Fort Collins Science Center

Ecosystem Dynamics

The Ecosystem Dynamics Branch offers an interdisciplinary team of talented and creative scientists with expertise in biology, botany, ecology, geology, biogeochemistry, physical sciences, geographic information systems, and remote-sensing, for tackling complex questions about natural resources. As demand for natural resources increases, the issues facing natural resource managers, planners, policy makers, industry, and private landowners are increasing in spatial and temporal scope, often involving entire regions, multiple jurisdictions, and long timeframes. Needs for addressing these issues include: a better understanding of biotic and abiotic ecosystem components and their complex interactions; the ability to easily monitor, assess, and visualize the spatially complex movements of animals, plants, water, and elements across highly variable landscapes; and the techniques for accurately predicting both immediate and long-term responses of system components. The overall objectives of our research are to provide the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and other agencies.

Filter Total Items: 5
Date published: November 18, 2016

Herbivore-Ecosystem Interactions

Data from these studies help inform management decisions regarding ungulates on public lands, typically in large, jurisdictionally complex landscapes. Recent work involves investigations on the effects of herd size and movements of elk, bison, and wild horses on various ecosystem components. Specifically, scientific efforts include quantifying interactions among herbivores, plants, and soils;...

Date published: October 28, 2016
Status: Active

Energy Development and Changing Land Uses

Applied research and integrated regional assessments emphasize spatially explicit analyses of ecosystem components affected by energy development and land-use change in the western United States. Topics include sagebrush-steppe ecology; sagebrush habitat assessments; the effets of human activities (including energy development, transportation, and recreation) on habitats and wildlife behavior...

Date published: October 12, 2016

Landscape and Habitat Assessment

A central focus of this program is to conduct multi-scale assessments in order to develop related geospatial decision-support tools and methods. The program includes synthesizing broad-scale datasets and developing innovative approaches to assess the vulnerability and resilience of wildlife habitats and ecosystems, relative to land management decisions and ecosystem stressors on Department of...

Date published: September 23, 2016
Status: Active

The New Mexico Landscapes Field Station

The New Mexico Landscapes Field Station is a place-based, globally-connected, ecological research group that studies and interprets ecosystem and wildlife dynamics, working with land managers and community leaders to deliver solutions that foster the linked health of human and natural systems.

Our partnerships, and co-location, with land management agencies provide us with opportunities...

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...