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Geography: Buffalo Gap National Grassland

Looking belowground: Investigations into belowground plant organs in grasslands and around the world

Projects Posted on: October 15, 2019
Belowground plant structures support aboveground regeneration in ecosystems around the world.  More research is needed to document and understand the anatomy, physiology, demography and ecological role of belowground plant organs.  By working with a global network of scientists we aim to provide research, syntheses and protocols on belowground plant traits.

America's Grasslands - audiovisual presentation

Documents and Media Posted on: June 14, 2019
The National Grassland Council has prepared an audiovisual presentation about the history and value of our National Grasslands. GSD Research Ecologist Jackie Ott, Rapid City and member of the National Grassland Council, helped to prepare the presentation which she narrates. The presentation takes 10 minutes and is a fascinating account of the homesteading period, 1930’s Dust Bowl, formation of the national grasslands, and their current multiple uses and contributions to the national economy. Document Type: Presentations

Examining the patterns and processes of grassland resiliency to drought

Projects Posted on: November 02, 2018
With increasing temperatures due to climate change and the inherent interannual variability in precipitation of most grasslands, droughts will likely increase in frequency and intensity across the Great Plains. Precipitation legacies from previous years can impact current year productivity in arid grasslands by shifting tiller and bud bank densities of the dominant grasses. Belowground bud survival during drought and the ability of buds to break dormancy following drought are key to maintaining a resilient grassland in both arid and mesic grasslands.

Fire effects on herbaceous regeneration across an invasion gradient in grasslands and shrublands

Projects Posted on: November 02, 2018
Post-fire resiliency of plant communities in northern mixed-grass prairie and eastern sagebrush steppe depends largely on plant regeneration from aboveground and belowground buds. Canopy and stem regeneration occurs more quickly via the bud bank than via seedling recruitment. To better predict plant community responses to fire, we need an enhanced understanding of the immediate and long-term bud responses of key forb, grass, and shrub species to fire.  

Warming and Warnings: Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability in the Rocky Mountain Region

Documents and Media Posted on: July 26, 2018
This special Science You Can Use Bulletin is a companion to the recently published general technical report addressing climate change vulnerability in the Rocky Mountain Region. Document Type: Other Documents

Recreating in color: Promoting ethnic diversity on public lands

Documents and Media Posted on: May 30, 2018
Recent studies of the Forest Service’s National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) data show a wide disparity in racial and ethnic use of national forests. Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado, are studying NVUM numbers systematically and hope that their research will help National Forest System staff to encourage different racial and ethnic groups to connect with public natural lands. Document Type: Other Documents

Seeing red: New tools for mapping and understanding fire severity

Pages Posted on: May 14, 2018
Large, severe fires are ecologically and socially important because they have lasting effects on vegetation and soils, can potentially threaten people and property, and can be costly to manage. The goals of the Fire Severity Mapping Project(FIRESEV), which covers lands in the continental western United States, are to understand where and why fires burn severely, and to give fire managers, fire ecologists, and natural resource managers tools to assess severity before, during, and after a wildfire. FIRESEV has produced a suite of tools for a wide range of fire management applications, including real-time forecasts and assessments in wildfire situations, post-wildfire rehabilitation efforts, and long-term planning.

Where's the beef? Predicting the effects of climate change on cattle production in western U.S. rangelands

Pages Posted on: March 01, 2018
Matt Reeves, a research economist with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, along with collaborators, have been trying to understand the impacts of climate change and what they might mean for cattle numbers and operations. A model was developed that uses projections of temperatures and precipitation conditions across western rangelands to model the future vulnerability of cattle production to warmer, drier and more variable conditions.

National forest climate change maps: your guide to the future

Projects Posted on: April 17, 2017
The National Forest Climate Change Maps project was developed to meet the need of National Forest managers for information on projected climate changes at a scale relevant to decision making processes, including Forest Plans.  The maps use state-of-the-art science and are available for every National Forest in the contiguous United States with relevant data coverage. Currently, the map sets include variables related to precipitation, air temperature, snow (including April 1 snow-water equivalent (SWE) and snow residence time), and stream flow.

National flow gage gap analysis

Projects Posted on: March 16, 2017
Flow gages* record discharge in streams and rivers across the U.S. but the extent and adequacy of this monitoring network relative to USFS lands has not been documented. To address that deficiency, the medium resolution National Hydrography Layer was used with gage location information from the National Water Information System to describe the monitoring network and how it has changed through time.

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