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ReportDOI

The Island Research Natural Area: guidebook supplement 35.

01 Jan 2008-General Technical Report, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service (Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service)-Vol. 762

TL;DR: The Island RNA is part of a federal system of such tracts established for research and educational purposes where natural features are protected or managed for scientific purposes and natural processes are allowed to dominate.

AbstractThe Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the principle of multiple use management of the Nation's forest resources for sustained yields of wood, water, forage, wildlife, and recreation. Through forestry research, cooperation with the States and private forest owners, and management of the national forests and national grasslands, it strives—as directed by Congress—to provide increasingly greater service to a growing Nation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). A near-pristine example of the Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata/ Pseudoroegneria spicata plant association with localized examples of the Juniperus occidentalis/Purshia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata plant association, Jefferson County, Oregon. established to represent examples of the western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass (Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the western juniper/big sagebrush-antelope bitterbrush/bluebunch wheatgrass (Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata-Purshia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata) plant associations.ment (OPRD) owns surrounding lands, including a <0.1-ha portion on the summit. As an agent of BLM and CRNG, OPRD monitors and controls access into the RNA, and actively participates in management of the area. Scientists and educators wishing to visit or use the RNA for scientific or educational purposes should contact the Prineville BLM field office manager in advance and provide information about research or educational objectives, sampling procedures , and other prospective activities. Research projects, educational visits, and collection of specimens from the RNA all require prior approval. There may be limitations on research or educational activities. The Island RNA is part of a federal system of such tracts established for research and educational purposes. Each RNA is a site where natural features are protected or managed for scientific purposes and natural processes are allowed to dominate. Their main purposes are to provide: • Baseline areas against which effects of human activities can be measured or compared. • Sites for study of natural processes in undisturbed ecosystems. • Gene pool preserves for all types of organisms, especially rare and endangered types. Of the 183 federal RNAs established in Oregon and Washington, 45 are described in Federal Research Natural Areas in Oregon and Washington: A Guidebook for Scientists and Educators. 2 Supplements to …

Topics: Festuca idahoensis (62%), Purshia tridentata (59%), Juniperus occidentalis (57%), Pseudoroegneria spicata (54%)

Summary (2 min read)

Introduction

  • The Island Research Natural Area (RNA) is an 81-ha (199-ac)1 peninsula located immediately south of the confluence of the Deschutes River and the Crooked River in Jefferson County, Oregon.
  • In addition to the high-quality native plant communities present on the site, the tract also supports one of the few known populations of woven-spore lichen (Texosporium sancti-jacobi), a rare western North American lichen (DeBoldt 1990, McCune and Rosentreter 1992).

Access and Accommodations

  • The site occurs about 24.1 km (15 mi) south-southwest of Madras, Oregon, and may be accessed from U.S. Highway 97 via the Culver Highway from either the south or the north.
  • Follow signs to Culver, Oregon, then to The Cove Palisades State Park.
  • Once in the park, proceed on the paved road into the canyon, cross the bridge, and continue 1.9 km (1.2 mi) to a pull-off next to an interpretive display.
  • These data are on file at the Prineville District office of the Bureau of Land Management, and at the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, Oregon.

Environment

  • The Island RNA is a mesa isolated by steep cliffs and talus slopes just south of the confluence of the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers.
  • The RNA boundary only includes the upper plateau and not the surrounding cliffs and talus slopes (fig. 2).
  • 3 The Island Research Natural Area: Guidebook Supplement 35 4.

Climate

  • Climate within the RNA is continental and semiarid, modified by marine air currents from the Pacific Ocean, which provide precipitation as rain and snow.
  • Summers are dry with warm days and cool nights.
  • Snowfall occurs from October through March and occasionally into April.
  • January receives the highest average monthly snowfall of 114 mm (4.5 in) (Western Regional Climate Center 2007).

