Forests & Woodlands

The climate changes expected over the next century will have huge consequences for ecosystems and the benefits they provide, including the provision of wood and fuel, food, temperature and flood regulation, erosion control, recreational and aesthetic value, and species habitat, among others.

Climate changes are likely to affect important ecological processes that will, in turn, affect key natural resources. For example, temperature and precipitation changes could mean that insectswildfireinvasive plants, and forest diseases will become more frequent in some areas of the country. The emissions that cause climate change also lead to air quality problems that put additional stress on trees.

 

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It’s important to properly plan an urban forest first in order to ensure the greatest chance of success. Location, planting timing, and tree species are all important aspects of a plan. To assist planners, West Virginia Division of Forestry recently updated two …

Our national forests, shrublands and grasslands are composed of diverse assemblages of native forb species that support numerous pollinators. Disturbances, invasives and climate change threaten the diversity and abundance of native forbs, and therefore pollinators. Research and…

Huckleberries are culturally and ecologically important plant species in the Northwest that are affected by climate change and land management practices. In the Northwest, the majority of huckleberry habitat is located on lands managed by the US Forest Service. Fire management…

Forests store or sequester a lot of carbon. Nationwide, USDA Greenhouse Gas Inventories indicate that forests, urban trees, and harvested wood account for the majority of natural sinks of carbon dioxide (USDA OCE 2016). However, trees outside of forests, including those planted…

The USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) have partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop a series of brochures that describe options landowners and land managers have to adapt to climate…

Decision-makers need better methods for identifying critical ecosystem vulnerabilities to changing climate and fire regimes. Climate-wildfire-vegetation interactions are complex and hinder classification and projection necessary for development of management strategies. The…

Increasing humidity and precipitation and rising extreme temperatures are having negative impacts across the Midwest. Integrating climate adaptation into planning processes can help build adaptive capacity to increase climate resilience. The U.S. Climate Resiliency Toolkit for…

Southern pine beetles (SPB) are destructive insect pests that cause tens- to hundreds-of-millions of dollars in economic losses annually in the southeastern US. SPB outbreaks usually start in stressed stands, but healthy trees become susceptible to attack and mortality as beetle…

Some content excerpted from "Carbon and Land Management" on the USFS Climate Change Resource Center and the USFS report Considering Forest and Grassland Carbon in Land Management (WO-GTR-95).   Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by capturing carbon…