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      Trends in Snag Populations in Drought-Stressed Mixed-Conifer and Ponderosa Pine Forests (1997–2007)

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      International Journal of Forestry Research

      Hindawi Limited

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          Abstract

          Snags provide important biological legacies, resources for numerous species of native wildlife, and contribute to decay dynamics and ecological processes in forested ecosystems. We monitored trends in snag populations from 1997 to 2007 in drought-stressed mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine ( Pinus ponderosaDougl. exLaws) forests, northern Arizona. Median snag density increased by 75 and 90% in mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine forests, respectively, over this time period. Increased snag density was driven primarily by a large pulse in drought-mediated tree mortality from 2002 to 2007, following a smaller pulse from 1997 to 2002. Decay-class composition and size-class composition of snag populations changed in both forest types, and species composition changed in mixed-conifer forest. Increases in snag abundance may benefit some species of native wildlife in the short-term by providing increased foraging and nesting resources, but these increases may be unsustainable in the long term. Observed changes in snag recruitment and fall rates during the study illustrate the difficulty involved in modeling dynamics of those populations in an era of climate change and changing land management practices.

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          A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests

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            Ecology of Coarse Woody Debris in Temperate Ecosystems

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              Model projections of an imminent transition to a more arid climate in southwestern North America.

              How anthropogenic climate change will affect hydroclimate in the arid regions of southwestern North America has implications for the allocation of water resources and the course of regional development. Here we show that there is a broad consensus among climate models that this region will dry in the 21st century and that the transition to a more arid climate should already be under way. If these models are correct, the levels of aridity of the recent multiyear drought or the Dust Bowl and the 1950s droughts will become the new climatology of the American Southwest within a time frame of years to decades.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Journal of Forestry Research
                International Journal of Forestry Research
                Hindawi Limited
                1687-9368
                1687-9376
                2012
                2012
                : 2012
                :
                : 1-8
                Article
                10.1155/2012/529197
                © 2012

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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