New Station Publications

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Northern Research Station

  1.  GTR-NRS-106.  Evaluating forest biomass utilization in the Appalachians: A review of potential impacts and guidelines for management.  Vanderberg, Michael R.; Adams, Mary Beth; Wiseman, Mark S.  39p.  

Forests are important economic and ecological resources for both the Appalachian hardwood forest region and the country. Increased demand for woody biomass can be met, at least in part, by improved utilization of these resources. However, concerns exist about the impacts of increased intensity of woody biomass removal on the sustainability of forest ecosystems. Relatively little research has evaluated the impacts of forest biomass harvesting on site productivity, biodiversity, water quality, or other measures of ecosystem productivity, and new information about these and other related topics is not readily available. This report discusses the implications for the sustainability of Appalachian hardwood forests if additional woody biomass is removed for the production of woody biomass-related energy. It includes a summary and synthesis of published literature and ongoing studies to evaluate the possible effects of increased biomass removal on several primary aspects of forest sustainability (i.e., site productivity, water quality, wildlife and biodiversity, wood supply). General management guidelines are proposed that can minimize the impacts of woody biomass utilization on the sustainability of Appalachian hardwood forests. Accompanying the report is an online bibliography, containing references for scientific literature related to woody biomass harvesting and utilization beyond the scope of the Appalachian forest region.


  2.  GTR-P-NRS-107.  Environmental futures research: experiences, approaches, and opportunities.  Bengston, David N., comp.  79p.  

These papers, presented in a special session at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management in June 2011, explore the transdisciplinary field of futures research and its application to long-range environmental analysis, planning, and policy. Futures research began in the post-World War II era and has emerged as a mature research field. Although the future of complex social-ecological systems cannot be predicted, these papers show how futures research can offer perspectives and methods that help researchers, decisionmakers, and other stakeholders explore alternative futures and gain environmental foresight—insight that can inform decisionmaking on environmental challenges. The second half of the collection applies the methods and approaches of futures research to natural resource management.


  3.  GTR-P-NRS-108.  The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management.  Swihart, Robert K.; Saunders, Michael R.; Kalb, Rebecca A.; Haulton, G. Scott; Michler, Charles H., eds.  350p.  

Conditions in forested ecosystems of southern Indiana are described before initiation of silvicultural treatments for the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE). The HEE is a 100-year study begun in 2006 in Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests to improve the sustainability of forest resources and quality of life of Indiana residents by understanding ecosystem and human responses to forest management. Human-focused articles detail the history of disturbance from pre-Columbian times, the evolution of forest policy and management, values associated with the state forests that host the HEE, human perceptions of modern forest management in Indiana, and outreach efforts designed to inform stakeholders about the HEE. Interest in forest, wildlife, and fish resources is high in Indiana, and four of five residents have visited a state forest. Support for timber harvest as a management tool also is high if done professionally and not exclusively to supply lumber. Among users and neighbors of the forests that contain the HEE, educational intervention increased the acceptability of forest management and reduced the acceptability of not harvesting.


  4.  GTR-NRS-109.  An assessment of invasive plant species monitored by the Northern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, 2005 through 2010.  Kurtz, Cassandra M.  70p.  

Invasive plant species are a worldwide concern due to the high ecological and economic costs associated with their presence. This document describes the plant characteristics and regional distribution of the 50 invasive plant species monitored from 2005 through 2010 on forested Phase 2 (P2) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plots in the 24 states of the Northern Research Station. Genus level data for nonnative bush honeysuckles (Lonicera species) are included from 2005 through 2006. The data are from plots that are monitored in forested areas for public and private ownership classes.


  5.  GTR-NRS-110.  Short rotation Populus: a bibliography of North American literature, 1989-2011.  Zalesny, Ronald S.; Coyle, David R.  103p.  

