FES News

Reintroducing wolves is only effective at large scales

Researchers Thomas M. Newsome and William J. Ripple, from Oregon State University, argue that they’ve achieved a better understanding of wolves’ roles in North American ecosystems because they’ve looked at data from an area covering nearly 1.3 million square kilometers of wilderness: the two large Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. To assess the abundance of three carnivorous canids – wolves, coyotes, and foxes – they relied mainly on fur trap data.

Genome could unlock eucalyptus potential for paper, fuel and fiber

In a collaboration spanning five continents, scientists have announced the complete sequencing of one of the world’s most widely planted trees, Eucalyptus grandis. Eucalyptus trees generally take three to 10 years to flower after they are propagated from seed, a process that slows the rate of breeding considerably, said Steve Strauss, a co-author of the Nature paper and an Oregon State distinguished professor of forest biotechnology in the College of Forestry.

Discovery of a bud-break gene could lead to trees adapted for a changing climate

Scientists have confirmed the function of a gene that controls the awakening of trees from winter dormancy, a critical factor in their ability to adjust to environmental changes associated with climate change. “This is the first time a gene that controls the timing of bud break in trees has been identified,” said Steve Strauss, co-author and distinguished professor of forest biotechnology at OSU.

Animal trapping records reveal strong wolf effect across North America

Scientists have used coyote and red fox fur trapping records across North America to document how the presence of wolves influences the balance of smaller predators further down the food chain. The results of the study by Thomas Newsome and William Ripple in the Oregon State University Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society were recently published in the Journal of Animal Ecology by the British Ecological Society.

Fall of the wild: The trapped wolves of Isle Royale

“I think there are going to be times — and there probably always have been times — where human intervention might promote ecosystem health, and it might also protect the ability to have something that we would call a wilderness,” says College of Forestry professor Michael Nelson. “There is no demand on us to be wise or prudent when you just equate wilderness with nonintervention."

PhD Student Wins NASA Fellowship to Study Drought

ARCS Scholar Logan Berner, Oregon State University College of Forestry (Advisor: Dr. Beverly Law), was selected to become a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow. NASA awarded 54 fellowships from a competitive pool of 410 applications to graduate students around the country.

Making room for predators

Oregon State University ecologist Cristina Eisenberg believes that wolves and other large carnivores can continue to recolonize large parts of their historic range with a little help from humans. Eisenberg’s new book from Island Press, “The Carnivore Way: Coexisting With and Conserving North America’s Predators,” argues that one of the keys to their survival is the ability to move across the landscape, both to respond to changing environmental conditions and to maintain genetic connections between isolated populations.

Birds communicate reproductive success in song

Some migratory songbirds figure out the best place to live by eavesdropping on the singing of others that successfully have had baby birds – a communication and behavioral trait so strong that researchers playing recorded songs induced them to nest in places they otherwise would have avoided. "Finding the right habitat in which to breed is a matter of life and death for most birds," said Matthew Betts, an OSU assistant professor of forest science and expert on avian ecology. "They don't live a long time and they need to get it right the first time."

FES Newsletter released

The May 2014 FES Newsletter is now available!

Related Documents: 

The trouble with truffles: In Oregon, they’re being poached

“They’re underappreciated, like many things that are unknown and underground,” said Trappe’s colleague Dan Luoma, another truffle expert who teaches in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University.