A team lead by Anthony D'Amato and Frank Thompson has completed the final report for its project, "Identifying and Evaluating Adaptation Science for Forest Habitats and Bird Communities in the Northeast."
This work began with the recognition that the impacts of climate change and forest pests and diseases are making it harder for natural resource managers to sustain important forest habitat for wildlife species and, more generally, sustain the benefits that we all derive from forest ecosystems. The natural resource management and research communities have a general understanding of what broad climate adaptation strategies may be best to navigate these mounting challenges. What remains unknown, however, is the effectiveness of implementing these broad strategies in particular forest types and in particular places. Additionally, the research community needs to better understand what knowledge and tools managers need to resolve remaining uncertainties and to overcome barriers to implementing climate adaptation tactics in the forests they manage.
To address these unknowns, project investigators undertook four interrelated research efforts to identify the science needs of managers and to evaluate how well climate adaptation can sustain forest habitat. More specifically, they surveyed rural and urban foresters, developed on-the-ground experiments with managers to test the effectiveness of adaptation actions, interviewed managers to capture the trade-offs they face when managing for forest carbon and habitat, and simulated climate adaptation across the Northeast with a computer model. The results of these efforts will prove useful in accomplishing two objectives: 1) They will help refine recommendations and guidance for managers as they strive to sustain our forests in an uncertain future; and 2) They will help investigators tailor future science to address the specific needs of managers.