Paleoecology of the Eagle Cap Wilderness

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Eagle Cap Wilderness

The global climate system varies at all scales of space and time, and only by understanding the past can we develop a better understanding of how climate may change in the future. This project is focused on developing long tree-ring chronologies from whitebark pine and limber pine growing at high elevations in the rugged Eagle Cap Wilderness of eastern Oregon to explore past climate variations in this region. Thus far a 900-year limber pine chronology and a 1,100-year whitebark pine chronology have been developed. Additional sampling is planned in the near future.


In the summer of 2009, Dr. Larson helped film a documentary about one tree in particular; Dielman’s Monarch, an ancient limber pine growing on the slopes of Cusick Mountain, has likely been growinghttp://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/segment/old-tree/ on that spot for over 2,000 years. You can watch the 10 minute film online.

Funding sources: The United States Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellowship program, UW-Platteville Scholarly Activity Improvement Fund.

Products

Press and media
Publications
  • Larson, E.R. and Kipfmueller, K.F. 2012. Ecological disaster or the limits of observation? Reconciling modern declines with the long-term dynamics of whitebark pine communities. Geography Compass 6: 189–214.
  • Larson, E.R. 2012. Influences of blister rust and mountain pine beetle on whitebark pine. Nutcracker Notes 22: 14–15.
  • Larson, E.R. 2011. Influences of the biophysical environment on blister rust and mountain pine beetle, and their interactions, in whitebark pine forests. Journal of Biogeography 38: 453–470.
  • Campbell, E.M., Keane, R.E., Larson, E.R., Murray, M.P., Schoettle, A.W., Wong, C. 2011. Disturbance Ecology of High-Elevation Five-Needle Pine Ecosystems in Western North America. Pages 154–163 in R. E. Keane, D. F. Tomback, M. P. Murray, and C. M. Smith, editors. Proceedings: The Future of High-Elevation Five-Needle White Pines in Western North America. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-P-63, June 28–30, 2010, Missoula, Montana.
  • Larson, E.R. and Kipfmueller, K.F. 2010. Patterns in whitebark pine regeneration and their relationships to biophysical site characteristics in southwest Montana, central Idaho, and Oregon, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40: 476–487.
  • Larson, E.R., van de Gevel, S.L., and Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 2009. Fire regime comparisons of three whitebark pine communities, Montana, USA. Écoscience 16: 282–298.
Presentations
  • Evan R. Larson. 2014. Tree-ring perspectives on climate change. Fried Green Tomatoes University, March 11, Galena, Illinois.
  • Sara Allen and Evan R. Larson. 2013. The relative influence of climate and fire on subalpine forest productivity in the Wallowa Mountains, northeast Oregon. Second American Dendrochronology Conference, May 13–17, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson.
  • Evan R. Larson. 2013. The Importance of History, Geography, and Perspective: Ecological Uncertainty at the Intersection of Climate Change, Global Change, and Human Perception. UW-Oshkosh Geography Department Geiger Lecture, March 29, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
  • Evan R. Larson. 2013. Ecological uncertainty at the intersection of climate change, global change, and human perception. UW-Madison Department of Geography Yi-Fu seminar series, March 26, Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Evan R. Larson. 2013. Shifting states in climate, tree growth, and ecosystem dynamics at arctic and alpine treelines. Climate, People, and Environment Program (CPEP) seminar series, UW-Madison Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, March 25, Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Evan R. Larson. 2013. Framing the Conversation: Long-term Perspectives on Climate as Shown in Tree Rings. PLATO (Participatory Learning and Teaching Organization) Pathways to a Sustainable Planet lecture series, March 4, Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Evan R. Larson. 2012. Ecological disaster or the limits of observation? Reconciling modern declines with the long-term dynamics of whitebark pine. Humboldt State University Biological Sciences Seminar Series, May 4, Arcata, California.
  • Evan R. Larson. 2012. The tales trees tell: Using tree rings to study environmental change. Milaca Public Library, April 26, Milaca, Minnesota.
  • Evan R. Larson and Kurt F. Kipfmueller. 2011. Disturbance-Mediated Adaptation: Mountain Pine Beetles and the Fate of Whitebark Pine. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, April 12–16, Seattle, Washington.
  • Evan R. Larson, Saskia van de Gevel, Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, and Kurt F. Kipfmueller. 2010. Spatial and temporal variability in fire regimes and the effects of fire suppression in whitebark pine forests. High-Five Symposium: The Future of High-Elevation Five-Needle White Pines in Western North America, June 28–30, Missoula, Montana.
  • Evan R. Larson and Kurt F. Kipfmueller. 2010. Implications of natural regeneration for restoration in whitebark pine forests. High-Five Symposium: The Future of High-Elevation Five-Needle White Pines in Western North America, June 28–30, Missoula, Montana.
  • Elizabeth M. Campbell, Robert E. Keane, Evan R. Larson, Michael P. Murray, Anna W. Schoettle, and Carmen Wong. 2010. Disturbance ecology of ‘high-five pine’ ecosystems in western North America. Plenary talk, High-Five Symposium: The Future of High-Elevation Five-Needle White Pines in Western North America, June 28–30, Missoula, Montana.
  • Allison Hudack* and Evan R. Larson. 2010. Reconstructing climate using the rings of ancient whitebark pine trees from the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Eastern Oregon. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, April 14–18, Washington, D.C.

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