Navigation Links
Report describes Central Hardwoods forest vulnerabilities, climate change impacts

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 4, 2014 Higher temperatures, more heavy precipitation, and drought. It's all expected in the Central Hardwoods Region of southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and the Missouri Ozarks, according to a new report by the U.S. Forest Service, and partners that assesses the vulnerability of the region's forest ecosystems and its ability to adapt to a changing climate.

More than 30 scientists and forest managers contributed to the report, which is part of the Central Hardwoods Climate Change Response Framework, a collaboration of federal, state, academic and private partners led by the Forest Service's Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS). "Central Hardwoods Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Central Hardwoods Climate Change Response Framework Project," was published by the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Research Station and is available online at:

"People often think of climate change as being distant, either geographically or temporally," said Leslie Brandt, the report's lead author and a climate change specialist with NIACS. "Our intent was to create a climate change resource that will be relevant to people who work, study, recreate, manage and care about the ecosystems in the Central Hardwoods Region."

In the Central Hardwoods, the effects of a changing climate are expected to include rising temperatures due to a rise in greenhouse gas concentrations, leading to longer growing seasons. Winter temperatures are also expected to increase in the area, leading to changes in snow cover and soil frost. The nature and timing of precipitation will change, research suggests, with some studies showing that climate change will decrease soil moisture later in the growing season.

Other findings of the vulnerability assessment include:

  • Conditions are expected to be less favorable for northern species such as sugar maple, American beech and white ash and become more suitable for southern species such as shortleaf pine.

  • Forest fragmentation, an existing stressor for the region's forests, may reduce the ability of species that are adapted to future climate conditions to expand into new areas.

  • Ecosystems that are adapted to frequent fire, such as open woodlands and savannas, may be more resilient to climate change because warmer temperatures are projected to increase the risk of wildfire.

"Plants, animals, and people all depend on forests and may all face additional challenges as temperatures increase and precipitation patterns shift," said John Shuey, a co-author of the study and Director of Conservation Science for the Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. "But we don't have to wait until these changes wreak havoc on our forest habitats. We can start managing for the future today by nudging our forests towards species adapted to withstand future climates."

More than a century of weather records demonstrate a changing climate for the Central Hardwoods, a region that is 40 percent forested, with about 80 percent of forested land privately owned. Since 1900, minimum temperatures in the Central Hardwood Region have increased by 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit and maximum temperatures have decreased by a similar amount. The region is receiving 12 to 17 percent more precipitation, particularly in the spring and fall since the turn of the last century. Over the past 30 years, more rain has been falling as heavy precipitation events of 3 inches or greater. Since the 1970s, a decrease in snow cover has led to an increase in soil frost.

"Confronting the challenge of climate change presents opportunities for managers and other decision-makers to plan ahead, foster 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 tools and data that will help managers in the Central Hardwoods and throughout the nation meet this challenge."


Contact: Jane Hodgins
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station

Related biology news :

1. APS issues new policy requiring identification of sex or gender in reporting scientific research
2. Report presents designs for study of cancer risks near US nuclear facilities
3. Researchers report potential for a moderate New England red tide in 2012
4. Aware, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
5. Radiologists study necessity of additional imaging recommendations in PET/CT oncologic reports
6. BGI reports the completed sequence of foxtail millet genome
7. Science reporters win ASM Public Communications Award
8. ACRG and BGI report findings from genomics research on recurrent hepatitis B virus integration
9. iView Systems iTrak® version 5.5 delivers optimized Incident Reporting
10. Report details efforts to improve, advance indoor microbial sampling
11. New report examines effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Report describes Central Hardwoods forest vulnerabilities, climate change impacts
(Date:11/19/2015)... VIEW, Calif. , Nov. 19, 2015  Based ... market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes BIO-key with the 2015 ... Leadership. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award ... product line catering to the needs of the market ... the product line meets and expands on customer base ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... , November 18, 2015 ... published a new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market ... Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture ... is anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at ... North America dominated the global ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today ... its Board of Directors. --> ... recently retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one ... with over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and ... all the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced ... is scheduled to present at the 2015 Piper Jaffray ... EST, at The Lotte New York Palace Hotel in ... . --> . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ: ... the company,s president and chief executive officer, will present at ... week in New York City . The ... December 1, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. EST. ... the website at least 15 minutes prior to the presentation ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that ... facility will be strictly dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 ... to have complete chemistry and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... with a certain type of lung nodule visible on lung ... cancer than men with similar nodules, according to a new ... the Radiological Society of North America ... Lung nodules are small masses of tissue in the lungs ... appearance on CT. Solid nodules are dense, and they obscure ...
Breaking Biology Technology: