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You are here: NRS Home / Research Programs /Forest Disturbance Processes /Climate Change and Events / Greenhouse Gas Impacts on Forest Microclimates
Forest Disturbance Processes

Greenhouse Gas Impacts on Forest Microclimates

[photo:] Aerial view of the Forest-Atmosphere Carbon Transfer and Storage (FACTS-II) study site near Rhinelander, WI, where the impacts of elevated carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations on forest microclimates are being studied along with may other climate-change related studies.Research Issue

The structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems are closely coupled to local and regional variations in weather, climate, and atmospheric chemistry.  Soil conditions and vegetation characteristics that develop in response to variations in weather, climate, and atmospheric chemistry can also have important feedback effects on local and regional atmospheric environments.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recognized the importance of these feedback effects in further altering the climate system.  Our ability to predict the future impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and associated changes in the climate system on forest ecosystems requires an understanding of how vegetation responses to increased greenhouse gas concentrations can further alter the local atmospheric environment within forest ecosystems.  It is this local atmospheric environment that governs many of the basic physical and biological processes within forest ecosystems.

Our Research

As part of the Forest-Atmosphere Carbon Transfer and Storage study at the Aspen Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) facility in northern Wisconsin, we have developed a micrometeorological monitoring network to examine (1) near-surface atmospheric changes induced by changing vegetation conditions brought on by elevated carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations and (2) the secondary effects of these induced microclimatic changes on forest ecosystems.  The data collected via this monitoring network is also providing vital atmospheric data to other FACE scientists studying the biological impacts of increased carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations.

Expected Outcomes

The research results from this research study will improve our understanding of how vegetation changes brought on by increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and ozone can influence forest microclimates.  Although this research study is basic in nature, the results will have applications to forest managers who need information on potential climate change impacts to forests in the northern Great Lakes region.

Research Results

Karnosky, D. F., H. Werner, T. Holopainen, K. Percy, T. Oksanen, E. Oksanen, C. Heerdt, P. Fabian, J. Hagy, W. Heilman, R. Cox, N. Nelson, and R. Matyssek. 2007. Free-air exposure systems to scale up ozone research to mature trees. Plant Biology 9:181-190.

Kubiske, M. E., V. S. Quinn, W. E. Heilman, E. P. McDonald, P. E. Marquardt, R. M. Teclaw, A. L. Friend, and D. F. Karnosky. 2006. Interannual climatic variation mediates elevated CO2 and O3 effects on forest growth. Global Change Biology 12:1054-1068.

Percy, K., M. Nosal, W. Heilman, T. Dann, A. Legge, J. Sober, and D. Karnosky. 2006. New exposure-based metric approach for evaluating O3 risk to North American aspen forests. Environmental Pollution 147:554-566.

Kubiske, M. E., V. S. Quin, W. E. Heilman, E. P. McDonald, P. E. Marquardt, R. M. Teclaw, A. L. Friend, D. F. Karnosky, K. E. Percy, W. J. Mattson, and N. D. Nelson. 2005. Feedbacks between climate and the atmosphere in determing forest growth: climatic variation mediates CO2 and O3 effects. 7th International Carbon Dioxide Conference, 26-30 September 2005, Boulder, CO. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminsitration. [Online]. Available: <http://www.cmdl.noaa.gov/info/icdc7/index.html>.

Percy, K., M. Nosal, W. Heilman, T. Dann, J. Sober, and D. Karnosky. 2005. The North American ozone air quality standard: efficacy and perfomance with two northern hardwood forest tree species. Workshop on Critical Levels of Ozone, 15-19 November 2005, Obergurgl, Austria. University of Graz, Austria.

Cook, b. D., K. J. Davis, W. Wang, A. Desai, B. F. Berger, R. M. Teclaw, J. G. Martin, P. V. Bolstad, P. S. Bakwin, C. Yi, and W. E. Heilman. 2004. Carbon exchange and venting anomalies in an upland deciduous forest in northern Wisconsin, USA. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 126:271-295.

Karnosky, D. F., D. R. Zak, K. S. Pregitzer, C. S. Awmack, J. G. Bockheim, R. E. Dickson, G. R. Hendrey, G. E. Host, J. S. King, B. J. Kopper, E. L. Kruger, M. E. Kubiske, R. L. Lindroth, W. J. Mattson, E. P. McDonald, A. Noormets, E. Oksanen, W. F. J. Parsons, K. E. Percy, G. K. Podila, D. E. Riemenschneider, P. Sharma, R. Thakur, A. Sober, J. Sober, W. S. Jones, S. Anttonen, E. Vapaavuori, B. Mankosvska, W. Heilman, and J. G. Isebrands. 2003. Tropospheric O3 moderates responses of temperate hardwood forests to elevated CO2: A synthesis of molecular to ecosystem results from the Aspen FACE project. Functional Ecology 17:289-304.

Heilman, W. E., M. R. Holdaway, R. M. Teclaw, and J. E. Eenigenburg. 2002. 1999-2001 micrometeorological trends at the Forest-Atmosphere Carbon Transfer and Storage (FACTS-II) study site. 25th Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 20-24 May 2002, Norfolk, VA. American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA. pp. 35-36.

Dickson, R. E., K. F. Lewin, J. G. Isebrands, M. D. Coleman, W. E. Heilman, D. E. Riemenschneider, J. Sober, G. E. Host, D. R. Zak, G. R. Hendrey, K. S. Pregitzer, and D. F. Karnosky. 2000. Forest atmosphere carbon transfer and storage (FACTS-II) - The aspen free-air CO2 and O3 enrichment (FACE) project: An overview. General Technical Report NC-214, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 68 p.

Heilman, W. E., R. M. Teclaw, J. G. Isebrands, D. F. Karnosky, G. R. Hendrey, and K. S. Pregitzer. 2000. Impacts of elevated CO2 and O3 concentrations on forest microclimates: Initial observations from the FACTS-11 aspen FACE facility. 19th International Meeting for Specialists in Air Pollution Effects on Forest Ecosystems, 28-31 May 2000, Houghton, MI. Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI. pp. 36.

Additional information, including links to data and research products are available at the following web site:  http://www.ncrs.fs.fed.us/4401/focus/face/

 

Research Participants

Principal Investigator

  • Warren E. Heilman, Research Meteorologist, USDA-Forest Service Northern Research Station
  • Ronald M. Teclaw, Biologist, USDA-Forest Service Northern Research Station

Research Partners

Last Modified: 11/12/2010

About this Research Area
Featured Product

[image:] publication cover pageKubiske, M. E., V. S. Quinn, W. E. Heilman, E. P. McDonald, P. E. Marquardt, R. M. Teclaw, A. L. Friend, and D. F. Karnosky. 2006. Interannual climatic variation mediates elevated CO2 and O3 effects on forest growth. Global Change Biology 12:1054-1068.

Related FACE Research

A final analytical harvest of Aspen FACE was conducted in 2009, providing full characterization of carbon storage and biomass production from 1 m deep in the soil to the top of the forest canopy.  The following winter, the residual stands were clear-cut, simulating the silvicultural treatment typically applied to aspen forest management.  The 2010 growing season is the inaugural year of the Northern Forest Ecosystem Experiment (NFEE), which is built upon the foundations of the Aspen FACE Experiment.