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 Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>