Vegetation

  • The RNA is situated along the boundary of four major ecological provinces (Franklin and Dyrness 1988).
  • Depending on the mapping scheme and criteria used to define major physiographic, geologic, and vegetation zones, The Island RNA may be placed within the Columbia Basin, the Blue Mountains, the Eastern Cascades, or the High Lava Plains/High Desert provinces.
  • Vegetation within the RNA is characteristic of portions of all the aforementioned provinces.
  • Western juniper is the sole tree species present within the RNA (see app. 1 for a list of plant scientific and common names).
  • Various reports (Fox 1995, Fox and Eddleman 2003, Murray and Kagan 2000, Soulé et al. 2004) indicate that western Climate within the RNA is continental and semiarid.

Disturbance History

  • Natural disturbances occurring within the western juniper/big sagebrush ecosystem on The Island RNA have included fire, insect infestations, and periods of drought.
  • Driscoll (1964a) observed that fires have strongly affected the abundance of western juniper on this RNA.
  • Evidence of charred wood and charred wood fragments on the soil surface attest to the recent historical role that lightningignited fires have played (Halvorson 2004).
  • The 2005 data show a higher cover of most native perennial bunchgasses.

Other Research

  • Texosporium sancti-jacobi, a rare western North American lichen (McCune and Rosentreter 1992) .
  • A field guide to depositional processes and facies geometry of Neogene continental volcaniclastic rocks, Deschutes Basin, central Oregon (Smith 1991) .
  • The influence of vegetation removal by western harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex owyheei) in a relict area of sagebrush-steppe in central Oregon (Soulé and Knapp 1996) Data from the four permanent plots established in 2005 are on file at the Prineville District office, Bureau of Land Management, and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station, USDA Forest Service (USFS), Corvallis, Oregon.

Site History

  • As early as 1910, several homestead and stock-raising homestead entries were filed on various parts of what is now The Island RNA.
  • These entries reverted back to federal ownership in 1937, and by Executive order the unencumbered public land was put under USDA Forest Service management.
  • A short period of consumptive use in the form of sheep grazing occurred for 2 years in the 1920s (Driscoll 1964a).
  • In addition to the current and pending designations, the site has a long history of research and educational use.

Acknowledgments

  • The authors thank Lynn C. Cornelius for assistance in the field.
  • The authors thank Sarah Greene, Stu Garrett, and Carrie Gordon for reviewing the manuscript.
  • The authors also thank the Prineville District, BLM for funding this project and the USFS PNW Research Station for publishing this guidebook supplement.
  • Sheep were grazed here for a short period.

Tall shrubs 2 to 8 m (6.6 to 26.3 ft) tall

  • Western serviceberry Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. ex Torr. & Gray Mountain mahogany Holodiscus dumosus (Nutt. ex Hook.).
  • Heller Rock spirea Philadelphus lewisii Pursh Lewis’ mock orange.

Medium shrubs 0.5 to 2 m (1.6 to 6.6 ft) tall

  • Artemisia rigida (Nutt.) Gray Rigid sagebrush Artemisia tridentata Nutt.
  • Big sagebrush Ericameria humilis L.C. Anderson Truckee rabbitbrush Ericameria nauseosa (Pallas ex ) Gray rabbitbrush Nesom & Baird Linanthus pungens (Torr.) J.M. Porter & Granite prickly phlox L.A. Johnson ia tridentata DC.

Herbs

  • Achillea millefolium L. Common yarrow Agoseris heterophylla (Nutt.) Greene Annual agoseris Allium douglasii Hook.
  • Rock onion Allium parvum Kellogg Small onion Amsinckia menziesii (Lehm.) Nels. & Macbr. Menzies’ fiddleneck Ancistrocarphus filagineus Gray False neststraw Antennaria dimorpha (Nutt.) T.&G. Low pussytoes Arabis sparsiflora Nutt.
  • Idaho milkvetch Astragalus filipes Torr. ex Gray Basalt milkvetch Astragalus misellus S. Wats.
  • Arcane milkvetch The Island Research Natural Area: Guidebook Supplement 35.

