Effects of climate, disturbance, and management on the growth and dynamics of temperate and sub-boreal forest ecosystems within the Lake States and New England

Project Leader: 
Research Partners: 
Dr. Brian Palik (USFS Northern Research Station); Dr. John Bradford (USGS Southwest Biological Sciences Center); Dr. Andrew Finley (Michigan State University); Dr. Shawn Fraver (University of Maine); Dr. John Brissette (USFS Northern Research Station); Dr. Louis Iverson (USFS Northern Research Station); Dr. Michael Battaglia (USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station); Dr. Christopher Woodall (USFS Northern Research Station); Dr. Matthew Russell (University of Minnesota); Dr. Linda Nagel (Colorado State University); Dr. Christopher Swanston (Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science); Maria Janowiak (Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science); Dr. Rebecca Montgomery (University of Minnesota); Dr. David Lutz (Dartmouth College)
Project Fellows: 
Status: 
Ongoing
Science Themes: 

This project is using a combination of long-term data records and recently established large-scale adaptive management studies in managed forests across the Lake States, New England, Intermountain West, and Black Hills to identify forest management strategies and forest conditions that confer the greatest levels of resistance and resilience to past and emerging stressors and their relevance in addressing future global change.  This work represents a broad partnership between scientists from the USFS Northern Research Station, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, USGS, University of MN,  University of Maine, and Dartmoutch College in an effort to capitalize on over 50 years of data collection on USFS Experimental Forests and Forest Inventory and Analysis plot to evaluate forest adaptation strategies. In addition, this project includes two installations of the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) network in northern MN and northern NH and is using these sites to examine resistance, resilience, and transition strategies for these forests and resultant impacts on ecosystem services and wildlife populations.

Preliminary Results

Examinations of population-level responses to historic drought periods within red pine forests in Minnesota indicate a general increase in drought vulnerability with increasing tree density, particularly at extremely high densities.  In addition, populations maintained at low tree densities, while unaffected by drought at young ages, were more susceptible to drought at older ages due to the higher physiological burden of large trees in those stands.  Results suggest that thinning is a viable option for reducing drought vulnerability; however, extreme density reductions should be avoided.  Related analyses in other mixed conifer and northern hardwood forests in the Great Lakes region indicate an additional benefit from maintaining a diversity of tree sizes within a population to minimize drought impacts.  Evaluations of the importance of drought as a driver of growth patterns in these populations indicate that conifer-dominated forest systems in both Lake States and Northeastern States are more sensitive to historic drought than northern hardwood dominated forests in these regions.  Results from ponderosa pine-dominated systems in South Dakota and Arizona suggest a similar importance of forest density in determining population-level sensitivity to drought with universal relationships between relative density and drought vulnerability across populations.  In addition to examining thinning impacts on drought vulnerability, we have also capitalized on long-term prescribed burning studies to determine the impacts of this common habitat management practice on drought resistance and resilience.  Findings from this work indicate that prescribed burning has an initial negative effect on the ability of trees to resist drought effects, but neutral to positive long-term impacts due to reductions in understory trees and shrubs and concomitantly greater levels of moisture availability.  Inherent in each of these long-term evaluations has been a dynamic shift over time regarding the vulnerability of a given managed populations to drought effects, underscoring the importance of anticipating long-term feedbacks between otogenetic changes in habitat characteristics and climate.  In addition, drought impacts have been highly dependent on tree population densities across the broad geography of areas examined (AZ, SD, ME, NH, MN, WI, OH) highlighting the importance of accounting for population structure when predicting future climate response of a given tree species or forest habitat type.


Tools and Products

Increasing Forest Resiliency for an Uncertain Future  

A guidance report for forest managers that will help develop ahead with proactive actions.

