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: August 10, 2018

Using Historical Vegetation Monitoring Data to Infer Trends on Public Land

The BLM’s Soil-Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) program was implemented between 1977 and 1983 across 14 western states to provide data on vegetation communities and range conditions. USGS and BLM researchers partnered to revive and analyze historic vegetation cover data from the SVIM program to demonstrate its utility for understanding trends in vegetation through time by comparing...

Date published: August 10, 2018

Alpine Plant Community Composition, Phenology, and Physiology in Relation to Snow Melt Timing

Earlier snowmelt affects many ecosystems worldwide, especially in montane settings. USGS and other federal and university scientists determined how alpine plant species respond to snow melt gradients in a high-alpine area of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Date published: August 10, 2018

Drivers of connectivity for two frog species from the U.S. Pacific Northwest

Landscape genetics illustrate how landscape features influence species connectivity and can provide insights for species conservation efforts;however, factors that influence connectivity vary considerably, even among species occupying similar landscapes.


Year Published: 2018

Herbicides and herbivory interact to drive plant community and crop‐tree establishment

Land management practices often directly alter vegetation structure and composition, but the degree to which ecological processes such as herbivory interact with management to influence biodiversity is less well understood. We hypothesized that large herbivores compound the effects of intensive forest management on early seral plant communities...

Stokely, Thomas D.; Verschuyl, Jake; Hagar, Joan; Betts, Matthew G.
Stokely, T.D., Verschuyl, J.V., Hagar, J.C., Betts, M.G., 2018, Herbicides and herbivory interact to drive plant community establishment and tree survival: Ecological Applications, p. online,

Year Published: 2018

Prepublication communication of research results

Publishing of scientific findings is central to the scientific process, and it is traditional to consider findings “provisional” until accepted by a peer-reviewed journal. Until publication, communication of provisional findings beyond participants in the study is typically limited. This practice helps assure scientific integrity. However, a...

Adams, Michael J.; Harris, Reid N.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Gray, Matthew J.; Hopkins, M. Camille ; Iverson, Samuel A.; Likens, Robert; Mandica, Mark; Olson, Deanna H.; Shepack, Alex; Waddle, Hardin
Adams, M.J., Harris, R.N., Grant, E.H., Gray, M.J., Hopkins, M.C., Iverson, S.A., Likens, R., Mandica, M., Olson, D.H., Shepack, A., Waddle, J.H., 2018, Pre-publication communication of research results: EcoHealth, p. online,

Year Published: 2018

An introduction and practical guide to use of the Soil-Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) data

Long-term vegetation dynamics across public rangelands in the western United States are not well understood because of the lack of large-scale, readily available historic datasets. The Bureau of Land Management’s Soil-Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) program was implemented between 1977 and 1983 across 14 western states, but...

Barker, Brittany S.; Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin; Arkle, Robert S.; Karl, Michael G. "Sherm"; Toevs, Gordon R.
Barker, B.S., Pilliod, D.S., Welty, J.L., Arkle, R.S., Karl, M.G., Toevs, G.R., 2018, An introduction and practical guide to the use of the Soil - Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) data: Rangeland Ecology and Management, p. online,