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New AFRI Project on Forest Management in MN

posted Jun 26, 2012, 9:24 AM by Melissa Lucash   [ updated Aug 4, 2012, 12:09 PM by ]
Principal Investigator: Dr. Scheller (PSU)
Co-PIs: Drs. Gustafson (USFS), Lucash (PSU) and Sturtevant (USFS)
We recently received a large grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program.  The research will focus on climate change effects in central MN and science delivery to regional forest managers.

Our research will help forest managers in the Chippewa National Forest and surrounding landscape in central MN by developing robust
technologies and projections that they can use to make sound decisions to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change on forest dynamics.  We will apply a forest landscape disturbance and succession model (LANDIS-II) to project forest composition and total carbon sequestration under climate change, while improving the model by enhancing climate integration across climate-sensitive ecological processes. An iterative participatory approach will directly engage land managers and researchers in developing scenarios and model parameters, ensuring that results will be relevant and credible to managers across multiple agencies in the government, state, tribal and private sectors.  The final projections of future forest conditions with climate change will be integrated into a user-friendly visualization tool for managers that will allow them to quickly compare how different management strategies will affect species composition and carbon sequestration.  The project leverages a suite of state and regional programs to ensure rapid integration of modeling insights into the planning process, bridging the gaps between research, management, and land ownership in a region dependent on a thriving forest economy.
-Melissa Lucash