Forest Service

Moss is useful bioindicator of cadmium air pollution, new study finds

usfs logoApril 6, 2016. Moss growing on urban trees is a useful bio-indicator of cadmium air pollution in Portland, Oregon, a U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station-led study has found. The work - the first to use moss to generate a rigorous and detailed map of air pollution in a U.S. city - is published online in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

"What's unique about this study is that we used moss to track down previously unknown pollution sources in a complex urban environment with many possible sources," said Sarah Jovan, a research lichenologist at the station based in Portland and one of the study's co-leads.

Moss have been used as bioindicators - living organisms that can help monitor environmental health - by the Forest Service and other agencies for decades. Because moss lack roots, they absorb all of their water and nutrients from the atmosphere, inadvertently taking up and storing whatever compounds happen to be in the air.

Forest Service, trees, moss, air pollution

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Forest Service research grasslands, shrublands 2015 Annual Report issued

usfs logoAttached is the 2015 Annual Report for one of the USDA Forest Service (FS) research programs that places an emphasis on western native plants.  

This issue takes a look at a few of the 2015 research and application studies conducted by scientists and their partners with the Forest Service’s Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD). Significant results of recent research and science delivery by program scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research priorities of the USDA Forest Service, as well as those of our stakeholders. In particular, we spotlight accomplishments in research and technology that address:

Forest Service, ecosystems

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Volume and value of West coast log, lumber exports down in 2015

USFS LogoVolume and value of West coast log, lumber exports down in 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. March 22, 2016. The latest data summarizing West coast log and lumber exports in the fourth quarter of 2015 were released today by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. The data—covering exports during October, November, and December 2015—were compiled and analyzed by Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station.

Forest Service, logging

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Sierra Nevada forest health in rapid decline: drought adding fuel to the fire

A new report released this week shows that many Sierra Nevada forests are in critical condition and that natural benefits that these forests provide, such as clean air and water, are at risk from large, intense fire. Sierra watersheds are the origin of over 60% of the state’s developed water supply, and store significant amounts of carbon.  Unfortunately, the current drought and a changing climate are rapidly intensifying the situation in the Sierra.

Clean Water, California, Wildfire, ForestHealth, Sierra Nevada

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USFS Releases Effects of Drought for Forests and Rangelands

usfs logoNew Resource to Aid Land Managers in Adapting to Climate Change

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2016 — The U.S. Forest Service today released a new report, Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis, that provides a national assessment of peer-reviewed scientific research on the impacts of drought on U.S. forests and rangelands. This report will help the Forest Service better manage forests and grasslands impacted by climate change.

"Our forests and rangelands are national treasures, and because they are threatened, we are threatened," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This report confirms what we are seeing, that every region of the country is impacted by the direct and indirect effects of drought conditions and volatile weather patterns. Sixty million Americans rely on drinking water that originates on our 193 million acres of national forest and grasslands. They support 200,000 jobs and contribute over $13 billion to local economies every year."

Forest Service, Climate Change, Drought

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