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Current Projects

Biodiversity

Managing the forest for more than just the trees

Cost Effective Methods for Tracking Structural Attributes Important to Forest Biodiversity

Understanding forest structure is critical to managing for forest biodiversity. Forest structure involves much more than just trees. To gain a full picture of the structure of a forest it is necessary to examine coarse wood debris (CWD), forest plants, live standing trees large and small, as well as standing dead trees. Foresters have long been inventorying trees to understand forest structure, and botanists have been assessing forest plants. However, CWD is a component of forest structure that is crucial to many wildlife species that is not well understood, primarily due to a lack of an efficient way to quantitatively measure this type of structure. This project directly addresses the issue of effectively and efficiently sampling CWD by testing several methods of forest structure sampling. Read more about the project here.

Forestry Adaptation and Mitigation in a Changing Climate: A Forest Resource Managerís Guide

There are many possible impacts on forest management that could be caused by climate change. Various climate change models suggest that significant changes to forest disturbance regimes could be experienced, species distributions and ecological communities could shift, invasive plants could become more prevalent, as well as seasonal temperature shifts occurring. Any or all of these scenarios will dictate that forest managers adapt to the new conditions. This project sets out to outline a framework of ways that forest managers can be better prepared to handle a changing climate, both in the short and long term. To find out more about this project look here.

Headwater Stream Study

The headwater stream study is one of the CFRUís longest running projects. Started in the year 2000, this study set out to examine the impacts of forest harvesting on stream temperature and other variables important to aquatic habitat and biodiversity. This project also examines the effectiveness of various stream buffer zone sizes that are commonly used by forest managers to protect streams. The long-term nature of this study provides a unique dataset that shows initial impacts of harvesting, recovery of the stream over time, and how the impacts and recovery varies based on the use of stream buffers as a management tool. To see the latest information on this project look here.

Quantifying Biodiversity Values Across Managed Landscapes in Northern and Western Maine

Biodiversity is something that occurs at many spatial scales, and as a result it is important for forests managers to understand the implications of management on biodiversity at a variety of spatial scales. This project sets out to create a series of indicators of biodiversity at the stand and landscape level, utilizing past research on wildlife habitat and late successional forests. These indicators are then applied to a larger landscape that consists of 23 parcels within 14 townships in northwestern Maine, and then evaluated at several different scales. Forest modeling technology is also applied to this landscape and the indicators to present different scenarios based on different harvesting trends, to provide forest managers with an indication of how their current management practices are impacting biodiversity at larger scales and to present recommendations to improve forest management for biodiversity at larger scales. To learn more about this project look here.

Riparian Biodiversity Project

Riparian management zones (RMZs) also known as stream buffers have become widely used tools for protecting riparian ecosystems, but there is potential for these areas to also provide benefits to terrestrial ecosystems as well. This project examines a wide variety of streams to examine how RMZs are being applied on the landscape and to assess their functionality for additional biodiversity benefits, such as providing suitable habitat for amphibians, and retaining forests that have late-successional attributes. Read more about this project here.