Power Paleoecology Lab & Garrett Herbarium


  Ashley National Forest, Disturbance Research Program, Uinta Mountains,  Utah 

The aim of the Ashley National Forest Research Project is to investigate the long-term climate, vegetation, and disturbance history of the Uinta Mountains, Utah. The Ashley Project aims to identify the timing of species arrival into the Uinta Mountains, the role of disturbance in low versus high elevation settings, and vegetation community response to both long-term and abrupt climate change.

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 Plant Phenology and Climate Change: research using the Garrett Herbarium  

Through interrogating the plant collection in the Garrett Herbarium we are exploring the controls of shifting phenology in Utah and the western U.S..  The specific goals of this phenological study are to document changes in the timing of spring flowering for selected species.  This research began during the spring of 2013 with a graduate seminar (GEOG 5275) and will continue over the next several years. The ultimate goal of the project is to explore potential linkages between the climate controls on plant specimens through time and the impact of anthropogenic-caused climate and landscape change.

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 Paleoecological Reconstructions of Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivia 

The Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (NKMNP) Research Project is a UK-Brazilian collaboration investigating the extent of pre-Columbian impact in the Amazon. This research project combines the fields of paleoecology, paleoclimatology, and archaeology to address the extent of pre-Columbian human impact in the Amazon. 

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 Fish Lake, High resolution Freeze Core Analysis, Unita Mountains Utah 


The Fish Lake Research Project developed out of a graduate level seminar GEOG 6410: Paleoclimatology at the University of Utah. This research project investigates the role of natural climate variability and historical land-use histories in the Fish Lake Range on 19th and 20thc. forest composition in central Utah. 

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 Milford Flat Fire Histories, Milford Flat, Utah  
 The Milford Flat Fire Research Project  developed following the Milford Flat Fire of  2007, the largest fire in Utah's history  (363,052 acres). This research project aims  to improve our understanding of how resent  changes in fire frequency have impacted the  shrub-dominated landscapes today and will  help understand resiliency within these  shrublands in response to changing fire regimes. 

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 Utah Lake, Paleoecological Analysis  

Utah Lake Historical Research Program aims to identify the causes and consequences of recent human impact of the eurtophication of Utah Lake. This research investigates if the current trends in water quality have been caused by natural fluctuations (climate) or other factors, including nutrient loading, phytoplankton blooms, and the introduction of non-native species.  

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 Tortola, British Virgin Islands 

 The Tortola Historic Hurricane
 Research Program investigates  variability in  hurricane activity following  European  settlement.  Additionally this  research  provides the first long-term  reconstruction of  the ecological history  from the Virgin Islands  that can provide  insight into the 
extent of  impact human  colonization has had on the  island  ecosystem. 

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 Heller Lake, Unita Mountains,  Utah 

 The Reader Fen Research  Project in the eastern Uinta  Mountains explores long-term  vegetation and disturbance history  from the Uinta Mountains. Natural  disturbance regimes and community  vegetation response is investigated  form the past 10,000 years providing  insight to the catalyst of vegetation  change for making informed  management decisions on present and future ecological change in the Uintas.

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 Ponderosa Dendrochronology, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah 

 The Ponderose Pine Dendroclimatology Research  Project in Big Cottonwood Canyon implements tree  cores to reconstruct prehistoric precipitation  patterns in  the Wasatch Front. The aim of this  research is to extend  the records of hydrologic  variability in order to identify  drivers of past climate  variability. This research will  inform management  decisions and policies in the  upcoming decades as  climate change and increased  population growth  with continue to increase demand of  the hydrologic  resources in the Wasatch Front.  

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 Global Paleofire Working Group (GPWG) 

The aim of the Global Charcoal Database (GCD) is to provide the scientific community a global palaeofire dataset for research and archiving sedimentary records of fire. Global syntheses have enabled the examination of broad-scale patterns in palaeofire activity, created a framework for exploring the linkages among fire, climate and vegetation at centennial-to-multi-millennial time scales and allows evaluation of fire model simulations at regional to global scales.

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 Recent Publications 

Marlon, JR, Bartlein, PJ, Daniau, A-L, Harrison, SP, Maezumi, SY, Power, MJ, Tinner, W, Vanniere, B (2013Global biomass burning: a synthesis and review of Holocene paleofire records and their controls.  Quaternary Science Reviews, 5-25. PDF

Morris, JL, Brunelle, A, DeRose, RJ, Seppa, H, 
Power, MJ, Carter, V, Bares, R (2013) Using fire regimes to delineate zones in a high-resolution lake sediment record from the western United States. Quaternary Research, 24-36. PDF

Power MJ, Mayle FE, Bartlein P, Marlon JM,  Anderson RS, Behling H, Brown KJ, Carcaillet C, Colombaroli D, Gavin DG, Hallett DJ, Horn SP, Kennedy LM, Lane CS, Long CJ, Moreno PI, Paitre C, Robinson G, Taylor Z, Walsh MK  (2012) Climatic control of the biomass-burning decline in the Americas after AD 1500. 
The Holocene, 1-11. PDF 

Daniau, A-L, Tinner, W, Bartlein, PJ, Harrison, SP, Prentice IC, Brewer, S, Friedlingstein, P, Harrison-Prentice, TI, Inoue, J, Marlon J, Mooney, S, Power, MJ, Stevenson, J and members of the Global Palaeofire Working Group  (2012Predictability of biomass burning in response to climate changesGlobal Change Biology, 1-12. PDF  

Morris, J, Brunelle, A, Munson, AS, Spencer, J, and Power, MJ (2012). Holocene vegetation and fire reconstructions from the Aquarius Plateau, Utah, USA.  Quaternary International, 1-13. PDF 

Whitlock C, Dean W, Fritz S, Stevens, L, Stone JF, Power, MJ, Rosenbaum JR, Pierce KL, and Bracht-Flyr, B (2012) Holocene seasonal variability inferred from multiple proxy records from Crevice Lake, Yellowstone National Park, USA.  Palaeogeography,  Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol 331-332: 90-103. PDF

Iriarte, J,  Power, MJ,  Rostain, S, Mayle, FE, Jones, H, Watling, J, Whitney, BS, McKey, D (2012) Fire-free land-use in pre-1492 Amazonian savannas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1-6. PDF 

Marlon, JM, Bartlein, PJ, Long, C, Gavin, DG, Long, CJ, Anderson, RS, Briles, CE, Brown, KJ, Colombaroli, D, Hallett, DJ, Power, MJ, Scharf, EA, Walsh, MK (2012) Long-term perspective on wildfires in the western USA Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1-9. PDF

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