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Managing Great Lakes Forests for Climate Change Resistance and Resilience

TitleManaging for Resistance and Resilience of Northern Great Lakes Forests to the Effects of Climate Change

Abstract
How will forest change as the climate warms and what can we do about it?  Is biodiversity an important component for managing climate change?  What options are available to land managers?  These are some of the questions that DE&L lab director Robert Scheller and his PhD student Matthew Duveneck set out to answer.  Although they may not have answered every question, their research has made a substantial contribution to both the science of climate change effects and the management of northern Great Lake forests.  For his dissertation and subsequent publications, Matthew used a forest simulation model (LANDIS-II) to assess climate change and management effects in Minnesota and Michigan.  He explored a range of carbon emission scenarios and explored how climate change might affect the relationship between diversity and forest productivity.  In addition, he explored a variety of management options under climate change.  Although the high emission climate change scenario largely outweighed management effects, Matthew found positive effects to climate adapted management approaches.  For example, expanding forest reserves increased at-risk tree species such as balsam fir; planting climate suitable species increased productivity and diversity under climate change.  Recently The Nature Conservancy (TNC) began a new initiative based in part on this research where species expected to respond well to a changing climate were planted.  

Major Findings:

There will likely be large variation in how different landscapes respond to climate change, even those found within a similar biome: Great Lakes Forests.  This variation is a result of the particular climate and soils and biota, of course, but is equally controlled by historic legacies of disturbance and current ownership patterns and management paradigms.  In our comparison of two Great Lakes landscapes – northeastern MN and northern lower MI – the MN landscape was projected to be most vulnerable to climate change due to its location immediately adjacent to a relatively sharp climatic ecotone and the lower diversity of its forests.  Northern lower Michigan, by comparison, was projected to have relatively smaller response to climate change.  However, because northeastern MN is dominated by a few public land owners and younger forests, the potential for climate adaptive management appeared to be higher.  Both reserves and climate suitable planting had a positive, although marginal, effect on diversity and productivity in MN; the effects were minimal in our MI study area.  Critically, our results highlighted the need for much greater management intervention than has been considered in order to prevent a decline of forests and related ecosystem services in these forests.  Climate adaptive management should combine multiple strategies, including climate suitable planting and expanded reserve networks.  We may need to consider planting species that are currently found much farther south of these landscapes.  Longer rotation periods may ‘cushion’ the effects of climate change to extant communities but may incur longer-term costs as disturbance may provide opportunities for species that are adapted to the emerging climate to establish.

 View video of Matthew's dissertation defense.

Study Areas: Northeastern Minnesota and northern lower peninsula of Michigan.


Simulation examples of two climate scenarios (Current Climate top, A1FI Climate bottom) in Northerneastern Minnesota. Graphs on the left show proportion of landscape classified by each forest type represented in maps on the right.




Participants: Matthew Duveneck, Robert Scheller

Collaborators:  Mark White (TNC), Stephen Handler (USFS), Chris Swanston (USFS)

Status:  Complete

Publications: 

Duveneck, M.J. and R.M. Scheller. 2016Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests (USA).  Landscape Ecology 31:669–686.

Duveneck, M.J. and R.M. Scheller. 2015. Climate suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity. Ecological Applications 25: 1653-1668.

Duveneck, M.J., R.M. Scheller, and M.A White. 2014. Effects of alternative forest management strategies in the face of climate change in the northern Great Lake region. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44:700-710. 

Duveneck, M.J., R.M. Scheller, M.A White, S. Handler, and C. Ravenscroft. 2014. Climate change effects to northeastern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan forests: A case for preserving diversity. Ecosphere 5: 23.

Duveneck, M. J. 2013. Managing for Resistance and Resilience of Northern Great Lakes Forests to the Effects of Climate Change.  Dissertation (available below).  Portland State University, Portland, OR

Handler, S., M. J. Duveneck, L. Iverson, E. Peters, R. M. Scheller, K. R. Wythers, L. Brandt, P. Butler, M. Janowiak, C. Swanston, K. Barrett, R. Kolka, C. McQuinston, B. Palik, P. B. Reich, C. Turner, M. A. White, C. Adams, A. W. D' Amato, S. Hagell, R. Johnson, P. Larson, M. Larson, S. Matthews, R. Montgomery, S. Olson, M. Peters, A. Prasad, J. Rajala, P. D. Shannon, J. Daley, M. Davenport, M. R. Emery, D. Fehringer, C. L. Hoving, G. Johnson, L. B. Johnson, D. Neitzel, A. Rissman, C. Rittenhouse, and R. Ziel. (in press). Minnesota Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A report from the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-XX. Newtown Square, PA; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. XXX p.

