New Station Publications

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Northern Research Station

  1.  GTR-NRS-181.  Mid-Atlantic forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Response Framework project.  Butler-Leopold, Patricia R.; Iverson, Louis R.; Thompson, Frank R.; Brandt, Leslie A.; Handler, Stephen D.; Janowiak, Maria K.; Shannon, P. Danielle; Swanston, Christopher W.; Bearer, Scott ; Bryan, Alexander M.; Clark, Kenneth L.; Czarnecki, Greg ; DeSenze, Philip ; Dijak, William D.; Fraser, Jacob S.; Gugger, Paul F.; Hille, Andrea ; Hynicka, Justin ; Jantz, Claire A.; Kelly, Matthew C.; Krause, Katrina M.; La Puma, Inga Parker; Landau, Deborah ; Lathrop, Richard G.; Leites, Laura P.; Madlinger, Evan ; Matthews, Stephen N.; Ozbay, Gulnihal ; Peters, Matthew P.; Prasad, Anantha ; Schmit, David A.; Shephard, Collin ; Shirer, Rebecca ; Skowronski, Nicholas S.; Steele, Al ; Stout, Susan ; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa ; Thompson, John ; Turcotte, Richard M.; Weinstein, David A.; Yez, Alfonso.  294p.  

Forest ecosystems will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the 21st century. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of 11 forest ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Maryland, and southern New York) under a range of future climates. We synthesized and summarized information on the contemporary landscape, provided information on past climate trends, and described a range of projected future climates. This information was used to parameterize and run multiple forest impact models, which provided a range of potential tree responses to climate. Finally, we brought these results before two multidisciplinary panels of scientists and land managers familiar with the forests of this region to assess ecosystem vulnerability through a formal consensus-based expert elicitation process. Analysis of climate records indicates that average temperatures and total precipitation in the region have increased. Downscaled climate models project potential increases in temperature in every season, but vary in projections for precipitation. The forest impact models project declines in growth and suitable habitat for many mesic species, including American beech, eastern hemlock, eastern white pine, red spruce, and sugar maple. Species that tolerate hotter, drier conditions are projected to persist or increase, including black oak, northern red oak, pignut hickory, sweetgum, and white oak. The montane spruce-fir and lowland conifer forest communities were determined to be the most vulnerable ecosystems in the interior portion of the Mid-Atlantic region. Maritime and tidal swamp forest communities were determined to be the most vulnerable ecosystems in the coastal plain portion of the region. The woodland, glade, and barrens forest community was perceived as less vulnerable to projected changes in climate. These projected changes in climate and the associated impacts and vulnerabilities will have important implications for economically valuable timber species, forest-dependent animals and plants, recreation, and long-term natural resource planning.


  2.  GTR-NRS-182.  Subcontinental-scale patterns of large-ungulate herbivory and synoptic review of restoration management implications for midwestern and northeastern forests.  McWilliams, William H.; Westfall, James A.; Brose, Patrick H.; Dey, Daniel C.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Dickinson, Yvette L.; Fajvan, Mary Ann; Kenefic, Laura S.; Kern, Christel C.; Laustsen, Kenneth M.; Lehman, Shawn L.; Morin, Randall S.; Ristau, Todd E.; Royo, Alejandro A.; Stoltman, Andrew M.; Stout, Susan L.  24p.  

Browse of forest understory vegetation by deer and other large ungulates alters ecosystem processes, making it difficult to regenerate forest land in herbivory-stressed areas. Seventy years ago, Aldo Leopold identified problem areas in the United States where overpopulation of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was likely to lead to overbrowsing of nutritive plants. Species of plants with little or no nutritive value would thereby gain a competitive advantage. Recent measurements of browse impacts on regionwide forest inventory plots in the midwestern and northeastern United States provide the opportunity to review the work of Leopold and others. A visualization of the probability of browse impact levels that warrant consideration during regeneration planning is presented for comparison to historical maps. Currently, 59 percent of the 182.4 million acres of forest land inventoried in the Midwest and Northeast was estimated to have moderate or high browse impacts. The Mid-Atlantic region had the highest proportion of forest land with moderate or high browse impacts (79 percent). The oak/hickory (Quercus/Carya) and maple/beech/birch (Acer/Fagus/Betula) forest-type groups each had percentages of forest land with moderate or high impacts above the regional average, 69 percent and 65 percent, respectively. The problem areas described by Leopold and others persist and new areas have emerged in the Central/Plains, Mid-Atlantic, and New England States. The study findings confirm three realities of forest regeneration management for forests under herbivory stress in the Midwest and Northeast: 1) The scope and persistence of large-ungulate herbivory has long-term wide-ranging implications for regeneration management; 2) less palatable tree species will continue to have a competitive advantage during the regeneration phase and are likely to be different species from the current canopy dominants; and 3) successful regeneration management of these forests requires more emphasis on ungulate-compatible prescriptions, novel approaches, and adaptive science.


