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Keyword: climate change

User guide to the FireCLIME Vulnerability Assessment (VA) tool: A rapid and flexible system for assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate-fire interactions

Publications Posted on: October 15, 2019
Decision makers need better methods for identifying critical ecosystem vulnerabilities to changing climate and fire regimes. Climate-wildfire-vegetation interactions are complex and hinder classification and projection necessary for development of management strategies.

Assessing potential Armillaria spp. distributions in western Oregon, western Washington, and Alaska

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Armillaria species are key components of forest ecosystems throughout most regions of western North America. Their ecological roles range from beneficial saprobes to damaging root pathogens, and their impacts vary with environment and host.

Climate-driven shifts in soil temperature and moisture regimes suggest opportunities to enhance assessments of dryland resilience and resistance

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Assessing landscape patterns in climate vulnerability, as well as resilience and resistance to drought, disturbance, and invasive species, requires appropriate metrics of relevant environmental conditions.

Future changes in fire weather, spring droughts, and false springs across U.S. National Forests and Grasslands

Publications Posted on: August 23, 2019
Public lands provide many ecosystem services and support diverse plant and animal communities. In order to provide these benefits in the future, land managers and policy makers need information about future climate change and its potential effects. In particular, weather extremes are key drivers of wildfires, droughts, and false springs, which in turn can have large impacts on ecosystems.

Where the desert meets the river: Investigating southwestern riparian ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2019
Rivers and streams of the American Southwest have been heavily altered by human activity, resulting in significant changes to disturbance regimes. Riparian vegetation in aridland floodplain systems is critically important as foraging, migrating, and breeding habitat to birds and other animal species. To conserve riparian ecosystems and organisms, understanding how plants and animals are affected by disturbance processes and multiple stressors is critical.

Will climate warming be good or bad for mountain pine beetles?

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 21, 2019
Insects are expected to be favored by climate change as warm winters increase survival and warm summers speed up development. Many species, however, have adapted to seasonal aspects of their environment and warming that occurs too fast may disrupt their way of life. A research-based temperature-driven model suggests that within the next few decades mountain pine beetle range retraction may occur in the United States as its lifecycle is disrupted by excessive warming. 

The Rio Grande National Forest Climate Change Plan Revision Workshop: Designing a science-management collaborative process to address 2012 planning rule climate change concerns at the forest plan scale

Publications Posted on: August 12, 2019
Scientists and managers initiated a collaborative process to assist the Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) with bringing climate change information into its Forest Planning Process. The first objective of the collaborative, 2-day workshop was to present and discuss in a workshop format the salient climate change science for the RGNF landscape, in terms of projections, impacts, and vulnerabilities.

Getting climate-smart with seeds: How a new software tool helps prepare landscapes for expected future conditions

Pages Posted on: August 06, 2019
Sagebrush ecosystems are a major component of western U.S. landscapes and they provide vital habitat to a wide array of wildlife species, including greater sage-grouse and pygmy rabbits. However, in recent decades, sagebrush ecosystems have been reduced or degraded by a wide range of disturbances, including human development, overgrazing, severe fires, and encroachment by cheatgrass and pinyon-juniper woodlands. These factors are expected to continue or worsen with anticipated climate change.

Climate variability, carbon, drought and fire, in arid-semi-arid ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 01, 2019
Using the best available science and tools, we can project the effects of today’s management actions on tomorrow’s non-forest vegetation assemblage, carbon, and productivity while considering changing climates. 

Grasslands, rangelands and beyond: Predicting landscape conditions with ST-Sim

Projects Posted on: July 31, 2019
Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists partnered with a company called Apex Resource Management Solutions (commonly known as “Apex”) to use a software-based ecological simulation tool called ST-Sim, which is short for state-and-transition simulation model. Using computer-aided modeling, land management teams can use ST-Sim to document or justify management actions in forthcoming forest plans and NEPA documentation. ST-Sim allows managers to ask landscape-wide “what-if” questions based on different management regimes and land treatments while estimating interactions with expected climate changes.