Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Modeling tree-line response to climate change and an invasive pathogen in the Sierra Nevada [Collaborative project with Peggy Moore and Matthew Brooks (USGS), and Qinghua Guo and Otto Alvarez (UC-Merced)]

Foxtail pine at tree-line in the Sierra Nevada


October 2010 - September 2013


Accelerating rates of climate change and species invasions have the potential to alter the distribution of foundational tree-line species in the Sierra Nevada, California. This project uses a spatially extensive set of plot data to model current distributions of foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana) and whitebark pine (P. albicaulis) as well as their distributions in 50 and 100 years under two extreme emission scenarios and using five GCMs. Whitebark pine is listed by the USFWS as warranted but precluded under the ESA, and foxtail pine is a spatially-restricted California endemic. The National Park Service will use the products from this effort and data gathered from a current long-term monitoring program, to integrate into an adaptive management framework, and will allow park managers to anticipate and respond to short- and long-term changes in these high-value environments.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 249

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 247

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 679

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4251



  • Shawn McKinneyCo-Principal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • USGS National Park Monitoring Project


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey