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Deborah S. Page-Dumroese

Research Soil Scientist

Research Soil Scientist

1221 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
Contact Deborah S. Page-Dumroese

Current Research

My current research involves the following, self-described studies: The North American Long-Term Productivity Study which uses a common experimental design in major forest types across North America. This study involves intensive pre- and post-harvest sampling and a commitment to ensure long-term data collection set this study apart from many local/regional studies. I have the only three installations of the LTSP study in RMRS, many of which are approaching 20 years old. The experimental design is a 3x3 factorial of soil compaction and organic matter removal and I would welcome other researchers to use these plots.

Below ground processes: Organic matter is the key to site productivity because of its roles in nutrient cycling, soil water availability, disease incidence or preventation, and aggregate stability. Organic matter decomposition is controlled by the same soil factors that affect plant growth - waterm, nutrients, pH, and temperature. A number of studies have shown a strong relationship between organic matter decomposition rates and site productivity. Forest management proctices can greatly impact organic matter decomposition, which could affect tree growth and site productivity. Consequently, organic matter decomposition is being used as an index of forest management effects (both positive and negative) in long-term soil productivity studies being conducted in various parts of North America and Canada. In addition, projected climate change scenarios would also have a pronounced effect on soil organic matter decomposition rates. I use standard wood stakes (P. taeda and P. tremuloides) to determine how management, (site preparation, fire fertilization, etc.), temperature, and moisture may impact below ground processes (organic matter decomposition) in many different soil types. I have a worldwide network of sites in various ecosystems. Ancillary studies on these sites include the importance of ants and termites and how they redistribute OM, C, N, and other nutrients above- and below-ground.

Soil Disturbance Monitoring: In cooperation with several other Research Stations, National Forest Systems, industry, and B.c. Ministry of Forest Soil Scientists I developed a Forest Soil Disturbance Monitoring Protocol that is being used across the U.S. and in other countries on forested landscapes. The new protocol defines consistent terminology, is statistically valid, and provides a common method for describing soil disturbance from management activities.

Environmental consequences of biomass utilization and biochar additions: We are determining the feasibility of using in-woods fast pyrolysis to turn excess forest biomass into bio-oil, syn-gas, and biochar. Biochar can be applied to forest sites to improve water holding capacity and reducing nutrient leaching through the mineral soil profile. My work also evlaauates biochar-coated seed, pelleted biochar, and methods of applying char to forest sites.

Research Interests

My research interests center around maintaining soil productivity during and after land management activities and include the following: carbon sequestration, harvest methods, site preparation, and fire impacts on soil chemical, biological, and physical properties. I also study biochar impacts, biomass utilization, nutrient cycling, long-term productivity, organic matter, and how temperature and moisture regulate decomposition processes.

Biochar spreader:  In partnership with the Missoula Technology Development Center (Keith Windell) and Dr. Nate Anderson (RMRS, Missoula) we have developed a biochar spreader to easily distribute biochar on forest sites.  See the spreader in action at this link:

Past Research

Past research has focused on long-term soil productivity, maintenance of surface organic matter, and ensuring healthy ecosystems that are resilient to fire, insects, and disease.

Why This Research is Important

eUnderstanding the linkages between harvesting, soil quality, organic matter, and decomposition are important for knowing what management options are possible for different ecosystems. Improving stand resilitency to fire, insects, disease, and drought will help maintain soil and site productivity as climate changes.


  • Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, B.S., Natural Resource Management, 1982
  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, M.S., Forest Soils, 1985
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, Ph.D., Forest Soils, 1988
  • Professional Experience

    Supervisory Research Soil Scientist, Rocky Mountain Research Station
    2007 to 2012

    Supervisory Research Soil Scientist/Project Leader, Rocky Mountain Research Station
    1999 to 2005

    Research Soil Scientist/Project Leader, Rocky Mountain Research Station and Intermountain Research Station
    1988 to 2005

    Professional Organizations

    • European Geophysical Union, Member ( 2005 to present )
      Convened a session on "Soil Organic Matter Decomposition: the impact of land management" in 2008; convened a session on "Soil Organic Matter Decomposition: Field, laboratory, and modeling approaches", same as committee membership
    • North American Forest Soils, 2013 Site Host ( 1988 to present )
      Organizing the 2013 meeting in Whitefish, MT, Site host and coordinator.
    • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Member ( 1988 to present )
      Chair, Palouse Chapter; Communication chair (1991-1992); Chair, soils working group (2000-2002)., Local and national committee chair. Serve as assistant editor of Forest Science.
    • Soil Science Society of America, Peer Reviewer ( 1988 to present )
      None, Review papers, judge student presentations at meeting


