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New Harvard Forest Publication: Forest Response to Hurricane Disturbance Across a Storm Track

December 1, 2008
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In this paper, former MFS student Posy Busby and HF ecologists Glenn Motzkin and Emery Boose show spatial patterns of forest response to a severe hurricane in 1944 varied predictably with respect to location relative to the storm track―sites closest to the storm track experienced lesser wind damage and exhibited minimal growth responses―whereas sites farther east of the storm track and closer to the area of maximum estimated wind speed were characterized by greater wind damage and growth changes. Variation in estimated wind speed among study sites (5–10 m/s) is not much greater than anticipated increases in hurricane intensity predicted under future climate scenarios (3–7 m/s). Thus, results of this study suggest that the magnitude of anticipated increases in wind speeds associated with Atlantic hurricanes may be sufficient to cause changes in forest response.

Busby,P.E., G. Motzkin, and E. R. Boose. 2008. Landscape-level variation in forest response to hurricane disturbance across a storm track. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38: 2942–2950.

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