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Warmer weather, human disturbances interact to change forests

will continue to play a very important role in shaping forests.

"Harvesting helped create the forests we know today, and will continue to be a primary driver of change," he says. "If the climate changes, harvesting may provide opportunities for southern species to take hold in northern forests."

However, there is a natural lag between climate change and species migration, says Scheller, adding that this lag is especially evident in environments that are fragmented by human development, such as parts of northern Wisconsin.

The project was completed using a newly released forestry-modeling program called LANDIS II, which is an expansion of the previous LANDIS program. Forestry scientists at UW-Madison and the U.S. Forest Service North Central Research Station developed both programs.

Scheller and Mladenoff are now applying their new model to areas outside of Wisconsin. They are teaming with NASA to model insect defoliation using satellite images, and are working with the U.S. Forest Service to examine the effects of fire in the pine barrens of New Jersey.


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Contact: Robert Scheller
rmscheller@wisc.edu
608-265-6321
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1-Aug-2004


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