OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

FES News

Old Growth May Help Protect Northwest Forest Birds from the Impacts of Climate Change

“I expected to see a difference, but I was surprised by how big it actually was,” says Sarah Frey, a Northwest Climate Science Center graduate fellow at Oregon State University, and lead researcher on the project. “We compared old growth to other closed forest types rather than to clear-cuts, so we didn’t expect the difference to be so dramatic.” Under the supervision of her advisor, Matthew Betts, Frey logs temperature at 183 sites across the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, a National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research site on the west side of Oregon's Cascade Mountains.

Wolves, big cats are running out of things to eat

In 2014, researchers at Oregon State University found 24 of the planet's 31 largest carnivores -- including bears, cougars, dingoes, lions, lynxes, sea otters and wolves -- are in decline. More recently, William J. Ripple, an ecologist at Oregon State, set out to identify what factors were most predictive of predator decline. There were the usual suspects: hunting, poaching and habitat loss.

Making a Mass Anti-Extinction Movement

The group, led by Oregon State University professor William Ripple, penned a manifesto of sorts to protest the imminent extinction of large carnivores and herbivores the world over.

Burning biomass for energy

“It takes decades to centuries for carbon to accumulate in what I call the forest carbon bank,” said Beverly Law, a professor of global change biology and terrestrial systems science at Oregon State University. On the other hand, burning trees for energy releases all their carbon into the atmosphere immediately. This means that biomass energy has an immediate effect on the climate, one that would take years of tree-growing to reverse.

Steve Strauss featured on the Talking Biotech podcast

Talking Biotech: Oregon’s Steve Strauss on benefits, challenges to genetically engineered trees, forests biology. Dr. Steve Strauss is a Distinguished Professor of Forestry in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society in the College of Forestry.

Some Phil’s Trail singletrack now wide open

Bend’s Nicole Strong, an assistant professor at Oregon State University’s Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, is also an avid mountain biker. She notes that the tree removal and thinning project will actually accelerate a more sustainable forest by growing healthy old trees, improving wildlife habitat and reducing the risk of high-severity wildfire.

Without This Place: A Glimpse of the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest

The HJ Andrews Forest LTER Program is pleased to announce a new promotional video created by film maker Jeremy Monroe titled "Without This Place". It highlights the importance of long-term research and the research findings of the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and Long-Term Ecological Research site. The HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and LTER is a partnership between Oregon State University, National Science Foundation, Willamette National Forest, Pacific Northwest Research Station, and the US Forest Service.

Studies confirm effect of wolves, elk on tree recovery in Yellowstone National Park

Robert Beschta and William Ripple, two professors in the Oregon State University College of Forestry, analyzed the results of 24 studies of streamside vegetation published since 2001 and reviewed long-term trends in temperature, precipitation, snowpack and stream discharge. Their conclusions have just been released in the journal Biological Conservation.

Old-growth forests may provide buffer against rising temperatures

“Though it is well-known that closed-canopy forests tend to be cooler than open areas, little is known about more subtle temperature differences between mature forest types,” said Sarah Frey, postdoctoral scholar in the OSU College of Forestry and lead author on the study. “We found that the subtle but important gradient in structure from forest plantations to old growth can have a marked effect on temperatures in these forests.”

Two Wolves Remain on Isle Royale

Research by Michael Nelson of Oregon State University shows overwhelming support for having wolves on Isle Royale, even if that involves intervention.