Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change: A National Experiment in Manager-Scientist Partnerships to Apply an Adaptation Framework
Forest managers in the United States must respond to the need for climate-adaptive strategies in the face of observed and projected climatic changes. However, there is a lack of on-the-ground forest adaptation research to indicate what adaptation measures or tactics might be effective in preparing forest ecosystems to deal with climate change. Natural resource managers in many areas are also challenged by scant locally or regionally relevant information on climate projections and potential impacts. The Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) project was designed to respond to these barriers to operationalizing climate adaptation strategies by providing a multiregion network of replicated operational-scale research sites testing ecosystem-specific climate change adaptation treatments across a gradient of adaptive approaches, and introducing conceptual tools and processes to integrate climate change considerations into management and silvicultural decisionmaking. Here we present the framework of the ASCC project, highlight the implementation process at two of the study sites, and discuss the contributions of this collaborative science-management partnership.
Management and Policy Implications The shortage of scientifically robust, replicated, operational-scale research on forest adaptation to climate change has left forest and natural resource managers with little information on and few examples of on-the-ground adaptation approaches that could work for their forest ecosystems. The Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) project is establishing a national network of long-term silvicultural research sites across multiple regions and a diversity of forest types to test a range of adaptation approaches and to provide managers with the tangible demonstrations needed to inform climate-adaptive decisionmaking in their forest management. Furthermore, the ASCC project provides managers and scientists with training on integrating climate change considerations into planning processes and identifying locally appropriate adaptation approaches and tactics. The main goals of the ASCC project ultimately serve to advance understanding within the forest management community of how management can foster adaptive responses to the impacts of uncertain climate futures. The science-management partnerships built through this project help inform the relevance of the research, as well as advance communication on climate change adaptation at a national scale.