Forests

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.

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

The U.S. Forest Service and USDA Climate Hubs convened regional workshops in many of the nine Forest Service regions throughout 2017. The workshops helped develop a set of local strategies and tactics to reduce, mitigate, and, in some cases, recover from the effects of drought. ...

Dealing with Drought in Forests, Grasslands, and Rangelands

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

Stand of birch trees in the northwoods

Climate trends in northern Minnesota point to a future that will be warmer and more variable, presenting greater stress for boreal species such as paper birch, white spruce, and balsam fir. Early public feedback on the proposed North Shore Forest Restoration Project indicated...

Superior National Forest: North Shore Forest Restoration Project

Caroline Lake, Wisconsin

Project partners identified a number of potential adaptation actions with the overarching intent to maintain the resilience of the forest to changing conditions. In the northern hardwood forest, actions to maintain and enhance tree species diversity were prescribed to reduce the...

The Nature Conservancy: Caroline Lake Preserve

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

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

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