Project

Expanding our knowledge of winter limnology is critical for managing lakes , reservoirs, and all freshwater resources in a future with shorter winters and less lake ice. In temperate latitudes, we have largely ignored winter as a season that impacts ecological processes, and it is unclear what ramifications the loss of lake ice will have on lake ecosystems. This project will combine long-term observational datasets, high-frequency buoy data, and an experimental approach to understanding the role of light availability in under-ice productivity

Project

Climate change has impacted and will continue to impact indigenous peoples, their lifeways and culture, and the natural world upon which they rely, in unpredictable and potentially devastating ways. Many climate adaptation planning tools fail to address the unique needs, values and cultures of  indigenous communities. This Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu, which was developed by a diverse group of  collaborators representing tribal, academic, intertribal and government entities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, provides a framework to integrate indigenous and traditional knowledge, culture, language and history into the climate adaptation planning process. The Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu is designed to work with the Northern Institute of  Applied Climate Science (NIACS) Adaptation Workbook, and as a stand-alone resource

Project

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

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Adirondacks, NY - Credit: Alan Cressler
Project

This project is developing an on-line platform to enable rapid sharing and cataloging of silviculture case studies documenting adaptive forest management approaches across MI, MN, Ontario, and WI.  The goal of this project is to create a clearinghouse of information for forest managers across the region to disseminate ideas on addressing emerging issues and tracking effectiveness of a given approach.  The Prescription Library will serve as the basis for regional continuing education offerings for natural resource professionals throughout Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin. The project initiated in late March 2014 and now shares 27 case studies in adaptive silviculture through the Prescription Library platform. These case studies cover Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin and demonstrate a range of silvicultural approaches to address current and emerging issues related to the sustainable management of forests in the Great Lakes region

Project

Given the increasing impacts of climate change and natural disturbances on forest ecosystems across the US, there is a need for monitoring systems that allow for accurate and rapid detection of historic and future changes in forest area and carbon stocks. This collaborative project between UMN, USFS, and NASA is piloting a Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) accounting system that could be used within the context of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory baseline reporting to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. To accomplish this, baseline biomass density and historic data about forest change derived from Landsat and LIDAR information are being combined with USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis monitoring system to provide annual estimates of forest C stock and stock change from 1990 to present for several regions of the US

Project

This project examines the ecological and hydrological impacts of emerald ash borer on black ash-dominated wetlands throughout the Lake States using large-scale experimental studies documenting impacts of black ash mortality on ecosystem processes, wildlife communities, and evaluating potential mitigation and adaptation strategies under future climate and invasion scenarios.  Adaptation strategies being evaluated include the planting of non-host tree species and management techniques to increase levels of compositional and structural complexity within these systems.  Work is also generating maps of the distribution of black ash forest habitats to help prioritize areas for conservation and mitigation in the context of emerald ash borer impacts

Project

This project is using a combination of long-term data records and recently established large-scale adaptive management studies in managed forests across the Lake States, New England, Intermountain West, and Black Hills to identify forest management strategies and forest conditions that confer the greatest levels of resistance and resilience to past and emerging stressors and their relevance in addressing future global change.  This work represents a broad partnership between scientists from the USFS Northern Research Station, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, USGS, University of MN,  University of Maine, and Dartmouth College in an effort to capitalize on over 50 years of data collection on USFS Experimental Forests and Forest Inventory and Analysis plot to evaluate forest adaptation strategies

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This project aimed to quantify the range in variability in forest dynamics and climate responses for range-margin populations of Pinus banksiana and Picea mariana so as to generate management guidelines for conserving these forests on the landscape in an uncertain climatic future.  These species are the cornerstone for several upland and lowland habitat types on the western edge of the Northeast CSC and are particularly vulnerable to future changes in climate and disturbance regimes.  This project took advantage of extensive dendrochronological and forest community data to determine the drivers and future dynamics of key demographic processes for these tree species

Project

Water temperatures are warming in lakes and streams, resulting in the loss of many native fish. Given clear passage, coldwater stream fishes can take refuge upstream when larger streams become too warm. Likewise, many Midwestern lakes “thermally stratify” resulting in warmer waters on top of deeper, cooler waters. Many of these lakes are connected to threatened streams. To date, assessments of the effects of climate change on fish have mostly ignored lakes, and focused instead on streams. Because surface waters represent a network of habitats, an integrated assessment of stream and lake temperatures under climate change is necessary for decision-making. This work  informed the preservation of lake/stream linkages, prioritization restoration strategies, and stocking efforts for sport fish. This project employed state-of-the-science methods to model historical and future thermal habitat for nearly ten thousand lakes

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NECSC_Story_SportFish.jpg
Project

Our project focused on anticipated effects of 21st century climate change on winter severity, snowpack, and lake ice across the Great Lakes Basin and the response of wildlife populations, namely white-tailed deer and dabbling ducks. Winter conditions have changed substantially since the mid-20th century, with rising temperatures, declining lake ice cover, and increased lake-effect snowfall. Nonetheless, due coarse resolution, poor lake representation, and insufficient treatment of lake-effect processes in global climate models, basinwide climate change projections remain uncertain. Changing winter conditions may greatly alter wildlife behavior and survival rates. The primary wintertime stressors for deer are air chill and snow depth, with extreme winters triggering population declines. Snow/ice cover limit foraging by waterfowl, thereby regulating the timing/intensity of migration and their distributions during non-breeding season

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