A researcher collects soil samples from volcanic-derived soil in the Heén Latinee Experimental Forest within the Tongass National Forest, Alaska. These samples were later analyzed to determine the carbon content. USDA Forest Service photo by Dave D'Amore.
Soil absorbs an estimated 30 percent of fossil fuel carbon emissions. The exact amount and location of carbon stored in soil, however, is not well quantified and can vary with local environmental conditions. Accurately assessing soil carbon storage is a management priority because these estimates are needed for updating land management plans and better understanding the global carbon cycle.
A forest study plot 20 years after mechanical thinning followed by a prescribed burn. USDA Forest Service photo by George McCaskill.
The Hungry Bob fuels reduction site in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest was part of a national Fire and Fire Surrogate network of experiments across the United States during the 1990s through 2000s. At the Hungry Bob site, scientists designed an experiment to test the effects of mechanical thinning and prescribed burning in ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests of northeastern Oregon.
Scientists collected data on stream temperature, aquatic species like fish and invertebrates, streamside vegetation, and channel morphology. Photo credit: Heather Kolowinski.
Wherever there are mountains and rainfall, there will be debris flows. Starting as a landslide and acting like an avalanche, a debris flow is an unconsolidated mass of loose material that travels rapidly down a stream channel.
Prairie lupine growing on the slopes leading down to Spirit Lake, with Mount Rainier visible in the distance. USDA Forest Service photo by Shannon Claeson.
Mount St. Helens, located in southwest Washington, erupted 40 years ago on May 18, 1980. The largest landslide in recorded history filled valleys below with debris, and ash fell from the sky for weeks, blanketing the nearby area and affecting regions as far away as the Rocky Mountains. Within 2 weeks, ash from the blast had circled the globe.
The pygmy shorthorned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii) may benefit from greater sage-grouse restoration projects. Photo courtesy of Tatiana Gettelman, Yakima Training.
The greater sage‐grouse inhabits the vast sagebrush ecosystems of western North America, including eleven U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. This ground-nesting bird benefits from millions of acres of habitat conservation and restoration that have taken place since the ﬁrst petition to federally list it under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2002.
Juvenile lamprey caught in a coastal draining stream in southern Oregon. Photo credit: South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Pacific lamprey and western brook lamprey coexist in streams along the southern Oregon coast. Pacific lamprey are anadromous, spending part of their lives in fresh water and part in the ocean. Like salmon, adult Pacific lamprey return to their home streams to spawn, whereas western brook lamprey are not anadromous and remain in freshwater streams throughout their life cycles.
An illustration showing the biodiversity of an aquatic ecosystem that is encompassed in the transient traces of environmental DNA left behind by stream inhabitants. Illustration by Laura Hauck.
Effective management of aquatic ecosystems relies on accurate information about species diversity and abundance. But, the stream surveys necessary to gather critical information on riparian biodiversity are usually time-consuming and costly.
Rough-skinned next. Photo by Tammy Verhunc.
With disease at the forefront of amphibian population decline issues, a recently released Strategic Plan for North America is aimed at detecting the nonnative amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (known as “Bsal”) and preventing its establishment here.
Ecological Responses at Mount St. Helens: Revisited 35 Years After the 1980 Eruption, published in 2018 by Springer.
When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, it not only dramatically transformed more than 200 square miles that previously contained vast forests, fast-flowing streams, and sparkling mountain lakes, it also created unprecedented research opportunities for scientists.
An aerial view of the braided waterways on the Copper River Delta, Alaska. Coho salmon are visible in the center channel, holding in deeper water while they wait to spawn in the smaller channels. USDA Forest Service photo by Steve Wondzell.
Alaska’s Copper River Delta is renowned for its salmon. Water temperature affects egg development rate and thus the timing of juvenile salmon emergence into the stream, and climate change scenarios project warmer winters for this region. Consequently, there is interest in understanding how this may affect the highly valued salmon.