Skip to Main Content
Climate Change and Forests of the Future: Managing in the Face of UncertaintyAuthor(s): Constance Millar; Nathan L. Stephenson; Scott L. Stephens
Source: Ecological Applications 17(8): 2145-2151
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: Download Publication (142 KB)
DescriptionWe offer a conceptual framework for managing forested ecosystems under an assumption that future environments will be different from present but that we cannot be certain about the specifics of change. We encourage flexible approaches that promote reversible and incremental steps, and that favor ongoing learning and capacity to modify direction as situations change. We suggest that no single solution fits all future challenges, especially in the context of changing climates, and that the best strategy is to mix different approaches for different situations. Resources managers will be challenged to integrate adaptation strategies (actions that help ecosystems accommodate changes adaptively) and mitigation strategies (actions that enable ecosystems to reduce anthropogenic influences on global climate) into overall plans. Adaptive strategies include resistance options (forestall impacts and protect highly valued resources), resilience options (improve the capacity of ecosystems to return to desired conditions after disturbance), and response options (facilitate transition of ecosystems from current to new conditions). Mitigation strategies include options to sequester carbon and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. Priority-setting approaches (e.g., triage), appropriate for rapidly changing conditions and for situations where needs are greater than available capacity to respond, will become increasingly important in the future.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationMillar, Constance; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Stephens, Scott L. 2007. Climate Change and Forests of the Future: Managing in the Face of Uncertainty. Ecological Applications 17(8): 2145-2151
- Managing for multiple resources under climate change: national forests
- Climate change and North American rangelands: Assessment of mitigation and adaptation strategies
- Adapting infrastructure and recreation in the Sierra Nevada to climate change
XML: View XML