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Geography: Southwestern Region (R3)

Uneven-aged management on Fort Valley Experimental Forest

Projects Posted on: October 17, 2017
This project continues research that began in 1925, measuring trees within a study block that has used even and uneven-aged management techniques, to determine the growth and how climate variables may have impacted this. Previously-measured trees were remeasured in 2017, and tree data will be correlated with long-term weather data at FVEF. Measurements will continue to be taken into 2018.

100-year ponderosa pine assisted migration study at the Fort Valley Experimental Forest

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 12, 2017
100 years ago a study was initiatied near the Fort Valley Experimental Forest in Arizona to look at how different varieties of ponderosa pines would grow in different forest/geographic areas. Researchers found that more northerly or higher elevation materials performed better.    

Mexican spotted owls, forest restoration, fire, and climate change

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 12, 2017
The Mexican spotted owl is listed as a Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act and is vulnerable to habitat loss from wildfire and climate change. RMRS scientists are leading a cutting-edge modeling effort to predict the interactive effects of forest restoration, wildfire, and climate change on the distribution, population size, and population connectivity of Mexican spotted owl across the Southwestern United States.  

Snow water equivalent reconstruction using Forest Inventory and Analysis tree-ring data

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 31, 2017
Understanding snowpack variability is an important goal of water management, in particular, in the arid west where snow represents a major water storage feature. Snowpack observations in the Intermountain West are sparse and short, making them difficult for use in depicting past variability and extremes.

Can FIA soils data improve models predicting ponderosa pine density in the Southwest?

Projects Posted on: August 25, 2017
Puhlick et al. (2012) evaluated the influence of numerous abiotic and biotic factors on ponderosa pine regeneration densities in the southwestern United States. The study described here will use newly released soils data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program to test the influence of soils and other variables on ponderosa pine seedling densities.

Spatial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity burn patches

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 25, 2017
Over the past three decades, wildfires in southwestern United States ponderosa pine forests have increased in size and severity, leaving large patches of tree mortality. Ponderosa pine evolved under fire regimes dominated by low- to moderate-severity wildfires, and they are poorly adapted to regenerating in large patches of high-severity fire. There is concern about these high-severity burn patches because the lack of seed-producing trees can prevent or significantly delay ponderosa pine regeneration.

Climate change and wildfire effects in aridland riparian ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 24, 2017
A frequently discussed function of aridland riparian ecosystems is the contribution of woody riparian plants to breeding bird habitat. The structurally diverse, species-rich vegetation along many southwestern streams supports high densities of territories and nest sites for a variety of birds including several species of high conservation priority.A frequently discussed function of aridland riparian ecosystems is the contribution of woody riparian plants to breeding bird habitat. The structurally diverse, species-rich vegetation along many southwestern streams supports high densities of territories and nest sites for a variety of birds including several species of high conservation priority.

Semiochemical repellents reduce spruce beetle infestations

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2017
The spruce beetle is the most significant mortality agent of spruce in western North America. Management options are limited but an effective semiochemical repellent could be economically and environmentally advantageous, compared to insecticide applications, for protection single trees and small stands.

Conservation of bristlecone pine – proactive management today and resources for tomorrow

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2017
Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines are long-lived, exhibit delayed maturation, have low genetic diversity, and inhabit cold, high-elevation environments. They are threatened by the non-native disease white pine blister rust, warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and altered disturbance regimes. Sustaining bristlecone pine populations is essential to (1) maintain healthy mountain-top ecosystems and (2) ensure that the young bristlecone pine trees of today and tomorrow have the opportunity to achieve great age with picturesque gnarled trunks and wind-swept canopies for future generations to experience and enjoy.  

Current and future conditions in aridland riparian ecosystems

Lab Notes Posted on: August 07, 2017
Aridland riparian ecosystems are limited in size and availability, the climate is changing, and further hydrological change is likely in the American Southwest. To protect riparian ecosystems and organisms, scientists and land managers need to understand how disturbance processes and stressors such as fire, drought, and non-native plant invasions affect them.

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