There have been three comprehensive poplar bibliographies dating back to 1854 and the most recent contained literature published through 1988. Given that these bibliographies are outdated, the number of forestry/bioenergy related journals has increased dramatically (along with subsequent publications), and there have been profound advances in science (particularly in the areas of genetics and molecular biology) within the past two decades, development of the current bibliography was necessary. In addition to compiling the information, our objectives were to encourage publication in peer-reviewed journals and to enhance collaborations with partners outside the poplar community. The current bibliography contains 864 unique citations that are cross-listed among as many as three topic areas, resulting in 1,395 total entries. The topic areas are cell and tissue culture, conservation, diseases, economics and social science, general, genetics, global change, growth and productivity, insects and mites, physiology, phytotechnologies, silviculture, and wood science and wood products.


  6.  RB-NRS-72.  Minnesota timber industry: an assessment of timber product output and use, 2007.  Haugen, David E.; Jacobson, Keith.  110p.  

Presents recent Minnesota forest industry trends; production and receipts of industrial roundwood; and production of saw logs, veneer logs, pulpwood, and other products in 2007. Logging residue generated from timber harvest operations is reported, as well as wood and bark residue generated at primary wood-using mills and disposition of mill residues.


  7.  RB-NRS-73.  Forest Resources of Isle Royale National Park 2010.  Previant, Wilfred J.; Nagel, Linda M.; Pugh, Scott A.; Woodall, Christopher W.  24p.  

This publication provides a baseline overview of forest resources for Isle Royale National Park (Isle Royale) using data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. The availability of permanent FIA plots allows for the first-ever comparison of Isle Royale's forest conditions (2006-2010) to reserved and non-reserved forest land within Michigan's Laurentian Mixed Forest-Ecoprovince 212. Isle Royale's prominent forest types, structure, and species composition reflect human and natural disturbances. FIA data suggest Isle Royale's species-specific stand-size stocking, growth and mortality rates, tree densities, volume, live biomass, and aboveground and belowground carbon reflect a unique ecosystem due to a combination of factors: remote location in Lake Superior, disturbance legacy related to natural processes and mining exploration, absence of forest management for more than eight decades, and 50 years of complex interactions between moose/wolf populations.


  8.  RB-NRS-74.  Missouri timber industry: an assessment of timber product output and use, 2009.  Piva, Ronald J.; Treiman, Thomas B.  88p.  

Presents recent Missouri forest industry trends; production and receipts of industrial roundwood; and production of saw logs, veneer logs, pulpwood, and other products in 2009. Logging residue generated from timber harvest operations is reported, as well as wood and bark residue generated at primary wood-using mills and disposition of mill residues.


  9.  RB-NRS-75.  Assessing urban forest effects and values: the greater Kansas City region.  Nowak, David J.; Bodine, Allison R.; Hoehn, Robert E. III; Crane, Daniel E.; Ellis, Alexis; Endreny, Theodore A.; Yang, Yang; Jacobs, Tom; Shelton, Kassie.  72p.  

An analysis of trees in the greater Kansas City region of Missouri and Kansas reveals that this area has about 249,450,000 trees with tree and shrub canopy that covers 28.3 percent of the region. The most common tree species are American elm, northern hackberry, Osage-orange, honeylocust, and eastern redcedar. Trees in the greater Kansas City region currently store about 19.9 million tons of carbon (72.8 million tons CO2) valued at $411 million. In addition, these trees remove about 1.0 million tons of carbon per year (3.7 million tons CO2 per year valued at $20.7 million per year) and about 26,000 tons of air pollution per year ($198.3 million per year). The greater Kansas City region's trees are estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $14.0 million per year. The compensatory value of the trees is estimated at $93.4 billion. Loss of the current tree cover in the Blue River watershed of the greater Kansas City region would increase total flow over a 6.5-month period by an average of 2.3 percent (63.4 million ft3). Information on the structure and functions of the urban forest can be used to inform urban forest management programs and to integrate urban forests within plans to improve environmental quality in the greater Kansas City region.


  10.  RN-NRS-169.  Changes in abundance of vascular plants under varying silvicultural systems at the Forest Ecosystem Research and Demonstration Area, Paul Smiths, New York.  Twery, Mark J.; Olson, Elizabeth; Wade, Gary L.; Rechlin, Michael.  10p.  

