Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC)


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. 

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC scientists, individually or collaboratively with partners, investigate high-priority questions about biological systems.

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Date published: May 17, 2019

Mercury Exposure in Aquatic Invertebrates and Songbirds in the Greater Willamette River Basin

The Willamette River basin in western Oregon is a system with legacy mercury contamination from both mining and reservoirs

Date published: May 17, 2019

An Integrated Framework for Ecological Drought Across Riverscapes of North America

Climate change is increasing extreme droughts events, posing a threat to freshwater ecosystems, particularly with human demands for diminishing water supplies. 

Date published: April 12, 2019

Effects of Red-cockaded Woodpecker Bottleneck and Current Management on Genetic Diversity

The red-cockaded woodpecker is a federally listed species that declined in the southeastern United States from approximately 1.6 million cooperative breeding groups historically to less than 3,500 groups by 1978 due to loss and degradation of habitat and fire suppression.


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Year Published: 2019

The ecological uncertainty of wildfire fuel breaks: examples from the sagebrush steppe

Fuel breaks are increasingly being implemented at broad scales (100s to 10,000s of square kilometers) in fire‐prone landscapes globally, yet there is little scientific information available regarding their ecological effects (eg habitat fragmentation). Fuel breaks are designed to reduce flammable vegetation (ie fuels), increase the safety and...

Shinneman, Douglas; Germino, Matthew J.; Pilliod, David S.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Vaillant, Nicole; Coates, Peter S.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatial variation in aquatic invertebrate and riparian songbird mercury exposure across a river-reservoir system with a legacy of mercury contamination

Mercury (Hg) loading and methylation in aquatic systems causes a variety of deleterious effects for fish and wildlife populations. Relatively little research has focused on Hg movement into riparian food webs and how this is modulated by habitat characteristics. This study characterized differences in Hg exposure in aquatic invertebrates and...

Jackson, Allyson K.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Emery, Colleen

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Year Published: 2019

An experimental test of weed-suppressive bacteria effectiveness in rangelands in southwestern Idaho, 2016–18

Approaches and techniques for control of exotic annual grasses are a high priority in sagebrush-steppe and other rangelands. Strains of the soil bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf) have been proposed to be selectively pathogenic to multiple species of exotic annual grasses with effects evident by the second year, and with no effect on native or...

Lazarus, Brynne E.; Germino, Matthew J.
Lazarus, B.E., and Germino, M.J., 2019, An experimental test of weed-suppressive bacteria effectiveness in rangelands in southwestern Idaho, 2016–18: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1050, 19 p.,