WASHINGTON and OTTAWA, September 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – North Carolina State University is studying the crucial role that SFI certified forests play in facilitating landscape connectivity in a changing climate. Landscape connectivity represents the extent to which a landscape supports the ability of plants and animals to move around the landscape. Some species with a limited range, such as salamanders or pitchers, depend on connected landscapes to maintain healthy populations.
Connecting habitats has long been recognized as one of the keys to supporting conservation in human-dominated landscapes. But rapid changes in Earth’s climate and land use patterns mean that further research is needed to ensure that conservation potential is maximized, while mitigating the impacts of climate change and limiting biodiversity loss.
“We know that maintaining and improving connectivity is essential to reduce the effects of habitat fragmentation due to climate change and land use. This project represents an exciting evolution in the way we think about connectivity and highlights how important managed and restored forests are in reconnecting the landscape. We are delighted to partner with SFI on such a relevant issue in North Carolina, ”said Tina Mozelewski, PhD student at North Carolina State University.
The objective of this project is to predict forest growth patterns in the Piedmont and Sandhills regions of North Carolina under scenarios of high and low climate change and land use changes, both of which influence landscape connectivity. The project will also quantify how these forests, in particular the restored swamp pine and managed forest areas, contribute to landscape connectivity.
The results of this and other study provide a vital resource for all SFI Certified organizations in helping to enumerate outcomes related to biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation on lands influenced by the Land Management Standard. SFI Forests and the SFI Fiber Supply Standard. Identifying positive conservation outcomes, key learnings and opportunities for improvement in SFI territory is critical to the continuous improvement of SFI standards.
“This work will illustrate the unique role of sustainably managed forests in contributing to the habitat needs of highly mobile species, facilitating species movement corridors, and clarifying how the unique attributes of SFI certified forests help build resilient landscapes in changing climatic conditions. ” says Paul Trianosky, director of conservation at SFI.
A collaborative partnership
“Collaboration is at the heart of the SFI Conservation Grants program. It fosters partnerships between organizations interested in measuring conservation results and motivating improved forest management and responsible purchasing. This project brings together academics, NGOs, forest producers and government agencies to help secure a positive future, ”said Trianosky.
Weyerhaeuser, an SFI certified company, wants to use the results of this study to inform private landowners, to help them improve their forest management practices. Domtar, an SFI-certified company, is interested in learning more about the restoration of swamp pine in a context of climate change and land use, and how these efforts will advance landscape connectivity in the study area. .
The Southeastern Climate Adaptation Science Center provided both funding and essential knowledge about the climate and forests of the southeast, which was used to develop the LANDIS- Landscape Change Model. Advanced II. The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the US Fish and Wildlife Service are also active project partners collaborating on inputs and connectivity methodologies for LANDIS-II.
About Sustainable forestry initiative® (IFC®) Inc.
SFI Inc. advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, non-profit organization that demonstrates our commitment to forests through our work in the areas of standards, conservation, education and community. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, indigenous peoples and governments to achieve a vision of a world that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests. Learn more.
About the SFI Conservation Grants Program
SFI Conservation Grant projects research approaches to improve understanding of the relationship between forest management and important conservation attributes. Since 2015, researchers have been challenged to develop and test scalable approaches to measure outcomes related to biodiversity, water quality and quantity, and climate change. By linking projects to SFI certified organizations, these efforts gain immediate relevance and help improve SFI standards. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 64 grants totaling over $ 4.4 million to support research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests. When operated with contributions from project partners, the total investment exceeds $ 11 million.
Sustainable forestry initiative
Contacts for conservation
North Carolina State University
Department of Forests and Environmental Resources
Chief Conservation Officer
Sustainable forestry initiative