The Forest Ecosystem Research and Demonstration Area (FERDA) was established in 1998 adjacent to the Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) for the Adirondack Park in Paul Smiths, NY, to provide visitors with first-hand exposure to forest management activities and to provide research opportunities for scientists and students at Paul Smith's College. This research note is designed to provide an introduction to the plants found on the FERDA. It is primarily a list of what is where, but it includes an introduction that helps visitors to the area consider how and why different species of plants are found in different parts of the forest. The table of species can be used as a checklist by amateur botanists to keep track of the plants they find or as an aid to identifying plants by limiting the likely species to those listed in this paper.


  11.  RN-NRS-170.  Effects of low-density thinning in a declining white pine stand in Maine.  Leak, William B.; Yamasaki, Mariko.  6p.  

Low-density (32 ft2/acre residual basal area) and medium-low density (60 ft2/acre residual basal area) thinnings were studied over a 4-year period in a declining white pine stand on the Massabesic Experimental Forest in southern Maine. Gross basal area growth at 60 ft2 was about three-fourths the rate of the control and more than twice as much as the 32 ft2 thinning, while diameter growth at 60 ft2 was twice that of the control and about the same as the low-density treatment. Regeneration under the thinning treatments was abundant. Declining white pine stands apparently respond quickly to low-density thinnings and the optimum level, among the treatments studied, is about 60 ft2 residual basal area.


  12.  RP-NRS-23.  Using maximum entropy modeling to identify and prioritize red spruce forest habitat in West Virginia.  Beane, Nathan R.; Rentch, James S.; Schuler, Thomas M.  16p.  

Red spruce forests in West Virginia are found in island-like distributions at high elevations and provide essential habitat for the endangered Cheat Mountain salamander and the recently delisted Virginia northern flying squirrel. Therefore, it is important to identify restoration priorities of red spruce forests. Maximum entropy modeling was used to identify areas of suitable red spruce habitat, with a total of 32 variables analyzed. Maximum temperature of the warmest month and minimum temperature of the coldest month were identified as variables explaining the most information about red spruce forest habitat. In addition, habitat maps identifying areas of high, medium, and low suitability were created and quantified at the county level. These results will benefit current and future conservation and restoration management activities as they identify core areas that possess the necessary environmental conditions for supporting future complex red spruce communities. Restoration efforts focused in areas possessing high suitability ensure peak potential of success and will ultimately give red spruce forests in West Virginia the greatest resilience to future climatic conditions by establishing connectivity between red spruce forests and increasing genetic diversity.


Available Online Only

13.  RN-NRS-171.  Pine Ridge Fire summary report.  Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; McCaffrey, Sarah; Stidham, Melanie.  12p.  

In July 2012, immediately after the Pine Ridge Fire burned outside De Beque, Colorado, a team of researchers interviewed fire managers, local government officials, and residents to understand perceptions of the event itself, communication, evacuation, and pre-fire preparedness in order to identify contributors to success and areas for improvement. Although the fire had been a fast-moving event that presented significant risk to critical regional infrastructure and homes, research participants largely agreed that the fire management response prevented losses and that the actions taken before the fire among fire managers and emergency responders to plan and build relationships were a key component of the success.


14.  RN-NRS-174.  Bulletin of hardwood market statistics: 2012.  Jones, Melody.  23p.  

Provides current and historical information on primary and secondary hardwood products, production, prices, international trade, and employment.


15.  RN-NRS-178.  Little Bear Fire Summary Report.  McCaffrey, Sarah; Stidham, Melanie; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah.  18p.  

