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    Author(s): Linda S. Heath; Sarah M. Anderson; Marla R. Emery; Jeffrey A. Hicke; Jeremy Littell; Alan Lucier; Jeffrey G. Masek; David L. PetersonRichard Pouyat; Kevin M. Potter; Guy Robertson; Jinelle Sperry; Andrzej BytnerowiczSarah JovanMiranda H. MockrinRobert MusselmanBethany K. SchulzRobert J. SmithSusan I. Stewart
    Date: 2015
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-155. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 143 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (26.0 MB)

    Description

    The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) process for the United States focused in part on developing a system of indicators to communicate key aspects of the physical climate, climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and preparedness to inform decisionmakers and the public. Initially, 13 active teams were formed to recommend indicators in a range of categories, including forest, agriculture, grassland, phenology, mitigation, and physical climate. This publication describes the work of the Forest Indicators Technical Team. We briefly describe the NCA indicator system effort, propose and explain our conceptual model for the forest system, present our methods, and discuss our recommendations. Climate is only one driver of changes in U.S. forests; other drivers include socioeconomic drivers such as population and culture, and other environmental drivers such as nutrients, light, and disturbance. We offer additional details of our work for transparency and to inform an NCA indicator Web portal. We recommend metrics for 11 indicators of climate impacts on forest, spanning the range of important aspects of forest as an ecological type and as a sector. Some indicators can be reported in a Web portal now; others need additional work for reporting in the near future. Indicators such as budburst, which are important to forest but more relevant to other NCA indicator teams, are identified. Potential indicators that need more research are also presented.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
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    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Heath, Linda S.; Anderson, Sarah M.; Emery, Marla R.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Littell, Jeremy; Lucier, Alan; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Peterson, David L.; Pouyat, Richard; Potter, Kevin M.; Robertson, Guy; Sperry, Jinelle; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Jovan, Sarah; Mockrin, Miranda H.; Musselman, Robert; Schulz, Bethany K.; Smith, Robert J.; Stewart, Susan I. 2015. Indicators of climate impacts for forests: recommendations for the U.S. National Climate Assessment indicators system. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-155. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 143 p.

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    Keywords

    forest extent indicator, forest biomass indicator, wildfire indicator, forest insect and disease damage indicator, water balance deficit indicator, WUI indicator, fire risk cost indicator, biomass energy indicator, forest growth indicator, biodiversity indicator, skiing indicator, NCA indicator system

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