Hedging bets against change: silvicultural alternatives for managing the adaptive capacity of northern hardwood forests
Keywords:tree peformance traits, silviculture planning, climate change, ACTS
Changes in the global climate, increases in ungulate densities, and invasive species all interact to threaten the ability of northern hardwood forest ecosystems to continue to provide desirable ecosystem functions and services. Silvicultural approaches that increase species, structural, and functional diversity allow managers to address these concerns by hedging their bets against these threats. Here I will synthesize lessons learned from the Northern Hardwood Silviculture Experiment for Enhancing Diversity (NH SEED) – an experiment designed to identify processes limiting species diversity using a range of nested overstory and understory manipulations. Additionally, I will describe ongoing work on functional traits, and linking functional diversity to carbon dynamics in one of the longest-running silvicultural trials at the Dukes Experimental Forest. Finally, I will introduce Adaptive Capacity Through Silviculture (ACTS), a new network of experiments designed to test alternative approaches to climate change adaptation in northern hardwoods of the northeastern US and Lake States. Together these studies highlight a range of options for managing vulnerabilities at multiple scales.
Authors: Julia I. Burton, Claudia Bartlick, Yvette L. Dickinson, John E. Drake, Garrett R. Evans, Robert Froese, René H. Germain, Stefan F. Hupperts, Maria Janowiak, Mickey Jarvi, Christel C. Kern, Carsten Külheim, Keenan Rivers, Christopher R. Webster, Andrew L. Vander Yacht