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US experimental forests chosen for US-China climate initiative
by Staff Writers
Asheville NC (SPX) Apr 08, 2016

The Santee Experimental Forest is located in the Francis Marion National Forest in the South Carolina Coastal Plain. Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Two U.S. Forest Service experimental forests have been chosen to participate in the U.S,-China Climate Change and Forests Initiative, a program of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group led by the U.S. Department of State.

The two U.S. experimental forests selected - the Santee Experimental Forest in South Carolina and the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire - will partner with two forests in China, the Wangqing Forest Bureau in northern China and the Tropical Forest Experimental Center in Guangxi Province in southern China, as sites for the engagement of technical experts, discussion of land management practices, and possible joint research projects as part of the Initiative's work on synergies of forest mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The U.S.-China Climate Change and Forests Initiative is a cooperative effort between the governments of the United States and China, and is designed to facilitate cooperation between the U.S. and China on issues related to global climate change and forests. The Initiative is coordinated by the China State Forestry Administration, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Forest Service International Programs.

"The 80 Forest Service experimental forests and ranges are some of our nation's most significant scientific resources and represent a wide range of climates, forest types, and land use history," said Brad Kinder, China Program Specialist for Forest Service International Programs. "The U.S.-China Initiative is a wonderful opportunity to use our Forest Service experimental forests to address international and global research needs and to involve Forest Service scientists in cooperative international efforts."

The Santee Experimental Forest, located in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina on 6,100 acres of forested wetlands, includes a series of gauged watersheds where hydrologic data on water flow and quality has been collected for over four decades.

Located within the Francis Marion National Forest, the experimental forest also sits on the edge of an area of intense urban and suburban development. Long-term data from the Santee provides the baseline for more recent analyses of the effects of land management and climate change on the poorly drained watersheds of the Coastal Plain - and on the effects on drinking water sources for the communities expanding nearby.

A 7,400-acre forest within the White Mountain National Forest, the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest was established in 1955 as a center for hydrologic research in New England. The Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study was established in 1963, and in 1988 it was designated as a National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research site. Significant research at the experimental forest includes the first documentation of acid rain in North America.

The Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest is one of the 22 Forest Service "Smart Forests" that are equipped to collect and transmit data in near real-time.

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