Influence of Climate Change

You may wonder whether your woodland management plans should be altered in anticipation of the changing climate. The world?fs leading scientists and institutions agree that our climate is changing, but the impacts on forests in any given region are still uncertain. For instance, the scientific community is unable to say whether the Lakes States region is likely to get warmer and wetter or warmer and drier. Likewise, it is uncertain how temperatures are likely to fluctuate within a year. Will both seasonal highs and lows increase or will the pattern of temperature fluctuation vary? Whatever the exact nature of regional climate change, it is likely to stress trees and cause some mortality in existing mature stands. Because each species will respond differently to changing conditions, maintaining a wide diversity of species and age-classes in your woodland and across the surrounding landscape is a prudent management approach.

Additional Resources

USDA Forest Service, Woody Plant Seed Manual, Agricultural Handbook 727, http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/nsl_wpsm.html