Handler, S., M. J. Duveneck, L. Iverson, E. Peters, R. M. Scheller, K. R. Wythers, L. Brandt, P. Butler, M. Janowiak, C. Swanston, A. C. Eagle, J. G. Cohen, R. Corner, P. B. Reich, T. Baker, S. Chhin, E. Clark, D. Fehringer, J. Fosgitt, J. Gries, K. R. Hall, C. Hall, R. Heyd, C. L. Hoving, I. Ibanez, D. Kuhr, S. Matthews, H. Muladore, K. Nadelhoffer, D. Neumann, M. Peters, A. Prasad, M. Sands, R. Swaty, L. Wonch, J. Daley, M. Davenport, M. R. Emery, G. Johnson, L. B. Johnson, D. Neitzel, A. Rissman, C. Rittenhouse, and R. Zeil. (in press). Michigan Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A report from the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-XX. Newtown Square, PA; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. XXX p.


Presentations:

Duveneck, M. J.  How Do We Manage Forests For Climate Change? Assessing Resistance and Resilience of Northern Great Lake Forests.  (Seminar).  Portland State University, Dissertation Defense.  November 27th, 2013.  Portland, OR.

Duveneck, M. J.  Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Declining Resistance and Resilience in the Northern Great Lakes Region.  (Seminar).  Portland State University, Forest Ecology and Management Seminar Series.  October 15th, 2013.  Portland, OR.

Duveneck, M. J. ,R. M. Scheller, and M. White.  A Landscape Comparison of Potential Climate Futures in Minnesota and Michigan.  (Seminar). Ecological Society of America 98th Annual Meeting. August, 2013. Minneapolis, MN.   

Duveneck, M. J. and R. M. Scheller.  Climate Change in Northern Minnesota and Northern Lower Michigan Forests: Assessing the Effect of Latitude. (Seminar). 28th Annual Landscape Ecology Symposium. April 15th, 2013. Austin, TX.   

Falkowski, M. J., A.T. Hudak, N. L. Crookston, R. M. Scheller, M .J. Duveneck, L. M. Nagel, and R. E. Froese. Enhancing Tools and Geospatial Data to Support Operational Forest Management and Regional Forest Planning in the Face of Climate Change. (Poster). NASA Land Use/Land Cover Change meeting. April 2013. Rockville, MD.

Scheller, R. M., and M. J. Duveneck. Future forest scenarios under climate change in Northern Lower Michigan. (Seminar). Michigan Climate Change Response Framework Workshop. September 2012. Pellston, MI.

Duveneck, M.J. and R.M. Scheller.  Climate Change Adaptation: Forest Management Scenarios in Northern Minnesota. (Seminar). Purdue University/North Carolina State University Summer Field Tour.  July, 2012. Portland, OR.

Scheller, R. M., M. J. Duveneck, M. White. Scenarios of alternative forest management under climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes. (Seminar). Minnesota Climate Change Response Framework Workshop. July 2012. Grand Rapids, MN.

Duveneck, M. J., R. M. Scheller, M. White, S. Handler, C. Swantson. Assisted Migration for Climate Change Adaptation: Forest Management Scenarios in Northern Minnesota.  (Seminar).  27th Annual Landscape Ecology Symposium. April 11th, 2012. Newport, RI.   

Scheller, R. M., M. J. Duveneck, M. White, S. Handler, C. Swanston. Scenarios of alternative forest management under climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes.  (Webinar).  Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Project Sub-topic Meeting. January 24th, 2012. East Lansing, MI.

Duveneck, M. J. and R. M. Scheller. Assisted migration for climate change adaptation. (Poster). LANDIS-II Conference. January, 2012.  Madison, WI.

White, M., M. J. Duveneck, and R. M. Scheller. Forest Restoration and Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing Climate.  (Seminar). Adaptive Management In the Face of Climate Change Workshop.  February 21, 2012. Cloquet, MN.

White, M., R. M. Scheller, M. J. Duveneck.  Understanding Climate Change in Northeastern Minnesota. (Webinar). September 30th, 2011. Minnesota Science Team Meeting.

Scheller, R. M. , J. Thompson, M. White, C. Ravenscroft, M. J. Duveneck, D. Mladenoff. Tree species migration in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts: A model comparison of potential limiting factors under climate change. (S
eminar
) Ecological Society of America 96th Annual Meeting. August, 2011. Austin, Texas.

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duveneck@pdx.edu,
Dec 17, 2013, 4:32 PM