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Severe droughts cause widespread tree mortality and decreased growth in forests across the globe. Forest managers are seeking strategies to increase forest resistance (minimizing negative impacts during the drought) and resilience (maximizing recovery rates following drought). Limited experimental evidence suggests that forests with particular structural characteristics have greater capacity to resist change and or recover ecosystem function in the face of drought. However, the applicability of these results to practical forest conservation and management remains unclear. This project utilized an existing network of eight long-term, operational-scale, forest management experiments from Arizona to Maine to examine...
Southwestern Colorado is already experiencing the effects of climate change in the form of larger and more severe wildfires, prolonged severe droughts, tree mortality from insect outbreaks, and earlier snowmelt. Climate scientists expect the region to experience more frequent summer heat waves, longer-lasting and more frequent droughts, and decreased river flow in the future (Lukas et al. 2014). These changes will ultimately impact local communities and challenge natural resource managers in allocating water and range for livestock grazing under unpredictable drought conditions, managing forests in the face of changing fire regimes, and managing threatened species under shifting ecological conditions. Considering...