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Forest Management Tools to Maximize Snow Retention under Climate Change

A Northwest CSC Funding Opportunity 2014 Project
Principal Investigator
Jessica Lundquist

Dates

Start Date
2014-08-25
End Date
2016-08-24
Release Date
2014

Summary

Climate change is projected to cause earlier and less snowmelt, potentially reducing water availability for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and for municipal and agricultural water supplies. However, if forested landscapes can be managed to retain snow longer, some of these environmental and financial impacts may be mitigated. Results from our research team demonstrate that in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), opening dense forest canopies through creating forest gaps will generally lead to more snow accumulation and later melt (i.e., up to 13 weeks later). However, under certain conditions, such as locations on ridges with high wind speeds and sunny south-facing slopes, the snow that accumulated in the forest is likely to melt more [...]

Child Items (4)

Contacts

Attached Files

Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.

NW-2014-6_HiddenLake_NorthCascadeNP_RichardSheibleyIII_USGS.jpg
“Hidden Lake, North Cascade National Park - Credit: Richard Sheibley III, USGS”
thumbnail 921.04 KB image/jpeg

Purpose

Climate change is projected to cause earlier snowmelt, with potentially serious consequences for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and for municipal and agricultural water supplies. However, if forests can be managed to retain snow longer, some of these environmental and financial impacts may be mitigated. Recent results from our research team demonstrate that in areas with relatively warm winters, strategically-cut forest gaps could offset climatic warming by increasing snow retention on the landscape and delaying runoff. However, in areas with colder winters, the opposite is true, as snow lasts longer under the forest canopy. We will map these climate-forest-snow interactions across the Pacific Northwest, predicting how forest change is likely to affect snow duration in different locations and testing those predictions against careful observations from our field sites and a network of citizen scientists. Working with regional forest and water managers, we will identify strategies for applying these findings to decision-making, linking climate-forest-snow interactions to ecohydrologic conditions important to management. Results from this project will help managers to act strategically to maximize snow retention (protecting forests in some areas while opening gaps in others), providing more water later in the season for hydropower,

Project Extension

parts
typeGrant Award Number
valueG14AP00174
projectStatusCompleted

Budget Extension

annualBudgets
year2014
totalFunds93635.21
year2015
totalFunds99364.56
totalFunds192999.77000000002

Additional Information

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC 705dd2cb-408b-473d-a6ea-cfc65fc499be
StampID NCCWSC NW13-LJ104

Expando Extension

object
agendas
themes
number1
nameClimate Science & Modeling
options
number2
nameResponse of Physical Systems to Climate Change
options
atrue
number3
nameResponse of Biological Systems to Climate Change
options
gtrue
number4
nameVulnerability and Adaptation
options
etrue
number5
nameMonitoring and Observation Systems
options
number6
nameData, Infrastructure, Analysis, and Modeling
options
ctrue
number7
nameCommunication of Science Findings
options
btrue
nameNorthwest CSC Agenda
urlhttp://www.doi.gov/csc/northwest/upload/NW-CSC-Science-Agenda-2012-2015.pdf

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