Research

Past logging operations and real estate development harmed this forest ecosystem. MPG scientists and collaborators conduct research projects to learn about the consequences of these human-caused disturbances and the potential for restoration activities to improve wildlife habitat and restore ecosystem function. We also explore research questions related to wildlife populations, invasive species management and nutrient cycling. For more information on our research at MPG North, please contact us.

 

Latest Research

Our August 2011 invasive weed survey began with the need for baseline data and it being a 'banner year' for growth- thus a good time to collect data. QUsetions we aim to answer with the survey include; What is the current distribution and abundance of three widespread asteraceous species (Canada thistle - CIAR, spotted knapweed - CEMA, oxeye daisy - LEVU) on MPG North? Is weed distribution similar among the target species? What other weeds exist on the property, and where are they? Are weeds invading relatively undisturbed areas? 

On January 24th and 25th, Lorinda and I visited the University of Idaho to talk about endophyte research and take a look at the MPG North genotype white pine seedlings they’ve grown for us at the seedling nursery. In late 2009, we delivered 201 seeds from nine white pines to the nursery. 108 seedlings from eight MPG parent trees survived. Survivorship varied among seed lots (0 to 80%) for a 54% overall germination rate. 

To study the relationship between fertilizer and deer browsing of white pines, we planted 140 blister rust resistant seedlings in 7 plots on MPG North in early June, 2009 (map, inset). A September 9, 2009 survey reported that >90% of the seedlings survived their first summer, but only 13 seedlings (about 10%) survived until our last survey in early June, 2010. This high mortality was unexpected. We think that the unusual cold snap last October killed these seedlings. 

Upon discovering bronze birch borers in the crowns of dying paper birch trees last summer we began efforts to control the beetles. We applied insecticidal tree implants and ground coverings to reduce water stress. We searched for relationships between environmental conditions and the degree of damage to the trees. The relevance of the findings to future actions is discussed in this report.

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