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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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Reestablishing a Foundational Species: Limitations on Post-Wildfire Sagebrush Seedling Establishment

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Relocated Beaver Can Increase Water Storage and Decrease Temperatures in Headwater Streams

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Relationship of Greater Sage-Grouse to Recovery of Key Vegetation Types Following Wildfire: Insights From Scat

Publications

Reestablishing a foundational species: limitations on post-wildfire sagebrush seedling establishment

Improving post-wildfire restoration of foundational plant species is crucial for conserving imperiled ecosystems. We sought to better understand the initial establishment of sagebrush (Artemisia sp.), a foundational shrubland species over a vast area of western North America, in the first 1–2 years post-wildfire, a critical time period for population recovery. Field data from 460 sagebrush populat

Relocated beaver can increase water storage and decrease stream temperature in headwater streams

Many areas are experiencing increasing stream temperatures due to climate change, and some are experiencing reduced summer stream flows and water availability. Because dam building and pond formation by beaver can increase water storage, stream cooling, and riparian ecosystem resilience, beaver have been proposed as a potential climate adaption tool. Despite the large number of studies that have e

Ten-year ecological responses to fuel treatments within semiarid Wyoming big sagebrush ecosystems

Sagebrush ecosystems of western North America are threatened by invasive annual grasses and wildfires that can remove fire-intolerant shrubs for decades. Fuel reduction treatments are used ostensibly to aid in fire suppression, conserve wildlife habitat, and restore historical fire regimes, but long-term ecological impacts of these treatments are not clear. In 2006, we initiated fuel reduction tre

Science

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.
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Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Research on Greater Sage-Grouse

The greater sage-grouse has been a focus of scientific investigation and management action for the past two decades. The sheer number of scientific publications can be a challenge for managers tasked with evaluating and determining the need for potential updates to existing planning documents.
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Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Research on Greater Sage-Grouse

The greater sage-grouse has been a focus of scientific investigation and management action for the past two decades. The sheer number of scientific publications can be a challenge for managers tasked with evaluating and determining the need for potential updates to existing planning documents.
Learn More