June 3 online: Forest Changes in Northern New Mexico Mountains: Past, Present, & Climate-Driven Future

US Geological Survey research ecologist Craig Allen will
highlight the dynamic ecological history and recent trends of our forests
here in the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains, drawing from abundant and
diverse local ecological research studies to document forest responses to
changes in climate, fire, and human land uses through time.  Past forest
changes, from 500,000 years ago to ~40 years ago, are reconstructed from
paleo-environmental evidence, including pollen & charcoal in lake and bog
sediments, packrat middens, soils, tree-rings, and historical photographs &
records.  Recent and presently occurring forest changes are well-documented
by extraordinary amounts of long-term local ecological research in recent
decades, illustrating historically unprecedented increases in the extent and
severity of multiple forest disturbance processes (drought & heat stress,
insect outbreaks, fire, post-fire floods & debris flows) in response to
hotter drought conditions over the past 20 years.  Finally, current research
will be presented on the anticipated effects of ongoing and projected
climate changes on forests in New Mexico (and globally), with implications
for forest ecosystem services valued by local communities.

Zoom Hostess: Dara Saville