    National Silviculture Award, 2019
    For publications, presentations, on-site conversion of woody residues to bio-energy, and being at the fore-front of assisting national forests with their soil management needs.
    Jim Sedell Research Achievement Award/Rise to the Future, 2018
    In recognition of your outstanding contributions to soil and natural resource management in the Pacific Northwest through science.
    Eminent Science Publication, 2018
    for a body of work that provides tools, concepts, and a broad science foundation to land managers
    Honorable Mention: Chief's Award in Sustaining our Nation's Forests and Grasslands, 2017
    For your work on converting woody residues into biochar to improve soil resilience in a changing climate
    Alumnus of the Year - Michigan Technological University, 2015
    For outstanding science, long-term collaborations, and student mentoring.
    Bridge Building Award from the University of Idaho, 2009
    Awarded for fostering collaboration between the Forest Service and University of Idaho faculty, staff, and students.
    Student Paper Award, 2009
    Best student paper award at the 6th International BIOGEOMON meeting in Helsinki, Finland. This paper was co-authored by Sven Wirthner.
    Rise to the Future Award, 2008
    Awarded by National Forest Systems. Recognized my contributions to soil monitoring as the National Field Soil Scientist
    Extra Effort Award, 2008
    For superior assistance and participation in the soil Network (SoilNet) charter and the Northern Region Soil Disturbance Monitoring Protocol.

