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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2017

  • Title: Pastoralization and the next 100 years of land use change in New England
  • Primary Author: Alexandra Contosta (University of New Hampshire - Main Campus)
  • Abstract:

    The next 100 years of land use change in New England may feature the rebirth of agriculture throughout the region. This re-pastoralization of the landscape could occur as the net result of highly uncertain but powerful socioeconomic forces such as rising demand for local food, climate change, and population growth that together drive the conversion of forests into fields. Because so much of our regional understanding of land use change has focused on the reversion of farmland to forests, we know comparatively little about how (1) deforestation for agriculture in New England affects ecosystem processes and services and (2) how alternative management systems, particularly silvopastures, might ameliorate these impacts and subsequent agricultural outcomes. This talk will highlight ongoing research on the impacts of New England forest conversion to pastoral land uses and will explore how this work resonates with Harvard Forest’s Long Term Ecological Research Program.

  • Research Category: Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics; Regional Studies; Large Experiments and Permanent Plot Studies