Effective broad-scale, multi-resource monitoring is essential to provide detailed and specific information on resource condition and trend to guide adaptive management. However, traditional monitoring protocols are often ineffective, prohibitively expensive, or both.
Scientists with the Rocky Mountain Research Station and their collaborators have made great contributions to the development and application of broad-scale, representative, multi-resource monitoring protocols. They have played a key role in developing and improving sampling methodology, survey design, and analysis of non-invasively collected genetic data.
The project has contributed greatly to development of non-invasive multi-taxa sampling approaches, genetic-based measures of population size and connectivity, and analytical frameworks for integrating monitoring data on multiple resources. Oucomes also include methods to predict current and future conditions under alternative management and climate change scenarios. These methodologies represent a true revolution in monitoring that will allow population monitoring for a small fraction of the cost of previously available protocols.
The project has led to substantial advances in methodological, analytical, and conceptual approaches to efficient and effective multiple resource monitoring. This will benefit society by providing broad-scale, cost effective approaches to monitor the distribution, abundance, and connectivity of populations of rare and cryptic species of conservation concern.
The research team has also made major contributions to forest vegetation monitoring. For example, they are leading a large interagency effort to incorporate direct microclimatic monitoring on permanent vegetation plots, and to link the resulting data with statistical models to produce maps of expected vegetation composition and structure at a fine spatial scale across broad geographical extents.
This collection of projects have resulted in numerous publications, invited presentations, and workshops.