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Geography: Washington

Where’s the Biomass? A New Approach for Quantifying Biomass and Carbon in the Western United States

Documents and Media Posted on: October 13, 2020
A brand-new Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) developed by RMRS researchers promises to be a valuable resource to support the U.S. Forest Service’s Shared Stewardship Initiative’s goals and policy makers calculating carbon budgets. Document Type: Other Documents

Myrtle rust pathogen: evaluating genetic diversity and invasive threats

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 31, 2020
At least three different biotypes (genetic groups) of the invasive myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) were identified, each with different host associations, geographic distributions, and potential distribution (suitable climate space). Each biotype poses its own distinct invasive threats to diverse hosts in the Myrtaceae (e.g., eucalypts, guava, ‘ōhi’a) grown in different geographic areas.

Headed uphill? Aridity limits lower treelines in much of the western U.S.

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 25, 2020
Many forests in dry mountain regions have a lower elevational treeline that constitutes the dry edge of the forest belt.  Lower treelines currently at their climate limit are expected to be more sensitive to changing climate. Lower treelines constrained by non-climatic factors are less likely to respond directly to climate change but may be sensitive to other global change agents. Understanding the controls on the position of lower treeline can help managers anticipate forest shifts in response to climate change and prioritize vegetation treatments.

Increasing use of prescribed fire: Barriers and opportunities

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 20, 2020
Prescribed fire is an important tool for increasing the resilience of fire-dependent ecosystems and for reducing overall wildfire risk, but it is not being applied at the necessary or desired levels. We investigated barriers and strategies for facilitating prescribed fire application on USFS and BLM lands across the western United States.

Habitat suitability models for white-headed woodpecker in recently burned forest

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 11, 2020
Salvage logging in burned forests can negatively affect habitat for white-headed woodpeckers (Dryobates albolarvatus), a species of conservation concern. To quantify and map suitable woodpecker habitat after wildfires, we developed habitat suitability index (HSI) models to inform forest management activities.

Watering the Forests for the Trees: Water Yield and Changes in Forest Cover

Documents and Media Posted on: August 07, 2020
Forest cover loss may decrease water yield, particularly following nonstand-replacing disturbance in semi-arid western forests. This contradicts the long-held expectation that water yield increases when tree cover is reduced. Document Type: Other Documents

No fish left behind: Using eDNA sampling to inform fish eradication efforts

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 28, 2020
Environmental DNA methods are highly sensitive and accurate, making them ideal for detecting animals at low densities. However, this tool also comes with its own unique set of challenges when applied to efforts to eradicate invasive species. This research explores the use of eDNA for evaluating invasive species eradication efforts in streams and offers best practices for incorporating eDNA methods into invasive species removal projects.

Management of high-elevation five-needle white pines

Science Spotlights Posted on: April 16, 2020
White pine blister rust (WPBR), a disease caused by the fungal pathogen Cronartium ribicola, has spread rapidly through moist forests in the northwestern and eastern United States, killing many five-needle white pines, a crucial subalpine forest species. WPBR continues to spread more slowly through the drier habitats of the southern Rockies, Great Basin, and Southwest. RMRS scientists, in collaboration with other researchers and forest managers, have developed the regeneration for resilience (R4R) framework, which prioritizes limited resources and utilizes natural and artificial regeneration for management of stands and landscapes to support multi-generational, self-sustaining pine populations in the presence of WPBR. 

Disturbance effects on water yield in western coniferous forests

Science Spotlights Posted on: March 20, 2020
In coniferous western forests, recent widespread tree mortality provided opportunities to test the long-held theory that forest cover loss increases water yield. Collective results indicate that post-disturbance streamflow and snowpack may increase, stay the same, or even decrease. This post-disturbance hydrologic response depends on vegetation structure, climate, and topography.  New hypotheses continue to be formulated and tested in this rapidly evolving discipline.

Social network mapping in fire-prone landscapes

Science Spotlights Posted on: November 14, 2019
To understand how local, state and federal investments are shaping North Central Washington's wildfire management system, a team of researchers with the Co-Management of Fire Risk Transmission Partnership (CoMFRT) conducted a survey of nearly 300 wildfire management professionals. The analyses identifies who is part of the wildfire management system, what their roles are, where they work, and how they are connected to each other.