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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d92feb9

Three items from Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt, 110(5), 1991 (in German):

"Possible Effects of a Change in Climate on the Forests of Central Europe," H. Thomasius (Inst. Waldbau & Forstschutz, Tech. Univ. Dresden, Pienner Str. 8, 8223 Tharandt, Ger.), 305-330. Discusses the nature of the climate change situation, then examines several examples of possible changes in the ranges of tree species and in species competition. Derives preliminary recommendations for forest management: a resilient and stable forest, with diversity in species, age and spatial structure, is desirable. Reviews methods to reduce carbon emissions and sequester carbon through wood and forest management, but needed most is a drastic reduction in the burning of fossil fuels.

"Climate and Forests: Perspectives for the Future," P. Fabian (Lehrstuhl Bioklimatol., L. Maximilians Univ., Amalientstr. 52, D-8000 Munich 40, Ger.), 286-304. Consideration of human impacts on the climate-forest system must include both the chemical and physical natures of climate and their interaction. Discusses examples of such impacts--the greenhouse effect, destruction of tropical forests, and photochemical smog.

"Thoughts on the Orientation of Forestry," G. Schreyer (Bayer Staatsminist. Ernahrung Landwirtschaft & Forsten, Ludwigstr. 2, D-8000 Munich 22, Ger.), 331-337. The capability to directly influence the greenhouse effect through forestry is limited. Development of diversified and stable forests that closely resemble natural conditions is important.

Item #d92feb10

"Regional Hydrologic and Carbon Balance Responses of Forests Resulting from Potential Climate Change," S.W. Running (Sch. Forestry, Univ. Montana, Missoula MT 59812), R.R. Nemani, Clim. Change, 19(4), 349-368, Dec. 1991.

The response of coniferous forest in Montana to doubled CO2, 4° C warming and 10% greater precipitation was simulated with a forest ecosystem model. In general, leaf area index increased 10-20% and evapotranspiration 20-30%; hydrologic outflow was projected to decrease up to 30%, which could nearly dry up rivers and irrigation water in this region. Simulations were compared for Missoula, Montana, and Jacksonville, Florida, under several specified climatic alterations. Results of the opposite sign were obtained, emphasizing the contrasting forest responses possible in different regions.

Item #d92feb11

"Potential Magnitude of Future Vegetation Change in Eastern North America: Comparisons with the Past," J.T. Overpeck (NGDC, NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), P.J. Bartlein, T. Webb III, Science, 254(5032), 692-695, Nov. 1, 1991.

Climate-pollen relationships determined from paleoclimate and pollen records for the last 18,000 years were applied to three climate model simulations of doubled CO2. The change in vegetation distribution over the next 200-500 years could be larger than the overall change during the past 7,000-10,000 years. Some plant ranges could shift as much as 500-1000 km, with dramatic effects on silvicultural and natural ecosystems. Forecasting the exact timing and patterns of change will be difficult.

Item #d92feb12

"Regional Analysis of the Central Great Plains: Sensitivity to Climate Variability," I.C. Burke (Dept. For. Sci., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins CO 80523), T.G.F. Kittel et al., BioScience, 41(10), 685-692, Nov. 1991.

Uses tools such as remote sensing and geographic information systems to determine the potential effects of short-term climate variation and long-term climate trends on net primary production and carbon balance of grassland ecosystems in the central U.S. Comparison of these effects with those of land management shows that management decisions may be more important than climate change for the near-future carbon balance.

Item #d92feb13

"On Predicting the Response of Forests in Eastern North America to Future Climatic Change," E.R. Cook (Lamont-Doherty Geolog. Observ., Columbia Univ., Palisades NY 10964), J. Cole, Clim. Change, 19(3), 271-282, Oct. 1991.

Model simulations of the climatic response of eastern hemlock across its North American range and of red spruce in the northern Appalachians show that the assumed climatic responses used are inadequate to explain how these species are presently responding to climate. Prediction of the responses of these and possibly other species to future climate change requires better climate response data, which can be provided by tree-ring analysis.

Item #d92feb14

"Fire and Drought Experiments in Northern Wetlands--A Climate Change Analog," J.C. Hogenbirk (Dept. Bot., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton T6G 2E9, Can.), R.W. Wein, Can. J. Bot., 69(9), 1991-1997, Sep. 1991.

Drought and fire, which could increase in frequency and severity because of global warming, were simulated in mid-boreal wetlands in Alberta, by transplanting soil blocks upslope to a lower water table and by prescribed burns. Various changes over the subsequent two years are described. The persistent domination of plant cover by Eurasian species after fire suggests that Eurasian species might dominate early successional communities in mid-boreal wetlands.

Item #d92feb15

Special Issue: "Mycorrhizal Mediation of Plant Response to Atmospheric Change," M.M. Schoeneberger (Forest Sci. Lab., USDA Forest Serv., E. Campus, Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68583), S.R. Shafer, Guest Eds., Environ. Pollut., 73(3-4), 1991. Contains seven papers from a symposium (Jackson, Wyoming, Sep. 1990) on the role, if any, mycorrhizae might play in the responses of individual plants, regional crops and forests, and whole ecosystems to environmental stresses such as climate change and pollutant exposure. Four of the papers follow.

"Mycorrhizal Mediation of Plant Response to Atmospheric Change: Air Quality Concepts and Research Considerations," S.R. Shafer (USDA-ARS Air Qual. Prog., North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh NC 27695), M.M. Schoeneberger, 163-177. Most vascular plants form mycorrhizae, so their role in mediating plant responses to stresses such as elevated CO2, increased UV-B, and altered temperature and precipitation may be important for predicting effects of such changes on plants in managed and natural ecosystems. However, mycorrhizae are rarely targeted to receive specific investigation in research programs.

"Atmospheric Pollutants and Ectomycorrhizae: More Questions Than Answers?" J. Dighton (Inst. Terr. Ecol., Merlewood Res. Sta., Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria LA11 6JU, UK), A.E. Jansen, 179-204. Although information gained from research on direct pollution effects may serve as a starting point for climate change studies, no unified models of pollution effects have emerged. Research gaps are identified, and topics relevant to climate change (such as the interaction between C supply and nutrient uptake) are discussed.

"The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change: Responses and Feedbacks from Below-Ground Systems," R.K. Dixon (ERL, EPA, 200 SW 35th St., Corvallis OR 97333), D.P. Turner, 245-262. Below-ground processes will strongly influence the response of the biosphere to climate change and are likely to contribute to positive or negative feedbacks. Equilibrium estimates of changes in below-ground C storage due to doubled CO2 range from a possible sink of 41 Pg to a possible source of 101 Pg. Components of the terrestrial biosphere could be managed to sequester or conserve carbon and mitigate accumulation of greenhouse gases.

"Hierarchy Theory as a Guide to Mycorrizal Research on Large-Scale Problems," E.G. O'Neill (ESD, Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831). Hierarchy theory provides a paradigm that illustrates the need for mycorrhizal research (on small-scale processes) to help solve large-scale problems, and suggests criteria for research priorities. The relevant concepts of the theory are presented and applied to a series of examples from mycorrhizal research.

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