Fort Collins Science Center

Drought

Filter Total Items: 15
Date published: July 6, 2018
Status: Active

Human Dimensions of Ecological Drought

Ecological impacts of drought have been rarely considered compared to agricultural or municipal water supply effects.

Date published: August 30, 2017
Status: Active

Reconstructing Flow History From Riparian Tree Rings

Aquatic Systems Branch scientists analyze rings of riparian trees relating tree growth and establishment to historical flow. We then use the tree rings to reconstruct the flow in past centuries. Flow reconstructions discover the frequency and magnitude of past droughts and floods—information that is essential for management of rivers and water supplies. We also use downscaled climate...

Date published: January 17, 2017
Status: Active

Ecological Drought in Riparian Ecosystems

Drought is killing riparian trees along many rivers in the western United States. The cause can be increasing temperature or decreasing precipitation, flow or water-table elevation. At multiple locations we are relating water availability to physiological measurements of tree survival and water stress, such as ring width, carbon stable isotope ratio and branch hydraulic conductivity. These...

Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists at the Fort Collins Science Center study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. ...

Date published: October 27, 2016
Status: Active

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Baseline Synthesis

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

Date published: October 27, 2016
Status: Active

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Effectiveness Monitoring

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

Date published: September 22, 2016
Status: Active

The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI)

Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is a long-term collaboration between FORT, WERC, NOROCK, USFS, NPS, LANL, and universities worldwide to address changes in montane forests and watersheds due to climate change. Current emphases include altered forest disturbance regimes (fire, die-off, insect outbreaks) and hydrology; interactions between plants, water, snow, nutrient cycles, and climate; and...

Date published: September 21, 2016
Status: Active

Tree Mortality Patterns and Processes

Natural climatic variability, including episodic droughts, has long been known to trigger accelerated tree mortality in forests worldwide, including in the Southwest U.S. Scientific understanding of the process drivers and spatial patterns of tree mortality is surprisingly limited, constraining our ability to model forest responses to projected climate changes. The onset of regional drought...

Date published: September 21, 2016
Status: Active

Long-term, Place-based, Ecological Monitoring

For over 30 years we have monitored the ecosystem dynamics of the mesas and mountains of northern New Mexico, based at Bandelier National Monument and the New Mexico state office for the Bureau of Land Management. Our work provides land managers and scientists with diverse information on landscape responses to climate and disturbances (fire, drought, insects) such as vegetation and erosion...

Date published: September 20, 2016
Status: Active

Post-fire Recovery Patterns in Southwestern Forests

High-severity crown fires in Southwestern dry-conifer forests — resulting from fire suppression, fuel buildups, and drought — are creating large treeless areas that are historically unprecedented in size. These recent stand-replacing fires have reset extensive portions of Southwest forest landscapes, fostering post-fire successional vegetation that can alter ecological recovery trajectories...

Date published: September 1, 2016
Status: Active

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI)

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

Date published: August 30, 2016
Status: Active

New Mexico Dendroecology Lab

Using tree ring analysis as a primary research tool, we conduct landscape-scale ecological research that focuses on the effects of climate variability on forest ecology, fire ecology, and ecohydrology. 

We are the only tree-ring lab in New Mexico, working in close collaboration with Bandelier National Monument and Emeritus Regents’ Professor Dr. Thomas Swetnam.  However, we were not the...