  3.  RB-NRS-116.  Northern Great Plains Forests 2015.  Meneguzzo, Dacia M.; Haugen, David E.; Walters, Brian F.; Butler, Brett J.; Crocker, Susan J.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Morin, Randall S.; Nelson, Mark D.; Piva, Ronald J.; Smith, James E.  108p.  

The 2015 inventory of the forests of the Northern Great Plains States (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) reports more than 6.8 million acres of forest land and almost 2.2 billion trees. Forest land is dominated by the ponderosa pine and sugarberry/hackberry/elm/green ash forest types, which together occupy one-third of the total forest land area. The volume of growing stock on timberland currently totals 4.6 billion cubic feet. The average annual net growth of live trees from 2010 to 2015 was nearly 157 million cubic feet per year. This report includes additional information on forest attributes, carbon, timber products, and forest health. The following information is available online at 1) descriptive information on forest inventory statistics, methods, and quality assurance of data collection; 2) tables that summarize quality assurance; 3) a core set of tabular estimates for a variety of forest resources; and 4) a Microsoft Access database that represents an archive of data used in this report, with tools that allow users to produce customized estimates.


  4.  RB-NRS-117.  The urban forest of New York City.  Nowak, David J.; Bodine, Allison R.; Hoehn, Robert E.; Ellis, Alexis ; Hirabayashi, Satoshi ; Coville, Robert ; Auyeung, D.S. Novem; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Hallett, Richard A.; Johnson, Michelle L.; Stephan, Emily ; Taggart, Tom ; Endreny, Ted.  82p.  

An analysis of the urban forest in New York, New York, reveals that this city has an estimated 7.0 million trees (encompassing all woody plants greater than one-inch diameter at breast height [d.b.h.]) with tree canopy that covers 21 percent of the city. The most common tree species across public and private land are Norway maple, northern white-cedar, tree-ofheaven, sassafras, and white oak, but the most dominant species in terms of leaf area are Norway maple, London planetree, black locust, pin oak, and red maple. Trees in New York City currently store about 1.2 million tons of carbon (4.2 million tons carbon dioxide [CO2]) valued at $153 million. In addition, these trees remove about 51,000 tons of carbon per year (186,000 tons CO2/year) ($6.8 million per year) and about 1,100 tons of air pollution per year ($78 million per year). New York City's urban forest is estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $17.1 million per year and reduce runoff by 69 million cubic feet/year ($4.6 million/year). The compensatory value of the trees is estimated at $5.7 billion. The information presented in this report can be used by local organizations to advance urban forest policies, planning, and management to improve environmental quality and human health in New York City. The analyses also provide a basis for monitoring changes in the urban forest over time.


Copies still available

  5.  GTR-NRS-124.  Central Hardwoods ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the Central Hardwoods Climate Change Response Framework project.  Brandt, Leslie; He, Hong; Iverson, Louis; Thompson, Frank R.; Butler, Patricia; Handler, Stephen; Janowiak, Maria; Shannon, P. Danielle; Swanston, Chris; Albrecht, Matthew; Blume-Weaver, Richard; Deizman, Paul; DePuy, John; Dijak, William D.; Dinkel, Gary; Fei, Songlin; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd; Leahy, Michael; Matthews, Stephen; Nelson, Paul; Oberle, Brad; Perez, Judi; Peters, Matthew; Prasad, Anantha; Schneiderman, Jeffrey E.; Shuey, John; Smith, Adam B.; Studyvin, Charles; Tirpak, John M.; Walk, Jeffery W.; Wang, Wen J.; Watts, Laura; Weigel, Dale; Westin, Steve.  254p.  

The forests in the Central Hardwoods Region will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the next 100 years. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystems in the Central Hardwoods Region of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri to a range of future climates. Information on current forest conditions, observed climate trends, projected climate changes, and impacts to forest ecosystems was considered in order to assess vulnerability to climate change. Mesic upland forests were determined to be the most vulnerable to projected changes in climate, whereas many systems adapted to fire and drought, such as open woodlands, savannas, and glades, were perceived as less vulnerable. Projected changes in climate and the associated ecosystem impacts and vulnerabilities will have important implications for economically valuable timber species, forest-dependent wildlife and plants, recreation, and long-range planning.


