Research Roundup

Overviews of the climate change work happening at Forest Service research stations.
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Forestry, Bioenergy, Greenhouse Gas and Land Use Economic and Biophysical Model Development and Analysis
Pacific Northwest Research Station

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Economics Branch (CEB) analyzes cost-effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, both in the U.S. and internationally. EPA relies on the Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model with Greenhouse Gas (FASOM-GHG) model for analysis of GHG mitigation from the U.S. forest, agriculture and bioenergy sectors. This project will involve model development, results interpretation, testing, analyses, and documentation associated with the forestry and bioenergy sectors and related land use in the FASOM-GHG. The overarching objectives of the project are to make the forest sector portion more flexible, able to simulate a broader range of alternative bioenergy and CO2 sequestration policies, and to simplify the basic model code to reduce compilation and run time.

Contact: David Seesholtz
Climate change and management interactions for forests in the central Oregon Cascades
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Computer simulation models are often used to project vegetation responses to changing CO2 (carbon dioxide) and climate. We developed a process that links the mechanistic power of dynamic global vegetation models with the detailed vegetation dynamics of state-and-transition models to project local vegetation shifts driven by projected climate change. We applied our approach to central Oregon (USA) ecosystems using three climate change scenarios to assess potential future changes in species composition and community structure.

Contact: Miles Hemstrom
Jessica Halofsky
Climate change and forest management interactions in southwestern Oregon
Pacific Northwest Research Station

This project will connect state and transition models developed as a part of the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project with Dynamic Global Vegetation Model outputs for Southwestern Oregon. The objective is to develop a set of vegetation modeling tools that can be used by local land managers and collaborative groups to examine potential forest management scenarios and interactions with possible climate change impacts.

Contact: Emilie Henderson
Climate change and Greater Sage-grouse habitat interactions in southeastern Oregon
Pacific Northwest Research Station

This project will connect state and transition models developed as a part of the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project with Dynamic Global Vegetation Model outputs for Southeastern Oregon. The objective is to develop a set of vegetation modeling tools that can be used by local land managers and collaborative groups to examine potential rangeland management scenarios and interactions with possible climate change impacts.

Contact: Megan Creutzberg
Climate change and forest management effects in the Lower Joseph project area, northeastern Oregon
Pacific Northwest Research Station

This project will use climate-connected state and transition models developed as a part of the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project to assist with cumulative effects analysis of alternative management scenarios for the Lower Joseph project area in the Blue Mountains of Northeast Oregon. The objective is to use the climate-connected state and transition models to evaluate alternative scenarios proposed by local land managers and collaborative groups given possible climate change impacts.

Contact: Miles Hemstrom
Climate change interactions with landscape vegetation and disturbance trends on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona
Pacific Northwest Research Station

This project was a pilot effort to construct climate-connected state and transition models for a large landscape in eastern central Arizona. The objective was to use state and transition models developed as a part of the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project and Dynamic Global Vegetation Model outputs from the model MC1 to construct and test the modeling approach.

Contact: Miles Hemstrom
Climate change and future stream temperatures in the interior Columbia River Basin
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Restoring riparian forests on streams where historic land uses have created open meadows could reduce maximum stream temperatures by as much as 7o C relative to current conditions, even under a future climate when air temperatures are 4o C warmer than today.

Contact: Steve Wondzell
Evaluating land use planning effects on carbon storage to address climate change
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Research and policy discussions highlight the role of forests in reducing greenhouse gases by storing carbon. An important factor regarding forests and carbon is simply maintaining the amount of land that is retained in forest cover. Since 1973, Oregon’s statewide land-use planning program has sought to maintain forest and agricultural lands in the face of increasing development by maintaining forest and agricultural zones and to limit growth to within urban growth boundaries. We combine projections of forest and agricultural land development with estimates of average carbon stocks for different land uses to examine what effect land-use planning has had in maintaining forest carbon in western Oregon. In addition to other benefits arising from the conservation of forestland, results indicate that Oregon’s land-use planning system in western Oregon yields significant gains in carbon storage equivalent to a reduction of 1.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.

Contact: Jeffrey Kline
Predicting global change effects on forest biomass and composition in south-central Siberia
Northern Research Station

Multiple global changes such as timber harvest of previously unexploited areas and climate change will undoubtedly affect the composition and spatial distribution of boreal forests, which will in turn affect the ability of these forests to sequester carbon. To reliably predict future states of the boreal forest it is necessary to understand the complex interactions among forest regenerative processes (succession), natural disturbances (e.g., fire, wind and insects) and anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., timber harvest).

Contact: Eric Gustafson
Plumas/Lassen Administrative Study Vegetation Module Forest Restoration in the Northern Sierra Nevada: Impacts on Structure, Fire Climate, and Ecosystem Resilience.
Pacific Southwest Research Station

PSW scientists focus on the effects of fuel treatments on forest structure, composition, understory microclimate, and succession, because changes in these conditions will define how fire and the forests responds to restoration.

Contact: Malcolm North

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