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Geography: Eastern Region (R9)

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.

‘Chem herding’ to improve biological control of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) in the Northern Rockies

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 08, 2019
Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) refers to the complex of exotic invasive shrubs and trees (four species and their hybrids) now considered the third most prevalent woody riparian taxonomic group in the western United States. Defoliation by large multivoltine populations of the Northern tamarisk beetle Diorhabda carinulata has successfully reduced extensive saltcedar infestations in the southwestern United States. Behavioral manipulation of insects with semiochemicals such as aggregation pheromones can be used to intensify herbivory, even in the Northern Rockies where beetle population densities are inherently low, to the extent that the target weed species is negatively affected at a population level.

Screening range-wide black walnut seed families for resistance to Geosmithia morbida, the fungal causal agent of thousand cankers disease

Projects Posted on: August 06, 2019
Thousand cankers disease is threatening walnut trees (Juglans spp.) throughout the United States. The disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Geosmithia morbida and the associated insect vector the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis). Declining walnut trees were noticed in the western United States in the 1990s and early 2000s, but the disease was not described until 2008. Throughout the last decade, thousand cankers disease has expanded. Currently, it compromises native and planted walnut stands throughout most of the western United States, several eastern states within native range of the black walnut, as well as Italy. 

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

Landscape Change Monitoring System (LCMS)

Projects Posted on: June 22, 2018
The Landscape Change Monitoring System (LCMS) is an emerging remote sensing-based system for mapping and monitoring land cover and land use change across the US. Envisioned as a framework for integrating Landsat-based products and other datasets, LCMS  is producing spatially, temporally, and thematically comprehensive data and information from which landscape change can be consistently assessed, documented, and analyzed at the national scale. 

The eDNAtlas project: A national map of aquatic biodiversity

Science Spotlights Posted on: June 07, 2018
The National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation pioneered development of eDNA sampling of aquatic environments at their laboratory in Missoula, MT. The Center has partnered with dozens of National Forests, as well as other state, federal, tribal, and private natural resource organizations to assist in the collection and processing of eDNA samples. Thousands of eDNA samples are collected annually and constitute a rapidly growing biodiversity archive that provides precise information about native and non-native species distributions, temporal trends in those distributions, and the efficacy of species and habitat restoration and conservation efforts. eDNA sampling provides a low-cost & sensitive method for determining which species occur in water bodies. Rapid adoption of eDNA sampling by many natural resource agencies led to an exponential increase in data and the need for an open-access database. The website and open-access database were launched in June 2018 with approximately 6,000 samples and is updated semi-annually with newly processed samples.

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.

The aquatic eDNAtlas project

Projects Posted on: February 08, 2018
The website provides: 1) A large list of supporting science behind eDNA sampling. 2) The recommended field protocol for eDNA sampling and the equipment loan program administered by the NGC. 3) A systematically-spaced sampling grid for all flowing waters of the U.S. in a downloadable format that includes unique database identifiers and geographic coordinates for all sampling sites. Available for download in an Geodatabase or available by ArcGIS Online map. This sampling grid can be used to determine your field collection sites to contribute. 4) The lab results of eDNA sampling at those sites where project partners have agreed to share data.

Estimating carbon and nitrogen pools in forest soil: Influence of soil bulk density methods and rock content

Science Spotlights Posted on: February 01, 2018
Many U.S. forests contain soils with high rock content, and quantities of stored carbon and nitrogen. There is a need to calculate changes in carbon and nutrient pools in soils, but current sampling methods are not completely reliable in rocky soils. Managers and climate change researchers are using estimates of carbon pools to indicate soil productivity, alteration of biological activity, impacts from fire, or carbon storage potential. 

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