News Article | February 22, 2017
Forest losses were higher in the west, and collectively were the size of the state of Maine During the 1990s, in the continental US key connecting forest patches have been lost resulting in an increase of the average forest distance by more than 500m, according to a study published February 22, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sheng Yang and Giorgos Mountrakis from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, USA. Changes in national forest patterns other than fragmentation have been little studied. However, forest attrition -- the complete removal of forest patches -- can cause habitat losses as well as severe declines in the population sizes and richness of species. Based on an analysis of satellite-derived land cover data, Yang and Mountrakis studied geographic patterns of forest cover loss in the continental US during the 1990s. The researchers found that the total loss of forest cover nationwide was 90,400 square kilometers during this decade, a 2.96% decline that is about the size of the state of Maine. In addition, forest attrition was considerably higher in the western US, rural areas and public lands. Investigating the reasons for these patterns, said the researchers, is essential for proactive conservation management. This work could be extended to forests worldwide using recent maps of global forest cover. In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE: http://dx. Citation: Yang S, Mountrakis G (2017) Forest dynamics in the U.S. indicate disproportionate attrition in western forests, rural areas and public lands. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0171383. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171383 Funding: This work was supported by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, U.S. Forest Service and a SUNY ESF Graduate Assistantship. We would like to thank Dr. Colin Beier and Dr. David Nowak for their insights and Dr. Steve Stehman for statistical support. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Mitchell M.J.,SUNY ESF |
Likens G.E.,Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2011
North American atmospheric S emissions peaked in the early 1970s followed by a dramatic decrease that resulted in marked declines in sulfate (SO 4 2-) concentrations in precipitation and many surface waters. These changes in S biogeochemistry have important implications with respect to the mobilization of toxic (Al n+, H +) and nutrient (Ca 2+, Mg 2+, K +) cations and the acidification of watersheds. We used the continuous long-term record for watersheds 1, 3, 5, and 6 (37-44 years from 1965 through 2008) of SO 4 2- concentrations and fluxes at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire (U.S.) for evaluating S budgets. Analysis revealed that the annual discrepancies in the watershed S budgets (SO 4 2- flux in drainage waters minus total atmospheric S deposition) have become significantly (p < 0.001) more negative, indicating the increasing importance of the release of S from internal sources with time. Watershed wetness, as a function of log 10 annual water flux, was highly significant (p < 0.001) and explained 57% (n = 157) of the annual variation for the combined results from watersheds 1, 3, 5, and 6. The biogeochemical control of annual SO 4 2- export in streamwater of forested watersheds has shifted from atmospheric S deposition to climatic factors by affecting soil moisture. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
Bain C.,Iowa State University |
Selfa T.,SUNY ESF
Agriculture and Human Values | Year: 2013
Recent research exposing environmental and social externalities of biofuels has undermined the earlier national consensus that they would provide climate mitigation and rural development benefits, but support for ethanol remains strong in Iowa. The objective of this paper is to understand how stakeholder groups in Iowa have framed the benefits and risks associated with ethanol's impact on the local economy and environment. Our case study draws on in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted with key informants from agricultural organizations, environmental organizations, and government departments in the state. We find that in Iowa, widespread support for ethanol production exists among government, energy, and farm groups, and that they frame ethanol production as economically beneficial to rural communities and agriculture, while minimizing the possibility of associated environmental risks. Although participants from environmental organizations in Iowa express apprehension about the environmental impacts of expanded corn ethanol production, their unease is muted in relation to economic benefits and in relation to other environmental issues, and few have publicly voiced their concerns. To understand these findings, we draw from the environmental sociology literature that examines the role of powerful natural resource interests in framing the importance of resource extraction and commodity production to community identity and economy and in delegitimizing and naturalizing associated environmental issues and problems. We argue that powerful natural resource interests in Iowa both naturalize environmental problems related to ethanol production and engage in diversionary reframing to emphasize the economic benefits while minimizing or rejecting the potential environmental risks. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Hayward J.A.,SUNY ESF |
