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Keyword: climate change

Great Basin bristlecone pine mortality: Causal factors and management implications

Publications Posted on: May 06, 2022
High-elevation five-needle pines are foundational species and iconic components of subalpine forests across western North America. Because they often grow at environmental extremes, high-elevation pines are vulnerable to changing climate conditions.

Do metapopulations and management matter for relict headwater bull trout populations in a warming climate?

Publications Posted on: May 05, 2022
Mountain headwater streams have emerged as important climate refuges for native cold-water species due to their slow climate velocities and extreme physical conditions that inhibit non-native invasions. Species persisting in refuges often do so as fragmented, relict populations from broader historical distributions that are subject to ongoing habitat reductions and increasing isolation as climate change progresses.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Why fires are climbing higher than ever before due to increased western aridity

Science Spotlights Posted on: April 28, 2022
Fires are burning higher and broader. Increases in burned area and altogether larger fire occurrences have been noted throughout the past half-century within western regions of the United States. The key word in all of this: higher. Recent collaborative research by Rocky Mountain Research Station, McGill University, University of California, and Boise State University focuses on the elevational distribution amongst forest fires in mountainous areas of the western United States—showing unique and unprecedented burned forest rates in areas above 2,500 m (8,200 ft) from 1984 to 2017.​​

Efficacy of the global protected area network is threatened by disappearing climates and potential transboundary range shifts

Publications Posted on: April 25, 2022
Protected areas are essential to conserving biodiversity, yet changing climatic conditions challenge their efficacy. For example, novel and disappearing climates within the protected area network indicate that extant species may not have suitable climate in protected areas in the future. Further, potential transboundary range shifts, those that involve movement from one country to another, are also challenging because physical (e.g.

Climate-induced fire regime amplification in Alberta, Canada

Publications Posted on: April 22, 2022
Acting as a top-down control on fire activity, climate strongly affects wildfire in North American ecosystems through fuel moisture and ignitions. Departures from historical fire regimes due to climate change have significant implications for the structure and composition of boreal forests, as well as fire management and operations.

Extreme fire spread events and area burned under recent and future climate in the western USA

Publications Posted on: April 07, 2022
Wildfire activity in recent years is notable not only for an expansion of total area burned but also for large, single-day fire spread events that pose challenges to ecological systems and human communities. Our objectives were to gain new insight into the relationships between extreme single-day fire spread events, annual area burned, and fire season climate and to predict changes under future warming.

Riparian vegetation shade restoration and loss effects on recent and future stream temperatures

Publications Posted on: April 07, 2022
River temperatures are expected to increase this century harming species requiring cold-water habitat unless restoration activities protect or improve habitat availability. Local shading by riparian vegetation can cool water temperatures, but uncertainty exists over the scaling of this local effect to larger spatial extents.

Population decline in California spotted owls near their southern range boundary

Publications Posted on: April 05, 2022
Species worldwide have begun to shift their range boundaries in response to climate change and other anthropogenic causes, with population declines at the trailing edge of a species' range often foreshadowing future changes in core parts of the range.

Forest restoration limits megafires and supports species conservation under climate change

Publications Posted on: April 05, 2022
Climate change and fire suppression have altered disturbance regimes in forest ecosystems globally. In the seasonally dry forests of western North America, large-scale restoration may reduce severe fire and increase forest resilience but also eliminate existing habitat for sensitive wildlife species.

Science You Can Use (SYCU) - Where’s the biomass? A new approach for quantifying biomass and carbon in the western United States

Publications Posted on: April 04, 2022
The 2012 USDA Forest Service Planning rule requires that National Forests incorporate mitigation and adaptation strategies in response to climate change into their forest management plans. An underlying foundation of this work is knowing the distribution of aboveground biomass across the landscape.