To recognize the contribution that research in agriculture makes in our daily lives, we’re focusing this month’s Science Tuesday blogs on the successes that USDA science agencies have achieved for us all.
Many of us use technology daily to communicate faster than ever before. And Economic Research Service (ERS) is part of that group, too. Using state-of-the-art technology, our economists and analysts work hard to deliver timely, policy-relevant research on topics such as childhood obesity, global food security, and climate change — issues that affect us all. So, today we’re emphasizing the importance of economic information because “Ag Research Counts” every day, for every American. We’re continuing our trivia contest on Facebook with questions from past ‘Science Tuesday’ blogs. You can weigh in on Twitter using the hashtag #AgResearchCounts. Here are this week’s blogs featuring ERS research that impacts each of us every day: Read more »
A forest visitor admires an old growth forest on the Mt. Hood National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
The U.S. Forest Service wants you to remember the last time you lay on the grass and looked up and were inspired by tree branches swaying in the breeze—or when you sat under an old oak tree feeling the rough bark of its trunk against your back. If you can’t remember, or you’ve never done these things you should because according to the Arbor Day Foundation, America has the “grandest trees on earth – the largest, the oldest and some of the most magnificent.”
Today, April 26, is National Arbor Day. Take a moment to celebrate trees and all they provide for us. Read more »
A Marbled Murrelet floats on the sea. (Photo by: Martin Raphael, U.S. Forest Service)
Marbled murrelets are not the background singers in a ‘60s band. Rather, they are a native sea bird species whose population south of Canada is declining.
Like the Pacific Northwest’s iconic northern spotted owl, this small seabird’s nesting habitat may be threatened by the loss of coastal old-growth forests in that region, according to a report co-authored by scientists from the U.S. Forest Service and published in The Condor. Read more »
Brianne O’Rourke, with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, holds a large goldfish found in the Tahoe Keys of Lake Tahoe. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Lake Tahoe, the country’s highest alpine lake, is no goldfish bowl.
But U.S. Forest Service fish biologists with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit said they’re well-acquainted with the big goldfish – several pounds and up to 4 to 8 inches long – living in the large freshwater lake along the border between California and Nevada. Read more »
Blackbrush, a species in the Mojave and Great Basin deserts, has adjusted well to climate change, according to genetics research by Forest Service scientists.
Climate change’s threat to forests – specifically to trees – has garnered much attention among people concerned with protecting our environment. Yet, a lack of research on the effects of climate change on grasslands and shrublands is leaving land managers with little information to make decisions on sustaining these vital landscapes so important for recreation, tribal life, crop and livestock production, and native plant and wildlife conservation.
Forest Service researchers point to recent climatic studies in predicting that by the end of the century, 55 percent of future landscapes in the West will likely have climates that are incompatible with the vegetation types that now occur on those landscapes. Read more »
Maple leaves of many colors offer an unending palette of color in the United States Department of Agriculture, U. S. Forest Service, Hiawatha National Forest on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
U.S. Forest Service research indicates that climate change will affect habitat suitability for maple trees, threatening the multimillion dollar maple syrup industry. Changes in climate have already had an impact on the iconic sugar maple trees of the Northeastern U.S.
Flow of maple sap, which is boiled down to make syrup, is controlled by alternating freezing and thawing cycles in the late winter. Maple trees also rely on snowpack during this time to protect their roots from freezing. Read more »