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United States
Department of
Agriculture
Forest Service
Pacific Northwest
Research Station
General Technical
Report
PNW-GTR-762
August 2008
The Island Research
Natural Area: Guidebook
Supplement 35
Reid Schuller and Ron Halvorson

The Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the
principle of multiple use management of the Nation’s forest resources for sus-
tained yields of wood, water, forage, wildlife, and recreation. Through forestry
research, cooperation with the States and private forest owners, and manage-
ment of the national forests and national grasslands, it strives—as directed by
Congress—to provide increasingly greater service to a growing Nation.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its
programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability,
and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion,
sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or
part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not
all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require
alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print,
audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice
and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-
3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and
employer.
Authors
Reid Schuller is a plant ecologist, Western Stewardship Science Institute,
P.O. Box 1173, Bend, Oregon 97709. Ron Halvorson is a botanist, Bureau of
Land Management, Prineville District, 3050 NE 3
rd
Street, Prineville, Oregon
97754.
The PNW Research Station is publishing this guidebook as part of a continuing
series of guidebooks on federal research natural areas begun in 1972.
Cover
The Island Research Natural Area. South end visible in foreground, looking north.
A near-pristine example of the Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata/
Pseudoroegneria spicata plant association with localized examples of the Juniperus
occidentalis/Purshia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata plant association, Jefferson
County, Oregon.

Abstract
Schuller, Reid; Halvorson, Ron. 2008. The Island Research Natural Area: guide-
book supplement 35. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-762. Portland, OR: U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.
27 p.
This guidebook describes The Island Research Natural Area, an 84-ha (208-ac) tract
established to represent examples of the western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch
wheatgrass (Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata),
and the western juniper/big sagebrush-antelope bitterbrush/bluebunch wheatgrass
(Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata-Purshia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria
spicata) plant associations.
Keywords: Research natural area, Juniperus occidentalis, western juniper,
Artemisia tridentata, big sagebrush, Purshia tridentata, antelope bitterbrush,
Pseudoroegneria spicata, bluebunch wheatgrass, Festuca idahoensis, Idaho fescue,
Texosporium sancti-jacobi, woven-spored lichen, relict vegetation, juniper invasion,
sagebrush steppe.
Preface
The research natural area (RNA) described in this guidebook supplement is adminis-
tered by the Prineville District, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Depart-
ment of the Interior, and the Crooked River National Grassland (CRNG), Forest
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Depart-
ment (OPRD) owns surrounding lands, including a <0.1-ha portion on the summit.
As an agent of BLM and CRNG, OPRD monitors and controls access into the RNA,
and actively participates in management of the area.
Scientists and educators wishing to visit or use the RNA for scientific or educa-
tional purposes should contact the Prineville BLM field office manager in advance
and provide information about research or educational objectives, sampling proce-
dures, and other prospective activities. Research projects, educational visits, and
collection of specimens from the RNA all require prior approval. There may be
limitations on research or educational activities.
The Island RNA is part of a federal system of such tracts established for re-
search and educational purposes. Each RNA is a site where natural features are
protected or managed for scientific purposes and natural processes are allowed to
dominate. Their main purposes are to provide:

