Climate Change and Forest Ecosystems

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Biodiversity change

However, buffering measures may only be effective in the short term , becoming less and less effective as changes and pressures accelerate. Furthermore, there are often high costs associated with such measures because they require intensive management. They are most efficient when applied to high-value or high-priority conservation forests or to forests with a low sensitivity to climate change. Measures that facilitate ecosystem shift or evolution do not aim to resist changes, but rather to ease and manage natural adaptation processes. Resilience is crucial, not necessarily to keep the ecosystem in the same state after a disturbance, but to help it evolve towards a state that is more acceptable to society.

Examples of such measures include the reduction of fragmented landscapes, conserving genetic diversity and a large spectrum of forest types for their value and higher resilience, adopting species and genotypes that are adapted to future climates in forest plantations, planting mixed species in an uneven age structure, etc.

Interconnecting Forests, Science and People

Strategies that reduce non-climatic pressures are critical and can contribute to both buffering and facilitating measures for adaptation. Climate change adds to other stressors, such as ecosystem degradation and conversion for other land uses, some of which are currently more pressing than climate change. If non-climatic threats are not addressed, adaptation to climate change becomes purely theoretical.

In landscapes where threats to forest sustainability are mostly non-climatic, implementing forest conservation or sustainable forest management is an essential first step for reducing forest vulnerability before any adaptation measures can be implemented. Air pollution and climate change remain a persistent threat to plant ecosystems, urging for international cooperation and unified research efforts.

Do not miss this cornerstone of international science. Andrzej Bytnerowicz , United States.

Climate Change and Forest Biological Diversity

Mission : to promote international cooperation, to encourage an interactive process between scientists, policy makers and representatives of local to regional governments and institutions, in order to share scientific knowledge and harmonize effective strategies aimed to reduce the risk for forests related to air pollution and climate change. Rationale : There is an increasing awareness in both the science and policy communities of the importance of addressing the linkages between the traditional air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Many air pollutants and greenhouse gases have not only common sources, but also their emissions interact in the atmosphere, and may join to cause a variety of environmental impacts on the local, regional and global scales. Examples are nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and non-methane volatile organic compounds which are precursors to tropospheric ozone.

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Snow depth, soil freezing, and fluxes of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane in a northern hardwood forest.

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