Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011
Research Topics: Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation
Climate Change Home |
Climate Change |
Ecosystem Effects |
Carbon Cycle |
Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies
Evaluating Ecosystem Effects
Climate variability and change has broad effects on physical and ecological
attributes of ecosystem composition, structure, and function at many
temporal and spatial scales. PSW research units and scientists excel
in studies that investigate relationships of ecosystems and driving
natural and anthropogenic forces, including climate.
Vegetation Response to Climate Change
- Climate and Landscape Change Contact: Connie Millar
High mountain systems, such as the Sierra Nevada, are uniquely sensitive
to anticipated global climate changes and act as "canaries in the
coal mine" to provide early signals of significant climate-driven
changes. Research in the Sierra Nevada by PSW scientists shows how
vegetation has responded to climate in the past and indicates changes
that might be coming in the future.
Wildlife Response to Climate Change
- Herpetology Contact: Hart Welsh [web page], Amy
Lind [web page], and Kathleen Matthews [web page]
Amphibian and reptile populations respond strongly to changes and
variability in air and water temperature, precipitation, and the hydroperiod
of their environments. Over the short-term (e.g. annually), these
factors can determine reproductive success rates and survival to metamorphosis.
Over the long term, the frequency and duration of extreme temperature
and precipitation events can influence the persistence of populations
and the overall structure of meta-populations on the landscape. Amphibian
research at PSW includes work on high elevation species that may be
especially vulnerable to predicted climate warming, such as mountain
yellow-legged frogs and Yosemite toads. Species like the foothill
yellow-legged frog and western pond turtle that inhabit riverine environments,
especially in regulated (dammed) systems are also vulnerable to projected
variability in the timing and amount of precipitation. Research on
amphibians includes development of restoration techniques which could
be used to enhance populations in areas that may be less impacted
by climate change.
Murrelet and Landbird Monitoring
Survey and Monitoring
Insect and Disease Response to Climate Change
- Sudden Oak Death
Contact: Susan Frankel [web
Forest plant diseases are heavily influenced by weather and climate.
For forest pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms,
the temperature and moisture conditions interacting with the host
determine infection severity and disease distribution. Extreme weather,
i.e. drought or typhoons, can kill large expanses of trees directly
by overwhelming tree physiological and structural strength. Patterns
and rates of wood decay, caused by forest fungi, are also expected
to change in response to climate changes which will influence forest
carbon cycles. Expected changes in climate coupled with the increasing
stresses of invasive species, lack of fire, and forest fragmentation
are creating conducive conditions for many forest plant diseases.
- Sturrock, R. N., Frankel, S. J., Brown, A. V., Hennon, P. E., Kliejunas, J. T., Lewis, K. J., Worrall, J. J. and Woods, A. J. (2011), Climate change and forest diseases. Plant Pathology, 60: 133–149. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2010.02406.x
- Kliejunas, John T. 2011. A risk assessment of climate change and the impact of forest diseases on forest ecosystems in the Western United States and Canada. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-236. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 70 p.
in the Forest. The article prominently features the Forest Service
Sudden Oak Death program and our climate and forest pathogens project.
Winter 2009 issue of Earth Island Journal.
- Kliejunas, John T.; Geils, Brian W.; Glaeser, Jessie Micales;
Goheen, Ellen Michaels; Hennon, Paul; Kim, Mee-Sook; Kope, Harry;
Stone, Jeff; Sturrock, Rona; Frankel, Susan J. 2009. Review
of literature on climate change and forest diseases of western North
America. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-225. Albany, CA: U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station.
annotated bibliography of Climate and Forest Diseases of Western
Physical Environment Response to Climate Change
Research is conducted by: