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Title: Adaptation: Forests as water infrastructure in a changing climate

Author: Gartner, Todd; McGray, Heather; Mulligan, James; Epstein, Jonas; Dinshaw, Ayesha;

Date: 2014

Source: In: Sample, V. Alaric; Bixler, R. Patrick, eds. Forest conservation and management in the Anthropocene: Conference proceedings. Proceedings. RMRS-P-71. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 313-327.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Natural ecosystems like forests and wetlands provide a suite of water-related services that are increasingly critical for communities as the impacts of climate change intensify. Yet, these natural ecosystems are increasingly lost or degraded. In the face of growing water-related challenges in an age of fiscal austerity, investing in the conservation, restoration, and management of these ecosystems can represent a low cost alternative or complement to concrete-and-steel built infrastructure options and serve as part of a viable adaptation strategy. However, as they must with other forms of infrastructure, decision makers must understand the impacts of a changing climate on the provision of services from natural ecosystems. Impacts like changing species composition and increasing incidence of disturbances like wildfire, insects, and disease can affect the water-related function of upstream ecosystems, requiring additional and ongoing management interventions. This article lays out the basic underpinnings of investments in forests as an adaptation strategy for the provision of water-related services and the need for an iterative and flexible approach to managing those investments over time to ensure their sustainability in a changing climate.

Keywords: forest conservation, management, Anthropocene, climate change

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Citation:


Gartner, Todd; McGray, Heather; Mulligan, James; Epstein, Jonas; Dinshaw, Ayesha. 2014. Adaptation: Forests as water infrastructure in a changing climate. In: Sample, V. Alaric; Bixler, R. Patrick, eds. Forest conservation and management in the Anthropocene: Conference proceedings. Proceedings. RMRS-P-71. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 313-327.

 


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