Forest resiliency is not just an ecological challenge. To increase forest resiliency, we must inform the decisions of those that own and control the forests. Family forest owners (FFOs) control 263 million acres (or 35%) of U.S. forests. In the eastern U.S, FFOs own 43% of the forest and in Massachusetts they control more than 70% of the forests (Butler, 2008).
Department of Environmental Conservation
The project combines intensive field sampling with an advanced statistical model to compile an extensive, statewide regeneration data set and improve understanding of the factors leading to successful regeneration of desired species and communities following management intervention. Our approach allows for novel understanding of the complete range of factors impacting forest regeneration in Massachusetts and tests alternative management approaches to sustain valuable forest resources under global change.
As Massachusetts faces increasing pressure from population expansion, along with increasing challenges due to climate change, we seek a solution to the growing demand in housing that supports the local timber industry and rural economies and also creates an opportunity to store more carbon both in our buildings and across our regional forested landscape. Recent advances in timber technology have produced promising new methods for meeting some of the demand for building materials, as well as the need to store carbon.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the resiliency and plan for future changes for New England fisheries and aquaculture ina rapidly changing ocean. Through field data collection, laboratory experiments, and stakeholder engagement, we will examinehow climate change will influence key fisheries and aquaculture species using a multi-pronged approach. First, we will examinehow climate will affect critical life history stages of key fisheries species by examining larval supply in New England waters andthe potential for a match-mismatch between larvae and their food sources.
Our plan is to evaluate the role, causative mechanisms, and interaction effects of biotic stressors (i.e. parasitic mites, pests, andpathogens) and abiotic stressors ((i.e. exposure to pesticides, poor habitat and nutrition, management practices) on the survival,health and productivity of honey bee colonies as well as within pollinator communities. Additionally we plan to develop and recommend "best practices" for beekeepers, growers, land managers and homeowners to promote health of honey bees and pollinator communities.