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Geography: Northern Region (R1)

Getting More Fire on the Ground: Landscape-Scale Prescribed Burning Supported by Science

Documents and Media Posted on: November 09, 2022
Scientists with RMRS, and many others throughout the research community, are working to advance our understanding of fire, developing planning tools, and understanding public perceptions of fire management activities to help managers reduce barriers to conducting landscape-level prescribed fires. Partnerships between land managers, such as those on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and scientists may be one of the keys to ramping up prescribed fire programs. Document Type: Other Documents

Tracing the Source: How Did Invasive Northern Pike Arrive in the Columbia River Basin?

Documents and Media Posted on: November 01, 2022
Northern pike are among the most exciting freshwater fishes to land because they tend to put up quite a fight. This species is broadly distributed outside its native range due to human transport and subsequent expansion.Document Type: Other Documents

Asymmetric Phenological Changes Projected for US Rangelands

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 24, 2022
Phenological changes are projected to change growing season dynamics and potentially change ecosystem function leading to asymmetric vegetation responses. Contrary to some other research, we project that growing seasons are expected to be shorter in the future by as much as 30 days in some regions suggesting changes in management techniques and regimes will likely be necessary. 

New horizons for proactive, risk-informed strategic land and fire management

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 30, 2022
The PODs (potential operational delineations) concept is an adaptive framework for cross-boundary and collaborative land and fire management planning. Early evidence suggests PODs provide utility for planning, communication, coordination, prioritization, incident response strategy development, and fuels mitigation and forest restoration. This work explores new horizons that would help land and fire management organizations better address risks and capitalize on opportunities.

Climate change impacts invasive perennial grass establishment

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 07, 2022
Climate change and grazing can alter the invasion success of perennial grasses by influencing their establishment as young plants. Young perennial plant survival and success is dependent on the formation and use of their belowground bud bank to facilitate clonal growth through the vegetative reproduction of new aboveground stems.  In young plants, clonal traits of the invasive grass Smooth Brome (Bromus inermis) favored its superior expansion and population growth compared to the native grass Western Wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) except under the most severe climate change scenario.  

Developing novel approaches to manage Armillaria root disease in coniferous forests of the western U.S.

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 01, 2022
Recent and ongoing studies are using bioclimatic modeling, genomic sequencing of Armillaria spp., and identifications of soil microbial communities to develop novel approaches to manage Armillaria root disease.

Assessing arboreal absence from above: Using lidar to characterize snags

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 26, 2022
Using airborne lidar, researchers demonstrated that a) forest canopy gap analyses can differentiate between snags and live conifer trees, and b) machine learning algorithms may be able to detect structural differences among snags. 

Forb genetic research provides a basis for restoration

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2022
Diverse native forb communities are indicators of healthy ecosystems. Given the increasing frequency of disturbance and climate change perturbation affecting the establishment of native plant communities, restoration of native forbs is often required. RMRS staff and partners are focused on uncovering the genetic, evolutionary, and ecological underpinning of these understudied species to promote the appropriate application of native forbs in restoration.

The Shape of Streams to Come: New decision tools for assessing watershed sensitivity and ecological resilience in the Great Basin

Documents and Media Posted on: August 16, 2022
A collaborative group of managers and scientists led by Jeanne Chambers, research ecologist and senior scientist (emeritus) with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, and geomorphologist Jerry Miller, a professor of environmental science at Western Carolina University, developed a multiscale approach to help land managers rapidly assess watersheds and categorize them based on resilience and sensitivity to disturbance. Document Type: Other Documents

Combining biogeographical approaches to advance invasion ecology

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 05, 2022
Exotic invasive pests arise when species are introduced from their native range into new regions of the globe.  Fully understanding invasions requires studying the pest species in its native and introduced ranges, but biogeographic studies are logistically very challenging. This research contrasts three leading biogeographic study approaches for plant invaders and proposes a new hybrid approach for biogeographic research.