  6.  GTR-NRS-146.  Central Appalachians forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the Central Appalachians Climate Change Response Framework project.  Butler, Patricia R.; Iverson, Louis; Thompson, Frank R.; Brandt, Leslie; Handler, Stephen; Janowiak, Maria; Shannon, P. Danielle; Swanston, Chris; Karriker, Kent; Bartig, Jarel; Connolly, Stephanie; Dijak, William; Bearer, Scott; Blatt, Steve; Brandon, Andrea; Byers, Elizabeth; Coon, Cheryl; Culbreth, Tim; Daly, Jad; Dorsey, Wade; Ede, David; Euler, Chris; Gillies, Neil; Hix, David M.; Johnson, Catherine; Lyte, Latasha; Matthews, Stephen; McCarthy, Dawn; Minney, Dave; Murphy, Daniel; ODea, Claire; Orwan, Rachel; Peters, Matthew; Prasad, Anantha; Randall, Cotton; Reed, Jason; Sandeno, Cynthia; Schuler, Tom; Sneddon, Lesley; Stanley, Bill; Steele, Al; Stout, Susan; Swaty, Randy; Teets, Jason; Tomon, Tim; Vanderhorst, Jim; Whatley, John; Zegre, Nicholas.  310p.  

Forest ecosystems in the Central Appalachians will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the 21st century. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in the Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest-Coniferous Forest-Meadow and Eastern Broadleaf Forest Provinces of Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland for a range of future climates. Information on current forest conditions, observed climate trends, projected climate changes, and impacts on forest ecosystems was considered by a multidisciplinary panel of scientists, land managers, and academics in order to assess ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. Appalachian (hemlock)/northern hardwood forests, large stream floodplain and riparian forests, small stream riparian forests, and spruce/fir forests were determined to be the most vulnerable. Dry/mesic oak forests and dry oak and oak/pine forests and woodlands were determined to be least vulnerable. Projected changes in climate and the associated impacts and vulnerabilities will have important implications for economically valuable timber species, forest-dependent wildlife and plants, recreation, and long-term natural resource planning.


  7.  GTR-NRS-179.  Gypsy moth larval necropsy guide.  Blackburn, Laura M.; Hajek, Ann E.  30p.  

Since the early 1900s, a number of parasitoids have been released for classical biological control of the introduced destructive forest insect, Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth), in North America. During this time, two pathogens were accidentally introduced. These pathogens and several of the parasitoid species are now commonly found in North American gypsy moth populations. The aim in creating this guide was to provide laboratory techniques for distinguishing between two common pathogens, the fungus Entomophaga maimaiga and the gypsy moth multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus, and provide illustrations and images for adults, puparia, and cocoons of established gypsy moth parasitoids commonly found in the larval or pupal stages of gypsy moth in North America. Gypsy moth collection and rearing techniques are also reviewed, and a technical glossary and summary table highlighting the affected life stage by gypsy moth parasitoids in North America are included in this guide.


  8.  RP-NRS-31.  Characterizing effects of prescribed fire on forest canopy cover in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.  Lorber, Jean ; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa ; Croy, Steve.  30p.  

On the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, managers have used prescribed fire to create and maintain early-successional and open forest conditions across large areas. We used a landscape-scale and image-based approach to assess the extent that prescribed fires, including repeated fires, have created these forest conditions and put the results in context of the new George Washington National Forest management plan. At the landscape level, early-successional forest made up an average of 5 percent of burn unit area after one burn, 9 percent after two fires, 17 percent after three fires, and 14 percent after four fires. On average across all burn unit acreage, open forest made up 5 percent of the area after one burn, 7 percent after two burns, 9 percent after three, and 8 percent after four fires. The forest plan desired condition of 12 percent of the area in early-successional forest was met after three or four fires and was exceeded in some individual burn units. It is harder to achieve open-forest than early-successional conditions using prescribed fire alone. We also examined possible drivers of canopy gap creation in these forests. Vegetation type and heat load index, a topographic-based measure of solar radiation received by a site, were important predictors of where canopy gaps formed after prescribed fire.


  10.  RP-NRS-30.  Establishment of native species on a natural gas pipeline: the importance of seeding rate, aspect, and species selection.  Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Edwards, Pamela J.; Schuler, Thomas M.  11p.  

