Research Roundup

Overviews of the climate change work happening at Forest Service research stations.
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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
Economic impacts of insect outbreaks triggered by climate change.
Northern Research Station
Rocky Mountain Research Station
Southern Research Station

When climate change triggers forest insect outbreaks, these episodes may affect a variety of non-market forest resources, such as recreational values, real estate values and scenic values.  A multi-disciplinary team is currently investigating how climate change-induced changes in damage caused by mountain pine beetle, hemlock wooly adelgid and southern pine beetle affect non-market forest resources.

Contact: Thomas Holmes
Northern Forest Ecosystem Experiment: Aspen Regeneration and Carbon Cycling
Northern Research Station

The Northern Forest Ecosystem Experiment is a large-scale, long-term field experiment in which harvested forests regenerate in atmospheres with enhanced concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3) or both gasses combined. This Experiment takes place on the same site as the 11-year Aspen FACE Experiment, following the final data collection for the Aspen FACE project in 2009.

Contact: Mark Kubiske
Stream temperature influences on warmwater fish and crayfish communities, with emphasis on Yazoo darters
Southern Research Station

We are exploring how summer stream temperatures influence fish and crayfish distributions in Mississippi and establishing long-term stream temperature recording sites. A focal species for the study is the Yazoo darter, a small, warmwater fish endemic to north-central Mississippi. This species appears to be restricted to stream segments with high groundwater discharge, and we are investigating whether the species' apparent groundwater dependence is due to temperature influences of groundwater.

Contact: Susan B. Adams
Mel Warren
Modeling potential future habitats for trees and birds in the eastern U.S.
Northern Research Station

The Landscape Change Research Group, from the Delaware, OH lab of the Northern Research Station, has been modeling potential changes in suitable habitat for trees and birds of the eastern US. These maps are available online at We also look at dispersal potentials through another modeling toolset, and work with modification factors to understand more about the factors not readily modeled.

Contact: Louis Iverson
Measuring wildfire potential using the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI)
Southern Research Station

A study to project future wildfire potential trends is being conducted in the Center for Forest Disturbance Science, US Forest Service Southern Research Station. This project consists of three phases to project wildfire potential in the globe, the U.S., and the South, respectively. The first and second phases are completed, and the last is underway. View their published work on wildfire trends here.

Contact: Yongquiang Liu
Watershed Vulnerability Assessments on National Forests
Northern Research Station
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest Research Station
Rocky Mountain Research Station
Southern Research Station

Watershed vulnerability assessment as being developed in the Forest Service, is a strategic assessment process that describes conditions, processes, and interactions at intermediate scales. It can be used to adapt broad guidance, analysis, and approaches to ecosystem management to particular places at management-relevant scales. The draft assessment process was piloted on 11 National Forests in 2010. The goal of the pilot watershed vulnerability assessment was to quantify the current and projected future condition of watersheds as affected by climate change to inform management decision making.

Contact: Sarah Hines
Michael Furniss
Climate Change Response Framework
Northern Research Station
Project website:

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.

Three regional projects encompass nine states, including 11 National Forests and millions of acres of forestland. Each regional project interweaves four components: science and management partnerships, vulnerability assessments, adaptation resources, and demonstration projects. Learn more about how the components interact to build a flexible, scalable, and effective Framework at CCRF Approach.

Contact: Chris Swanston
Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options (TACCIMO)
Southern Research Station
Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center
Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

The Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options (TACCIMO) is a web-based tool that connects forest planning to current climate change science. The formation of TACCIMO was rooted in the need for a standardized, credible, and concise science delivery tool relevant to forest planning and management. For more, please see our TACCIMO tool page.

Contact: Steve McNulty
Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools (CRAFT)
Southern Research Station
Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center

Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools (CRAFT) is a planning framework that forest managers and stakeholders can use to help reach agreement on the most prudent path to follow in the face of uncertainty.

Contact: Danny C. Lee

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