Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

Complex landscape has both vulnerabilities and resilience to change
by Staff Writers
Houghton MI (SPX) Apr 07, 2015

The topographic complexity of Central Appalachia supports some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world and creates many microclimates that will respond to global climate change in very local ways. Image courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Central Appalachian forests have been experiencing the effects of a changing climate for decades, and effects such as more heavy rainfall events, more drought, and more hot days are likely to continue, according to a new vulnerability assessment for the region by the U.S. Forest Service and many partners.

The assessment describes effects of climate change that have already been observed, projected changes in the climate and the landscape, and forest vulnerabilities for nine forest ecosystem types in a 29-million-acre area of Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. The area evaluated in the forest vulnerability assessment has nearly 19 million acres of forest land, 85 percent of which is owned by private individuals and organizations.

These forests are important cover spanning from glacial Lake Erie to the Allegheny Plateau and sweeping up into the Appalachian Mountains. The topographic complexity of this region supports some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world and creates many microclimates that will respond to global climate change in very local ways.

"Information on climate change ranges in geographic and temporal scales, and is often hard to relate to forest management and planning," said Patricia Butler, the report's lead author and a climate change outreach specialist with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, a collaboration of the Forest Service, Michigan Technological University, the Trust for Public Land, the University of Minnesota, and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement.

"Our intent was to create a climate change resource that is relevant to people who work, study, recreate, manage and care about forest ecosystems in the Central Appalachians region."

Over the next century, temperatures in the Central Appalachians are expected to increase in all four seasons. Other changes indicated in the assessment include:

+ The growing season length is expected to increase by a month or longer.

+ Precipitation is projected to increase in winter and spring but decrease in summer or fall.

+ Late-season droughts or localized soil moisture deficits are expected to become more frequent.

+ Intense precipitation events are expected to become more frequent or more intense.

+ Streamflow and flooding potential are expected to increase in the winter and spring, and decrease in the summer and fall.

Changes in precipitation and temperatures are likely to reduce habitat suitability for some tree species, including iconic species such as American beech, eastern hemlock, eastern white pine, red spruce, and sugar maple. Species with ranges that extend largely to the south - such as eastern redcedar, post oak, and shortleaf pine - may have increases in suitable habitat and biomass as the region warms.

"We're already working with public land managers and private landowners to make use of this valuable new information," said Scott Bearer, Senior Conservation Scientist with The Nature Conservancy and one of the assessment's co-authors. "With tools like this, enhancing forest resilience can become an essential component of forest management across the Appalachians."

"Confronting the challenges of a changing climate presents opportunities for managers and other decision-makers to plan ahead, foster resilient landscapes, and ensure that the benefits forests provide are sustained into the future," said Michael T. Rains, Director of the Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory. "Forest Service science is delivering tools and information that will help those in the Central Appalachians and throughout the nation meet this challenge."

Nearly 50 scientists and forest managers from the U.S. Forest Service, universities, and other organizations contributed to the assessment, which is was conducted as part of the Central Appalachians Climate Change Response Framework, a collaborative approach among researchers, managers, and landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into forest management. The Climate Change Response Framework is led by the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science.

The vulnerability assessment is available online through the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Research Station here

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Climate pledges: Deadline sees slow but promising start
Paris (AFP) March 31, 2015
A rough deadline for Tuesday saw only 33 out of 195 countries submit pledges for tackling greenhouse gases under UN climate talks scheduled to conclude just over eight months from now. Analysts, though, said the commitments were generally encouraging, even if the UN's aim to curb warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) remained worryingly distant. Among major carbon emitt ... read more

Soyuz Installed at Baikonur, Expected to Launch Wednesday

Soyuz ready March 27 flight to deploy two Galileo navsats

UAE Moves to Purchase Russian Spacecraft Launch Platform

Russia Launches Satan Missile With S Korean Kompsat 3A Satellite

Rover Amnesia Event Follows Latest Memory Reformatting

Ancient Martian lake system records 2 water-related events

Curiosity Rover Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover Passes Marathon Distance

Extent of Moon's giant volcanic eruption is revealed

Yutu Changes Everything We Thought We Knew About Our Moon

Extent of moon's giant volcanic eruption is revealed

NASA's LRO Spacecraft Finds March 17, 2013 Impact Crater and More

Help Name New Features on Pluto

Name the features on Pluto and its moon Charon

Science Shorts: Why Pluto?

Pluto Science, on the Surface

Earthlike 'Star Wars' Tatooines may be common

Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, calculate researchers

Our Solar System May Have Once Harbored Super-Earths

SOFIA Finds Missing Link Between Supernovae and Planet Formation

Falcon 9 Evolves

Lockheed Martin buys high-speed wind tunnel

Aerojet Rocketdyne Hot-Fire Tests Additive Components for the AR1 Engine

Sierra Nevada Corporation Unveils New Dream Chaser Cargo System

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

China's Yutu rover reveals Moon's "complex" geological history

China's Space Laboratory Still Cloaked

Next Steps on Journey to Mars: Progress on Asteroid Initiative

NASA plans to bring boulder into moon orbit

Comet 67P's Speed of Rotation Shows Signs of Slowing Down

Rosetta makes first detection of molecular nitrogen at a comet

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.