More than 30 scientists and forest managers contributed to this report, which evaluates the vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystems in the Central Hardwoods Region of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri to a range of future climates.
This report synthesizes some of the climate change risks and vulnerabilities to different sectors (water, ecosystems, coastal zones, agriculture, public health, etc.) in New York State. It is meant to provide useful information to decision-makers as they begin responding to climate change in New York State.
Features information on climate change in New York State and nationwide, including research, planning guides and programs, public engagement, tools, and student courses and activities at Cornell University. This includes a section on the Ecology and Management of Landscapes, which includes several links and resources for landowners in New York.
Peatland ecosystems represent 3-5% of earth's land surface, but store 12-30% of soil organic carbon. However, this very large pool of carbon is vulnerable to loss to the atmosphere as CO2 because of climate change. Lowered water tables caused by climate change or human-caused drainage can shift peatlands from being net carbon sinks to net carbon sources. The PEATcosm experiment was initiated to study the relationships between water tables, plant communities, and carbon and nutrient cycling in peatlands in a controlled setting. Read more on the experiment here [pdf].
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has been a critical partner in the development and implementations of the CCRF, and has been a test-bed of new resources and activities for responding to climate change in land management. The approach of the CCRF is grounded heavily in partnerships because climate change is inherently an issue that crosses land ownership boundaries: all lands will be affected in some way. Partnership efforts engage a diverse set of land managers, scientists, and others to learn from one another and find practical solutions for sustaining natural ecosystems and the people that depend on them. While partners may have different management goals for their forested lands, each has a stake in managing proactively to maintain these goals under future conditions.
The CCRF approach is unique. It provides a path for organizations to better understand the risks associated with a changing climate, and also works to help identify potential actions for adaptation across spatial scales ranging from individual stands and forests to large landscapes. Building a comprehensive approach to climate change takes time, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet has built its program over time.
Importantly, all of these activities have also helped the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest answer “yes” to 7 elements Performance Scorecard for implementing the Forest Service Climate Change Strategy. Scroll through the images below to see a timeline of activities.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet has a long list of accomplishments related to climate change, many of which were developed as part of the CCRF. This case study focuses on the innovative work that the Chequamegon-Nicolet has done in translating scientific information from climate change vulnerability assessments into on-the-ground demonstrations of climate change adaptation. Information on other aspects of the CNNF approach is available through the Additional Resources tab.
Adaptation demonstration projects provide much-needed examples of what climate change adaptation activities look like in real-world conditions. Although information is increasingly available on how ecosystems may be affected by climate change, there are few examples of management activities that explicitly consider climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities. Adaptation demonstrations, which are one component of the CCRF approach, are designed to fill that gap while also testing out new ideas and actions.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has several adaptation demonstrations underway, with the goal of having one demonstration project on each of its five Districts. Each adaptation demonstration is unique, with the intent of providing examples across a variety of spatial scales, forest types, and management issues. Likewise, a variety of adaptation demonstrations have also been established in northern Wisconsin across state, tribal, and private lands.
One adaptation demonstration evaluated the potential effects of a changing climate on two aspen stands on the National Forest. A team of natural resource managers and climate change specialists from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science evaluated the potential impacts of climate change on the two stands and identified a variety of actions that could enhance forest resilience to climate change under a wide range of future conditions. As a result, small changes were made to the silvicultural prescriptions for these stands to reduce risks to these stands from climate change. The stands are now marked and under contract, with harvest anticipated in winter 2013-2014. Additionally, a set of monitoring metrics was identified that can help evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation actions.
The Framework is a collaborative, cross-boundary approach among scientists, managers, and landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into natural resource management. It provides an integrated set of tools, partnerships, and actions to support climate-informed conservation and forest management.