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: July 19, 2019

Timber Harvest Alters Mercury Bioaccumulation and Food Webs in Headwater Streams

Land use change is an important driver of global mercury cycling. Timber harvest is a common land use that can alter associated aquatic ecosystems, yet little is known about how it affects mercury concentrations and associated food web changes. 

Date published: July 19, 2019

Cold Hardiness of Big Sagebrush May be Maladaptive in a Warmer Climate

Physiological responses to temperature extremes are considered strong drivers of plant species’ resilience to climate variability. 

Date published: July 12, 2019

Using Lidar to Map Solar Insolation in Riparian Areas

Stream temperature is affected by solar insolation, which is the amount of solar radiation at a given location over time. 


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Year Published: 2019

Timber harvest alters mercury bioaccumulation and food web structure in headwater streams

Timber harvest has many effects on aquatic ecosystems, including changes in hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes that can influence mercury (Hg) cycling. Although timber harvest’s influence on aqueous Hg transformation and transport are well studied, the effects on Hg bioaccumulation are not. We evaluated Hg bioaccumulation,...

Willacker, James; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Kowalski, Brandon M; Danehy, Robert J; Jackson, Allyson K.; Adams, Evan M.; Evers, David C.; Eckley, Chris S.; Tate, Michael T.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

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Year Published: 2019

Lidar-based approaches for estimating solar insolation in heavily forested streams

Methods to quantify solar insolation in riparian landscapes are needed due to the importance of stream temperature to aquatic biota. We have tested three lidar predictors using two approaches developed for other applications of estimating solar insolation from airborne lidar using field data collected in a heavily forested narrow stream in western...

Richardson, Jeffrey J; Torgersen, Christian E.; Moskal, L Monika

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Year Published: 2019

Effects of experimental removal of Barred Owls on population Demography of Northern Spotted Owls in Washington and Oregon—2018 Progress Report

Populations of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina; herineafter referred to as Spotted Owl) have declined throughout the subspecies’ geographic range. Evidence indicates that competition with invading Barred Owls (S. varia) has contributed significantly to those declines. A pilot study in California showed that removal of Barred Owls...

Wiens, J. David; Dugger, Katie M.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Dilione, Krista E.; Simon, David C.
Wiens, J.D., Dugger, K.M., Lesmeister, D.B., Dilione, K.E., and Simon, D.C., 2019, Effects of Barred Owl (Strix varia) removal on population demography of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in Washington and Oregon, 2015–18: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1074, 17 p.,