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Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

Scientists from the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center capitalize on their diverse expertise to answer scientific questions shaped by the environments of the western United States. We collaborate with each other and with partners to provide rigorous, objective, and timely information and guidance for the management and conservation of biological systems in the West and worldwide.

News

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Engaging Stakeholders for Prioritizing Investments in Recovery of Threatened Bull Trout

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Stream Food Web Responses to Riparian Forest Thinning

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Restoration Variability and Herbicide-Weather Interactions in Severely Invaded Rangeland

Publications

Modeling of fire spread in sagebrush steppe using FARSITE: An approach to improving input data and simulation accuracy

Background: Model simulations of wildfire spread and assessments of their accuracy are needed for understanding and managing altered fire regimes in semiarid regions. The accuracy of wildfire spread simulations can be evaluated from post hoc comparisons of simulated and actual wildfire perimeters, but this requires information on pre-fire vegetation fuels that is typically not available. We assess

Intra-site sources of restoration variability in severely invaded rangeland: Strong temporal effects of herbicide-weather interactions; weak spatial effects of plant-community patch type and litter

Invasions by exotic annual grasses (EAGs) are replacing native perennials in semiarid areas globally, including the vast sagebrush-steppe rangelands of western North America. Efforts to eradicate EAGs and restore perennials have had mixed success, especially in relatively warm and dry areas where EAGs had high dominance prior to intervention. Greater consideration of the ecological sources of vari

In-reservoir physical processes modulate aqueous and biological methylmercury export from a seasonally anoxic reservoir

Anoxic conditions within reservoirs related to thermal stratification and oxygen depletion lead to methylmercury (MeHg) production, a key process governing the uptake of mercury in aquatic food webs. Once formed within a reservoir, the timing and magnitude of the biological uptake of MeHg and the relative importance of MeHg export in water versus biological compartments remain poorly understood. W

Science

Updated classifications of flow permanence on streams in the Colville National Forest

The Issue: Streamflow permanence refers to the probability that a stream will lose surface flow (become a dry channel), as well as the timing, duration, and frequency of drying. Patterns of streamflow permanence drive important decisions regarding forest management and other land uses. The Colville National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (2019), for example, specifies riparian management...
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Updated classifications of flow permanence on streams in the Colville National Forest

The Issue: Streamflow permanence refers to the probability that a stream will lose surface flow (become a dry channel), as well as the timing, duration, and frequency of drying. Patterns of streamflow permanence drive important decisions regarding forest management and other land uses. The Colville National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (2019), for example, specifies riparian management...
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Birds as Indicators of Ecosystem Health

Birds are excellent indicators of ecosystem condition because they are responsive to environmental change, have important ecological functions – such as seed dispersal and insect consumption, and are easy to observe.
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Birds as Indicators of Ecosystem Health

Birds are excellent indicators of ecosystem condition because they are responsive to environmental change, have important ecological functions – such as seed dispersal and insect consumption, and are easy to observe.
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Contributions to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy

USGS scientists are contributing to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy, a strategy intended to provide guidance so that efforts to conserve the iconic greater sage-grouse can be expanded to the entire sagebrush biome to benefit the people and wildlife that depend on it.
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Contributions to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy

USGS scientists are contributing to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy, a strategy intended to provide guidance so that efforts to conserve the iconic greater sage-grouse can be expanded to the entire sagebrush biome to benefit the people and wildlife that depend on it.
Learn More