OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Departmental News

Where Few Trees Have Gone Before

Tall trees block light that meadow grasses, shrubs and wildflowers need to survive. Once trees become established, the surrounding seed banks of native grasses tend to fade away. The meadows' “biodiversity value is much larger than the amount of area they occupy,” explains lead author Harold S. J. Zald, postdoctoral research associate at Oregon State University in the FES department, who hatched the idea for the study while backpacking in the Cascade Range. The researchers do not yet know which plant or animal species would be endangered.

Report: Warming bringing big changes to forests

Big changes are in store for the nation's forests as global warming increases wildfires and insect infestations, and generates more frequent floods and droughts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture warns in a report released Tuesday. Beverly Law, FES professor of global change forest science at Oregon State University, said in an email that her research in Oregon showed that despite more fire, the amount of carbon stored in forests continues to increase.

“Food for Thought” lectures on ag, food biotechnology begin in January

The “Food for Thought” community lecture series will begin its eighth season this month at Oregon State University, bringing internationally recognized experts to discuss new options for food and fuel production, and implications for the environment, public health, and their economic and social viability.  FES professor Steve Strauss is director of the Outreach in Biotechnology program, which is supported by the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the OSU College of Forestry.

2013 Winter Plant Science Seminar Series

During winter term every year, FES shares a seminar series with Crop and Soil Science, Horticulture, and Botany and Plant Pathology. Two of the speakers this term are from Forest Ecosystems and Society: Monday, January 14 - Barb Lachenbruch (Tradeoffs in withstanding drought and wind, from the cell to the whole-plant levels); and Thursday January 24 - Paige Fischer (Restoration of the ponderosa pine ecotype through cooperation among private forest owners on hazardous fuel reduction).

Related Documents: 

Sustainability Science: Ethical Foundations and Emerging Challenges

Why is it critical to address ethical issues when thinking about sustainability science, and why has our failure to do this created serious problems for sustainability? FES professor and Lead Principle Investigator for the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Michael Nelson tackles this question in this article.

Cloud Forest Trees Drink From the Fog

The new study makes a "pretty conclusive case" that cloud forest trees do indeed hydrate using the clouds, says forest ecologist Christopher Stillthe College of Forestry, OSU, who was not involved with the study. "There's always been this notion that this [ecosystem] is tied to the clouds, but it's hard to really show that."

Field Notes: Planting Cloned Redwoods In A Clear-cut With Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

Brad St. Clair, a tree geneticist with the research branch of the U.S. Forest Service and FES courtesy faculty, says a tree’s environment may have more of an impact on its size. “More likely, when you’re looking at an individual, the individual tallest tree or something, it was just luck,” he says. St. Clair says even if an individual tree does have a gene that helped it grow tall, that gene is not going to be very useful if the problem is climate change.

5 Reasons Trees Are Becoming Endangered

Carbone and the study’s lead author, FES professor Christopher J. Still, have found that fog and low-stratus clouds play a crucial role in the coastal ecosystem, keeping temperatures cooler and increasing the amount of moisture in the soil. As the seas warm, fog and low-stratus clouds could decline, with effects on the pine tree population in California.

Loss of ancient, big trees becoming a global issue

Forestry experts have long been aware of the decline of big trees, said Oregon State University professor Mark Harmon, who was not involved in the analysis. But the Science paper is one of the first attempts to pull together evidence from different parts of the world and make the argument that big trees deserve special consideration. "Maybe it will change the mindset," Harmon said.

Real Christmas trees get the nod over fake ones because of environmental, economic reasons

Michael Bondi, forestry professor and regional administrator with the Oregon State University Extension Services, said the Noble is his top pick. "They ship better, they don't dry out as quickly and they don't drop their needles as quickly." Noble firs will last four to six weeks if cared for properly, Bondi said.

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