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Recent Projects

Belowground plant structures support aboveground regeneration in ecosystems around the world.  More research is needed to document and understand the anatomy, physiology, demography and ecological role of belowground plant organs.  By working with a global network of scientists we aim to provide research, syntheses and protocols on belowground plant traits.
In 1968, thirteen permanent research plots were established in Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir forests along an elevational gradient on the Fraser Experimental Forest. Seed traps were installed on these plots and have been sampled annually since 1968.  
Using structured decision making (SDM) can change how resource managers make decisions by separating the clinical problem analysis from the value based decision process. In a natural resource management setting, SDM necessitates making decisions based on clearly articulated objectives, recognizing scientific prediction in decisions, addressing uncertainty explicitly, and responding with transparency towards societal values in decision making....
There is widespread interest in understanding the effectiveness of fuel treatments in mitigating the trajectory of wildfire suppression costs and how their effectiveness and longevity can be extended over large areas and landscapes. To date, there have been several studies that used a modeling approach to evaluate fuel treatment effectiveness at the landscape scale. However, empirical studies at this scale are rare because landscape-scale fuel...
Since 2004, extensive mortality of oak (Quercus mongolicae) has been occurring in South Korea. This oak mortality is associated with a fungus (Raffaelea quercus-mongolicae), which is vectored by a wood-boring ambrosia beetle (Platypus koryoensis). High-resolution genetic markers were used to assess the genetic diversity of 54 fungal isolates from five South Korean provinces, and results suggest that this fungal pathogen was introduced to South...
Tree-ring based fire histories from Utah and Nevada reveal multi-century fire patterns for quaking aspen, mountain sagebrush and Great Basin bristlecone pine communities.
Thousand cankers disease is threatening walnut trees (Juglans spp.) throughout the United States. The disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Geosmithia morbida and the associated insect vector the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis). Declining walnut trees were noticed in the western United States in the 1990s and early 2000s, but the disease was not described until 2008. Throughout the last decade, thousand cankers disease has...
Forbs are an integral component of terrestrial ecosystems and critical to pollinator health. However, we know very little about the biology of native forbs. Such knowledge is a prerequisite to developing restoration programs that use diverse forb species in restoration seeding.
Seed-grown plants from multiple populations of three focal forb species will planted in gardens across the Great Basin in order to capture important information that affects where seeds are sourced for restoring native plants at specific locations.
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...

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