The Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Program and the International Boreal Forest Research Associaton (IBFRA) announce an international science conference on “Climate Disturbance Interactions in Boreal Forest Ecosystems” is scheduled to be held 3-7 May 2004 at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.
The boreal forest, which is the second most extensive terrestrial biome on earth, represents a wood resource of global significance that is an important part of the cultural and economic wealth of northern countries. During the relatively brief (10,000 yr) history of the boreal forest in its current location, it has experienced radical changes in climate, vegetation, and fauna. Warming during the last 30 years has been associated with warming and melting of permafrost, changes in growth rates of dominant trees, increased area burned, insect outbreaks, and changes in vertebrate populations.
The causal links among these changes and their implications for the functioning of the boreal forest and the people who inhabit this region are not completely understood. The structure and functioning of the boreal forest determines and is influenced by its disturbance regime. Fire, insect outbreaks, timber harvest, and flooding are important disturbances. The extent and distribution of these disturbances are changing rapidly as climate warms, human populations grow, and socio-economic conditions change. To understand the current and future structure, diversity, and functioning of the boreal forest, it is important to understand how climate and disturbance interact and the implications of these interactions for ecological, economic, and cultural sustainability of the boreal forest.
To present and discuss the current scientific understanding of climate-disturbance interactions in the circumboreal region
To discuss the unique ecological, economic, and social conditions that influence management decisions regarding disturbance, climate change impacts, and adaptation to climate change in the boreal region
To bring a circumpolar perspective to research initiatives
To foster cooperation and an exchange of ideas among countries in the circumpolar boreal forest