Assessing interactions among changing climate, management, and disturbance in forests: a macrosystems approach


Forests are experiencing simultaneous changes in climate, disturbance regimes, and management, all of which affect ecosystem function. Climate change is shifting ranges and altering forest productivity. Disturbance regimes are changing with the potential for novel interactions among disturbance types. In some areas, forest management practices are intensifying, whereas in other areas, lower-impact ecological methods are being used. Interactions among these changing factors are likely to alter ecosystem structure and function at regional to continental scales. A macrosystems approach is essential to assessing the broadscale impacts of these changes and quantify cross-scale interactions, emergent patterns, and feedbacks. A promising line of analysis is the assimilation of data with ecosystem models to scale processes to the macrosystem and generate projections based on alternative scenarios. Analyses of these projections can characterize the range of future variability in forest function and provide information to guide policy, industry, and science in a changing world.




Becknell, Justin M., Ankur R. Desai, Michael C. Dietze, Courtney A. Schultz, Gregory Starr, Paul A. Duffy, Jerry F. Franklin, Afshin Pourmokhtarian, Jaclyn Hall, Paul C. Stoy, Michael W. Binford, Lindsay R. Boring, and Christina L. Staudhammer. “Assessing Interactions Among Changing Climate, Management, and Disturbance in Forests: A Macrosystems Approach.” BioScience 65, no. 3 (February 26, 2015): 263–274.
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