Research

The Klamath-Siskiyous are one of the most biodiverse regions in North America. Researchers from across the country come to Siskiyou Field Institute’s 850-acre property to investigate and learn about this area’s rich diversity, unique ecosystems, and many endemic species.

We offer special lodging and site-use arrangements to researchers from university and college affiliates that have filed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and have had their projects reviewed by our Research Committee. For more information, contact SFI’s Executive Director at director@thesfi.org.

Current and Past Research Partnerships

Seismic Monitoring Site, Current, The Oregon Hazards Lab

The Oregon Hazards Lab (OHAZ) is a research lab within the University of Oregon’s Department of Earth Sciences that uses science, technology, and community engagement to understand, monitor, and mitigate multi-hazards within the Pacific Northwest.

OHAZ has implemented a monitoring site on SFI’s property to collect important data on seismic activity as well as wildfire smoke and AQI conditions.

You can learn more about the Oregon Hazards Lab’s work at their website

“HOPS” (Heating of Prairie Systems) Experiment, 2015-2019, University of Oregon Institute of Ecology and Evolution

Prairies in the western Pacific Northwest are critically endangered ecosystems. A variety of factors, including the disruption of historical fire regimes, land use change, and invasive species, have all contributed to their decline. Now, climate change threatens to do the same.

To understand how climate change will affect Pacific Northwest prairies, researchers from the University of Oregon conducted a 5-year experiment at three sites across western Oregon and Washington: one at the Siskiyou Field Institute in Selma, OR; one west of Eugene, OR; and one near Olympia, WA. Researchers planted the same set of 14 west coast native prairie species at each site, and then imposed warming and drought treatments based on climate projections for the region at the end of the 21st century. Results indicated that many species’ ranges will need to shift with climate change in order to survive, and assisted migration may be necessary to prevent the widespread loss of vulnerable species.

You can read more about the results of the HOPS Experiment in the following publications from Ecology and Evolution, Journal of Ecology, and The Ecological Society of America.

Study of How Biotic Interactions Impact Relocation of Plants to Cooler Climates, 2010-2013, University of California Davis

One important but largely unanswered question about floristic responses to climate change is how interactions such as competition, facilitation and plant–soil feedbacks will influence the ability of species to track shifting climates. With the goal of seeing if higher elevation sites might serve as refugia from climate change for selected species, and whether these biotic interactions would help or hinder the relocated species – researchers planted three serpentine endemic plant species into cooler aspects and elevations than those they currently inhabit, with and without removal of neighbouring plants, and tracked them over 2 years. Research plots were located at SFI and a range of other locations around Cave Junction and Selma.

You can read more about the findings of this study in the following publication from Ecology Letters.