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      Boreal forest health and global change.

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          Abstract

          The boreal forest, one of the largest biomes on Earth, provides ecosystem services that benefit society at levels ranging from local to global. Currently, about two-thirds of the area covered by this biome is under some form of management, mostly for wood production. Services such as climate regulation are also provided by both the unmanaged and managed boreal forests. Although most of the boreal forests have retained the resilience to cope with current disturbances, projected environmental changes of unprecedented speed and amplitude pose a substantial threat to their health. Management options to reduce these threats are available and could be implemented, but economic incentives and a greater focus on the boreal biome in international fora are needed to support further adaptation and mitigation actions.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Changes in forest productivity across Alaska consistent with biome shift.

          Global vegetation models predict that boreal forests are particularly sensitive to a biome shift during the 21st century. This shift would manifest itself first at the biome's margins, with evergreen forest expanding into current tundra while being replaced by grasslands or temperate forest at the biome's southern edge. We evaluated changes in forest productivity since 1982 across boreal Alaska by linking satellite estimates of primary productivity and a large tree-ring data set. Trends in both records show consistent growth increases at the boreal-tundra ecotones that contrast with drought-induced productivity declines throughout interior Alaska. These patterns support the hypothesized effects of an initiating biome shift. Ultimately, tree dispersal rates, habitat availability and the rate of future climate change, and how it changes disturbance regimes, are expected to determine where the boreal biome will undergo a gradual geographic range shift, and where a more rapid decline. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
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            Mapping the World's Intact Forest Landscapes by Remote Sensing

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              Mapping U.S. forest biomass using nationwide forest inventory data and moderate resolution information

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science (New York, N.Y.)
                1095-9203
                0036-8075
                Aug 21 2015
                : 349
                : 6250
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Québec, Quebec G1V 4C7, Canada. sylvie.gauthier@rncan.gc.ca.
                [2 ] Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Québec, Quebec G1V 4C7, Canada.
                [3 ] Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.
                [4 ] Ecosystems Services and Management Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria.
                Article
                349/6250/819
                10.1126/science.aaa9092
                26293953
                Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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