Impacts of Changes in Climate and Atmospheric Chemistry on Northern Forest Ecosystems and their Boundaries: Research Directions

Duinker, P., Antonovsky, M.Y., & Solomon, A.M. (1989). Impacts of Changes in Climate and Atmospheric Chemistry on Northern Forest Ecosystems and their Boundaries: Research Directions. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-89-014

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In response to numerous suggestions with the research community that boreal forests should be targeted for analyses of potential ecosystem response to impending major changes in climate and atmospheric composition, a task-force meeting for research-planning purposes was held at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in August 1987. Participants discussed objectives for an international collaborative research program on this subject, what the current state of knowledge is, what the relevant research questions are, and what research approaches should be developed to address these questions. This report summarizes the workshop discussions, and presents synopses of working-group discussions on the following types of investigations: (a) historical responses of boreal-forest stands to changing climate and atmosphere using correlational data analyses; (b) response of boreal ecosystems to warm and enhanced-CO2 environments using physical field experiments; (c) response of boreal ecosystems to raised or lowered levels of soil moisture using physical field experiments; (d) long-term behavior of boreal-forest stands in the face of changing atmosphere and climate using measurements from permanent plots; (e) development of comprehensive databases on ecological characteristics of boreal forests and silvical characteristics of boreal-forest tree species based on literature reviews and data syntheses; (f) response and sensitivity of boreal-forest stands and landscapes to changing atmospheric and climatic conditions using simulation models; and (g) response of regional boreal forests to changing climate and atmosphere in the context of forest management using simulation models and policy exercises.

The research themes outlined above cover a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. As well, they cover a wide range of organization, from the organism through populations and communities to ecosystems (indeed, ecosystems including socio-economic subsystems). It is concluded that the various studies can benefit immensely from careful coordination that helps each study anchor its process mechanisms in lower hierarchical levels, and find its significance at higher levels. The coordination would also prevent wasteful duplication of effort in different countries where boreal forests exist, and would assist groups of researchers to benefit from (a) regular contact for exchange of data and information that would not normally be available through regular channels of dissemination, and (b) collaborative research arrangements for expensive, long-term, broad-scale projects that otherwise would probably not be possible.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Biosphere Dynamics (BIO)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:00
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:13

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