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Managing future forests for water
Date:9/28/2011

tersheds.

"The answer in almost all cases was yes," says Ford. "But from a streamflow perspective, the extreme case of converting hardwood forest to pine produced the largest effect on available surface water. Though it might be a good option for mitigating climate change under future scenarios of increased precipitation, species conversion from hardwood forest to pine would be a poor choice under drier scenarios where it could worsen water shortages by reducing the amount of available water in streams."

Land managers and policy makers are looking to forests for options to offset the effects of climate change, and to forest management as a way to create ecosystems more resilient to the weather effects of a changing climate, but Ford and her fellow authors advise managers to look closely at the risks and vulnerabilities involved in managing for climate change, especially in relation to water supply.

"Managers need to carefully weigh the risks of adopting one strategy over another," says Ford. "They also need to realize that any strategies they consider will have to address these risks at the regional or even more fine-scaled level, taking into account possible changes to local precipitation patterns."


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Contact: Chelcy Ford
crford@fs.fed.us
828-524-2128 x118
USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station
Source:Eurekalert  

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