“Early View” is like Christmas!

I’m extremely happy to say that the following papers are now out in early view – the first two papers are the results of Eryn Schineder’s and Kyle Rodman’s thesis work. For those who may not know, Eryn’s work focused on spatial patterns and reference conditions at the Barney Springs site south of Flagstaff, a pure ponderosa pine site on limestone soils that has managed to avoid being harvested. Truly a unique system to study… Kyle’s work also focused on spatial patterns and reference conditions, but in dry mixed-conifer sites along the Mogollon Rim. He presents a variety of reference attributes that will be interesting and applicable to many of you currently working in dry mixed-conifer forests (especially this findings regarding long-term changes in species composition). I’m am really proud of these two and both works are significant contributions to our knowledge regarding HRV and long-term vegetation dynamics. In case you’re wondering, Eryn and Kyle are both currently pursuing PhDs – Eryn with Andrew Larson at Univ. of Montana and Kyle at Univ. of Colorado at Boulder with Tom Veblen.

Lastly, the third paper presents an idea that Daniel Laughlin, Rob Strahan, Dave Huffman and I have been developing for a while now. In this paper we present a functional (species trait-based) approach to restoring resilient ecosystems in light of changing environmental conditions and explore it’s application in dry mixed-conifer forests (study sites at Black Mesa and on the north rim of Grand Canyon NP). Really exciting work that I’m happy to have been a part of!!!

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Congratulations Greg Black!

NCUR-logo-WebWe here at quantitativeecology.org are happy to announce that our own Greg Black will be presenting his work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Kentucky in April. Greg’s submission, titled “Stand structure and composition in treatment areas following the 2012 Grand Fire” was chosen from more than 4,000 submissions and we are proud of Greg’s work and contributions to his field of study. Our lab is sincerely pleased that Greg will have the opportunity to present his work to peers, faculty, and staff from around the world!

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Continued Scounting of Mixed-Conifer Forests along the Mogollon Rim, AZ

DSC_0040Friday of this past week we (myself, one of my graduate students, members of the ERI Outreach Staff and a Forest Service representative) spent the day scouting potential research sites along the Mogollon Rim, in the mixed-conifer forest type. These forests generally occur at elevations between 8000 to 10,000 feet and under natural conditions, their higher site productivity and open structure facilitates leads to a more diverse (as compared to pondersa pine) understory.

Depending on location and often aspect, Douglas-fir, white fir, blue spruce, and southwestern white pine will dominate the tree canopy, often with ponderosa pine clearly dominating on warmer slopes. Quaking aspen, bigtooth maple, and Gambel oak are also prominent in these forests. Fire histories in mixed-conifer forests vary with forest composition, landscape characteristics and human intervention, but have been shown to be mainly frequent surface fires to infrequent, patchy (yet small) crown fires with return intervals averaging around 10-15 years.

If all goes as planned (when does it?), this could be the location of a new LEARN site!

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Prezi on overview of LEARN

Yesterday, I presented an invited talk to the Kaibab National Forest of an overview of the ERI’s LEARN (Long-term Ecological Assessment and Restoration Network). LEARN includes ten permanently marked, well-documented research sites where researchers have used standardized methods of data collection to facilitate long-term monitoring. The LEARN allows researchers and land managers to compare the effects of forest restoration treatments (and in one case, fuels reduction) on all aspects of ecosystem dynamics across a variety of forest types from pinyon-juniper to ponderosa pine to dry mixed conifer. Research on LEARN sites has been tremendously productive (over 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts), and has proven influential in informing larger, landscape-scale restoration treatments across the Southwest. Check it out…

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