Western larch forests are iconic in the interior northwest, and here we document the preemptive steps that scientists and managers are taking to steward these forests into the future. Changing climate is forecast to have acute and chronic impacts on growth and disturbance in western larch forests. A group of scientists and managers in the northern Rocky Mountains have teamed up with the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change Network in an experiment to proactively manage forests for climate adaptation. The collaborative group developed a gradient of adaptation treatments (i.e., resistance, resilience, and transition) focused on climate change at Coram Experimental Forest and the Flathead National Forest. Treatments are scheduled, and monitoring will follow to fuel future research and to help guide regional managers who seek to learn from our treatments. We conclude with predictions of future dynamics in these stands and emphasize the value of landscape heterogeneity and the necessity of long-term monitoring for silvicultural experiments.
Crotteau, Justin S; Sutherland, Elaine Kennedy; Jain, Theresa B; Wright, David K; Jenkins, Melissa M; Keyes, Christopher R; Nagel, Linda M. 2019. Initiating climate adaptation in a western larch forest. Forest Science. 65(4): 528-536.