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Abstract (from Journal of Applied Ecology): Increasing heat and aridity in coming decades is expected to negatively impact tree growth and threaten forest sustainability in dry areas. Maintaining low stand density has the potential to mitigate the negative effects of increasingly severe droughts by minimizing competitive intensity. However, the direct impact of stand density on the growing environment (i.e. soil moisture), and the specific drought metrics that best quantify that environment, are not well explored for any forest ecosystem. We examined the relationship of varying stand density (i.e. basal area) on soil moisture and stand‐level growth in a long‐term (multi‐decadal), ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa,...
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The forests of the Northeastern United States are home to some of the greatest diversity of nesting songbirds in the country. Climate change, shifts in natural disturbance regimes, and invasive species pose threats to forest habitats and bird species in the northeastern United States and represent major challenges to natural resource managers. Although broad adaptation approaches have been suggested for sustaining forested habitats under global change, it is unclear how effective the implementation of these strategies at local and regional scales will be for maintaining habitat conditions for a broad suite of forest-dependent bird species over time. Moreover, given the diversity in forest stakeholders across the...
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Spruce-fir forests and associated bird species are recognized as some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and species to the impacts of climate change. This work capitalized on a rich suite of long-term data from these ecosystems to document recent trends in these forests and their associated bird species and developed tools for predicting their future abundance under climate change. Findings from this work indicate declining trends in the abundance of spruce-fir obligate birds, including Bicknell’s Thrush, across the Lake States and New England. In contrast, montane spruce-fir forests in the White and Green Mountains of New England exhibited patterns of increasing abundance, potentially due to their recovery from...
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Severe droughts cause widespread tree mortality and decreased growth in forests across the globe—even in areas with cooler climates. Mitigating the negative effects of climate change, in particular increased drought frequency and severity, poses a major challenge to forest managers. Managers are searching for strategies that minimize the negative effects of drought on forests (i.e. increase their resistance to drought) and maximize the ability of forests to recover after a drought (i.e. improve their resilience). Evidence suggests that forests with certain combinations of tree species, sizes, and stem densities are better able to withstand and recover from drought. The goal of this study was to identify which...
Climate change and associated stressors are expected to greatly impact the ability of forest managers to sustainably manage and conserve forest habitats across the northeastern United States. As a result, adaptation strategies are being developed and applied in many regions to minimize climate change impacts and sustain key forest functions under uncertain future environmental conditions. Given that many of these strategies deviate from traditional approaches to forest management, there is a great need for field evaluations of adaptation in practice to inform long-term planning efforts to address climate change impacts. Similarly, the long timeframes over which forests develop and management actions operate has...
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Forests across the U.S. are experiencing unprecedented tree mortality caused by a variety of stressors, including invasive insects, disease, extreme weather, wildfires, and droughts. For example, the emerald ash borer, a nonnative insect, has killed tens of millions of trees in the Lake States region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan alone in the past decade. Tree die offs alter the structure of forests, making them less-suitable habitat for many species, and decrease their ability to perform important ecosystem functions, such as carbon sequestration. Climate change further threatens already damaged forests, as shifting temperature and precipitation conditions alter species’ range limits. To prevent additional...
Abstract (from http://forestry.oxfordjournals.org/content/87/5/629.abstract): The contribution of understorey vegetation (UVEG) to forest ecosystem biomass and carbon (C) across diverse forest types has, to date, eluded quantification at regional and national scales. Efforts to quantify UVEG C have been limited to field-intensive studies or broad-scale modelling approaches lacking field measurements. Although large-scale inventories of UVEG C are not common, species- and community-level inventories of vegetation structure are available and may prove useful in quantifying UVEG C stocks. This analysis developed a general framework for estimating UVEG C stocks by employing per cent cover estimates of UVEG from a region-wide...
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Climate change, the spread of invasive species, and shifts in natural disturbance regimes such as wildfires and drought represent major challenges facing forest managers in the Adirondack region of New York, and across the northeastern US. Managers require a suite of potential adaptive management options that could be implemented depending on how conditions change. Although general adaptation strategies have been suggested for sustaining forests, it is unclear how effective these strategies would be for maintaining forests – and the wildlife that depend on forests – at local or regional levels. In addition, these strategies have not been developed into explicit decision-support tools that could guide regional conservation...


    map background search result map search result map Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystems and Associated Priority Bird Populations Informing and Evaluating Forest Management Strategies to Promote Drought Resistance Future Forest Habitat Conditions in the Adirondack Region, NY Identifying and Evaluating Adaptation Science for Forest Habitats and Bird Communities in the Northeast Exploring the Potential for Adaptive Tree Plantings to Restore and Sustain Forest Habitats Across the Upper Lake States Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystems and Associated Priority Bird Populations Future Forest Habitat Conditions in the Adirondack Region, NY Exploring the Potential for Adaptive Tree Plantings to Restore and Sustain Forest Habitats Across the Upper Lake States Identifying and Evaluating Adaptation Science for Forest Habitats and Bird Communities in the Northeast Informing and Evaluating Forest Management Strategies to Promote Drought Resistance