Helping Forest Ecosystems Adapt to Impacts of Changing Climate

Friday, September 14, 2018

Photo Credit: UVM Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources News

NE CASC principal investigator Anthony D’Amato spent five days in late May planting 7000 tree seedlings in the wilderness of northern New Hampshire with eleven University of Vermont researchers and students. This work is part of a national series of field experiments intended to run for decades to test ways to help forest ecosystems adapt to impacts of changing climate and disturbances.

 “We are focusing on three adaptation strategies: resistance, resilience, and transition,” said D’Amato who has practiced forest research for close to twenty years. “We are trying to increase forest ecosystem resistance and resilience to projected climate change scenarios using silviculture techniques that carefully select trees to harvest and retain so that we increase the complexity of this northern hardwood forest with trees of all ages, sizes, and species.”

In the Northeast, scientists are projecting climate change impacts will include shorter winters, changing precipitation patterns, more destructive wind and ice events, and greater damage from forest insects and diseases.  These changes will affect tree health and species habitat suitability. D’Amato and his UVM team are studying tactics to grow and regenerate trees and maintain the health and ecological conditions of forests.

“Developing science to meet these challenges is paramount to the sustainability of future forests,” said Christopher Woodall, a scientist with the Forest Service Northern Research Station and co-lead on the New Hampshire project. 

Read more about Anthony D’Amato >>

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 Map image credit:  Jennifer Santoro