Baseline areas against which effects of human activities can be measured or
compared.
Sites for study of natural processes in undisturbed ecosystems.
Gene pool preserves for all types of organisms, especially rare and endan-
gered types.
The federal system is outlined in A Directory of the Research Natural Areas on
Federal Lands of the United States of America.
1
Of the 183 federal RNAs established in Oregon and Washington, 45 are de-
scribed in Federal Research Natural Areas in Oregon and Washington: A Guidebook
for Scientists and Educators.
2
Supplements to the guidebook such as this publication
constitute additions to the system or comprehensive revisions of previously pub-
lished guidebooks.
The guiding principle in management of RNAs is to prevent unnatural en-
croachments or activities that directly or indirectly modify ecological processes or
conditions. Logging and uncontrolled grazing are not allowed, for example, nor is
public use that might impair scientific or educational values. Management practices
necessary to maintain or restore ecosystems may be allowed.
Federal RNAs provide a unique system of publicly owned and protected ex-
amples of undisturbed ecosystems where scientists can conduct research with
minimal interference and reasonable assurance that investments in long-term studies
will not be lost to logging, land development, or similar activities. In return, a
scientist wishing to use an RNA is obligated to:
Obtain permission from the appropriate administering agency before using
the area.
3
Abide by the administering agency’s regulations governing use, including
specific limitations on the type of research, sampling methods, and other
procedures.
1
Federal Committee on Ecological Reserves. 1977. A directory of the research natural
areas on federal lands of the United States of America. Washington, DC: U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Forest Service. [Irregular pagination].
2
Supplement No. 34 to Franklin, J.F.; Hall, F.C.; Dyrness, C.T.; Maser, C. 1972. Federal
research natural areas in Oregon and Washington: a guidebook for scientists and educators.
Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest
and Range Experiment Station. 498 p.
3
Six federal agencies cooperate in this program in the Pacific Northwest: U.S. Department
of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park
Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; U.S. Department of Energy; and
U.S. Department of Defense.

Inform the administering agency on progress of the research, published
results, and disposition of collected materials.
The purpose of these limitations is to:
Ensure that the scientific and educational values of the tract are not im-
paired.
Accumulate a documented body of knowledge and information about the
tract.
Avoid conflict between studies and activities.
Research must be essentially nondestructive; destructive analysis of vegetation is
generally not allowed, nor are studies requiring extensive modification of the forest
floor or extensive excavation of soil. Collection of plant and animal specimens
should be restricted to the minimum necessary to provide voucher specimens and
other research needs. Under no circumstances may collecting significantly reduce
populations of species. Collecting also must be carried out in accordance with
agency regulations. Within these broad guidelines, appropriate uses of RNAs are
determined by the administering agency.
Prineville BLM management direction is to preserve, protect, or restore native
species composition and ecological processes of biological communities including
terrestrial and aquatic cells listed in the Oregon Natural Heritage Plan.
4
The RNAs
are available for short- or long-term scientific study, research, and education and
will serve as a baseline against which human impacts on natural ecosystems can be
measured.
4
Oregon Natural Heritage Program. 2003. Oregon natural heritage plan. Salem, OR:
Division of State Lands. 167 p.

References
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Revised edition of the author's "Vegetation of Oregon and Washington", originally published by the U.S. Forest Service in 1973.

1,966 citations


"The Island Research Natural Area: g..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The RNA is situated along the boundary of four major ecological provinces (Franklin and Dyrness 1988)....

    [...]


Book
01 Jun 1988
Abstract: Revised edition of the author's "Vegetation of Oregon and Washington", originally published by the U.S. Forest Service in 1973. Reprinted with new bibliographic supplement by the OSU Press in 1988.

1,887 citations


Journal ArticleDOI

123 citations


Book
01 Jan 1981

119 citations


"The Island Research Natural Area: g..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The ancestral Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius Rivers have cut deep canyons and exposed large expanses of the upper Miocene to lower Pliocene Deschutes Formation, interbedded with thin beds of tuffaceous sandstone and mudstone of the Simtustus Formation (Orr and Orr 1999, Smith 1991)....

    [...]

