Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change –
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
- Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change - Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
- NRS - Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change - Chippewa National Forest
- NRS Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change – Dartmouth College, Second College Grant
- NRS Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
What can land managers do today to help forests adapt to changes in habitat suitability of tree species, changes in pest behavior, and shifting hydrological patterns and other stressors associated with climate change? To answer that question, Forest Service scientists are partnering with universities and other federal, state and local agencies on the “Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change” (ASCC) Network to conduct on-the-ground, science-manager collaborative research to demonstrate what adaptation measures or tactics might be effective in preparing forest ecosystems to deal with climate change.
The study location is Crosby Farm Regional Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which is part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). The site is located in a floodplain forest ecosystem, dominated by an ash-elm mixed lowland hardwood forest type. Anticipated impacts of climate change on this floodplain ecosystem include increased temperatures, especially at night, heavier rain and flooding events, increased drought stress in the summer and dramatic decreases in snow water equivalent.
During a workshop held in March 2019, scientists and collaborators met to develop a set of management objectives, desired future conditions and silvicultural tactics for each of three climate change adaptation treatments for the site. With the “resistance” treatment the goal is to maintain relatively unchanged conditions over time. Managing for “resilience” allows for some change in current conditions, but encourages eventual return to original conditions. Finally, with the “transition” strategy, actions are taken to facilitate change and encourage adaptive responses.
Treatment options vary within the adaptation approaches. In plots managed using resistance methods, efforts are directed toward the regeneration of species currently found on site, managing to decrease invasive species cover, and maintaining large diameter trees while creating a range of diameter classes for wildlife habitat. In the resilience plots, goals include the regeneration of species observed in floodplain forests in the general region but not necessarily found currently on site, nurturing trees with vigor and seed potential, and providing wildlife trees with big crowns and cavity trees or snags for nesting wildlife species. In the transition plots land managers work to promote a broad suite of future climate-adapted species (flood-tolerant and drought-tolerant) from seed zones farther south along the Mississippi, create a diversity of canopy cover conditions over space and time that is heterogeneous for regeneration, and promote heterogeneous age classes and canopy structure.
Researchers and land managers will monitor and evaluate the impacts of adaptation strategies on forest productivity, wildlife populations, forest health, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity over time. This project is the first urban affiliate site in the ASCC network. A key component of this project will be continued community engagement, with an overarching goal of creating an educated, engaged public, involved in local climate adaptation efforts.
Hammes, Mary C.; Brandt, Leslie; Nagel, Linda; Peterson, Courtney; Windmuller-Campione, Marcella; Montgomery, Rebecca A. 2020. Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, an Urban National Park in the Twin Cities Area, Minnesota. Cities and the Environment (CATE): Vol. 13: Iss. 1, Article 11. DOI: 10.15365/cate.2020.130111 Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cate/vol13/iss1/11
Nagel, Linda M.; Palik, Brian J.; Battaglia, Michael A.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Guldin, James M.; Swanston, Christopher W.; Janowiak, Maria K.; Powers, Matthew P.; Joyce, Linda A.; Millar, Constance I.; Peterson, David L.; Ganio, Lisa M.; Kirschbaum, Chad; Roske, Molly R. 2017. Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change: A National Experiment in Manager-Scientist Partnerships to Apply an Adaptation Framework. Journal of Forestry. 115(3): 167-178. https://doi.org/10.5849/jof.16-039.
- Leslie Brandt, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station Climate Change Specialist
- Mary Hammes, Mississippi Park Connection, Environmental Stewardship & Volunteer Manager, Mississippi Park Connection
- Marcella Windmuller-Campione, University of Minnesota, Assistant Professor, Department of Forest Resources
- Rebecca Montgomery, University of Minnesota, Professor, Department of Forest Resources
- Linda Nagel, Colorado State University, Professor and Department Head, Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department
- Courtney Peterson, Colorado State University, Research Associate, Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department
- Maggie Barnick, and Adam Robbins, City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
- Dakota County Parks
- Friends of the Mississippi River
- Great River Passage
- Macalester College
- Minnesota GreenCorps
- National Park Service (NPS)
- Prairie Island Indian Community
- Saint Paul Parks and Recreation (SPPR)
- Three Rivers Park District
- United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
- United States Geological Survey (USGS)
This work was made possible by funds from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund and a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant.
- Last modified: May 29, 2020