Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Forest Service unveils first comprehensive forecast on southern forests

18.05.2011
Urbanization expected to reduce forest area in South during next 50 years

The USDA Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters released the first phase of the Southern Forest Futures Project report on Tuesday, May 17, which identifies areas forest managers will focus on to maintain southern forests in the coming years.

According to the report, urbanization, bioenergy use, weather patterns, land ownership changes and invasive species will significantly alter the South’s forests between the years 2010 and 2060. About 23 million acres of forest land are projected to decrease. People are also expected to influence water resources, wildlife, recreational opportunities, fire and other issues.

Project team members used computer models and expert analysis to develop the report. It will serve as a guide as Forest Service personnel seek to maintain the vitality and efficiency of forests in the south.

"The agency is poised to respond to the implications of the findings in the summary report," according to Forest Service Southern Regional Forester Liz Agpaoa, "The summary report clearly demonstrates the urgent need for developing a collaborative strategy to conserve and restore southern forests. A healthy and prosperous America relies on the health of our natural resources, and particularly our forests."

The technical and summary reports completes phase one of the two-phase project and begins a 60-day public comment period, wherein people can submit remarks via the Futures Project website at www.srs.fs.usda.gov/futures.

To put the report’s forecast into perspective, Rob Doudrick, director of the Forest Service Southern Research Station, said the potential decrease in forest area is equivalent to the state of South Carolina. “Urbanization along with population growth equates to more demands for additional goods and services from a declining forest base. This could have a dramatic impact on our Southern forests,” he said.

Additional key findings are:

Population growth will bring more runoff from roads, buildings, and parking lots as well as increased pollution, impacting supplies of clean drinking water and the quality of aquatic habitats.
More numerous and severe wildfires are forecasted
More frequent and intense wildfires will pose additional challenges to community and forestry wildfire organizations.
The spread of plant, insect and disease pests could severely affect native species, forest productivity and wildlife
More than 1,000 plant and wildlife species of conservation concern could be threatened by urbanization, climate change and invasive species

"Over the next 50 years, multiple forces will interact to determine the future of southern forests," said Charlie Morgan, Mississippi State Forester and chairman of the Southern Group of State Foresters. "This report will give state foresters information they need to inform their programs and make decisions in their respective states."

More than 30 scientists, researchers, foresters and other experts with the Forest Service, state forestry agencies and universities contributed to the study.

"The Forest Service was well positioned to undertake this complex project," said Dave Wear, project co-leader and economist with the Southern Research Station. "In the South we have a network of scientists from the various scientific disciplines needed to address all of the issues and forest managers dealing with them on a day-to-day basis."


John Greis, the other project co-leader with the Southern Region of the Forest Service, added that "we reached out to the broad public to identify the important issues and subjected all the work to independent scientific review."

Beginning in Fall 2011, the Forest Service will release separate reports that detail the findings and implications for forest management and conservation for five sub-regions of the South, which are the Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Appalachian/Cumberland, Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Mid-South. The 13 southern states included in the study are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Headquartered in Asheville, NC, the Southern Research Station is comprised of more than 120 scientists who conduct natural resource research in 20 locations across 13 southern states (Virginia to Texas). The Station’s mission is “…to create the science and technology needed to sustain and enhance southern forest ecosystems and the benefits they provide.” Learn more about the Southern Research Station at:www.srs.fs.usda.gov.

The Southern Region oversees 14 national forests and two special units in 13 states and Puerto Rico, working with states and private landowners to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Zoë Hoyle | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another

27.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>