Global Change Research Program
Change Research in the USDA Forest Service
Human Activities And Natural Resource
This element addresses the ways in which global change will affect
human activities and how human activities, through agriculture and
resource management, will affect global change. The Human Activities
and Natural Resources Interactions research program conducts research
in three problem areas:
- Assessment of ecosystem change impacts. Research to identify
and assess the effects of forest ecosystem responses to climate
change on communities and society.
- Evaluation of forest policy options. Identification and evaluation
of policy options in rural and urban forestry for mitigating and
adapting to the effects of global change.
- Implications for forest management. How to integrate risks associated
with potential climate changes into rural and urban forest management
Implementation of these activities requires that models currently
used to assess the forestry sector be enhanced to include geophysical,
biological, and human systems. Research underway in ecological systems
and dynamics will provide the basis for modifying empirical relationships
in planning models so that the effects of climate change on resource
productivity can be incorporated into the decision making process.
There are also linkages with greenhouse gas flux and process models
that describe and predict terrestrial carbon and greenhouse gas
exchanges. Additional needs include evaluations of changing landowner
objectives and associated effects on management decisions, as well
as better methods for evaluating nonmarket resource values.
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