Montane Environments

Science Center Objects

Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive to climate change, and USGS is conducting montane research across the West to help resource managers plan now for the future. Coordination with scientists around the world has led to mountain research networks to expand our understanding of how these ecosystems respond to climate change.

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 cascading ecosystem effects of nitrogen deposition. 




Boreal toad on a burned log.

Boreal toad on a burned log. (Public domain.)

Fort Collins Science Center (FORT)


Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK) 


Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC)



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