Trade-offs and Opportunities for Forest Carbon and Wildlife Using a Climate Adaptation Lens

TitleTrade-offs and Opportunities for Forest Carbon and Wildlife Using a Climate Adaptation Lens
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLittlefield, C.A., and D'Amato A.W.
AbstractOn a warming planet, a key challenge natural resource managers face is how to protect wildlife while mitigating climate change—as through forest carbon storage—to the greatest extent possible. But in some ecosystems, habitat restoration for imperiled species may be incompatible with maximizing carbon storage. For example, promoting early successional forest habitat does not maximize stand-level carbon storage, while uniformly promoting high stocking or mature forest conditions in the name of carbon storage excludes species that require open or young forests. A new report from NECASC collaborators Caitlin Littlefield and Anthony D’Amato delves into this management conundrum, by reviewing the literature regarding carbon and wildlife trade-offs and then exploring four case studies from the northern forest region of the US. In each case, human activities have largely dampened the influence of natural disturbances; restoring or emulating these disturbances is typically required for habitat restoration and maintenance even though that equates to less carbon storage. They propose that a landscape-scale climate adaptation lens can help uncover trade-offs and illuminate paths forward that jointly support carbon storage and wildlife protection while promoting resilience in an uncertain future.
URLhttps://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/60e8b9dbd34e2a7685da86a6