Research Roundup

Overviews of the climate change work happening at Forest Service research stations.
Sort by date posted to CCRC | Sort by project title

1000 Years of Forest History in the Glass Creek Watershed, Eastern Sierra Nevada: Interpreting the influence of fire, climatic change, and environmental change on subalpine forest structure and composition
Pacific Southwest Research Station

PSW scientists evaluate the relative roles of fire, climate change, and volcanic eruptions as architects of forest structure and composition over the past 1000 years.

Contact: Connie Millar
Acid Rain and Calcium Depletion
Northern Research Station

Acid rain and other anthropogenic factors can leach calcium (Ca) from forest ecosystems and mobilize potentially toxic aluminum (Al) in soils. Considering the unique role Ca plays in the physiological response of cells to environmental stress, we propose that depletion of biological Ca would impair basic stress recognition and response systems, and predispose trees to exaggerated injury following exposure to other environmental stresses.

Contact: Paul Schaberg
Adapting Forests to Climate Change
Northern Research Station

This is a new area of emphasis at NRS that seeks to 1) develop a plan to increase employee awareness of climate change and expected future impacts, and (2) identify several options for achieving the goal of adapting future forests to climate change, with specific attention to including the best available science about climate change into the forest planning process. Researchers are particularly interested in working with the models and processes that are currently used in the forest planning process, and adding features to them for addressing the potential future impacts of climate change.

Contact: Yude Pan
Adapting to Climate Change in Olympic National Forest
Pacific Northwest Research Station

The Climate Change Adaptation Case Study at Olympic National Forest, with Olympic National Park as a partner, had the objective of determining how to adapt management of federal lands on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, to climate change. The case study process involved science-based sensitivity assessments, review of management activities and constraints, and adaptation workshops in each of four focus areas (hydrology and roads, vegetation, wildlife, and fisheries). The process produced concrete adaptation options for Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park, and illustrated the utility of place-based vulnerability assessment and scientist-manager workshops in adapting to climate change.

Contact: Dave Peterson
Adapting to Climate Change on the Shoshone National Forest: science-management collaboration in developing management tools
Rocky Mountain Research Station

Climate change introduces a significant challenge for land managers and decision makers in the western United States. In response to that challenge, the Westwide Climate Initiative, a science-management partnership, has conducted a series of case studies on western US Forest Service National Forests to develop and evaluate a set of decision-support tools and reference materials that will assist resource managers as they incorporate climate-change considerations into decision making. We are currently conducting the 4th case study of this project on the Shoshone National Forest (Shoshone). Specifically, the objectives in the Shoshone case study were to review existing literature on climate change effects on the Shoshone landscape, to share that information through a workshop, and then to develop a vulnerability assessment that focused on select key resources.

Contact: Linda Joyce
Addressing Climate Change in the Forest Vegetation Simulator
Rocky Mountain Research Station

The Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) is a family of forest growth simulation models that allow a user to explore forest growth and yield at the stand level. This research incorporates climatic effects into FVS to produce a new extension called Climate-FVS, providing managers with a tool that allows climate change impacts to be incorporated in forest plans.

Jerry Rehfeldt
American Chestnut Restoration
Northern Research Station

The American chestnut is a tree species of unique ecological and economic value that was virtually eliminated following a blight caused by a fungal pathogen, Cryphonectria parasitica. In order to restore this economically and ecologically valuable species, multiple approaches to decrease the virulence of the pathogen or increase the resistance of the tree have been evaluated. Climate change presents new implications for the recovery of the species, especially at its historic northern range limits.

Contact: Paul Schaberg
Arctic fire releases large amounts of stored carbon to the atmosphere
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Arctic tundra stores large amounts of carbon in cool wet soil that is hundreds to thousands of years old. Fire has been largely absent from this biome for thousands of years, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The Anaktuvuk River Fire in 2007 burned 645 square miles of Alaska’s Arctic slope, making it the largest fire on record for the tundra biome and doubling the cumulative area burned since 1950. Research on this fire is being used to implement measurement techniques that estimate carbon loss in tundra areas. It is also being used by scientists who are initiating studies on the effect of fire disturbance on tree migration into the Arctic.

Aspen FACE Experiment
Northern Research Station

The Aspen FACE (Free-Air Carbon Enrichment) Experiment is a multi-disciplinary study to assess the effects of increasing tropospheric ozone and carbon dioxide levels on the structure and function of northern forest.

Contact: Mark Kubiske
Assessing forest carbon sequestration and water supply interactions as influenced by climate and management practices
Northern Research Station
Southern Research Station
Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center

Researchers are assessing the causal relationships between management regime or disturbance and the environmental controls of biosphere-atmosphere exchange of carbon and water. The overall objective is to measure and model the coupling effects of forest management and changing climate on carbon dioxide and water fluxes in eastern forests of the United States and China.

Contact: Steve McNulty

Was this page helpful?

Please help us improve the CCRC by giving us feedback.