With the increase in natural gas production in the United States, land managers need solutions and best practices to mitigate potential negative impacts of forest and soil disturbance and meet landowner objectives and desired conditions. Mitigation often includes the use of native seed mixes for maintaining plant diversity, controlling nonnative invasive species, and erosion control. The area disturbed by installing a buried pipeline to transport natural gas from a gas well near Parsons, WV was used to test the performance of a native seed mix. The seed mix was applied at the recommended seeding rate (56 kg ha-1; 50 lb ac-1) and triple the recommended rate (168 kg ha-1; 150 lb ac-1) to evaluate whether a higher seeding rate would produce greater native establishment and affect tree, weed, and invasive plant colonization. Sowed native grasses and blackberry (Rubus spp.), the latter of which was not part of the seed mix, dominated the pipeline right-of-way (ROW) 3 years after seeding. Mean coverage of these species was more than 68 percent on all the pipeline study plots. Deer-tongue (Dichanthelium clandestinum [L.] Gould) was by far the most successful species in the seed mix (overall mean cover of 33 percent), and it showed much better establishment on the drier southeast-facing hillside (mean cover of 49 percent). Autumn bentgrass (Agrostis perennans [Walter] Tuck.) fared better on the wetter northwest aspect (mean cover of 24 percent). Specific site characteristics or regeneration needs may explain the absence or limited onsite presence of some native species from the seed mix 3 years after sowing. Our results add support to the argument that a ROW project may require a variety of seed mixtures, especially when growing conditions and soil series vary across the project area.


  11.  GTR-NRS-52.  A Guide to nonnative invasive plants inventoried in the north by Forest Inventory and Analysis.  Olson, Cassandra; Cholewa, Anita F.  191p.  

The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the U.S. Forest Service is an ongoing endeavor mandated by Congress to determine the extent, condition, volume, growth, and depletions of timber on the Nation's forest land. FIA has responded to a growing demand for other information about our forests including, but not limited to, soils, vegetation, down woody material, and invasive plants. The intent of this guide is to aid FIA field staff in identifying 44 invasive plant species in the 24-state Northern Research Station region (Maine south to Delaware west to Kansas and north to North Dakota). However, this guide can be used by anyone interested in learning about these invasive plants. It contains distribution maps, short descriptions, space for notes, and numerous pictures of each plant.


  12.  GTR-NRS-132.  Silvicultural guide for northern hardwoods in the northeast.  Leak, William B.; Yamasaki, Mariko; Holleran, Robbo.  46p.  

This revision of the 1987 silvicultural guide includes updated and expanded silvicultural information on northern hardwoods as well as additional information on wildlife habitat and the management of mixed-wood and northern hardwood-oak stands. The prescription methodology is simpler and more field-oriented. This guide also includes an appendix of familiar tables and charts useful to practicing field foresters. Northern hardwood forest types can be managed as even- or unevenaged stands using a variety of silvicultural practices. In planning these practices, there are many factors to consider including access, species composition, desired regeneration, wildlife habitat needs and environmental concerns. The aim of this document is to provide guidelines to assist the manager in choosing the right methods to meet the landowner objectives consistent with stand conditions.


Available Online Only

9.  RMAP-NRS-9.  Assessing potential climate change pressures across the conterminous United States: mapping plant hardiness zones, heat zones, growing degree days, and cumulative drought severity throughout this century.  Matthews, Stephen N.; Iverson, Louis R.; Peters, Matthew P.; Prasad, Anantha M.  31p.  

The maps and tables presented here represent potential variability of projected climate change across the conterminous United States during three 30-year periods in this century and emphasizes the importance of evaluating multiple signals of change across large spatial domains. Maps of growing degree days, plant hardiness zones, heat zones, and cumulative drought severity depict the potential for markedly shifting conditions and highlight regions where changes may be multifaceted across these metrics. In addition to the maps, the potential change in these climate variables are summarized in tables according to the seven regions of the fourth National Climate Assessment to provide additional regional context. Viewing these data collectively further emphasizes the potential for novel climatic space under future projections of climate change and signals the wide disparity in these conditions based on relatively near-term human decisions of curtailing (or not) greenhouse gas emissions.


13.  GTR-NRS-180.  Critical loads of sulfur and nitrogen and modeled effects of deposition reduction for forested ecosystems of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Pardo, Linda H.; Duarte, Natasha ; Van Miegroet, Helga ; Fisher, L. Suzanne; Robin-Abbott, Molly J.  26p.  

