Terrestrial Ecology: Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 12

Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward (2013)

This report reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management's oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United States, concluding that constructive changes could be implemented. The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros, to model the effects of management actions on the animals, or to assess th... More >>

Report in Brief

Review of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plan Health Inspection Service Response to Petitions to Reclassify the Light Brown Apple Moth as a Non-Actionable Pest: A Letter Report (2009)

The light brown apple moth, a native of Australia discovered in California in 2006, is a moth that eats many kinds of plants. In 2007 in a pre-emptive effort against potential damage the moth might cause, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) classified the moth as an "actionable quarantine-significant pest" and implemented a program of quarantine restrictions and eradication. However, severa... More >>

Ecological Impacts of Climate Change (2008)

Life on Earth is profoundly affected by the planet's climate. Animals, plants, and other living beings are moving, adapting, and in some cases dying as a result of climate change, affecting not only individual species but the ecosystems on which humans depend. At the request of the United States Geological Survey, the National Research Council convened an expert committee to identify examples of ecological impacts of climate change to serve a... More >>

Status of Pollinators in North America (2007)

Pollinators--insects, birds, bats, and other animals that carry pollen from the male to the female parts of flowers for plant reproduction--are an essential part of natural and agricultural ecosystems throughout North America. For example, most fruit, vegetable, and seed crops and some crops that provide fiber, drugs, and fuel depend on animals for pollination. This report provides evidence for the decline of some pollinator species in Nort... More >>

Report in Brief

NEON: Addressing the Nation's Environmental Challenges (2003)

The report endorses the National Science Foundation's concept of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) for providing a nationwide network of facilities and infrastructure for ecological and environmental research that is impossible with existing infrastructure. The committee identified six grand challenges in environmental biology - biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, climate change, ecology and evolution of infectious diseases... More >>