Horton T.R.,SUNY ESF
Mycorrhiza | Year: 2012
Pisonia grandis (Nyctaginaceae), a widespread tree of Pacific coral atolls and islands, displays one of the more restrictive ranges of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungus associates among autotrophic plants. Only five ECM fungi are currently known associates; our study adds one. In many habitats, P. grandis is restricted to large seabird colonies where nitrogen and phosphorus inputs in the form of guano are substantial. It has been suggested that the ECM specificity displayed by P. grandis is the result of the unusual nutrient-rich habitat in which P. grandis grows. On Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, P. grandis grows in habitats heavily influenced by guano additions and also in upland forests where seabirds do not roost or nest. To test the hypothesis that the ECM specificity displayed by P. grandis is the result of nutrient-related or toxicity-related factors associated with guano inputs, we sampled P. grandis growing in both guano-rich and guano-poor habitats on Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. We identified ECM symbionts of P. grandis from both habitats as well as two symbionts of Intsia bijuga (Fabaceae) from nutrient-rich habitats. We identified three ECM symbionts of P. grandis from Rota; all three were found in both guano-rich and guano-poor habitats. No differences in community diversity were detected between guano-rich and guano-poor habitats. We also detected two ECM fungal species associating with I. bijuga but not associating with P. grandis inside guano-rich habitats. From these results, we infer that edaphic factors are not responsible for limiting the ECM community associating with P. grandis to its observed level of specificity. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Sun N.,New York University |
Hall M.,SUNY ESF
Urban Ecosystems | Year: 2013
Green infrastructure (GI) is gaining wide popularity as a means to reduce urban stormwater runoff. The challenges to long-term success of many GI policies, however, depend on citizen understanding and willingness to be engaged in the process of GI implementation. In this study, we developed a conceptual model that incorporated human preferences and biophysical processes in a coupled manner to estimate stormwater runoff variation at the sewershed scale under different acceptable GI implementation scenarios. To investigate resident receptivity toward GI implementation, we conducted surveys in selected Syracuse sewersheds and developed the scenario of residents implementing rain barrels and rain gardens in their private properties based on the survey results. We simulated this scenario at the lot level using the model we developed within the framework of the EPA SWMM 5 model to estimate reductions in peak flow and total runoff volume for major storm events. With our model, we also tested the effect of planned government tree planting scenarios. The scenario simulations were applied in three urban sewersheds of varying socio-economic and biophysical structures in the City of Syracuse, New York. The simulation results indicated that both the "government participation" and "household participation" scenarios, compared to pre-GI-development conditions, would contribute to a modest reduction in stormwater peak flow (>4 %) and total runoff volume (>5 %) across the simulated sewersheds. This study provides decision makers with a scientific methodology to quantify how human decisions can shape ecosystem function, and thus support sustainable stormwater management planning while addressing citizen preferences and needs. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
White S.S.,University of Kansas |
Selfa T.,SUNY ESF
Environmental Management | Year: 2013
While farming has been the subject of frequent critical analysis with respect to its environmental impacts, including its greenhouse gas emissions, there has been relatively little consideration of the potentially positive role of agriculture in responding to a future greatly influenced by climate change. One possible realm for agriculture to contribute successfully to this future is through biofuels cultivation. This paper uses the state of Kansas as an example to examine factors that are influencing farmer decision-making during a time of heightened debates about climate and energy. Drawing on interviews with key informants and Kansas farmers, we apply and refine a conceptual model for understanding farmer decisions. We find that farmers have largely positive perceptions of the natural environment. Climate change, especially, is not a salient concern at this time. Factors that appear most likely to influence farmer decisions to adopt a new practice include the relative advantage of that practice and the ability to learn about and discuss it through existing social networks. Successful policy incentives must provide farmers with a continued sense of both independence and contribution to greater societal good. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Zhou T.,SUNY ESF |
Zhou T.,University of Washington |
Endreny T.A.,SUNY ESF
Water Resources Research | Year: 2013