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) is subject to high levels of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) deposition, which can adversely affect forest vegetation and aquatic biota. We used multiple chemical criteria to calculate critical loads for S and N deposition (CL (S+N)) and nutrient N (CLnutN) and used the Very Simple Dynamic (VSD) model to predict the effects of deposition reduction scenarios on critical thresholds for four forested sites in GSMNP. Critical loads were exceeded for current deposition at three of four sites using critical thresholds of aluminum to base cations (Al:Bc) = 0.1 or no decrease in base saturation but were not exceeded using the chemical criteria of Al = 0.2 meq L-1, Al:Bc = 1.0, and pH = 4.2. With deposition reductions of 48 percent S and 56 percent nitrate (NO3?), neither the critical thresholds of acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) = 20 eq L-1 nor a decrease in base saturation was achieved. With deposition reductions of 90 percent S and 90 percent NO3?, ANC = 100 eq L-1 was achieved at a single site. Historical ANC values affected a site's ability to achieve ANC critical thresholds. The critical threshold for soil solution NO3? was exceeded for all but the most stringent deposition scenarios (90 percent S and 90 percent NO3). Deposition reductions of 90 percent for NO3? and 80 percent for ammonium (NH4+) were not sufficient to lower deposition below the CLnutN at all sites. Data indicate that upper sites at GSMNP are N saturated; to protect these sites from acidification, the more protective chemical criteria of no decrease in base saturation and Al:Bc = 0.1 should be used when determining critical loads. When choosing chemical criteria in deposition reduction modeling, care should be taken to ensure that the criteria chosen will protect sensitive ecosystem elements.


14.  GTR-P-NRS-183.  Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change.  Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C.  279p.  

Contains 27 papers, 5 abstracts, and 7 visual case studies from the Visual Resource Stewardship Conference: Landscape and Seascape Management in a Time of Change, held at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, on November 79, 2017. The material covers topical themes related to Federal Agency programs and policies, theory and concepts, visual quality assessment, visual impact assessment and mitigation, and visual resource management tools and technology. The visual case studies emphasize visual presentation of material with supporting text descriptions.

This document is being published in electronic format only. Any corrections or additions will be posted to the Website:


15.  RN-NRS-251.  An assessment of oriental bittersweet in northern U.S. forests.  Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Hansen, Mark H.  5p.  

This publication is part of a series that provides an overview of the presence of invasive plant species monitored on an extensive systematic network of plots measured by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station (NRS). Each research note features one of the invasive plants monitored on forested plots by NRS FIA in the 24 states of the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus; also known as Asian bittersweet) is a woody vine that is native to China, Korea, and Japan that was introduced as an ornamental around 1860 (Kaufman and Kaufman 2007).


Resource Update

The following publications provide an overview of forest resource attributes for the respective State based on an annual inventory conducted by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program at the Northern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. These are available only online.

RU-FS-159.  Forests of Connecticut, 2017.  Butler, Brett J.  3p.  

RU-FS-160.  Forests of Maine, 2017.  Butler, Brett J.  3p.  

RU-FS-161.  Forests of Massachusetts, 2017.  Butler, Brett J.  3p.  

RU-FS-162.  Forests of Rhode Island, 2017.  Butler, Brett J.  3p.  

RU-FS-163.  Forests of New Hampshire, 2017.  Morin, Randall S.  3p.  

RU-FS-164.  Forests of Vermont, 2017.  Morin, Randall S.  3p.  

RU-FS-165.  Forest of Indiana, 2017.  Gormanson, Dale D.  4p.  

RU-FS-166.  Forests of Maryland, 2017.  Lister, Tonya W.  4p.  

RU-FS-167.  Forests of New Jersey, 2017.  Crocker, Susan J.; Nelson, Mark.  4p.  

RU-FS-168.  Forests of Delaware, 2017.  Potter, Stephen.  3p.  

RU-FS-169.  Michigan Timber Industry, 2014.  Piva, Ronald J.; Neumann, David D.  6p.  

RU-FS-170.  Forests of New York, 2017.  Albright, Thomas A.  4p.  

RU-FS-171.  Forests of Ohio, 2017.  Albright, Thomas A.  4p.  

RU-FS-172.  Forests of Kansas, 2017.  Meneguzzo, Dacia M.  5p.  

RU-FS-173.  Nebraska Timber Industry, 2014.  Haugen, David E.; Piva, Ronald J.; Smith, Adam.  6p.  

RU-FS-174.  Forests of West Virginia, 2017.  Morin, Randall S.  3p.  

RU-FS-175.  Forests of Pennsylvania, 2017.  Albright, Thomas A.  4p.  

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