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Recent Publications

Despite the generally accepted need for understanding social vulnerability within the context of USDA Forest Service planning and management, there is a lack of structured approaches available to practitioners to gain such an understanding.
Forest fragmentation and degradation are a problem in many areas of the world and are a cause for concern to land managers. Similarly, countries interested in curtailing climate change have a keen interest in monitoring forest degradation.
Despite major advances in numerical weather prediction, few resources exist to forecast wildland fire danger conditions to support operational fire management decisions and community early-warning systems. Here we present the development and evaluation of a spatial fire danger index that can be used to assess historical events, forecast extreme fire danger, and communicate those conditions to both firefighters and the public.
This report presents a summary of the most recent Forest Inventory and Analysis summary of Montana’s forests based on field data collected between 2006 and 2015. The report includes descriptive highlights and tables of area, numbers of trees, biomass, volume, growth, and mortality, as well as an industry report. Most sections and tables are organized by forest type or forest-type group, tree species group, diameter class, or owner group.
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.
Land managers require information about the ongoing and potential effects of future climate to coordinate responses for ecosystems, species, and human communities at scales that are operationally meaningful. Our study focused on the vulnerability for all upland ecosystem types of Arizona and New Mexico in the southwestern United States.
Intraspecific trait variation can be substantial and is driven by many factors. To develop predictive models of intraspecific trait variation, an understanding of the drivers of that variation is essential. At fairly broad scales, differences in the environment are expected to drive genetic variation in functional traits among populations.
Treatments to reduce shrub cover are commonly implemented with the objective of shifting community structure away from shrub dominance and toward shrub and perennial grass codominance. In sagebrush (Artemisia L.) ecosystems, shrub reduction treatments have had variable effects on target shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and non-native annual plants. The factors mediating this variability are not well understood.
Many restoration projects use seeds to found new populations, and understanding phenotypic traits associated with seedling establishment in disturbed and invaded communities is important for restoration efforts world-wide. Focusing on the perennial grass Elymus elymoides, a native species common to sagebrush steppe communities in the Western United States, we asked if seed and seedling traits could predict field establishment.
The restoration of native forbs in the Great Basin and similar dryland ecosystems remains a great challenge for land managers. Variable soil water, precocious germination and emergence, and the presence of soil fungal pathogens often reduce plant establishment.