    Featured Publications


    Crawford, Leslee J.; Heinse, Robert; Kimsey, Mark J.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2021. Harvest operations and soil sustainability: A review
    Mousavi, Fatemeh; Abdi, Ehsan; Ghalandarayeshi, Shaaban; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2021. Modeling unconfined compressive strength of fine-grained soils: Application of pocket penetrometer for predicting soil strength
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Busse, Matt D.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Jokela, Eric J., 2021. Sustaining forest soil quality and productivity [Chapter 3]
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Gardner, Brian; McDaniel, Paul; Campbell, Steve, 2020. Appendix A: Regional summaries - Northwest
    Dumroese, Kasten; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Pinto, Jeremiah R., 2020. Biochar potential to enhance forest resilience, seedling quality, and nursery efficiency
    Pouyat, Richard V; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Patel-Weynand, Toral; Geiser, Linda H. ., 2020. Forest and rangeland soils of the United States under changing conditions: A comprehensive science synthesis
    Berryman, Erin; Hatten, Jeffrey; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Heckman, Katherine A.; D’Amore, David V; Puttere, Jennifer; SanClements, Michael; Connolly, Stephanie J.; Perry, Charles H. (Hobie); Domke, Grant M., 2020. Soil carbon [Chapter 2]
    Hwang, Kyungrok; Han, Han-Sup; Marshall, Susan E.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2020. Soil compaction from cut-to-length thinning operations in young redwood forests in northern California
    Williams, Mary I; Farr, Cara L.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Connolly, Stephanie J.; Padley, Eunice, 2020. Soil management and restoration [Chapter 8]
    Kimsey, Mark J.; Laing, Larry E.; Anderson, Sarah M.; Bruggink, Jeff; Campbell, Steve; Diamond, David; Domke, Grant M.; Gries, James; Holub, Scott M.; Nowacki, Gregory; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Perry, Charles H. (Hobie); Rustad, Lindsey E.; Stephens, Kyle; Vaughan, Robert, 2020. Soil mapping, monitoring, and assessment [Chapter 9]
    Wang, Weiwei; Lindner, Daniel L.; Jusino, Michelle A.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Banik, Mark T.; Jurgensen, Martin; Draeger, Kymberly; Liu, Yong, 2020. Wood-colonizing fungal community response to forest restoration thinnings in a Pinus tabuliformis plantation in northern China
    Jurgensen, Martin F.; Miller, Chris A.; Trettin, Carl T.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2019. Bedding of wetland soil: Effects of bed height and termite activity on wood decomposition
    Busse, Matt; Giardina, Christian P.; Morris, Dave M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2019. Introduction
    Lalande, Bradley; Abdo, Zaid; Hanna, John W.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Warwell, Marcus V.; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Kim, Mee-Sook; Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Stewart, Jane E., 2019. Metagenomic approaches to determine soil microbial communities associated with Armillaria root disease
    Morris, Dave M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Giardina, Christian P.; Busse, Matt, 2019. On the horizon
    Dumroese, Kasten; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Heiskanen, Juha; Tervahauta, Arja; McBurney, Katherine G.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Englund, Karl, 2018. Biochar can be a suitable replacement for Sphagnum peat in nursery production of Pinus ponderosa seedlings
    Wang, Weiwei; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Liu, Yong, 2018. Effect of forest thinning and wood quality on the short-term wood decomposition rate in a Pinus tabuliformis plantation
    Sherman, Lauren A.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Coleman, Mark D., 2018. Idaho forest growth response to post-thinning energy biomass removal and complementary soil amendments
    Blanco, Juan A.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Curran, Michael P.; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Walitalo, Joanna, 2018. Modelling the management of forest ecosystems: Importance of wood decomposition
    Risch, A. C.; Ochoa-Hueso, R.; van der Putten, W. H.; Bump, J. K.; Busse, M. D.; Frey, B.; Gwiazdowicz, D. J.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Vandegehuchte, M. L.; Zimmermann, S.; Schutz, M., 2018. Size-dependent loss of aboveground animals differentially affects grassland ecosystem coupling and functions
    Gier, John M.; Kindel, Kenneth M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Kuennen, Louis J., 2018. Soil disturbance recovery on the Kootenai National Forest, Montana
    Rhee, Hakjun; Fridley, James; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2018. Traffic-induced changes and processes in forest road aggregate particle-size distributions
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Ott, M. R.; Strawn, D. G.; Tirocke, Joanne M., 2018. Using organic amendments to restore soil physical and chemical properties of a mine site in northeastern Oregon, USA
    Bergman, Rick; Berry, Michael; Bilek, E. M. (Ted); Bowers, Tait; Eastin, Ivan; Ganguly, Indroneil; Han, Han-Sup; Hirth, Kolby; Jacobson, Arne; Karp, Steve; Oneil, Elaine; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Pierobon, Francesca; Puettmann, Maureen; Rawlings, Craig; Rosenbaum, Sevda Alanya; Sahoo, Kamalakanta; Sasatani, Daisuke; Sessions, John; Sifford, Cody; Waddell, Tom, 2018. Waste to Wisdom: Utilizing forest residues for the production of bioenergy and biobased products
    Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Bergman, Richard D.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2017. A supply chain approach to biochar systems [Chapter 2]
    Jang, Woongsoon; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Han, Han-Sup, 2017. Comparison of heat transfer and soil impacts of air curtain burner burning and slash pile burning
    Schaedel, Michael S.; Larson, Andrew J.; Affleck, David L. R.; Belote, Travis; Goodburn, John M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2017. Early forest thinning changes aboveground carbon distribution among pools, but not total amount
    Jurgensen, Martin F.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Brown, Robert E.; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Miller, Chris A.; Pickens, James B.; Wang, Min, 2017. Estimating carbon and nitrogen pools in a forest soil: Influence of soil bulk density methods and rock content
    Hwang, Kyungrok; Han, Han-sup; Marshall, Susan E.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2017. Impacts on soils and residual trees from cut-to-length thinning operations in California's redwood forests
    Bergman, Richard D.; Gu, Hongmei; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2017. Life cycle analysis of biochar [Chapter 3]
    Ponder, Felix Jr.; Kabrick, John M.; Adams, Mary Beth; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Marty F., 2017. Mass loss and nutrient concentrations of buried wood as a function of organic matter removal, soil compaction, and vegetation control in a regenerating oak-pine forest
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Busse, Matt D.; Archuleta, James G.; McAvoy, Darren; Roussel, Eric, 2017. Methods to reduce forest residue volume after timber harvesting and produce black carbon
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Coleman, Mark D.; Thomas, Sean C., 2017. Opportunities and uses of biochar on forest sites in North America [Chapter 15]
    Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, Kasten; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Hardegree, Stuart P., 2016. Can biochar be used as a seed coating to improve native plant germination and growth in arid conditions?
    Kim, Mee-Sook; Ross-Davis, Amy; Stewart, Jane E.; Hanna, John W.; Warwell, Marcus V.; Zambino, Paul J.; Cleaver, Christy; McDonald, Geral I.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Moltzan, Bruce; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2016. Can metagenetic studies of soil microbial communities provide insights toward developing novel management approaches for Armillaria root disease?
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Windell, Keith N.; Englund, Karl; Jump, Kevin, 2016. Development and use of a commercial-scale biochar spreader
    Finer, L.; Jurgensen, M.; Palviainen, M.; Piirainen, S.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2016. Does clear-cut harvesting accelerate initial wood decomposition? A five-year study with standard wood material
    Ross-Davis, Amy; Stewart, Jane E.; Settles, Matt; Hanna, John W.; Shaw, John D.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2016. Fine-scale variability of forest soil fungal communities in two contrasting habitat series in northern Idaho, USA identified with microbial metagenomics
    Jang, Woongsoon; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Keyes, Christopher R., 2016. Long-term soil changes from forest harvesting and residue management in the northern Rocky Mountains
    Fissore, Cinzia; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Pickens, James; Miller, Chris; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Giardina, Christian P., 2016. Role of soil texture, clay mineralogy, location, and temperature in coarse wood decomposition - a mesocosm experiment
    Wang, Weiwei; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Lv, Ruiheng; Xiao, Chen; Li, Guolei; Liu, Yong, 2016. Soil enzyme activities in Pinus tabuliformis (Carriere) plantations in northern China
    Scott, D. Andrew; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2016. Wood bioenergy and soil productivity research
    Risch, Anita C.; Schutz, Martin; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; van der Putten, Wim H.; Duyts, Henk; Raschein, Ursina; Gwiazdowicz, Dariusz J.; Busse, Matt D.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Zimmerman, Stephan, 2015. Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impacts on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands
    Miller, Sue; Essen, Maureen; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; McCollum, Dan W.; Bergman, Rick; Elder, Tom, 2015. Burgeoning biomass: Creating efficient and sustainable forest biomass supply chains in the Rockies, Part II
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Busse, Matt D.; Overby, Steven T.; Gardner, Brian D.; Tirocke, Joanne M., 2015. Impacts of forest harvest on active carbon and microbial properties of a volcanic ash cap soil in northern Idaho
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jain, Terrie B.; Sandquist, Jonathan; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Errecart, John; Jurgensen, Martin F., 2015. Reburns and their Impact on carbon pools, site productivity, and recovery [Chapter 13]
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Martin F. Jurgensen.,, 2015. Reburns and their impact on carbon pools, site productivity, and recovery
    Ross-Davis, Amy; Settles, Matt; Hanna, John W.; Shaw, John D.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2015. Using a metagenomic approach to improve our understanding of Armillaria root disease
