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Atlantic Forest Research Collaborative

Climate Change and Forest Carbon

Global temperatures have risen since the beginning of the industrial revolution, with some of the warmest years occurring in the past decade. Some North American forests are already experiencing climate-induced changes such as altered natural disturbance regimes (fire, pests). Future impacts are predicted to vary regionally.

The Acadian Forest Region is situated within an eastern North American ecological transition zone conifer-dominated boreal forest to the north with temperate deciduous forests to the south. Transition forests are considered particularly susceptible to climate change.

Forests help to maintain the global carbon balance by both storing and releasing carbon. The effect of climate change on carbon source/sink balance of Canada’s forests is being extensively studied. The Canadian Carbon Budget Model uses the best available information on forests and tree growth, with the data being provided by resource management agencies. Silviculture, forest health, and precision forestry are three research themes that can contribute new knowledge to understanding of potential effects of climate change on carbon cycling and valuation of forest carbon storage for emission offsets.

Priority research questions

  • What are the risks and opportunities of climate change on forest values in the Acadian forest region, and how can we adapt?
  • How do we measure, forecast, model, manage, price and market carbon in the forest to create a new revenue stream for landowners and help society mitigate/adapt to climate change?

Work group members

  • Van Lantz, Susannah Banks, and Mike Lavigne.

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