Major research accomplishments and impacts on management

Research at Fraser has provided significant advances in our understanding of subalpine forest ecology and hydrology, and many of the silvicultural and hydrological practices used in managing subalpine forests in the central Rocky Mountains are derived from research done at Fraser. Improvements in understanding the factors that control snow distribution and water yields across heterogeneous landscapes have been incorporated into water yield models and widely applied. Studies of tree water use and ecophysiology have provided a better understanding of the growth dynamics of forests and transpiration water loss and have been incorporated into mechanistic models of ecosystem function used to predict the impact of changing climate on forest production and carbon storage. Long-term studies of manipulated forest stands indicate recovery requires substantially longer than originally hypothesized. Aquatic and terrestrial biogeochemistry have been studied in manipulated and control catchments, providing a greater understanding of the processes that control stream water quality. Long-term data sets of stream and precipitation chemistry are extremely valuable given the potential for increases in anthropogenic nitrogen emissions during the next century.