Disturbances

Disturbances and stressors are often thought as one in the same and while they can have similar effects to agriculture production to rangeland and forest resources there are important differences worth considering.  It is important to note these differences because it may change the management approach or practice being considered when dealing with a disturbance event like a flood or persistent stressor such as nitrogen deposition. 

Examples of ecological disturbances include fires, landslides, flooding, windstorms and insect and pest outbreaks.  Disturbances often come in the form of short-term or temporary changes to the landscape but can have very significant ecosystem impacts. These events often act quickly but with great impact and thereby are able to promote changes to the physical structure of the system. 

Continue to the full text of Disturbances and Stressors or browse related content:

Riparian forest buffers in Pennsylvania

Many people advise that while the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time to plant a tree is today. Winter weather makes it tough to follow this advice, but the off-season does provide a bit more time to plan ahead for the year to come. Extreme rain...

Planning for Planting

Risk of Seasonal Climate Extremes in the U.S. Related to ENSO

Selecting a type of ENSO event, temperature or precipitation and season will show the relative risk of climate extremes based on concurrent value of the ENSO index (MEI.ext) for the continental United States:

Risk of Seasonal Climate Extremes in the U.S. Related to ENSO

The economic, social, and environmental costs of drought can be significant, and vulnerability to drought in arid and semi-arid regions will likely increase in the future with a warming climate. To promote stronger drought resilience on federal lands, the National Drought...

Responding to Ecological Drought in the Intermountain Region

A newly constructed stream simulation culvert on the George Washington National Forest.

Extreme Precipitation and Trends There is clear evidence that precipitation in the Northeast is more intense than it was in the past. The increase in the Northeast has been greater than any other region in the U.S. (Figure 1). Between 1901 and 2014, total annual precipitation...

Storms and Stream-Crossings

Prescribed burn on the Crab Orchard NWR

The Refuge used the Adaptation Workbook to evaluate the impacts of climate change on the Refuge and its ability to meet management objectives. They considered both challenges and opportunities related to climate change, and selected adaptation actions to address issues like a...

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management Plan

Sorting seeds to be planted in oak wilt treatment areas

Expansive forests of large maple, oak, and birch trees are prized across the Northwoods for many reasons, including their beauty, their diversity, and their ability to provide valuable wood. Unfortunately, forests pests and disease pose increasingly large threats for these and...

Responding to Oak Wilt on the Menominee Forest

Climate change is expected to make agricultural production more uncertain leaving producers and land managers to adapt to new and changing weather patterns and markets. Regionally significant research and data improve knowledge of the effects of climate change and provide...

Regional Data and Research

mdo-alert

Subscribe to the alert with your area of interest. The Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH) monitors the monthly drought outlook dataset for changes at your area of interest. We send you a summary email notification of any changes.

SERCH LIGHTS Monthly Drought Outlook Email Alert

USDA Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center

The CCRC addresses the land manager's question "What can I do about climate change?" The CCRC provides information about climate change impacts on forests and other ecosystems, and approaches to adaptation and mitigation in forests and grasslands. The website...

USDA Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center

Subscribe to Disturbances