Drought Impacts on Forest and Rangelands in the United States: A State-of-the-Science Synthesis
Droughts have shaped forests and rangelands for millennia, but whether current species and ecosystems will be able to endure more severe future droughts is unknown. Recent droughts have contributed to large-scale insect outbreaks, forest die-off and reduced growth, and increased wildfire risk and area burned, all of which impact forest biogeochemical cycling, and hydrologic processes. The prospect of increasing frequency and severity of future droughts is the motivation for a recent large-scale synthesis edited by Forest Service scientists and their research partners. More than 77 scientists from the Forest Service and other federal agencies, from research institutes, and from universities contributed to the report.
Focal areas include drought characterization; drought impacts on forest processes and disturbances such as insect outbreaks and wildfire; and consequences for forest values. Drought will present challenges for natural resource managers as they deal with the implications of changing forest conditions and disturbance regimes. The knowledge developed in these large-scale syntheses form the foundation for developing and evaluating management options.
Forest Service Partners