Please update your Flash Player to view content.

More News on OutdoorWire

OutdoorWire

OutdoorWire

Portal page for OutdoorWire Access and Landuse Central Read More
4x4Voice

4x4Voice

California off road recreation news and information Read More
MUIRNet News

MUIRNet News

News and information about issues affecting outdoor recreation Read More
4x4Wire

4x4Wire

Off road recreation and 4x4 Technical news and information Read More
TrailTalk

TrailTalk

4x4Wire TrailTalk Forums for a variety of 4x4 tech information Read More
  • 1

Analysis explores ways to increase water availability in face of increasing drought stress

CORVALLIS, Ore. June 3, 2013. A new analysis led by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station encourages resource managers to consider a broadened view of forests as consumers of water.

A shift in thinking toward reducing the risk of water stress to vegetation can help forests maintain their resilience and health in a changing climate, according to a paper published online in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

“Our work emphasizes how forests primarily need and consume water, and so managing forest health requires thinking about how much water is available for forests, how forests use that water, and how management strategies can mitigate increasing drought stress,” said station research hydrologist Gordon Grant, who led the analysis.

More than half of the U.S. water supply comes from forest lands where most precipitation falls, filters through soil, and, ultimately, becomes streamflow. Current research demonstrates that many of the growing threats facing forests, like wildfire and insect outbreaks, are linked to water stress from combinations of drought and a warming climate. Climate change is projected to increase forest water stress in many areas.

Along with co-authors Christina Tague, from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Craig Allen, from the U.S. Geological Survey, Grant reviewed a range of studies—mostly from the western U.S. and in drought-stressed forests—to identify management strategies that may retain water for forests, such as thinning and soil water conservation.

Then, to demonstrate the potential effects of water-enhancing strategies, the researchers used a model of vegetation, water, and carbon cycling on a forest site in New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument, which recently experienced a multi-year drought and associated tree mortality. Modeling revealed that substantial ponderosa pine mortality during the 2002-2003 drought might have been prevented by small increases in plant-available water via forest thinning, mulching to reduce evaporation from the soil, or irrigation. 

“Many of the strategies for addressing increased drought stress are consistent with established forest management objectives and practices, but increasing water availability to forests through the use of specifically designed management activities has not been an explicit goal,” Grant said. “Ultimately, these strategies would need to be tailored to particular management objectives and landscapes.”

The Pacific Northwest Research Station—headquartered in Portland, Ore.—generates and communicates scientific knowledge that helps people make informed choices about natural resources and the environment. The station has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon and about 400 employees. Learn more online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw.

# # #

 

Share this --

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponTechnoratiLinkedinShare on Google+
Pin It

OutdoorWire Websites

OutdoorWire

OutdoorWire

Portal page for OutdoorWire Access and Landuse Central Read More
4x4Voice

4x4Voice

California off road recreation news and information Read More
MUIRNet News

MUIRNet News

News and information about issues affecting outdoor recreation Read More
4x4Wire

4x4Wire

Off road recreation and 4x4 Technical news and information Read More
TrailTalk

TrailTalk

4x4Wire TrailTalk Forums for a variety of 4x4 tech information Read More
  • 1

4x4 Tech from 4x4Wire

Jeep Tech

Jeep Tech

Jeep Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Toyota Tech

Toyota Tech

Toyota Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Mitsubishi Tech

Mitsubishi Tech

Mitsubishi Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Isuzu Tech

Isuzu Tech

Isuzu Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
  • 1