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USGS - science for a changing world

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Douglas J Shinneman

Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10980-015-0160-1): Content Changing aspen distribution in response to climate change and fire is a major focus of biodiversity conservation, yet little is known about the potential response of aspen to these two driving forces along topoclimatic gradients. Objective This study is set to evaluate how aspen distribution might shift in response to different climate-fire scenarios in a semi-arid montane landscape, and quantify the influence of fire regime along topoclimatic gradients. Methods We used a novel integration of a forest landscape succession and disturbance model (LANDIS-II) with a fine-scale climatic water deficit approach to simulate dynamics of...
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Quaking aspen populations are declining in much of the West due to altered fire regimes, competition with conifers, herbivory, drought, disease, and insect outbreaks. Aspen stands typically support higher bird biodiversity and abundance than surrounding habitat types, and maintaining current distribution and abundance of several bird species in the northern Great Basin is likely tied to the persistence of aspen in the landscape. This project examined the effects of climate change on aspen and associated bird communities by coupling empirical models of avian-habitat relationships with landscape simulations of vegetation community and disturbance dynamics under various climate change scenarios. Field data on avian...
Aspen forests are “biological hotspots” in the western United States that support numerous wildlife species. Aspen ecosystems are also economically and socially important, providing high quality forage for livestock and game species (e.g. elk), as well as drawing tourists and improving local economies. Aspen ecosystems are in decline across portions of the western U.S., which is thought to be partly due to drought, and recent research suggests that future climate projected for the western U.S. will be even less capable of supporting aspen. We used different research methods to investigate key controls on aspen growth and survivability in the northern Great Basin and central Rockies. Specifically, we projected the...
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The dataset includes several variables that were sampled across aspen stands in the Santa Rosa, Ruby, and Jarbidge mountain ranges (Great Basin, Northern Nevada, USA) in 2010 and 2011. Across 101 aspen sites, several plot-level attributes were collected (e.g. elevation, slope, aspen stand type). For each plot, data describing live trees (both those less than 7.5 cm diameter and those greater than/equal to 7.5 cm) are included, such as species, diameter, and age. The data set also includes information for dead trees greater than/equal to 7.5 cm diameter (e.g. species, location, diameter).
Abstract (from Ecological Society of America): Species that are primarily seral may form stable (self‐sustaining) communities under certain disturbance regimes or environmental conditions, yet such populations may also be particularly vulnerable to ecological change. Aspen (Populus spp.) are generally considered seral throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including P. tremuloides, the most widely distributed tree species in North America. Recent declines in aspen populations have occurred, especially along drought‐sensitive margins of its range and where fire exclusion and herbivory have promoted community transition. However, aspen also forms stable stands, and examination of the mechanisms that influence persistence...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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