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fire patterns on a landscapeClimate influences the severity, frequency and magnitude of forest disturbances. Disturbances, in turn, affect the composition, structure and processes that shape forest ecosystems. Climate change is expected to impact forest ecosystems in the coming decades, in large part through effects on abiotic (fire, drought, wind, snow and ice) and biotic (insects, pathogens and human induced) disturbances. Warming climates have been documented to alter interactions among disturbance regimes, with highly visible and rapidly occurring changes in landscape composition and structure. Complex interactions among climate, disturbance and vegetation may lead to the creation of novel landscapes with no historical analog.

The resources listed here are some of the most recent and applicable on the potential effects of climate on disturbance regimes and how they might interact with each other to enhance or dampen effects of climate on forests in the Northern Rockies.

This hot topic was developed in partnership with Montana State University's Institute on the Environment.

Management Documents