Climate-Forest Interactions

Written by Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona

Climate is an important factor in the establishment, growth, and resilience of forests and woodlands. With the highly variable climate of the Earth in recent decades, forests are beginning to show particular symptoms that relate to warmer temperatures and greater variability of precipitation. Many segments of society are in need of unbiased, research-based information so that informed decisions can be made about how climate issues will shape future forest management and policy.

Forests in many states and provinces of the western United States and Canada have experienced disturbance events that have been linked to climate, such as unprecedented levels of mortality from bark- and phloem-feeding insects. Forests throughout North America are looked to for carbon storage as world carbon budgets come to the forefront of political discussions. We recognize that forest interactions driven by climate may be managed through silvicultural practices, some yet to be discovered.

This section includes information from research about forest disturbances, carbon storage, land use, and silvics that relates to climate variability and climate-forest interactions. This information is presented to support the needs of Cooperative Extension educators, individuals, and local, state, regional, and national resource professionals who need an impartial, state-of-the-science source.

Resources available in this section: