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Iconic Minnesota conifers may give way to a more broad-leafed forest in the next century
Date:6/19/2014

e 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


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Contact: Jane Hodgins
jmhodgins@fs.fed.us
651-649-5281
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station
Source:Eurekalert  

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