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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Identifying and Evaluating Adaptation Science for Forest Habitats and Bird Communities in the Northeast


The forests of the Northeastern United States are home to some of the greatest diversity of nesting songbirds in the country. Climate change, shifts in natural disturbance regimes, and invasive species pose threats to forest habitats and bird species in the northeastern United States and represent major challenges to natural resource managers.   Although broad adaptation approaches have been suggested for sustaining forested habitats under global change, it is unclear how effective the implementation of these strategies at local and regional scales will be for maintaining habitat conditions for a broad suite of forest-dependent bird species over time. Moreover, given the diversity in forest stakeholders across the Northeast region, it is unclear if the adaptation science needs for these stakeholders are fully captured by existing adaptation recommendations.   The overall goals of this project are to identify the adaptation science needs of federal, state, and tribal stakeholders of forest habitats and to determine the effectiveness of adaptation strategies at sustaining forest-dependent bird species across the region. Scientists will conduct interviews with these stakeholders to identify these key adaptation science needs and apply models of future forest conditions to evaluate how effective different forest management strategies will be at sustaining bird populations under future climate conditions. This project will identify key research gaps related to forest adaptation science and inform the development of future research on healthy forest management and conservation of forest-dependent wildlife species in the U.S.