OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

CoF Research in the News

Prehistoric predators kept large animals in check, shaped ecosystems

Large predators can have a major role in limiting their prey and in determining the structure and function of ecosystems,” said William Ripple, distinguished professor in the Oregon State University College of Forestry. “But scientists have thought that the largest herbivores, such as elephants, were immune from predation. We now know that’s not the case, and based on these data from the Pleistocene (the epoch which lasted from about 2.5 million to 11,700 years ago), we now think that large carnivores did limit the large herbivores at that time.”

Morticulture: Forests of the living dead

Dead trees take a long time to disappear, allowing new life to spring up within them. Biologist Mark Harmon of Oregon State University (OSU), also known as “Dr. Death” for his scientific interest in forest mortality, is taking part in a 200-year-long study to monitor the decomposition of trees.

$6 million gift boosts OSU forestry complex

A hefty donation from a California lumber company has pushed Oregon State University closer to its fundraising goal for the Oregon Forest Science Complex. The $6 million gift from Sierra Pacific Industries, one of the nation’s largest lumber producers, will go toward the construction of a 20,000-square-foot laboratory for the development of advanced wood products such as cross-laminated timber, a type of engineered wood panel that is replacing steel and concrete in some highrise structures.

Why we need predators

Large carnivores, the really scary animals that are easy to hate, are on the decline worldwide. That has led to numerous changes to ecosystems, William Ripple of Oregon State University in Corvallis and colleagues noted in Science last year. When carnivores are removed from an ecosystem (or returned to one), there are cascades of changes to the local food web.

Oregon firm first in US to be certified for new wood product

The governor also announced the launch of a $200,000 CLT design competition co-sponsored by Oregon BEST and a new collaboration between Oregon State University and University of Oregon called the "National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design."

Global water analysis re-thinks key part of the hydrologic cycle

Researchers have discovered that the notion of a well-mixed pool in the ground is wrong. In fact, they report in a letter in this week’s edition of the journal Nature, water in plants comes from a compartment in the soil that is separate and disconnected from water that flows elsewhere. “This is a new interpretation of the hydrologic cycle,” said Jeff McDonnell, co-author and a courtesy professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

From Smokey Bear to climate change: the future of wildland fire management

Associate Professor of Silviculture and Fire Management John Bailey on the future of wildland fire management.

Genetically modified trees are being 'strangled' by red tape

"With global climate change and the spreading of pests, it's rather urgent we have all the tools we can bring to bear," lead author Dr Steven Strauss from the Oregon State University told BBC News.

Grizzly bears are helped by wolves

Wild fruit is an important part of grizzly bear diets, especially when they are trying to gain weight before winter hibernation stated study co-author William Ripple, a forest ecosystems researcher at Oregon State University.

Rising fossil fuel energy costs spell trouble for global food security

“It is mostly a race between the capacity of microbe populations to grow on human foodstuffs and evolve adaptations to changing conditions and the capacity of humans to come up with new technologies for preserving, storing, and transporting food,” wrote lead author Sean T. Hammond, a postdoctoral researcher and interdisciplinary ecologist in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

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