OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

CoF Research in the News

Ancient bones point to shifting grassland species as climate changes

In a report in Science Advances, an analysis was done of mammoth and bison hair, teeth and bones, along with other data. It concludes that a changing climate — particularly increasing rainfall and not just atmospheric carbon dioxide — explains the expansion of grassland plants during the latter part of the Neogene, a geologic era that includes the present. The research was led by Jennifer Cotton as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Utah and in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. Co-authors include Christopher J. Still of the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society.

Dread is vanishing from the animal world. Here’s why that’s a bad thing.

“For the first time in 70 years, the park has a complete suite of predators and prey,” Oregon State University forest ecologist William Ripple, a co-author on the study, told The Washington Post in 2004. “This is a grand experiment.”

Fungal pigments provide commercial opportunity for paint and dye manufacturers

But while the microorganisms can be grown in solution, capturing the pigments has required the use of toxic solvents, said Sara Robinson, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Forestry. Robinson has now found a way to use oils to harvest the pigments, and OSU has applied for a provisional patent on the technique.

Taking Stock of Recovery

Graduate student Jonathan Batchelor worked with William Ripple, a Distinguished Professor of Forestry, to compare 64 pairs of photos taken over 23 years. Only 6 percent of what was bare soil in the early 1990s remained in that condition when new photos were taken in 2013 and 2014. Fourfold increases in willows and rushes were among the results they reported last year in the journal Environmental Management.

Forest corridors prove critical to biodiversity and pollination success in the tropics

“Wooded corridors remain abundant in many tropical landscapes,” said Matthew Betts, co-author and assistant professor at Oregon State. “But as agricultural land use is expanding rapidly, quick action will be required to avert the disappearance of corridor elements between fragments. Otherwise, there may substantial losses of connectivity between forest remnants, leading to accelerated biodiversity loss.”

Selecting, Planting, and Caring for a New Tree

This book is published as both an interactive app designed for tablet devices and as a downloadable pdf. Both versions cover basic information on choosing a planting site, selecting the right species for the site, proper planting techniques, and first-year care. Authored by Paul Ries and Stephen Fitzgerald.

Starker Lecture Series to tackle wildfire issues

With wildfires increasing in frequency and threatening urban as well as rural communities, Oregon State University’s annual Starker Lecture Series will tackle trends in living with fire in the Pacific Northwest. The series, “Burning Questions: People, Forests, and Fire,” is hosted by the OSU College of Forestry.

"Rot: The Afterlife of Trees" at The Arts Center

Forest ecologist Dr. Mark Harmon of Oregon State University wanted his research in the study of tree decomposition to reach a much broader audience than just the scientific community. His solution was using visual, written and performing arts, through a unique collaboration among the Oregon State University Department of Forestry, H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, OSU's Spring Creek Project and The Arts Center.

Harmon and Pabst recognized in the Journal of Vegetation Science

Each year the Chief Editors acknowledge one paper published in JVS with the Editors’ Award. One ruunner up was the paper of Harmon & Pabst (2015), which tested predictions of forest succession using 100-yr long measurements. Mark Harmon and Rob Pabst are faculty members in FES. Congratulations Mark & Rob!

Corvallis company striving to introduce first formaldehyde-free, bio-based adhesive for manufacturing particleboard and other wood products

“For 60 years, formaldehyde off-gassing has been an issue with urea-formaldehyde, the most common adhesive used in a particleboard and fiberboard,” said Fred Kamke, OSU professor of wood science and engineering and director of the Green Building Materials Lab, an Oregon BEST Lab on the OSU campus.

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