Nav: Home

Application of statistical method shows promise mitigating climate change effects on pine

April 20, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (April 20, 2017) - Confronting evidence that the global climate is changing rapidly relative to historical trends, researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new statistical model that, when applied to the loblolly pine tree populations in the southeastern United States, will benefit forest landowners and the forest industry in future decades. The research, titled "Optimal Seed Deployment Under Climate Change Using Spatial Models: Application to Loblolly Pine in the Southeastern US" appears in the Journal of The American Statistical Association.

"In the past, statistical approaches that were used to help guide forest management decisions like strategic seedling planting had limitations," note the authors. "Our proposed model, which is based on future climate change scenarios, produces more accurate predictions than previous methods. As a result, it can be used as a quantitative tool for designing forest management strategies that mitigate the negative impacts of climate change."

The findings are the result of the Cooperative Tree Improvement Program, a joint effort between NC State's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and Department of Statistics, in which NC State and its members carried out breeding of loblolly pine families and established a large number of field trials in approximately 25 locations across the southern U.S. in the early 1990s.

Stress to the loblolly pine plantations in the southern U.S. from projected temperature increases and likely precipitation decreases due to climate change could have significant economic and environmental impacts. The optimal seed sources that have been planted for decades will no longer be the optimal seed sources to plant today or in the future. The authors suggest an optimal assisted migration of loblolly pine seed sources from southern and warmer regions to northern and colder areas in the southeastern U.S. to mitigate adverse climate change effect.

Loblolly pine is the most important commercial pine species in the U.S. More than 39 million acres of pine plantations span the South, and about 1 million acres are planted every year by small landowners and forestry companies. Timber market models forecast overall production in the U.S. will increase by one-third leading up to 2040, and nearly all this growth will come from the South, which currently produces more timber than any country in the world. In addition to the financial benefits to landowners, loblolly pine plantations provide clean water and habitat for countless species in the region.
-end-
The research was conducted by Alfredo Farjat, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University School of Medicine; Brian J. Reich, Department of Statistics, NC State; Joseph Guinness, Department of Statistics, NC State; Ross Whetten, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NC State; Steven McKeand, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NC State; and Fikret Isik, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NC State; and with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About the American Statistical Association

The ASA is the world's largest community of statisticians and the oldest continuously operating professional science society in the United States. Its members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare. For additional information, please visit the ASA website at http://www.amstat.org.

For more information:
Jill Talley
Public Relations Manager
O: (703) 684-1221, ext. 1865
jill@amstat.org

American Statistical Association

Related Climate Change Articles:

Mapping the path of climate change
Predicting a major transition, such as climate change, is extremely difficult, but the probabilistic framework developed by the authors is the first step in identifying the path between a shift in two environmental states.
Small change for climate change: Time to increase research funding to save the world
A new study shows that there is a huge disproportion in the level of funding for social science research into the greatest challenge in combating global warming -- how to get individuals and societies to overcome ingrained human habits to make the changes necessary to mitigate climate change.
Sub-national 'climate clubs' could offer key to combating climate change
'Climate clubs' offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally harmonized climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.
Review of Chinese atmospheric science research over the past 70 years: Climate and climate change
Over the past 70 years since the foundation of the People's Republic of China, Chinese scientists have made great contributions to various fields in the research of atmospheric sciences, which attracted worldwide attention.
A CERN for climate change
In a Perspective article appearing in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tim Palmer (Oxford University), and Bjorn Stevens (Max Planck Society), critically reflect on the present state of Earth system modelling.
Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).
Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.
Older forests resist change -- climate change, that is
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds.
Could climate change cause infertility?
A number of plant and animal species could find it increasingly difficult to reproduce if climate change worsens and global temperatures become more extreme -- a stark warning highlighted by new scientific research.
Predicting climate change
Thomas Crowther, ETH Zurich identifies long-disappeared forests available for restoration across the world.
More Climate Change News and Climate Change Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.