Research Roundup

Overviews of the climate change work happening at Forest Service research stations.
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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
Climate change influences on distributions of sculpin in western Montana
Southern Research Station

Sculpin are ecologically important, small-bodied fishes that live on the bottom of cold- and coolwater streams, rivers, and lakes. They are often the most abundant fish in small streams. We studied distributions of two sculpin species in relation to summer stream temperatures since 2006 and obtained historical distribution and temperature data extending back much farther. Water temperature is an important factor in determining summer distributions of sculpins in the study area, and we are exploring how stream warming influences sculpin distributions.

Contact: Susan B. Adams
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
The Southern Forest Futures Project
Southern Research Station

The goal of the Southern Forest Futures project is to forecast possible forest conditions 50 years into the future, and examine the implications for sustainability. This can help inform land management strategies, policy discussions, and program decisions with the clearest understanding of the potential long-term implications of changes in forests of the 13 southern states. Climate change is among the major forces that will influence conditions in 2060.

Contact: David Wear
Southern High Resolution Modeling Consortium
Southern Research Station

The Southern High Resolution Modeling Consortium (SHRMC) is a multi-agency group made up of scientists, air quality managers, fire regulators and others at multiple levels of governance. As a part of this group, Southern Research Station researchers are working on methods and tools to improve weather prediction, fire control, air quality, and smoke impact mitigation. Related modeling consortiums exist for other regions of the U.S.

Contact: Gary Achtemeier
Climate, population, and vegetation cover change impacts on water supply and demand, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity across the conterminous U.S.
Southern Research Station
Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center

The Water Supply Stress Index (WaSSI) is an integrated model that estimates ecosystem water and carbon balances and the interactions among ecosystem evapotranspiration, productivity, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity at the continental scale by coupling the key processes of the hydrologic and carbon cycles.

Contact: Ge Sun
Effects of Climate Variability on Forest Hydrology and Carbon Sequestration
Southern Research Station

A series of studies have been conducted in the last few years to understand trends in air temperature, precipitation, hydrology and ecosystem dynamics of the Santee Experimental Forest in South Carolina. This data from a large forested ecosytem will be important as a reference in understanding how climate change and variability will affect the region's water balance and carbon dynamics in the future.

Contact: Carl Trettin

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