A new vulnerability assessment examines forest ecosystems across the New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, northern New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) under a range of future climates. Maria Janowiak with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), co-authored this report with contributions from NE CSC PIs, Anthony D'Amato and Frank Thompson, US Forest Service, Harvard Forest, state agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations contributed to this publication. Other NE CSC contributors include Toni Lyn Morelli, Jane Foster, and Jacob Fraser.
The report, "New England and northern New York forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework project" (full citation, below), outlines how some northern tree species will be impacted more than others. Montane spruce-fir, low-elevation spruce-fir, and lowland mixed conifer forests were determined to be the most vulnerable communities. Central hardwoods, transition hardwoods, and pitch pine-scrub oak forests were perceived as having lower vulnerability to projected changes in climate. These projected changes in climate and the associated impacts and vulnerabilities will have important implications for economically valuable timber species, forest-dependent animals and plants, recreation, and long-term natural resource planning.
Citation: Janowiak, Maria K.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Swanston, Christopher W.; Iverson, Louis; Thompson, Frank R., III; Dijak, William D.; Matthews, Stephen; Peters, Matthew P.; Prasad, Anantha; Fraser, Jacob S.; Brandt, Leslie A.; Butler-Leopold, Patricia; Handler, Stephen D.; Shannon, P. Danielle; Burbank, Diane; Campbell, John; Cogbill, Charles; Duveneck, Matthew J.; Emery, Marla R.; Fisichelli, Nicholas; Foster, Jane; Hushaw, Jennifer; Kenefic, Laura; Mahaffey, Amanda; Morelli, Toni Lyn; Reo, Nicholas J.; Schaberg, Paul G.; Simmons, K. Rogers; Weiskittel, Aaron; Wilmot, Sandy; Hollinger, David; Lane, Erin; Rustad, Lindsey; Templer, Pamela H. 2018. New England and northern New York forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework project. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-173. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 234 p.