Balancing multiple forest management objectives under climate change in central Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Melissa S. Lucash, Neil G. Williams, Vivek Srikrishnan, Klaus Keller, Robert M. Scheller, Casey Hegelson, Robert E. Nicholas, Erica A.H. Smithwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forest managers must balance multiple objectives and consider tradeoffs when developing a management plan. Complex interactions between successional dynamics and natural disturbances make it challenging, especially when decisions play out under the deep and dynamic uncertainties associated with climate change. Here we explored a suite of management strategies to maximize multiple management objectives and minimize tradeoffs under future climate projections and quantified the greatest sources of uncertainty. We used a spatially-explicit forest simulation model (LANDIS-II) to simulate the effects of wind, management, and climate change in central Wisconsin and calculated benefits and tradeoffs among six management objectives (maximize aboveground carbon (C), soil C, harvested C, C stored in species of cultural importance to the Menominee tribe, tree diversity, and age diversity). We found that uneven-aged management achieves more ecosystem benefits (except for harvested C) than the other harvest strategies, but it was the business-as-usual harvest scenario that minimized tradeoffs among objectives. Climate change made it more difficult to store C in soils and have diverse forests and the management strategies we considered were unable to regain these lost benefits. Climate change reduced harvested C and C stored in culturally-important species, but the management strategies were able to at least partially compensate for this effect. The uncertainty surrounding the climate projections generated the largest variation in all benefits except harvested C. Managers seeking to maximize benefits and minimize tradeoffs should consider a range of silvicultural strategies while recognizing that climate change may shrink the operating space for achieving foresters’ management goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100460
JournalTrees, Forests and People
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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