OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

CoF Research in the News

Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird species in a warming climate

A team led by Matthew Betts, professor in the College of Forestry, reached their conclusions by analyzing data for bird populations, forest structure and climate across northwestern North America. The researchers used satellite imagery to determine the amount of old-growth forest within about 450 yards of each 25-mile-long bird survey route.

Fungal Pigment Breakthrough

Researcher Seri Robinson has come across a fungal pigment that could be an excellent way to create a new generation of sustainable wood dyes and protectants.

After a wildfire, attitudes about recovery vary with sense of place and beliefs about fire ecology

“People have deeply rooted values that are affected by fires,” said Chad Kooistra, who led the analysis as a Ph.D. student in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. “Wildfires are a very salient issue, even months or years after a fire. People who live nearby or go to that area for recreation care a lot about many different aspects of that landscape. Fires can change how they perceive and experience it.”

Rethinking 'Smoky Bear'

A new paper published in a recent issue of the journal Ecological Applications by Matthew Reilly, while he was a scientist at Oregon State University, says the best way to avoid catastrophic fires may be to allow low- and moderate-severity fires to just burn. "There's a push for restoration activities such as thinning and prescribed fire to make the forests more resilient," Reilly says. "And there has been some really good work done on the ground (on such efforts), but it's a drop in the bucket. It's hardly enough."

CLT Panels Go Up On New OSU Forestry Building

Oregon State University College of Forestry is constructing its new headquarters entirely out of engineered wood products. It will the first in the U.S. to use a “rocking wall” seismic design so it can survive a major earthquake.

Forest harvesting rules effectively protect water quality in the Alsea watershed

“This and a number of other studies provide some very nice evidence that current best management practices are proving to be much more effective than historical practices,” said Jeff Hatten, lead author and associate professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. Studies in other parts of Oregon and the West show that the impacts of such practices depend on landscape characteristics including geology, soil type, slope and historical landslides.

Scientists dispute missing dryland forests

Writing in the journal Science, a team led by Daniel Griffith, a postdoctoral scientist in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, argues that dryland forests should not be confused with savannahs, which comprise valuable ecosystems in their own right.

Cross-laminated timber could lead a mid-rise revolution

Flammability is “a concern very often expressed, but an easy one to dismiss,” said Lech Muszynski, associate professor of wood science and engineering at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. Studies support the counterintuitive idea that charring produces an insulating layer that actually slows pyrolysis, making it advance predictably and sparing enough wood to pass two-hour fire-resistance tests.

Home from the Sea

The project is possible because of an increase in funding for research in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University provided by the state Legislature in 2015 with broad support from the timber industry and conservation groups. “We are investing in this project because all interests want to know the breeding habitat requirements of the marbled murrelet, so that land management decisions in our productive coastal forests benefit from the best data and science available,” said Thomas Maness, dean of the college.

Northwest forests are becoming denser and more vulnerable to fire

Those are among the results of a comprehensive analysis of forest structure and biodiversity based on satellite imagery and on-the-ground field work in the eastern Cascades of Washington, Oregon and Northern California from 1985 to 2010. Matthew Reilly, a former Ph.D. student in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University led the study, which was published in the journal Ecological Applications. 

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