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Robichaud, Pete R.; Brown, Robert E.; Tirocke, Joanne M., 2015. Water repellency of two forest soils after biochar addition
    Rhee, Hakjun; Foltz, Randy B.; Fridley, James L.; Krogstad, Finn; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2014. An alternative method for determining particle-size distribution of forest road aggregate and soil with large-sized particles
    Miller, Sue; Essen, Maureen; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Chung, Woody; Elliot, William J.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Han, Han-Sup; Hogland, John; Keyes, Christopher R., 2014. Burgeoning biomass: Creating efficient and sustainable forest biomass supply chains in the Rockies
    Jarvis, Jacqueline M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Corilo, Yuri; Rodgers, Ryan P., 2014. Characterization of fast pyrolysis products generated from several western USA woody species
    Ross-Davis, Amy; Stewart, Jane E.; Hanna, John W.; Shaw, John D.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Denner, Robert J.; Graham, Russell T.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Kim, Mee-Sook; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2014. Forest soil microbial communities: Using metagenomic approaches to survey permanent plots
    Chen, Xiao; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Lv, Ruiheng; Wang, Weiwei; Li, Guolei; Liu, Yong., 2014. Interaction of initial litter quality and thinning intensity on litter decomposition rate, nitrogen accumulation and release in a pine plantation
    Haynes, Alan G.; Schutz, Martin; Buchmann, Nina; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Busse, Matt D.; Risch, Anita C., 2014. Linkages between grazing history and herbivore exclusion on decomposition rates in mineral soils of subalpine grasslands
    Potvin, Lynette R.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Dumroese, Kasten; Richter, Dana L.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2014. Mosaic stunting in bareroot Pinus banksiana seedlings is unrelated to colonization by mycorrhizal fungi
    Powers, Robert F.; Denner, Robert J.; Elioff, John D.; Fiddler, Gary O.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Ponder, Felix; Tiarks, Allan E.; Avers, Peter E.; Cline, Richard G.; Loftus, Nelson S., 2014. The key roles of four Experimental Forests in the LTSP International Research Program
    Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Jones, J. Greg; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; McCollum, Dan W.; Baker, Stephen P.; Loeffler, Daniel; Chung, Woodam, 2013. A comparison of producer gas, biochar, and activated carbon from two distributed scale thermochemical conversion systems used to process forest biomass
    Reeves, Derrick A.; Coleman, Mark D.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2013. Evidence supporting the need for a common soil monitoring protocol
    Risch, Anita C.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Schutz, Martin, 2013. Initial turnover rates of two standard wood substrates following land-use change in subalpine ecosystems in the Swiss Alps
    Cerise, Luke M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; McDaniel, Paul; Mayn, Cole; Heinse, Robert., 2013. Productivity and soil properties 45 years after timber harvest and mechanical site preparation in western Montana
    Reeves, Derrick A.; Reeves, Matt C.; Abbott, Ann M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Coleman, Mark D., 2012. A detrimental soil disturbance prediction model for ground-based timber harvesting
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Kimsey, Mark, 2012. Maintaining site productivity during biofuel harvest operations
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Abbott, A. M.; Curran, M. P.; Jurgensen, M. F., 2012. Validating visual disturbance types and classes used for forest soil monitoring protocols
    Cook, Stephen P.; Birch, Sara M.; Merickel, Frank W.; Lowe, Carrie Caselton; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2011. Bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) community structure on two sagebrush steppe sites in southern Idaho
    Yu, Fei-Hai; Schutz, Martin; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Krusi, Bertil O.; Schneller, Jakob; Wildi, Otto; Risch, Anita C., 2011. Carex sempervirens tussocks induce spatial heterogeneity in litter decomposition, but not in soil properties, in a subalpine grassland in the Central Alps
    Coleman, Mark; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Archuleta, Jim; Badger, Phil; Chung, Woodum; Venn, Tyron; Loeffler, Dan; Jones, Greg; McElligott, Kristin, 2010. Can portable pyrolysis units make biomass utilization affordable while using bio-char to enhance soil productivity and sequester carbon?
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Curran, Michael P.; DeHart, Sharon M., 2010. Cumulative effects of fuel treatments on soil productivity
    Risch, Anita; Wirthner, Sven; Busse, Matt; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2010. Grubbing by wild boars (Sus scrufa L.) and its impact on hardwood forest soil carbon dioxide emissions in Switzerland
    Neary, Daniel G.; Trettin, Carl C.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2010. Soil quality monitoring: Examples of existing protocols
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Abbott, Ann M.; Rice, Thomas M., 2009. Forest Soil Disturbance Monitoring Protocol: Volume I: Rapid assessment
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Coleman, Mark; Jones, Greg; Venn, Tyron; Dumroese, Kasten; Anderson, Nathanial; Chung, Woodam; Loeffler, Dan; Archuleta, Jim; Kimsey, Mark; Badger, Phil; Shaw, Terry; McElligott, Kristin, 2009. Portable in-woods pyrolysis: Using forest biomass to reduce forest fuels, increase soil productivity, and sequester carbon
    Han, Sang-Kyun; Han-Sup, Han; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Johnson, Leonard R., 2009. Soil compaction associated with cut-to-length and whole-tree harvesting of a coniferous forest
    Napper, Carolyn; Howes, Steven; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2009. Soil-disturbance field guide
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Dumroese, Kasten; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Abbott, Ann; Henseik, Jennifer J., 2008. Effect of nursery storage and site preparation techniques on field performance of high-elevation Pinus contorta seedlings
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, M.; Neary, Daniel G.; Curran, M.; Trettin, C., 2008. Soil quality is fundamental to ensuring healthy forests
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Ferguson, Dennis; McDaniel, Paul; Johnson-Maynard, Jodi, 2007. Chemical changes induced by pH manipulations of volcanic ash-influenced soils
    Busse, Matt D.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Powers, Robert F., 2007. Contribution of actinorhizal shrubs to site fertility in a northern California mixed pine forest
    Ritter, Sharon; Canton-Thompson, Janie; Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Jones, Greg; Sullivan, Janet; McCaughey, Ward; Ortega, Yvette K.; Christensen, Neal; Harrington, Mick; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2007. ECO-Report - Scientific independence: A key to credibility
    Johnson, Leonard R.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Han, Han-Sup, 2007. Effects of Machine Traffic on the Physical Properties of Ash-Cap Soils
    Wang, Xiping; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Ross, Robert J., 2007. Field assessment of wood stake decomposition in forest soil
    Thiel-Egenter, C.; Risch, A. C.; Jurgensen, M. F.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Krusi, B. O.; Schutz, M., 2007. Response of a subalpine grassland to simulated grazing: Aboveground productivity along soil phosphorus gradients
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Miller, Richard; Mital, Jim; McDaniel, Paul; Miller, Dan, 2007. Volcanic-ash-derived forest soils of the inland Northwest: Properties and implications for management and restoration
    Fleming, Robert L.; Powers, Robert F.; Foster, Neil W.; Kranabetter, J. Marty; Scott, D. Andrew; Ponder, Felix Jr.; Berch, Shannon; Chapman, William K.; Kabzems, Richard D.; Ludovici, Kim H.; Morris, David M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Sanborn, Paul T.; Sanchez, Felipe G.; Stone, Douglas M.; Tiarks, Allan E., 2006. Effects of organic matter removal, soil compaction, and vegetation control on 5-year seedling performance: a regional comparison of long-term soil productivity sites
    Han, Han-Sup; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Han, Sang-Kyun; Tirocke, Joanne M., 2006. Effects of slash, machine passes, and soil moisture on penetration resistance in a cut-to-length harvesting
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin; Abbott, Ann; Rice, Tom; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Farley, Sue; DeHart, Sharon, 2006. Monitoring Changes in Soil Quality from Post-fire Logging in the Inland Northwest
    Schutz, Martin; Risch, Anita C.; Achermann, Gerald; Thiel-Egenter, Conny; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Edward, Peter J., 2006. Phosphorus translocation by red deer on a subalpine grassland in the central European Alps
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Tiarks, Allen E.; Ponder, Felix; Sanchez, Felipe G. Jr.; Fleming, Robert L.; Kranabetter, J. Marty; Powers, Robert F.; Stone, Douglas M.; Elioff, John D.; Scott, D. Andrew, 2006. Soil physical property changes at the North American long-term soil productivity study sites: 1 and 5 years after compaction
    Jurgensen, Martin; Reed, David; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Laks, Peter; Collins, Anne; Mroz, Glenn; Degorski, Marek, 2006. Wood strength loss as a measure of decomposition in northern forest mineral soil
    Dumroese, Kasten; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Salifu, K. Francis; Jacobs, Douglass F., 2005. Exponential fertilization of Pinus monticola seedlings: nutrient uptake efficiency, leaching fractions, and early outplanting performance
    Powers, Robert F.; Scott, D. Andrew; Sanchez, Felipe g.; Voldseth, Richard A.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Elioff, John D.; Stone, Douglas M., 2005. The North American long-term soil productivity experiment: findings from the first decade of research
    Risch, Anita C.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Schutz, Martin; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2005. The contribution of red wood ants to soil C and N pools and CO2 emissions in subalpine forests
    Jurgensen, Martin; Laks, Peter; Reed, David; Collins, Anne; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Crawford, Douglas, 2004. Chemical, physical and biological factors affecting wood decomposition in forest soils
    Powers, Robert F.; Sanchez, Felipe G.; Scott, D. Andrew; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2004. The North American Long-Term Soil Productivity Experiment: Coast-to-coast findings from the first decade
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Harvey, Alan E., 2003. Fire and fire-suppression impacts on forest-soil carbon [Chapter 13]