In June 2012, immediately after the Little Bear Fire burned outside Ruidoso, New Mexico, a team of researchers interviewed fire managers, local personnel, and residents to understand perceptions of the event itself, communication, evacuation, and pre-fire preparedness. The intensity of fire behavior and resulting loss of 242 homes made this a complex fire with a complex social response. While most of the people we spoke with thought the fire was managed well despite difficult biophysical circumstances, some held the perspective that the fire could have been extinguished sooner. One of the most agreed-upon successful aspects of the fire was that everyone was evacuated with no injuries and no lives lost, despite the rapid fire spread in an area with numerous houses and limited access. Notifying individuals of house loss and getting people back into their neighborhoods in a timely manner were the two issues most frequently identified as areas needing improvement. Interagency and intra-agency communication were universally highly regarded by federal fire personnel and local emergency responders. These two groups also perceived communication with the public to have been successful. However, members of the public we spoke with thought there were some significant communication issues and wanted certain information sooner and more frequently.


16.  RN-NRS-182.  An assessment of multiflora rose in northern U.S. forests.  Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Hansen, Mark H.  5p.  

This publication provides an overview of multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) on forest land across the 24 states of the midwestern and northeastern United States based 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).


17.  RP-NRS-22.  Conducting tests for statistically significant differences using forest inventory data.  Westfall, James A.; Pugh, Scott A.; Coulston, John W.  10p.  

Many forest inventory and monitoring programs are based on a sample of ground plots from which estimates of forest resources are derived. In addition to evaluating metrics such as number of trees or amount of cubic wood volume, it is often desirable to make comparisons between resource attributes. To properly conduct statistical tests for differences, it is imperative that analysts fully understand the underlying sampling design and estimation methods, particularly identifying situations where the estimates being compared do not arise from independent samples. Information from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the U.S. Forest Service was used to demonstrate circumstances where samples were not independent, and correct calculation of the standard error (and associated confidence intervals) required accounting for covariance. Failure to include the covariance when making comparisons between attributes resulted in standard errors that were too small. Conversely, comparisons of the same attribute at two points in time suffered from exaggerated standard errors when the covariance was excluded. The results indicated the effect of the covariance depends on the attribute of interest as well as the structure of the population being sampled.


18.  RP-NRS-24.  Nightly and yearly bat activity before and after white-nose syndrome on the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia.  Johnson, Joshua B.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Ford, W. Mark.  17p.  

In the central Appalachians, conservation concern about bat communities and their population status has become increasingly more significant with the advent and spread of white-nose syndrome (WNS). However, managers often are hampered in their response to WNS by the lack of information on pre-WNS local distribution, abundance, or activity patterns for most bat species. At the Fernow Experimental Forest (FEF), Tucker County, WV, where bat research has been conducted since the mid-1990s, we acoustically monitored bat activity a total of 20 nights each at four sites for 4 years—3 years before and 1 year after WNS was detected—to better assess those local patterns. Within sampling nights, activity of northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) and big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) peaked directly after sunset and declined throughout the night, whereas activity of little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis) had a unimodal distribution that peaked in the middle of the night. Activity of many bat species differed among sample sites and was highest at a small, artificial pond located on a dry ridgetop. Activity of little brown myotis, northern myotis, and Indiana myotis was lower post-WNS than pre-WNS, consistent with the species' precipitous declines previously reported in WNS-affected areas in the Northeast and upper portions of the Mid-Atlantic.


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.

RN-NRS-172.  New Hampshire's forest resources, 2012.  Morin, R.S.; Lombard, K.  4p.  

RN-NRS-173.  Indiana's forest resources, 2012.  Woodall, C.W.; Gallion, J.  4p.  

RN-NRS-175.  Minnesota's forest resources, 2012.  Miles, P.D.; VanderSchaaf, C.L.  4p.  

RN-NRS-176.  Nebraska's forest resources, 2012.  Meneguzzo, D.M.  5p.  

RN-NRS-177.  Vermont's forest resources, 2012.  Morin, R.S.  4p.  

RN-NRS-179.  Maine's forest resources, 2012.  McCaskill, G.L.; Laustsen, K.M.; McWilliams, W.H.  4p.  

RN-NRS-180.  Kansas' forest resources, 2012.  Moser, W.K.; Miles, P.D.; Atchison, R.A.  4p.  

RN-NRS-181.  New York's forest resources, 2012.  Widmann, R.H.  4p.  

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