Ecology of Rare and Declining Species and Communities of Conservation Concern

Science Center Objects

Special status species and habitats are often sentinels of accelerated ecosystem change and, by definition, are priorities for protection, restoration, or focused management.

For many species with special status designations, robust information about the basic ecology and habitat associations is lacking. Additionally, designation of special status frequently raises the legal and political profile of these species and habitats, amplifying managers' need for scientifically sound and defensible information. My research program focuses on providing this information by expanding understanding of basic ecology, as well as investigating interactions among limiting factors, ecosystem change, and anthropogenic stresses.

For example, one project is providing new information on the distribution and habitat associations of the American Pika on the west slope of the Oregon Cascade Range. Other projects are investigating patterns of biodiversity in and the effects of restoration on oak habitats and their unique species assemblages in western Oregon. Important information needed to support management decisions include accurate maps of oak-habitat types, increased understanding of how distribution and condition of habitat patches influence use by associated wildlife, and evaluations of wildlife response to land use and restoration at spatial scales from patch to landscape.