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin; Elliot, William J.; Rice, Thomas; Nesser, John; Collins, Thomas; Meurisse, Robert., 2000. Soil quality standards and guidelines for forest sustainability in northwestern North America
    Ford, Gary L.; Maynard, C. Lee; Nesser, John A.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 1998. Landtype associations of the Northern Region 1997: A first approximation
    Nesser, John A.; Ford, Gary L.; Maynard, C. Lee; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 1997. Ecological units of the Northern Region: Subsections
    Jurgensen, M. F.; Harvey, A. E.; Graham, Russell T.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Tonn, J. R.; Larsen, M. J.; Jain, Terrie B., 1997. Impacts of timber harvesting on soil organic matter, nitrogen, productivity, and health of inland northwest forests
    Cooper, Stephen V.; Lesica, Peter; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 1997. Plant community classification for alpine vegetation on the Beaverhead National Forest, Montana
    Graham, Russell T.; Harvey, A. E.; Jurgensen, M. F.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Tonn, J. R.; Jain, Terrie B., 1995. Response of western larch to site preparation
    Graham, Russell T.; Harvey, Alan E.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Jain, Terrie B.; Tonn, Jonalea R.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 1994. Managing coarse woody debris in forests of the Rocky Mountains
    Looking up at western larches changing color.
    Concern about changing climate is focusing attention on how silvicultural treatments can be used to regenerate or restore forested landscapes. In this study we leveraged a 30-year-old forest management-driven experiment to explore the recovery of woody species composition, regeneration of the charismatic forest tree species western larch, and vegetation and soil carbon and nitrogen pools. 
    The cover of : Forest and Rangeland Soils of the United States Under Changing Conditions: A comprehensive science synthesis
    A new, open-access book synthesizes current research and management information on forest and rangeland soils, offers ways to understand changing conditions and their impact on soils, and explores directions to positively affect future forest and rangeland soil health in the face of these impacts.  
    Termites feeding on decaying wooden stake.
    Termites alter wood and coarse root decomposition by direct feeding, and they may directly or indirectly change fungal community structure and activity, which can also alter wood decay. Their contributions to belowground decay and organic matter movement within the soil may be a critical piece of information for understanding how long roots may last in the soil and when steep slopes may fail.
    Photo of a scientists in a recently burned forest.
    Fire impacts on wood decomposition are important for understanding site-specific changes in soil carbon, the factors that control decomposition, and how they are affected by forest management. A recent study shows that wood decomposition in mineral soil can be quite rapid after a high-severity wildfire in two Montana forests. The researchers attributed these findings to the higher mineral soil temperatures in the burned area where there is no canopy coverage.
    Woody residues resulting from harvest operations in Mississippi
    Land managers recognize that maintaining soil health during harvest operations is important for ensuring hydrologic function, nutrient cycling, vegetative regrowth, and stable carbon reserves. However, during salvage logging operations many of these values may be at risk because of soil disturbance associated with equipment movement on a site. Communicating with specialists about the importance of maintaining soil quality resulted in very little disturbance in 37 harvest units across Mississippi.
    Since the 1980s, it’s been assumed that forest soils require a long time to recover from a disturbance such as a timber harvest. The results of a 22-year monitoring study on the Kootenai National Forest counter this assumption. Certain types of forest soils showed a recovery within five to seven years following a timber harvest and subsequent fuels treatments.
    Sheltered from wind and scorching heat, a seedling takes root in mature biological soil crust (photo by Neal Herbert, National Park Service).
    Human activity has led to a global decline in biodiversity across all trophic levels, reducing the ability of ecosystems to maintain key functions. The loss of various species in an ecosystem has wide-reaching effects by reducing the numerous and often hidden species-species and species-environment interactions. These disruptions ultimately lead to changes and declines in the ecosystem’s functionality. 
    Standard wood stakes are used to evaluate wood decomposition rates within and among sites.
    Maintaining woody debris on forest sites is critical for maintaining carbon stores and modeling the rate of decay helps managers understand tree growth and and carbon sequestration.
    Figure 2. Sampling the mineral soil.
    Many U.S. forests contain soils with high rock content, and quantities of stored carbon and nitrogen. There is a need to calculate changes in carbon and nutrient pools in soils, but current sampling methods are not completely reliable in rocky soils. Managers and climate change researchers are using estimates of carbon pools to indicate soil productivity, alteration of biological activity, impacts from fire, or carbon storage potential. 