Publications: 
Presentations: 
  • D'Amato, A.W., C.W. Woodall, K. Evans, B.J. Palik, and L.N. Nagel. Operational evaluations of adaptive silviculture strategies for northern hardwood-dominated ecosystems: the New England Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change project. North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Flagstaff, AZ.D'Amato, A.W. Adaptive management of northeastern forests: building on the past to address future challenges. June 27, 2019
  • Department of Environmental Conservation Seminar Series, University of Massachustts. April 19, 2019.
  • D'Amato, A.W. Adaptation basics for addressing changing forest conditions. Forest Connect Webinar Series, Cornell University. April 17, 2019.
  • D'Amato, A.W., and B.J. Palik. Integrating novel with natural dynamics in the design of silvicultural adaptation strategies. Congress of Quebec Foresters, Quebec City, Quebec. April 4, 2019.
  • Clark, P., and A.W. D'Amato.  Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change: Examining transitional strategies for adapting northern forests to global change.  New England Society of American Foresters Winter Meeting, Burlington, VT. March 28, 2019.
  • Clark, P., and A.W.  Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change: Examining strategies for adapting northern forests to global change. Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative Conference. Burlington, VT.  December 14, 2018.
  • D'Amato, A.W. Adaptive silvicultural strategies for northern hardwood forests: building on the past to address future challenges. International Union of Forest Research Organizations: Uneven-aged Working Group Meeting. Valdivia, Chile. November, 13, 2018
  • Clark, P., and A.W. D'Amato. Exploring forest adaptation strategies in Vermont. Green Mountain Division of Society of American Foresters Summer Meeting. Waterbury, VT.  September 14, 2018                                 
  • Bennet, K. and A.W. D'Amato. Northeast Silviculture Institute for Foresters: Northern Hardwoods Module. Bartlett Experimental Forest, Bartlett, New Hampshire. September 5-6, 2018
  • D'Amato, A.W., C.W. Woodall, K. Evans, B.J. Palik, and L.N. Nagel. Operational evaluations of adaptive silviculture strategies for northern hardwood-dominated ecosystems: the New England Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change project. North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Flagstaff, AZ. June 27, 2018
  • Bennet, K. and A.W. D'Amato. Northeast Silviculture Institute for Foresters: Pine-Oak Module.  University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire. May 15-16 2018
  • Heuss, M. and A.W. D'Amato. "Southern pine beetle impacts on Long Island and future forests".  Preparing for southern pine beetle in Massachusetts Workshop, Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellfleet, MA. February 13, 2018
  • Foster, J.R., A.W. D'Amato, M. Itter, M. Reinikainen, and M. Curzon. Landsat Time-series for the Masses:Predicting Wood Biomass Growth from Tree-rings Using Departures from Mean Phenology in Google Earth Engine.  American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA. December 17, 2017.
  • Foster, J.R., and A.W. D’Amato. Forecasting migration rates of montane species under climate change with a spatially dynamic vegetation model.  Presentation. 11th North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Edmonton, Alberta. June 22, 2017. 
  • Palik, B.J., A.W. D’Amato, L. Nagel, and J. Mueller. Transitioning red pine forests to a warmer, drier future: assisting replacement of an iconic species.  Presentation. 11th North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Edmonton, Alberta. June 22, 2017.
  • D’Amato, A.W.  . Silviculture in the face of uncertainty: is the past still relevant? Invited Keynote Presentation.  11th North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Edmonton, Alberta. June 20, 2017.
  • D'Amato, A.W. Strategies for managing forests to increase drought tolerance. National Drought Meeting, San Antonio, TX. March 22, 2017. 
  • D'Amato, A.W. Strategies for managing forests to increase drought tolerance. New England Society of American Forests Winter Meeting, Bangor, ME, March 8, 2017. 
  • Curzon, M.T., A.W. D'Amato, J.R. Foster, B.J. Palik, S. Fraver, J.B. Bradford, A. Bottero, and K.E. Gleason. Forest structure and management influence trait-based growth in northern forests across the northeastern United States. 101st Ecological Society of America Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Foster, J.R., and A.W. August 7-12, 2016.
