Research Roundup

Overviews of the climate change work happening at Forest Service research stations.
Sort by date posted to CCRC | Sort by project title

Climate change interactions with landscape vegetation and disturbance trends on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona
Pacific Northwest Research Station

This project was a pilot effort to construct climate-connected state and transition models for a large landscape in eastern central Arizona. The objective was to use state and transition models developed as a part of the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project and Dynamic Global Vegetation Model outputs from the model MC1 to construct and test the modeling approach.

Contact: Miles Hemstrom
Climate change and future stream temperatures in the interior Columbia River Basin
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Restoring riparian forests on streams where historic land uses have created open meadows could reduce maximum stream temperatures by as much as 7o C relative to current conditions, even under a future climate when air temperatures are 4o C warmer than today.

Contact: Steve Wondzell
Evaluating land use planning effects on carbon storage to address climate change
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Research and policy discussions highlight the role of forests in reducing greenhouse gases by storing carbon. An important factor regarding forests and carbon is simply maintaining the amount of land that is retained in forest cover. Since 1973, Oregon’s statewide land-use planning program has sought to maintain forest and agricultural lands in the face of increasing development by maintaining forest and agricultural zones and to limit growth to within urban growth boundaries. We combine projections of forest and agricultural land development with estimates of average carbon stocks for different land uses to examine what effect land-use planning has had in maintaining forest carbon in western Oregon. In addition to other benefits arising from the conservation of forestland, results indicate that Oregon’s land-use planning system in western Oregon yields significant gains in carbon storage equivalent to a reduction of 1.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.

Contact: Jeffrey Kline
Predicting global change effects on forest biomass and composition in south-central Siberia
Northern Research Station

Multiple global changes such as timber harvest of previously unexploited areas and climate change will undoubtedly affect the composition and spatial distribution of boreal forests, which will in turn affect the ability of these forests to sequester carbon. To reliably predict future states of the boreal forest it is necessary to understand the complex interactions among forest regenerative processes (succession), natural disturbances (e.g., fire, wind and insects) and anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., timber harvest).

Contact: Eric Gustafson
Plumas/Lassen Administrative Study Vegetation Module Forest Restoration in the Northern Sierra Nevada: Impacts on Structure, Fire Climate, and Ecosystem Resilience.
Pacific Southwest Research Station

PSW scientists focus on the effects of fuel treatments on forest structure, composition, understory microclimate, and succession, because changes in these conditions will define how fire and the forests responds to restoration.

Contact: Malcolm North
Threat assessment of non-native perennial grasses to the ecology and management of National Grasslands in the Northern Great Plains
Rocky Mountain Research Station
Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

National Grasslands are large, diverse, and mostly intact native ecosystems that provide a wide variety of outputs and resource values. Approximately 86% of the 3.8 million acres of National Grasslands are located within the Northern Great Plains States of CO, NE, WY, SD, and ND, and may represent the last, large tracts of native short- and mixed-grass prairie in the United States. However, the structural and functional integrity of native grasslands are being threatened by intensive agriculture, urban and energy development, unmanaged recreation, and climate change. This project is strategically focused on National Grasslands issues that may adversely impact the diversity, productivity, and sustainability of what may be the last, large tracts of native grasslands in the United States.

Contact: Jack Butler
Inyo National Forest Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory
Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

The US Forest Service classifies ecological types consistently throughout the nation using a system called Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory (TEUI). Within this system, spatial regions are uniquely classified based on their climate, geology, geomorphology, soils and vegetation. We will expand upon a TEUI conducted by the by Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) to create an updated R5 Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory (TEUI) User Guide with specific applications for climate change planning, as well as a completed TEUI for the Inyo National Forest.

Contact: Michele Slaton
Impacts of bark beetles on ecosystem values in western forests: A synthesis
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

Although basic outbreak dynamics and impacts of some bark beetle species have been described, characterizing and quantifying these impacts on ecosystem functions and services remains a significant challenge. The range of ecosystem services and resources impacted by bark beetles is wide and diverse, but most pest impact assessments and valuations are still based on timber production. New information addresses the wider range of impacts on non-timber services and resources but much of it remains scattered in the literature and databases pertaining to individual insect species. We will review and synthesize the literature involving currently used pest assessment methods, including monitoring and survey methods, summary analyses, valuation procedures, reporting metrics and standards and error and accuracy estimation.

Contact: John Lundquist
Biophysical limitations, migration potential, and climatic ranges of tree species in the interface between the boreal forest and the temperate rainforest in Alaska
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

Three major biomes intersect in the south-central region of Alaska: the western edge of the coastal rainforest, the southern edge of the boreal forest, and the eastern edge of the mostly treeless tundra and shrub ecosystems of southwest Alaska. Predictions of climate change responses for these ecosystems vary widely and substantial vegetation changes in this area will have large impacts on the area economy. This study will evaluate tree species' vulnerability to climate change in this area of AK.

Contact: Tara Barrett
Grassland restoration species for central New Mexico
Rocky Mountain Research Station

Researchers are looking at long-term population dynamics, germination characteristics, response to disturbance, and climate manipulations for a suite of forbs found in central New Mexican grasslands.

Esteban Muldavin

Was this page helpful?

Please help us improve the CCRC by giving us feedback.