» Forest ecology

Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study

The Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES) pioneered the small watershed technique as a method of studying ecosystem processes. This long-term ecological research is conducted within the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), a 3,160 hectare reserve in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, owned/managed by the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. On-site research has produced some of the most extensive and longest continuous data bases on the hydrology, biology, geology and chemistry of a forest and its associated aquatic ecosystems. Resources at Hubbard Brook The northeastern United States has a forest ecosystem that provides us with a stable water flow, pure water quality, recreational opportunities, diverse wildlife and a variety of forest products. The future of this resource depends on good management practices and a good understanding of this ecosystem. The Research The pioneering research at Hubbard Brook has its origins in expanding on our understanding of the science of water and chemical element cycles, soil microbial activity, soil chemical reactions, the effects of deforestation, and land management practices. That research has now expanded to include wildlife habitats, geology, and studies of human impacts on our environment, and assessment of potential methods of mitigating that impact. The diversity of research offers our next generation of scientists a good foundation in interdisciplinary collaboration and in sharing their scientific-based results. Read More

Threats to At-Risk Species in America's Private Forests: A Forests on the Edge Report

America’s private forests harbor thousands of species – from butterflies, bears, birds and bats; to salmon, snails and salamanders that inhabit streams and wetlands; to flowers, trees and shrubs that feed and protect wildlife and enrich human lives. Many native animals and plants found in private forests nationwide are at risk of decline or extinction, in part because of impacts of increasing housing development. The effects of development on at-risk species on private forests are intensified by additional impacts from fire, insects and disease. Read More

An Examination of the Riparian Bottomland Forest in North Central Texas through Ecology, History,Field Study, and Computer Simulation

This paper explores the characterization of a riparian bottomland forest in north central Texas in two ways: field study, and computer simulation with the model ZELIG. First, context is provided in Chapter One with a brief description of a southern bottomland forest, the ecological services it provides, and a history of bottomland forests in Texas from the nineteenth century to the present. A report on a characterization study of the Lake Ray Roberts Greenbelt forest comprises Chapter Two. The final chapter reviews a phytosocial study of a remnant bottomland forest within the Greenbelt. Details of the ZELIG calibration process follow, with a discussion of ways to improve ZELIG’s simulation of bottomland forests. Read More

Thresholds in Avian Communities at Multiple Scales: RelationshipsBetween Birds, Forests, Habitats, and Landscapes in the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton

Environmental management agencies make efforts to reduce pollution loading in streams and rivers by promoting vegetated buffer zones between human activity and water. Most of these efforts do not mesh water quality-based buffer zone width requirements with conservation and wildlife values, specifically, the use of these riparian forest corridors for wildlife dispersal between habitats in highly fragmented landscapes. Forest interior birds are of the most concern to management in riparian forests due to their population declines across much of their breeding range. This dissertation investigates the role that landscape-level and habitat-level factors play on the presence of breeding birds in riparian forests, particularly the landscape and habitat factors that are influenced by human-caused fragmentation. This study describes research at the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton, Texas, that explores the relationships between the landscape and forest habitats of the Greenbelt with its breeding bird community. The major findings of this study are that bird communities in the corridor forests are associated with a greater array of factors than are bird communities in patches, suggesting that the birds of patch forests are somewhat insulated from landscape-scale effects. Also, habitat values can be maintained in corridors, but there does not seem to be a significant relationship between the bird communities and the habitat. Forest factors are the primary influences (as inferred from the number of associations and the relative strength of these associations) on the bird communities of the Ray Roberts Greenbelt. Thresholds of richness or abundance in the amount of forest as compared with the forest interior bird community suggest that patches are better than corridors to support this community, and that the more interior forest available, the better for forest interior birds. The suggested minimum amount of forest derived from these thresholds is 35% of the amount of forest within 1 kilometer of any given part of the Greenbelt. Thresholds in forest width for avian communities suggest a minimum width of 200 m for any corridor. Thresholds in distance from interior forest suggest that the forest interior bird community can be best supported by shorter corridors that connect larger patches, with a suggested maximum corridor length of 125 m. Read More

Comparison of IKONOS Derived Vegetation Index and LiDAR Derived Canopy Height Model for Grassland Management

Forest encroachment is understood to be the main reason for prairie grassland decline across the United States. In Texas and Oklahoma, juniper has been highlighted as particularly opportunistic. This study assesses the usefulness of three remote sensing techniques to aid in locating the areas of juniper encroachment for the LBJ Grasslands in Decatur, Texas. An object based classification was performed in eCognition and final accuracy assessments placed the overall accuracy at 94%, a significant improvement over traditional pixel based methods. Image biomass was estimated using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for 1 meter resolution IKONOS winter images. A high correlation between the sum of NDVI for tree objects and field tree biomass was determined where R = 0.72, suggesting NDVI sum of a tree area is plausible. However, issues with NDVI saturation and regression produced unrealistically high biomass estimates for large NDVI. Canopy height model (CHM) derived from 3-5m LiDAR data did not perform as well. LiDAR typically used for digital elevation model (DEM) production was acquired for the CHM and produced correlations of R = 0.26. This suggests an inability for this particular dataset to identify juniper trees. When points that registered a tree height where correlated with field … Read More

Panhandle Wildlife Habitat Management

This Texas Parks and Wildlife site provides useful information on wildlife habitat management tools for landowners. There is a special link to wildlife management in the Texas panhandle that provides background on the physiographic regions of the panhandle. Read More

Wildlife Habitat

This North Carolina State University wildlife extension site has a wide number of links related to wildlife. Wildlife information by species, wildlife damage control, wildlife extension contacts, endangered species, environmental education, backyard wildlife, wildlife habitat, and wildlife rehabilitation are covered. Additional links to other agencies and programs are provided. Read More

NRCS Conservation Programs

This Natural Resources Conservation Service site provides information on a variety of programs related to conservation, the environment, farm & ranch, forestry, grasslands, wetlands & wildlife, and watersheds. Other links are provide to supply related additional information, including financial services. Read More

Redwood Sciences Lab

USDA Forest Service provides links to bibliographies for online, pdf and print documents about watersheds, fisheries, wildlife, the Redwood Experimental Forest and Caspar Creek. Read More

Rainforest Alliance: Smart Wood

SmartWood promotes sustainable forestry and recognizes good forest managers through independent verification of forestry practices. Read More

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EERL & ATEEC

EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu