New Station Publications

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Northern Research Station

  1.  GTR-NRS-155.  Indicators of climate impacts for forests: recommendations for the US National Climate Assessment indicators system.  Heath, Linda S.; Anderson, Sarah M.; Emery, Marla R.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Littell, Jeremy; Lucier, Alan; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Peterson, David L.; Pouyat, Richard; Potter, Kevin M.; Robertson, Guy; Sperry, Jinelle; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Jovan, Sarah; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Musselman, Robert; Schulz, Bethany K.; Smith, Robert J.; Stewart, Susan I.  143p.  

The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) process for the United States focused in part on developing a system of indicators to communicate key aspects of the physical climate, climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and preparedness to inform decisionmakers and the public. Initially, 13 active teams were formed to recommend indicators in a range of categories, including forest, agriculture, grassland, phenology, mitigation, and physical climate. This publication describes the work of the Forest Indicators Technical Team. We briefly describe the NCA indicator system effort, propose and explain our conceptual model for the forest system, present our methods, and discuss our recommendations. Climate is only one driver of changes in U.S. forests; other drivers include socioeconomic drivers such as population and culture, and other environmental drivers such as nutrients, light, and disturbance. We offer additional details of our work for transparency and to inform an NCA indicator Web portal. We recommend metrics for 11 indicators of climate impacts on forest, spanning the range of important aspects of forest as an ecological type and as a sector. Some indicators can be reported in a Web portal now; others need additional work for reporting in the near future. Indicators such as budburst, which are important to forest but more relevant to other NCA indicator teams, are identified. Potential indicators that need more research are also presented.


  2.  GTR-NRS-163.  Effectiveness of best management practices that have application to forest roads: a literature synthesis.  Edwards, Pamela J.; Wood, Frederica; Quinlivan, Robin L.  171p.  

Literature describing the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) applicable to forest roads is reviewed and synthesized. Effectiveness is considered from the perspective of protecting water quality and water resources. Both paved and unpaved forest roads are considered, but BMPs that involve substantial engineering are not considered. Some of the BMPs included are commonly used on roads; others are used less often. The synthesis focuses on quantitative BMP effectiveness and descriptions of processes or characteristics that influenced the effectiveness. Qualitative results and observations not supported by data are excluded. Most of the effectiveness results describe sediment losses and sediment delivery, but there is also some coverage of chemicals used as BMPs, such as dust palliatives and soil conditioners. Chapters and subheadings are based on how or where protection is provided, or type of BMP. The final chapter provides information on research needs and potential direction of BMP implementation in the future. Although there remains a great need to quantify BMP effectiveness more rigorously across more physiographic, topographic, climate, and soil conditions, the data provided in this synthesis give road and watershed managers and landowners a starting place for evaluating and selecting BMPs.


  3.  GTR-NRS-165.  Monitoring air quality in class I wilderness areas of the northeastern United States using lichens and bryophytes.  Dibble, Alison C.; Hinds, James W.; Perron, Ralph; Cleavitt, Natalie; Poirot, Richard L.; Pardo, Linda H.  44p.  

To address a need for air quality and lichen monitoring information for the Northeast, we compared bulk chemistry data from 2011-2013 to baseline surveys from 1988 and 1993 in three Class I Wilderness areas of New Hampshire and Vermont. Plots were within the White Mountain National Forest (Presidential Range—Dry River Wilderness and Great Gulf Wilderness, New Hampshire) and the Green Mountain National Forest (Lye Brook Wilderness, Vermont). We sampled epiphyte communities and found 58 macrolichen species and 55 bryophyte species. We also analyzed bulk samples for total N, total S, and 27 additional elements. We detected a decrease in Pb at the level of the National Forest and in a subset of plots. Low lichen richness and poor thallus condition at Lye Brook corresponded to higher N and S levels at these sites. Lichen thallus condition was best where lichen species richness was also high. Highest Hg content, from a limited subset, was on the east slope of Mt. Washington near the head of Great Gulf. Most dominant lichens in good condition were associated with conifer boles or acidic substrates. The status regarding N and S tolerance for many lichens in the northeastern United States is not clear, so the influence of N pollution on community data cannot be fully assessed. Continued monitoring of lichens and bryophytes, especially if integrated with IMPROVE aerosol data, may reveal changes in air quality, climatic conditions, and other potential stressors or stimuli. Lichen health was impacted by low air quality at some of our sites.


  4.  RB-NRS-106.  The urban forests of Philadelphia.  Nowak, David J.; Bodine, Allison R.; Hoehn, Robert; Ellis, Alexis; Low, Sarah C.; Roman, Lara A.; Henning, Jason G.; Stephan, Emily; Taggert, Tom; Endreny, Ted.  80p.  

An analysis of the urban forest in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, reveals that this city has an estimated 2.9 million trees (encompassing all woody plants greater than 1 inch diameter at breast height [d.b.h]) with tree canopy that covers 20 percent of the city. The most common tree species are spicebush, black cherry, ash, tree-of-heaven, and boxelder, but the most dominant species in terms of leaf area are sycamore spp. (including London planetree), northern red oak, black walnut, red maple, and Norway maple. Trees in Philadelphia currently store about 702,000 tons of carbon (2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide [CO2]) valued at $93.4 million. In addition, these trees remove about 27,000 tons of carbon per year (99,000 tons CO2/year) ($3.6 million per year) and about 513 tons of air pollution per year ($19.0 million per year). Philadelphia’s urban forest is estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $6.9 million per year. The compensatory value of the trees is estimated at $1.7 billion. The city's parklands constitute 9.3 percent of the total land area, have an estimated 1.1 million trees, 64 percent canopy cover, and account for 38.8 percent of carbon storage and 34.8 percent of air pollution removal performed by the city's urban forest. 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 Philadelphia.


  5.  RB-NRS-107.  Indiana Forests 2013.  Gormanson, Dale D.; Gallion, Joey; Barnett, Charles J.; Butler, Brett J.; Crocker, Susan J.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Lister, Tonya W.; Luppold, William; McWilliams, William; Miles, Patrick D.; Morin, Randall S.; Nelson, Mark D.; O'Connell, Barbara; Perry, Charles H. (Hobie); Riemann, Rachel I.; Piva, Ronald J.; Smith, James E.; Sowers, Paul A.; Westfall, Jim; Woodall, Christopher W.  156p.  

This report summarizes the third full annualized inventory of Indiana forests conducted from 2009 to 2013 by the Forest Inventory and Analysis program of the Northern Research Station in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. Indiana has nearly 4.9 million acres of forest land with an average of 454 trees per acre. Forest land is dominated by the white oak/red oak/hickory forest type, which occupies 72 percent of the total forest land area. Most stands are dominated by large trees. Seventy-eight percent of forest land consists of sawtimber, 15 percent contains poletimber, and 7 percent contains saplings/seedlings. Growing-stock volume on timberland has been rising since the 1980s and currently totals 9.1 billion cubic feet. Annual growth outpaced removals by a ratio of 3.3:1. Additional information on forest attributes, changing land use patterns, timber products, and forest health is included in this report. Detailed information on forest inventory methods and data quality, a glossary of terms, tabular estimates for a variety of forest characteristics, and additional resources are available online at


  6.  RB-NRS-109.  New Jersey Forests 2013.  Crocker, Susan J.; Barnett, Charles J.; Butler, Brett J.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Lister, Tonya W.; Meneguzzo, Dacia M.; Miles, Patrick D.; Morin, Randall S.; Nelson, Mark D.; Piva, Ronald J.; Riemann, Rachel; Smith, James E.; Woodall, Christopher W.; Zipse, William.  90p.  

The second full annual inventory of New Jersey’s forests reports more than 2.0 million acres of forest land and 77 tree species. Forest land is dominated by oak/hickory forest types in the north and pitch pine forest types in the south. The volume of growing stock on timberland has been rising since 1956 and currently totals 3.3 billion cubic feet. Average annual net growth of growing stock from 2008 to 2013 was about 65.7 million cubic feet per year. This report includes additional information on forest attributes, land-use change, carbon, timber products, and forest health. The following information is available online at 1) detailed information on forest inventory statistics, methods, and quality assurance of data collection, 2) a glossary of terms, 3) tables that summarize quality assurance, 4) a core set of tabular estimates for a variety of forest resources, and 5) a Microsoft® Access database that represents an archive of data used in this report, with tools that allow users to produce customized estimates.


Copies still available

  7.  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; O’Dea, 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.


  8.  RMAP-NRS-8.  The 2010 wildland-urban interface of the conterminous United States.  Martinuzzi, Sebastiín; Stewart, Susan I.; Helmers, David P.; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Hammer, Roger B.; Radeloff, Volker C.  124p.  

The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is the area where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland, and it is where wildfires have their greatest impacts on people. Hence the WUI is important for wildfire management. This document and associated maps summarize the extent of the WUI in the conterminous United States in 2010. The maps and summary statistics are designed to inform both national policy and local land management concerning the WUI. The data presented here summarize the 2010 WUI at a national scale and for each of the 48 conterminous States. All products of this assessment—including maps, statistics, and the WUI GIS dataset—are available at

A pdf version of the map included with this publication is available for download (2 MB PDF)

A high resolution version of this publication is available for download (100 MB PDF)


Available Online Only

9.  RB-NRS-108.  Missouri Forests 2013.  Piva, Ronald J.; Treiman, Thomas B.; Butler, Brett J.; Crocker, Susan J.; Gormanson, Dale D.; Griffith, Douglas M.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Lister, Tonya W.; Luppold, William G.; McWilliams, William H.; Miles, Patrick D.; Morin, Randall S.; Nelson, Mark D.; Perry, Charles H. (Hobie); Riemann, Rachel; Smith, James E.; Walters, Brian F.; Woodall, Christopher W.  116p.  

The third full cycle of annual inventories (2009-2013) of Missouri's forests, completed in 2013, reports that there are an estimated 15.5 million acres of forest land in the State. An estimated 60 percent of the forest land area is in sawtimber size stands, 30 percent are pole timber size, and 10 percent are seedling/sapling size or nontstocked. The net volume of live trees on forest land increased by 4 percent, from 20.1 million cubic feet in 2008, to 21.0 million cubic feet in 2013. Average annual net growth of live trees on forest land decreased by more than 25 percent, from an average of 36 cubic feet per acre in 2008, to an average of 26 cubic feet per acre in 2013. This report includes additional information on forest attributes, land-use change, carbon, and forest health. In addition to this document, Missouri Forests 2013: Statistics, Methods, and Quality Assurance is online at It contains 1) descriptive information on methods, statistics, and quality assurance of data collection, 2) a glossary of terms, 3) tables that summarize quality assurance, 4) a core set of tabular estimates for a variety of forest resources, 5) a set of user and database guides for P2, P3, and P2+, and 6) a Microsoft Access database that represents an archive of data used in this report, with tools that allow users to produce customized estimates.


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-104.  Forest of North Dakota, 2016.  Haugen, David E.  4p.  

RU-FS-105.  Forests of Minnesota, 2015.  Miles, Patrick D.; Kepler, Dennis.  4p.  

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