    Restoring abandoned mine sites with no environmental hazard or chemical contamination can be expensive because of the inhospitable (hot, dry) environment.  However, the large number of abandoned mine sites located across the west make it imperative to begin restoration activities to help shade streams, reduce erosion, provide habitat, and generally improve soil properties. 
    A handful of biochar-amendment nursery substrate being tested for its potential to grow high-quality native plants for restoration.
    Forest and range soils in the western United States are in need of restoration for a variety of reasons (e.g., overgrazing, fire, health). Disposing of the woody slash after restoration cuttings has been problematic for many years, and open burning has often been the easiest method for reducing wildfire risk. However, this damages the soil, limits successful regeneration on the burn sites, and encourages invasive weeds. Creating biochar is one method to sequester carbon and improve soil water holding capacity. Using biochar also decreases the risk of wildfire and increases tree resistance to insect and disease outbreaks.
    Researchers collect the forest floor for carbon determination.
    Research at the Coram Experimental Forest points to resilient western larch forests in the cool-moist climatic regime that can fully recover carbon and nutrients before the next harvest rotation. Scientists used a site that had been harvested by cable logging and broadcast burning in 1974 to evaluate long-term impacts and recovery. Shrub diversity and biomass were the same or greater than pre-harvest samples and indicate the shrub community is quite resilient to biomass harvesting.
    Close-up of pelletized biochar.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists and their partners with the U.S. Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center, Washington State University, and John Jump Trucking, Inc., developed and tested a high-capacity biochar spreader to reduce the cost and facilitate the application of biochar as a soil amendment.
    Productive forest soils are the underpinning for sustainable forest activities, and monitoring is the key to ensuring productivity has not been altered by land management. The Forest Soil-Disturbance Monitoring Protocol (FSDMP) Toolkit developed by Forest Service scientists helps meet the challenge of developing meaningful soil quality standards that can evaluate the full range of variability found in forest soils. Additionally, the Station sponsored workshops in every Forest Service Region to outline the protocol and conduct field training sessions.
    Biochar can be used as a soil amendment.
    Biochar is created from excess woody biomass that would normally be burned. Biochar use on forest sites can (1) sequester carbon, (2) improve soil moisture conditions, (3) decrease soil bulk density, and (4) improve native vegetation success. These four attributes combine to improve the success of soil restoration activities, particularly on drought-prone sites. 
    High Soil Temperature Data Archive - From Prescribed Fires and Wildfires across the Western US.
    The goal of this partnership between RMRS and the Curlew National Grassland is to restore pollinator habitats and understand the best strategies to support forest botanists. Through a series of projects, partners will look into the needs and pitfalls of creating a seed menu tool. Specifically, the project will analyze the effectiveness of strategically planted forbs, or "islands", in restoring pollinator communities.
    Many range and mine land sites are degraded because of disturbance and overgrazing. Researchers applied biochar — made by burning woody material in the absence of oxygen — to range and mine sites and observed improved soil water holding capacity, organic matter, and carbon sequestration, as well as increased production of native forbs and grasses. This research will continue for approximately 3-5 years to determine the longer-term impacts of biochar additions on different soil textures, climatic regimes, and plant species.
    Revegetation through organic amendments is increasingly essential to help promote better organic soil and rehabilitation on abandoned mining sites across the northwestern United States. RMRS scientists and their collaborators used biochar, wood chips, and biosolids alone and in combination to determine if they can be used to restore soil physical, chemical, and biological functions on abandoned mines in forests across the western United States. In addition, they are evaluating the best methods for revegetation (seeding vs. planting) so that mineral soil organic matter can be rebuilt over time.
    Forest biomass is a promising feedstock (raw material to supply or fuel a machine or industrial process) for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts because it is renewable and widely available as a byproduct of forest management. However, there are many obstacles have that have prevented more widespread use of forest biomass. This project was set in place to quantify and evaluate these obstacles so that land managers can overcome them.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists and their partners are evaluating biochar as a seed coating and as an amendment to nursery substrates to improve germination and growth of native plants. The goal is to reduce costs associated with restoring ecosystems.
    The application of biochar to forest soils to improve soil productivity shows promise in many areas, although many soil impacts still need to be described. Numerous field and lab studies are ongoing in the inland Northwest that will help determine the most appropriate biochar sources and soil types for applying biochar.