  • ...With the valley flooding created by the dam, local relief from the surface of Lake Billy Chinook to the top of the mesa is 137 m (449 ft) (Fox 1995, Murray and Kagan 2000, Orr and Orr 1999)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Evidence of an atmospheric CO2 fertilization effect on radial growth rates was uncovered by examining climate‐growth relationships for seven western juniper tree-ring chronologies in central Oregon using multiple regression models Consistent upward trends of the residuals from dendroclimatic models indicated a decreased ability for climate parameters to predict growth with time Additionally, an assessment was made of whether enhanced growth was detectable under drought conditions, because a major benefit of elevated atmospheric CO2 is the reduction of water stress Mean ring indices were compared between ecologically comparable drought years, when atmospheric CO2 was lower (1896‐ 1949), and more recent drought years that occurred under higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations (1950‐96/98) The results presented herein show that: (i) residuals from climate/growth models had a significant positive trend at six of seven sites, suggesting the presence of a nonclimatic factor causing increased growth during recent decades; (ii) overall growth was 23% greater in the latter half of the 20th century; (iii) growth indices during matched drought and matched wet years were 63% and 30% greater, respectively, in the later 20th century than the earlier 20th century; and (iv) harsher sites had greater responses during drought periods between early and late periods While it is not possible to rule out other factors, these results are consistent with expectations for CO2 fertilization effects

101 citations


"The Island Research Natural Area: g..." refers background in this paper

  • ...• Vegetation change and the role of atmospheric CO 2 enrichment on a relict site in central Oregon: 1960-1994 (Knapp and Soulé 1996) • Detecting potential regional effects of increased atmospheric CO 2 on growth rates of western juniper (Knapp et al. 2001a) • Post-drought growth responses of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis var. occidentalis in central Oregon (Knapp et al. 2001b) • Occurrence of sustained droughts in the interior Pacific Northwest (A.D. 1733-1980) inferred from tree-ring data (Knapp et al. 2004) • Western juniper expansion on adjacent disturbed and near-relict sites (Soulé and Knapp 1999) • Juniperus occidentalis (western juniper) establishment history on two minimally disturbed research natural areas in central Oregon (Soulé and Knapp 2000) • Comparative rates of western juniper afforestation in south-central Oregon and the role of anthropogenic disturbance (Soulé et al. 2003) • Human agency, environmental drivers, and western juniper establishment during the late Holocene (Soulé et al. 2004) Other Research • Texosporium sancti-jacobi, a rare western North American lichen (McCune and Rosentreter 1992) • A field guide to depositional processes and facies geometry of Neogene continental volcaniclastic rocks, Deschutes Basin, central Oregon (Smith 1991) • The influence of vegetation removal by western harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex owyheei) in a relict area of sagebrush-steppe in central Oregon (Soulé and Knapp 1996) Data from the four permanent plots established in 2005 are on file at the Prineville District office, Bureau of Land Management, and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station, USDA Forest Service (USFS), Corvallis, Oregon....

    [...]

  • ...These two plant associations are the primary reason for establishing this RNA and provide the basis for nomination as a national natural landmark (Murray and Kagan 2000, Oregon Natural Heritage Program 2003)....

    [...]

  • ...Follow signs to Culver, Oregon, then to The Cove Palisades State Park....

    [...]

  • ...…of western juniper (Knapp et al. 2001a) • Post-drought growth responses of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis var. occidentalis in central Oregon (Knapp et al. 2001b) • Occurrence of sustained droughts in the interior Pacific Northwest (A.D. 1733-1980) inferred from tree-ring data (Knapp et…...

    [...]

  • ...This was observed throughout eastern and parts of central Oregon from 1962 to 1966 (Gates 1964), The role of human-induced disturbance from grazing by domestic livestock appears to have played only a minor role on the RNA....

    [...]


Frequently Asked Questions (1)
Q1. What are the contributions in this paper?

Portland, OR: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 27 p. This guidebook describes The Island Research Natural Area, an 84-ha ( 208-ac ) tract established to represent examples of the western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass ( Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata ), and the western juniper/big sagebrush-antelope bitterbrush/bluebunch wheatgrass ( Juniperus occidentalis/Artemisia tridentata-Purshia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata ) plant associations.