Projects‎ > ‎

Climate Science and Forest Management in MN

Title: Integrating Climate Science Into Forest Management Decision-Making Using A Collaborative Network Approach

Funding:  USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

 Robert SchellerMelissa LucashEric Gustafson (U.S. Forest Service- WI), Brian Sturtevant (U.S. Forest Service- WI), Helen Jenny (Oregon State U.)

Status:  On-going; Sept 2012- Dec 2015. 


The forestry products sector in the upper Midwest is vulnerable due to ecosystem changes anticipated from climatic change.  This situation is exacerbated by the diversity of land ownerships that hamper coordinated adaptation and mitigation strategies affecting long-term forest resilience in the face of climate change.  We propose a research-management collaboration to enable our management partners in Minnesota to work with adjacent landowners to incorporate climate change adaptation and mitigation into their planning and management activities.  We will focus on an area around the Chippewa National Forest and will support cross-ownership communication.  We will apply a forest landscape disturbance and succession model to project forest composition and total carbon sequestration under climate change, while improving climate integration within the model across climate-sensitive ecological processes.  Researchers and forest managers will iteratively develop management scenarios and refine model inputs to produce model results that are understood and embraced by all partners.  We will also simulate multiple climate scenarios.  The results will be analyzed to reduce uncertainties about how climate change will alter midwestern forest dynamics and carbon sequestration and to support a vulnerability assessment under the Climate Change Response Framework used by six midwestern national forests.  Key deliverables are simulation outputs for all scenarios and a visualization tool that will allow managers to directly query the output and answer a variety of management-related questions.  Additional dissemination of results and tools will be achieved by linking with existing programs in the region.  The project will also provide significant training and mentoring for undergraduate students.

Official project website: