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Geography: Southern Region (R8)

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.

Southern pine beetle effects on soil disturbance

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 21, 2019
Land managers recognize that maintaining soil health during harvest operations is important for ensuring hydrologic function, nutrient cycling, vegetative regrowth, and stable carbon reserves. However, during salvage logging operations many of these values may be at risk because of soil disturbance associated with equipment movement on a site. Communicating with specialists about the importance of maintaining soil quality resulted in very little disturbance in 37 harvest units across Mississippi.

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

Climate change likely to reshape vegetation across North America's protected areas

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 23, 2019
National parks, wilderness areas, and nature reserves were created to preserve a sample of pristine ecosystems, but even the most remote protected areas face serious threats from climate change. Managers would benefit from a better understanding how ecosystems within protected areas may respond to global warming.  

Neotropical cloud forests to lose what most defines them: Clouds

FS News Posted on: April 26, 2019
* News release issued by the International Institute of Tropical Forestry

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.  

Research runs through it: A fresh look at Wild and Scenic Rivers

Documents and Media Posted on: October 02, 2018
As the Forest Service and other agencies prepare for the next half-century of managing Wild and Scenic Rivers, scientists at the Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute are partnering with National Forests and university collaborators to use new research protocols to help revise river management plans. Document Type: Other Documents

Predicting the effects of climate change on cattle production in western U.S. rangelands

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 13, 2018
Forage availability for grazing animals has always been vulnerable to the effects of variations of weather and climate from year–to–year, with some years and decades markedly drier than others.

Next Generation Fire Severity Mapping

Tools Posted on: July 06, 2018
The Next Generation Fire Severity Mapping is a tool designed to depict the probability of high-severity fire, if a fire were to occur, for several ecoregions in the contiguous western U.S. Statistical models were used to generate “wall-to-wall” maps for 13 of the 19 ecoregions.