In-channel stream restoration structures readjust surface water hydraulics, streambed pressure, and subsurface hyporheic exchange characteristics. In this study, we conducted flume experiments (pool-riffle amplitude of 0.03 m and wavelengths of 0.5 m) and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations to quantify how restoration structures impacted hyporheic penetration depth, D p, and hyporheic vertical discharge rate, Qv. Restoration structures were channel-spanning vanes with subsurface footers placed in the gravel bed at each riffle. Hyporheic vertical discharge rate was estimated by analyzing solute concentration decay data, and maximum hyporheic penetration depth was measured as the interface between hyporheic water and groundwater using dye tracing experiments. The CFD was verified with literature-based flume hydraulic data and with Dp and Qz observations, and the CFD was then used to document how Dp and Qz varied with flume discharge, Q, ranging from 1 to 15 L/s (3E + 03 < Re < 5E + 04). Flume experiments and CFD simulations showed that restoration structures increased Qz and decreased Dp, creating a shallower but higher flux hyporheic zone. Qz had a positive linear relationship with Q, while Dp initially grew as Q increased, but then shrunk when a hydraulic jump with low streambed pressured formed downstream of the structure. The restoration structures created counter-acting forces of increased downwelling head due to backwater effects, and increased upwelling due to low streambed pressure and standing waves downstream of the structure. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Shupe A.M.,SUNY ESF |
Liu S.,SUNY ESF
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2012
Two strains of each yeast Candida shehatae and Pichia stipitis were used to ferment sugar maple wood extracts to ethanol. Of these four strains the most promising was the P. stipitis NRRL Y-11543 strain. This strain produced a maximum of 13.51 g L -1 ethanol from wood extracts containing 5- and 6- carbon sugars. The main carbon source for fermentation in these extracts was xylose monosaccharide at 36.7 g L -1 with other sugars concentrations ranging from 1.04 to 2.08 g L -1. Through dilute acid hydrolysis the oligomers in the extracts were converted to xylose and other monosaccharides. The initial sugar maple dilute acid hydrolysate used in this study has a xylose concentration of 86.8 g L -1. Nano-membrane filtration removed the majority of the acetates, formates, furfurals and methanol, which were liberated during hydrolysis; however the sulfates that were introduced remained. High levels of sulphate and aromatic compounds in the hydrolysate were inhibitory to the fermentation. P. stipitis did not produce much ethanol from this hydrolysate without dilution with distilled water. The highest ethanol concentration reached was 18.4 g L -1 after a 1:1 dilution with distilled water. Further improvements in the hydrolysis of hot water extracts also resulted in higher sugars concentrations. Reducing the amount of sulfates as well as better control of aeration rate by carrying out the fermentation in a benchtop fermentor resulted in higher ethanol concentrations of 35.4 g L -1 in only 76 h as opposed to 7 days in shake flasks. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Giner J.-L.,SUNY ESF |
Wikfors G.H.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Phytochemistry | Year: 2011
Sterol compositions for three diatom species, recently shown to contain sterols with side chains typically found in dinoflagellates, were determined by HPLC and 1H NMR spectroscopic analyses. The centric diatom Triceratium dubium (= Biddulphia sp., CCMP 147) contained the highest percentage of 23-methylated sterols (37.2% (24R)-23-methylergosta-5,22-dienol), whereas the pennate diatom Delphineis sp. (CCMP 1095) contained the cyclopropyl sterol gorgosterol, as well as the 27-norsterol occelasterol. The sterol composition of Ditylum brightwellii (CCMP 358) was the most complex, containing Δ0- and Δ7-sterols, in addition to the predominant Δ5-sterols. A pair of previously unknown sterols, stigmasta-5,24,28-trienol and stigmasta-24,28-dienol, were detected in D. brightwellii and their structures were determined by NMR spectroscopic analysis and by synthesis of the former sterol from saringosterol. Also detected in D. brightwellii was the previously unknown 23-methylcholesta-7,22-dienol. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Brown T.R.,SUNY ESF
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2015
Recent advances in the thermochemical processing of biomass have resulted in efforts to commercialize several cellulosic biofuel pathways. Until commercial-scale production is achieved, however, techno-economic analysis is a useful methodology for quantifying the economic competitiveness of these pathways with petroleum, providing one indication of their long-term feasibility under the U.S. revised Renewable Fuel Standard. This review paper covers techno-economic analyses of thermochemical cellulosic biofuel pathways in the open literature, discusses and compares their results, and recommends the adoption of additional analytical methodologies that will increase the value of future pathway analyses. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.