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Kevin Krasnow

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FY2010In addition to regional Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge projects that the Great Basin LCC (GBLCC) supports, GBLCC staff lend technical expertise to a range of projects and have contributed to important regional publications on a range of subjects. These publications range in type from textbooks, to management-oriented science and conservation plans, to scientific papers and have covered subjects like wind erosion following fire, soil microbiota response to drought, plant community resilience to invasive species, and alpine plant communities. In many cases these publications form foundations for scientifically-informed management strategies across the Great Basin.
Land managers are responsible for developing effective strategies for conserving and restoring Great Basin ecosystems in the face of invasive species, conifer expansion, and altered fire regimes. A warming climate is magnifying the effects of these threats and adding urgency to implementation of management practices that will maintain or improve ecosystem functioning. This Factsheet Series was developed to provide land managers with brief summaries of the best available information on contemporary management issues to facilitate science delivery and foster effective management. Each peer-reviewed factsheet was developed as a collaborative effort among knowledgeable scientists and managers. The series begins with...
FY2011Aspen populations are in decline across western North America due to altered fire regimes, herbivory, drought, pathogens, and competition with conifers. Aspen stands typically support higher avian biodiversity than surrounding habitats, and maintaining current distributions of several avian species is likely tied to persistence of aspen on the landscape. We are examining effects of climate change on aspen and associated avian communities in isolated mountain ranges of the northern Great Basin, by coupling empirical models of avian-habitat relationships with spatially-explicit landscape simulations of vegetation and disturbance dynamics (using LANDIS-II) under various climate change scenarios. We are addressing...
• Aspen communities are biologically rich and ecologically valuable, yet they face myriad threats, including changing climate, altered fire regimes, and excessive browsing by domestic and wild ungulates.• Recognizing the different types of aspen communities that occur in the Great Basin, and being able to distinguish between seral and stable aspen stands, can help managers better identify restoration needs and objectives.• Identifying key threats to aspen regeneration and persistence in a given stand or landscape is important to designing restoration plans, and to selecting appropriate treatment types.• Although some aspen stands will need intensive treatment (e.g., use of fire) to persist or remain healthy, other...
Quaking aspen is generally considered to be a fire-adapted species because it regenerates prolifically after fire, and it can be replaced by more shade-tolerant tree species in the absence of fire. As early-successional aspen stands transition to greater conifer-dominance, they become increasingly fire prone, until fire returns, and aspen again temporarily dominate. While this disturbance-succession cycle is critical to the persistence of aspen on many landscapes, some aspen stands persist on the landscape without fire. The complex role of fire is an important consideration for developing conservation and restoration strategies intended to sustain aspen.
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