A conceptual framework for adaptive forest management under climate changeThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The consensus among most scientists is that the global climate is changing in response to a rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the past 150 years. This perspective has prompted research on potential changes in future forest conditions so that management interventions might be developed to protect desired ecosystem services. Some of the most significant forest trends expected in response to climate change are: a shift in tree habitats and ranges perhaps in surprising directions (Iverson et al. 2008, 2011; Zhu et al. 2011); an increase in the rate and severity of disturbances such as pest outbreaks, wildfires, acidic deposition, drought, and storms (Allen et al. 2010; Ayres and Lombadero 2000; Breshears et al. 2005; Emanuel et al. 2008; Klos et al. 2009; McNulty and Boggs 2010; Raffa et al. 2008; Soja et al. 2007; Vose et al. 2012; Westerling et al. 2006, 2011); and a reduced ability of some forests to recover from forest disturbances (Thompson et al. 2009). Although these trends are projected to materialize over the next several decades, the precise timing, location, and intensity of changing climatic effects on forests are uncertain.