Explore featured publications representing ongoing work being conducted by early career professionals across the Department of the Interior's Climate Science Centers and partner institutions. If you are a student or post-doc affiliated with one of the regional CSCs and would like to have your publications featured on this page, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Central CSC
West, A.M. et al.
Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) along the Arkansas River in Southeastern Colorado.
McNeeley, S.M., Beeton, T.A. & Ojima, D.S.
In this paper, we employed a social-ecological system framework, whereby key informant interviews with DOI and tribal resource managers were combined with local and regional drought indicator data to: a) characterize the social and ecological factors that contribute to drought vulnerability; and b) better understand the ways in which drought onset, persistence, severity, and recovery impacts management of endangered fish in northwest Colorado and bison in southwest South Dakota.
Whitman, E., et al.
We characterized fire-regime components (frequency, size, severity, seasonality and cause) along climate gradients and a gradient of human influence. Fire size, frequency, burn severity and cause were interrelated, whereas humans influenced patterns of burn severity and ignition cause. Wildfire activity was highest where thermal and moisture gradients converge to promote fuel production, flammability and ignitions. Thus, future changes to climate may lead to ecological changes through altered fire regimes.
We assessed the influence of woody biomass harvests on rodent abundances using an operational-scale, randomized complete block experimental design study in North Carolina (4 blocks) and Georgia, USA (4 blocks). The lack of consistent relationships between rodent abundance and volume of retained woody debris suggests that the rodent species captured in this study were not affected by current efficiencies of operational woody biomass harvests in southeastern United States loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations.
Just, M.G., Schager, J.L, Hohmann, M.G., & Hoffman, W.A.
We examined below ground wood decay compartmentalization along a gradient of fire frequency. We found that a savanna tree species had the least wood decay after experimental coppicing relative to other resprouting species at more mesic gradient locations.
We used a controlled, paired completely randomized design study to assess the influence of grazing and tebuthiuron application and their combined use on lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection and nest survival at 2 spatial scales (i.e., treatment and microhabitat) in 4 treatments; 1) tebuthiuron with grazing (T-G); 2) tebuthiuron without grazing (T-NG); 3) no tebuthiuron with grazing (NT-G); and 4) a control of no tebuthiuron, no grazing (NT-NG) from 2001–2010 in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA. Results suggest a tebuthiuron application rate of 0.60 kg/ha, short-duration low-intensity grazing, and a combination of these restoration techniques were not detrimental to lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection and nest survival.
We compared reptile and amphibian species richness and abundance of Anaxyrus terrestris and Gastrophryne carolinensis among six treatments that varied in volume and spatial arrangement of woody biomass retained after clearcutting in North Carolina, USA (n = 4) 2011-2014 and Georgia (n = 4), USA 2011-2013. A lack of consistent effects on herpetofauna suggests sufficient woody biomass volumes were retained following biomass harvests without implementing BHGs in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern U.S.
Felton, S.K., Hostetter, N.J., Pollock, K.H., & Simons, T.R.
In North Carolina, USA, management to conserve the American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) targets component vital rates related to fecundity, specifically nest and chick survival. We used a 3-stage deterministic matrix model to determine the current state of the oystercatcher population in North Carolina and assess the effectiveness of current management strategies in sustaining the population.
Just, M.G., Hohmann, M.G., & Hoffmann, W.A.
Positive feedbacks influenced by direct and indirect interactions between fire, vegetation, and microclimate can allow pyrophilic and pyrophobic ecosystems to co-occur in the same landscape, resulting in the juxtaposition of flammable and non-flammable vegetation. To quantify the drivers of these feedbacks, we combined measurements of vegetation, fuels, and microclimate with observations of fire spread along ecotonal gradients.
Silverman, N.L. & Maneta, M.P.
Detecting long-term change in seasonal precipitation using ground observations is dependent on the representativity of the point measurement to the surrounding landscape. In mountainous regions, representativity can be poor and lead to large uncertainties in precipitation estimates at high elevations or in areas where observations are sparse.