Climate change is expected to cause massive species turnover as climatic regimes shift and species are pushed out of their natural setting. Communities will change as a result of both climatic shifts and novel interactions between species new to the area. For example, a disproportionate amount of ecosystem services may be at risk if tree species are extirpated and not replaced by alternate tree species, which may provide similar services. For societies with a measure of dependence on ecosystem services derived from a nearby forest, it is worth considering if natural dynamics in the context of climate change are paramount, or if services associated with a forest are more desirable. If the latter, facilitated, adaptive transformation of the forest composition may be required through the planting of populations/species more amenable to the future climate regimes. We present a modeling case study to illustrate this situation, and our opinion and recommendations on how this decision making might proceed. The implementation of these large, and potentially risky, adaptation measures will require collaboration between a goal-setting public, ecological knowledge, and professionals and restoration specialists for implementation. Disturbances can function as decision points, triggers for action, and an opportunity to begin for climate transformation.
|Keywords:||Climate Change, Disturbances, Resilience, Ecosystem Services, Carbon Storage|
PhD Candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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