  • D'Amato.  2016. Forecasting potential climate change refugia to guide conservation of montane species.101st Ecological Society of America Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, FL. August 7-12, 2016.
  • Bottero A., A.W. D’Amato, B.J. Palik, J.B. Bradford, S. Fraver.  Thinning reduces vulnerability of forest ecosystems to drought.  Italian Congress on Silviculture, Florence, Italy. September 15, 2015.
  • Palik, B.J., L. Nagel, A.W. D'Amato, and C. Kern. Adaptive sivilculture for climate chante in Pinus resinosa (red pine) forests. North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Veracruz, Mexico. June 18, 2015
  • D'Amato, A.W.  Something old, something new: sivilcultural strategies for addressing climate change. New England Society of American Foresters 95th Winter Meeting. Fairlee, VT. March 26, 2015.
  • Bottero, A.  2015. Long-term effects of repeated prescribed burning on tree growth and drought vulnerability in red pine forests in northern Minnesotaa.  Lake States Fire Consortium Webinar Series. February 19, 2015.  
  • Bottero, A., J.B. Bradford, A.W. D'Amato, S. Fraver, and B.J. Palik.  2014.  Forest thinning alters drought vulnerability in temperate North American forests.  Society of American Foresters National Convention, Salt Lake City, UT.  October 10, 2014.        
  • D'Amato, A.W. 2014. Climate-Informed Forest Management Forum and Field Day.  Grand Rapids and Chippewa National Forest, MN. May 8, 2014.   
  • Foster, J.R., D'Amato, A.W., Bradford, J.B.  2013. Sensitivity of tree, species and stand biomass growth to summer water deficits from tree-ring reconstructions in northern Minnesota. Presentation at 9th North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Bloomington, IN. June 17-20, 2013.
  • Foster, J.R., A.W. D’Amato, and J.B. Bradford.  2013. Characterizing the differential sensitivity of tree species and forest types to past weather variability using dendrochronological techniques. Presentation at 98th Annual Meeting Ecological Society of America. Minneapolis, MN. August 4-9, 2013.        
  • McKenzie, D.A., A.W. D’Amato, B.J. Palik, S. Fraver, J. B. Bradford, and J.C. Brissette. 2013. Long-term silviculture experiments impact stand-level weather sensitivity, resistance, and resilience. Presentation at 98th Annual Meeting Ecological Society of America. Minneapolis, MN. August 4-9, 2013.         
  • D’Amato, A.W.  2013. Adaptive silviculture and site level considerations for northern hardwoods.  2013.  Invited presentation at the 2013 Wisconsin Society of American Foresters State Conference, Minocqua, WI. September 17, 2013.                                  
  • Foster, J.R., A.W. D’Amato, and J.B. Bradford.  2012.  Long-term tree and stand biomass increment patterns derived from tree rings in multiple temperate and sub-boreal forest systems in northeastern Minnesota, USA. Seminar at 97th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Portland, OR.  August 9, 2012.
  • Bradford, J., A.W. D'Amato, G. Domke, J.R. Foster, N.R. Jensen, and E. Peters.  2012. Adaptation and mitigation strategies on the Superior National Forest in response to climate change: monitoring, assessing, and forecasting. Invited presentation at Superior National Forest Research Roundup, Duluth, MN. February 22, 2012.
  • D’Amato, A.W.  2012. Looking back to inform the future: retrospective assessments of forest adaptation and mitigation strategies.  Invited Webinar as part of Northeast Climate Science Center Colloquium, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.  February 15, 2012.

 

Other: 
  • CSC News: New Report: Vulnerability of Northeast Forests. February 12, 2018.
  • Anthony D'Amato Interview on Northeast Public Radio: Mild Winters In Our Near Future Will Threaten The Trees That Define Vermont Forests, February 12, 2018.
  • Anthony D'Amato Interview on Northeast Public Radio: UVM Forestry Professor Discusses New Study On Climate Change Impact On Northeast Forests, February 8, 2018.
  • D'Amato, A.W. 2016.  Exploring silvicultural strategies in Vermont's Changing Forest: Northern Hardwoods.  University of Vermont Extension Webinar January 21, 2016
  • Catanzaro, Paul F., D'Amato Anthony W., and Huff Emily Silver, (2016) Increasing Forest Resiliency for an Uncertain Future. Outreach Pamphlet. 32 pp.
  • Meeting: Climate-Informed Forest Management Forum and Field Day.  Grand Rapids and Chippewa National Forest, MN, May 7-8, 2014
  • Meeting: Northeast Climate Science Center Outreach and Science Planning, Minneapolis, MN, January 17-18, 2013
  • Meeting: western LCCs within Northeast CSC, Madison, WI, May 23, 2012 change.  USFS Northern Research Station/NASA