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Report describes Central Hardwoods forest vulnerabilities, climate change impacts
Date:3/4/2014

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: http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/45430

"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
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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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