Federal Coordinating Lead Authors:
James M. Vose, U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station
David L. Peterson, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Chapter Leads:
James M. Vose, U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station
David L. Peterson, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Chapter Authors:
Grant M. Domke, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station
Christopher J. Fettig, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Linda A. Joyce, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Robert E. Keane, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Charles H. Luce, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Jeffrey P. Prestemon, U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station
Review Editor:
Gregg Marland, Appalachian State University
Technical Contributors:
Lawrence E. Band, University of Virginia
James S. Clark, Duke University
Nicolette E. Cooley, Northern Arizona University
Anthony D'Amato, University of Vermont
Jessica E. Halofsky, University of Washington
USGCRP Coordinators:
Natalie Bennett, Adaptation and Assessment Analyst
Susan Aragon-Long, Senior Scientist

Forests

Forests in the United States vary in their susceptibility to climate change due to differences in biophysical conditions and anticipated changes in future climate (see regional chapters for specific discussions). For example, eastern forests are largely expected to undergo gradual change, punctuated by rapid changes from small-scale disturbances.26 Across most U.S. forests, an increased frequency of large-scale disturbances is expected to be the primary challenge to maintaining healthy, functional forest ecosystems in a warmer climate; however, forest disturbances resulting from human activity can add to the effects of climate in some parts of the United States.27 Over the past decade, several large-scale disturbances have killed hundreds of millions of trees at different locations in the United States. The two Case Studies in this chapter illustrate how disturbances can cause rapid changes in the ecology and structure of forests that can result in significant social and economic effects.


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