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Category: Ecological Research

Title: Fact Sheet: Genetic Considerations for Restoring Forests of the Southwest After Severe Disturbance.

Author: Ouzts, J.R., Kolb, T.E.

Subject: Genetics, Southwest Forests, Restoration

Abstract: Climate change models predict increases in temperature and more frequent severe droughts and forest fires in the Southwest United States (Garfin et al. 2013). Aridity stress to forests caused by climate change will be especially severe in forests and woodlands of the Southwest because productivity is already strongly limited by low precipitation and humidity (Williams et al. 2013). Intense drought predisposes trees to disease and insect attack, such as bark beetles that have killed many trees in the Southwest in the last two decades (Raffa et al. 2008, Gaylord et al. 2013). Climate warming and fuel buildups in the Southwest are increasing wildfire-caused deforestation (Williams et al. 2010, Williams et al. 2013). There is a high risk of conversion of pon-derosa pine forests to grassland or shrubs when intense burning, drought, or bark beetles cause high tree mor-tality, create large openings, and kill local tree seed sources (Roccaforte et al., 2012). Future increase in drought intensity caused by climate warming will reduce opportunities for ponderosa pine regeneration after deforestation (Savage et al. 2013). Moreover, climate-envelope models predict substantial shrinking of the range of ponderosa pine in the Southwest over the next century, especially at low-elevations (Rehfeldt et al. 2014).

Date: 2014

Type: Fact Sheet

Source: ERI - Fact Sheet

Identifier: 4 p.

Publisher: Ecological Restoration Institute

Format: PDF

Language: English