Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Iconic Minnesota conifers may give way to a more broad-leafed forest in the next century

20.06.2014

Over the next 100 years, Minnesota’s iconic boreal forest and deep snow may change into a deciduous forest with winters warm enough for some precipitation to fall as rain, according to a new U.S. Forest Service assessment of the vulnerability of Minnesota forests to climate change.

“Minnesota Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis” was published by the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and is available online at: http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/45939

The assessment describes effects of climate change that have already been observed; projected changes in the climate and the landscape; and forest vulnerabilities in a 23.5-million-acre region of forest in northeastern Minnesota.

Tree species that are already at the southern end of their range, such as balsam fir, quaking aspen, white spruce, and tamarack, are expected to decline over the next century while American basswood, black cherry, eastern white pine, red maple, sugar maple, and white oak may gain suitable habitat across the landscape.

“By planning ahead, foresters and other decision-makers can begin now to manage for resilient landscapes and ensure that the benefits that forests provide are sustained into the future,” said Michael T. Rains, Director of the Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory. “Forest Service science is delivering information and new technology that will help managers in Minnesota and throughout the nation meet this challenge.”

Changes in Minnesota’s climate have been documented over the past century. In general, the state is experiencing less snowfall in the area covered by the assessment, but more severe winter storms. Mean, minimum, and maximum temperatures have been increasing across all seasons, with winter temperatures experiencing the most rapid warming. Precipitation in the spring and fall has increased, with more of that precipitation occurring in deluges of 3 inches or more.

What might these changes mean for forests?

  • The projected temperature increases will lead to longer growing seasons in the assessment area.
  • The number of heavy precipitation events will continue to increase in the assessment area, and impacts from flooding and soil erosion may also become more damaging.
  • Forests may experience more drought stress during the growing season.
  • Climate conditions will increase fire risks by the end of the century.
  • Many invasive species, insect pests, and pathogens could increase or become more damaging.

“There are so many variables that will affect the future of forests in northern Minnesota, forest managers will probably always have to deal with some amount of uncertainty,” said Stephen Handler, lead author of the vulnerability assessment and a climate change specialist with the Northern Institute for Applied Climate Science (NIACS). “But we already know enough right now to begin planning for a range of possible futures. Our assessment gives forest managers in Minnesota the best possible science on the effects of climate change, so they can make climate-informed decisions about management today.”

More than 30 scientists and forest managers contributed to the assessment, which is was conducted as part of the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework, a collaboration of federal, state, academic, and private partners led by the NIACS. NIACS is a collaboration of the Forest Service, Michigan Technological University, The Trust for Public Land, and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement. The Climate Change Response Framework and this assessment are local examples of information provided by the new USDA Climate Hubs and the Forestry Sub-Hub located in Houghton, Mich. http://www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/regional_hubs.htm

xxxx

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The USDA agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of our nation’s forests, amounting to 850 million acres including 100 million acres of urban forests gracing the nation’s cities, where 80 percent of Americans live. The mission of the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station is to improve peoples’ lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Jane Hodgins | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Change Climate Minnesota USDA forest ecosystem forests rapidly warming spots

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Tropical deforestation releases large amounts of soil carbon
28.07.2015 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Drivers of temporal changes in temperate forest plant diversity
27.07.2015 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

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: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

Im Focus: Smarter window materials can control light and energy

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin are one step closer to delivering smart windows with a new level of energy efficiency, engineering materials that allow windows to reveal light without transferring heat and, conversely, to block light while allowing heat transmission, as described in two new research papers.

By allowing indoor occupants to more precisely control the energy and sunlight passing through a window, the new materials could significantly reduce costs for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Euro Bio-inspired - International Conference and Exhibition on Bio-inspired Materials

23.07.2015 | Event News

Clash of Realities – International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

10.07.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tool making and additive technology exhibition: Fraunhofer IPT at Formnext

31.07.2015 | Trade Fair News

First Siemens-built Thameslink train arrives in London

31.07.2015 | Transportation and Logistics

California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation

31.07.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>