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Title: Climate change science applications and needs in forest ecosystem management: a workshop organized as part of the northern Wisconsin Climate Change Response Framework Project
Author: Brandt, Leslie; Swanston, Chris; Parker, Linda; Janowiak, Maria; Birdsey, Richard; Iverson, Louis; Mladenoff, David; Butler, Patricia.
Publication: Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-GTR-95. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 53 p.
Key Words: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, climate change, adaptation, mitigation, monitoring, adaptive management, Wisconsin
Abstract: Climate change is leading to direct and indirect impacts on forest tree species and ecosystems in northern Wisconsin. Land managers will need to prepare for and respond to these impacts, so we designed a workshop to identify forest management approaches that can enhance the ability of ecosystems in northern Wisconsin to cope with climate change and address how National Forests and other lands could be used to test these approaches. The workshop had three major themes: (1) adaptation of forest management to current and expected climate change, (2) forest management to support greenhouse gas mitigation, and (3) monitoring of climate change impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies. A group of nearly 60 experts in the fields of forest science, policy, and forest resource management identifi ed place-based management approaches and new research directions that addressed these major themes. One concept that emerged was the need to adapt not only ecological systems but social systems as well, and research to adapt social systems was identifi ed as a key knowledge gap. Participants were cautious about the potential for northern Wisconsin lands to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration through forest management. The experts identified the need for more research to quantify that potential, especially for non-forested lands and greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide. Participants also agreed that mitigation strategies will not be effective in the long term unless they are carried out in conjunction with adaptation strategies. According to participants, current monitoring efforts in northern Wisconsin are insufficient to detect climate change impacts at spatial scales relevant to land management and are not as well-integrated with each other as they could be. However, participants identified several regional and national programs that could serve as models for integration. Outcomes from this workshop emphasized the importance of a place-based response to climate change. Forest managers in northern Wisconsin will need to establish and articulate clear goals for adaptation, mitigation, and monitoring, as well as ensure these goals are integrated with one another, in order to be effective at responding to climate change.
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