2019, Claudia Luke, Co-PI Christopher M. Halle, Sonoma State University
Through a grant provided by TREE Fund to Sonoma State University, a fledgling long-term right-of-way (ROW) research network has been established in the western United States over the past two years. The hope is to establish a long-running network similar to the “Bramble and Byrnes” study begun in Pennsylvania in 1953. This new network consists of three sites in slightly different ecosystems (Figure 1). Researchers are using the sites to compare the efficacy of mechanical only vs. mechanical plus herbicide treatment in establishing low-growing native plant communities. The effects on local animals and pollinators are also being studied. With the help of a new TREE Fund grant, these studies are being continued, with the goal of publishing the initial observations after an additional two years. In addition to the “main” vegetation studies, we are using some funds as seed money to attract “non-traditional” researchers. For example, we are working with computer science faculty and students to use the latest image recognition technology to analyze wildlife camera observations (Figure 2). This camera study began as a simple guided class project, and has proven to be useful for screening “false alarms” – images triggered by simple vegetation motion or cloud shadows moving across the ground.
Funding Duration: 2 years
Grant Program: Utility Arborist Research Fund Grant
Grant Title: Comparing Integrated Vegetation Management Treatment Options of Powerline Rights-of-Ways: Effects on Plant Communities and Wildlife Diversity: Phase Two
Researcher: Claudia Luke
Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant:
General Audience/Trade Publications:
For more information on this project, contact the researcher via TREE Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org.