Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Warmer weather, human disturbances interact to change forests

02.08.2004


While a rapidly changing climate may alter the composition of northern Wisconsin’s forests, disturbances such as logging also will play a critical role in how these sylvan ecosystems change over time.



Details will be presented on Friday, Aug. 6, at the annual Ecological Society of America conference in Portland, Ore.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers used a computer-modeling program to project 200 years of change in a forest in northwestern Wisconsin under three climate scenarios. In one scenario, they assumed no change from current temperature and precipitation conditions; in the other two scenarios, they used data from global forecasts that predict a hotter, wetter climate.


The model also took into account land development, along with processes like harvesting and changes in carbon storage due to climate change.

"If the climate were to warm, we project that many northern species would not be able to reproduce or compete well, and southern species that are adapted to warmer conditions, such as the oaks and hickories found in southern Wisconsin, would move in," says Robert Scheller, a UW-Madison postdoctoral forestry researcher with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

In fact, Scheller and forestry professor David Mladenoff found that some species - including jack pine, red pine, white spruce, balsam fir and paper birch - would not be able to survive warmer conditions.

But human actions also contribute to this changing landscape, according to the results.

Says Scheller, "Human influence greatly modifies change in the forests, and logging and fragmentation would affect the northward migration of southern species during a period of climate warming."

Although scientists know that species migration occurs as the climate changes - there is evidence of this from the last ice age, Scheller says - for at least the next 100 years, disturbances such as harvesting or wind damage will continue to play a very important role in shaping forests.

"Harvesting helped create the forests we know today, and will continue to be a primary driver of change," he says. "If the climate changes, harvesting may provide opportunities for southern species to take hold in northern forests."

However, there is a natural lag between climate change and species migration, says Scheller, adding that this lag is especially evident in environments that are fragmented by human development, such as parts of northern Wisconsin.

The project was completed using a newly released forestry-modeling program called LANDIS II, which is an expansion of the previous LANDIS program. Forestry scientists at UW-Madison and the U.S. Forest Service North Central Research Station developed both programs.

Scheller and Mladenoff are now applying their new model to areas outside of Wisconsin. They are teaming with NASA to model insect defoliation using satellite images, and are working with the U.S. Forest Service to examine the effects of fire in the pine barrens of New Jersey.

Robert Scheller | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>