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Keyword: Rocky Mountains

Resolving management uncertainty: Detecting rare fish with environmental DNA

Science Spotlights Posted on: January 14, 2021
The mountain sucker has been declining in the Upper Missouri River Basin for unknown reasons. To address this uncertainty, a team of Forest Service researchers collected additional genetic data from these fish to find a section of DNA that is completely unique to this new species and developed an environmental DNA assay to detect this unique DNA fragment in water samples with increased accuracy. 

A climatic dipole drives short- and long-term patterns of postfire forest recovery in the western United States

Publications Posted on: November 09, 2020
Researchers are increasingly examining patterns and drivers of postfire forest recovery amid growing concern that climate change and intensifying fires will trigger ecosystem transformations. Diminished seed availability and postfire drought have emerged as key constraints on conifer recruitment.

Private ranchlands and public land grazing in the southern Rocky Mountains

Publications Posted on: March 04, 2020
In the western United States, Euro-American settlement was concentrated on the most fertile, best-watered, and most desirable sites, while the unsettled mountains and deserts remained in the public domain. As a result, the public and private halves of the western landscape are not interchangeable for conservation purposes.

To masticate or not: Useful tips for treating vegetation

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 21, 2019
Recently, several large fires have burned through masticated sites – including in Colorado (Brewer et al. 2013), Washington, and New Mexico. Burning under extreme weather conditions with strong winds, these fires have challenged the benefits of using mastication, even though mastication can provide many positive environmental effects, such as soil moisture retention and cool, moist environments for soil microbes. However, informing managers when, where, and how mastication is applied is based on antidotal evidence. To address, this issue we synthesized information to provide managers with a current state of knowledge on mastication.

Two new species of Hurleyella Runyon and Robinson (Diptera: Dolichopodidae), with the first record from the Neotropics

Publications Posted on: June 14, 2019
Two new species of the long-legged fly genus Hurleyella Runyon & Robinson, 2010 are described and illustrated: Hurleyella belizensis sp. nov. from Belize and Hurleyella salina sp. nov. from alkali areas of the Northern Rockies of the USA (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming). The discovery of these new species greatly extends the known distribution of Hurleyella northward in the Nearctic and southward into the Neotropics.

Species-specific differences in detection and occupancy probabilities help drive ability to detect trends in occupancy

Publications Posted on: April 05, 2019
Occupancy-based surveys are increasingly used to monitor wildlife populations because they can be more cost-effective than abundance surveys and because they may track multiple species, simultaneously. The design of these multi-species occupancy surveys affects statistical power to detect trends in occupancy because individual species vary in resource selection, detection probability, and rarity.

Modeling the interactive effects of spruce beetle infestation and climate on subalpine vegetation

Publications Posted on: December 06, 2018
In the subalpine zone of the Rocky Mountains, climate change is predicted to result in an increase in the frequency and severity of spruce beetle outbreaks. Climate change itself may affect vegetation, potentially leading to changes in species composition. The direct and indirect effects of climate and disturbances on forest composition, biomass, and dynamics open the possibility for non-linear ecosystem responses.

Spruce beetle outbreaks guide American Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides dorsalis occupancy patterns in subalpine forests

Publications Posted on: October 04, 2018
American Three-toed Woodpeckers Picoides dorsalis are considered a sensitive species by the United States Bureau of Land Management and are on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Watch List. In Idaho, Oregon and Washington, they are of conservation concern due to low abundance and an apparent reliance on disturbed, old-growth forests.

Severity of overstory mortality influences conifer recruitment and growth in mountain pine beetle-affected forests

Publications Posted on: October 04, 2018
The severity of lodgepole pine mortality from mountain pine beetle outbreaks varies with host tree diameter, density, and other structural characteristics, influencing subcanopy conditions and tree regeneration.

Climate variability and fire effects on quaking aspen in the central Rocky Mountains, USA

Publications Posted on: January 30, 2017
Our understanding of how climate and fire have impacted quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) communities prior to the 20th century is fairly limited. This study analysed the period between 4500 and 2000 cal. yr BP to assess the pre-historic role of climate and fire on an aspen community during an aspen-dominated period.