experimental Forest (photo by Mike A Battaglia).
The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program provides data for monitoring forest biomass at state, regional, and national scales. In 2000, the FIA program shifted from a periodic inventory to an annual inventory. Our study illustrated the effect of comparing population estimates from the old periodic inventories with population estimates from annual inventory plots, versus comparing only plots that were measured during both periodic and...
Bark-peeled ponderosa pine
Native peoples throughout the northern hemisphere have made use of the nutritious inner bark of pine trees.  Bark-peeling creates distinctive scars on trees, a permanent indicator of this cultural modification.  Like any historical artifact, laws and regulations protect these culturally modified trees (CMTs). 
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.