• Home
  • |
  • Who We Are
  • |
  • Landscapes and Regions
  • |
  • Programs
  • |
  • Wildlife Migration
  • |
  • Field Studies
  • |
  • Contact
  • Pioneers Alliance
  • Field Studies
    Recent Field Studies
    Completed Field Studies
    Strand, E., S. Bunting, and M.T. O'Sullivan. 2008. Change detection in quaking aspen using current and historical aerial photography. University of Idaho. Moscow, ID.

    Abstract: Aspen habitat is a high priority for conservation across the inter-mountain west and there is on-going concern about recent decline both in the condition and extent of aspen habitat region wide. Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is an infrequent, yet critical component in the Pioneer Mountain landscape which is dominated by semi-arid sagebrush steppe habitat, interspersed with conifer woodlands. Aspen woodlands provide biological diversity, wildlife habitat, and high quality forage and shade for ranch livestock. Aspen is currently monitored at Lava Lake Ranch via field assessments in permanent research plots. Although this form of monitoring is informative, timely, and necessary, it requires considerable time and capital investments and delivers information only for a small subset of aspen stands within private lands and adjacent allotments. Considering the local importance of aspen and the current ecological problems facing western aspen we have begun development of a landscape scale long-term monitoring program in which color and infrared aerial remote sensing images (1-m pixels) complement field monitoring by supplying landscape scale information about changes in aspen clone extents, vegetation structure, aspen overstory mortality, and conifer proportions. Delineation of aspen stands in a GIS and detection of change over the past four decades shows that the overall extent of aspen has not changed considerably while the amount of dead aspen stems, and conifer dominance has increased. Change in mean and standard deviation of pixel values for image objects, in this case aspen stands, are indicators of ecological change. We suggest that this type of landscape scale remote monitoring combined with periodic field reconnaissance contributes information that will help prioritize areas for field assessments, land-use modifications, and restoration initiatives.

    Recent Field Studies

    Ecological Assessments and Research Supported by the Lava Lake Institute:

    Bradley, B. 2007. Short term impacts of changing grazing regime in central Idaho detected with remote sensing. Princeton University. Princeton, NJ.
    Read abstract >

    Bunting, S. and E. Strand. 2008 Enhancing spatial heterogeneity of grazed landscapes: implications to the fire fuel matrix. University of Idaho. Moscow, ID.
    Read abstract >

    Carlisle, J. 2007. Analysis of riparian bird population changes in the Pioneer Mountain Foothills at Lava Lake Ranch from 2001-2007. Boise, ID.
    Read abstract >

    Caselton Lowe, C. 2008. An examination of insect communities and their response to changes in vegetation structure with emphasis on Coleoptera and Hymenoptera in a sagebrush steppe habitat in south-central Idaho. Master
    Read abstract >

    Karl, J, K. Colson, A.R. Sands, and B. Unnasch. 2008. The Landscape Toolbox: Integrating Tools and Methods for Effective Rangeland Management at Multiple Spatial Scales. The Nature Conservancy, Boise, ID.
    Read abstract >

    O'Sullivan, M.T., K. Murray, and S. Bergen. 2009. Maintaining Connectivity for Wide-Ranging Species: Pronghorn Migration Routes and Crucial Habitat in the Lost River Sinks Landscape. Hailey, ID.
    Read abstract >

    Pollock, M. 2009.  Effects of sheep grazing and habitat composition on Brewer's sparrow and vesper sparrow habitat selection and breeding success in mountain big sagebrush steppe. Master
    Read abstract >

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Abstract at left . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Strand, E., S. Bunting, and M.T. O'Sullivan. 2008. Change detection in quaking aspen using current and historical aerial photography. University of Idaho. Moscow, ID.
    Read abstract >

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


    Wijayrante, U.C. and D. A. Pyke. 2007. Investigating seed longevity of Mountain and Wyoming Big Sagebrush. Forest and Rangeland ecosystem Science Center, USGS. Corvallis, OR.
    Read abstract >

    Zaroban, D. 2008. Distribution, habitat use, ranging behavior, and disturbances influencing the Wood River sculpin. Department of Environmental Quality. Boise, ID.
    Read abstract >

    P. O. Box 2249 • Hailey, Idaho 83333 • Phone 208.788.1378 • Fax 208.788.1264 • info@lavalakeinstitute.org
    Login