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How will changing forests and fire regimes impact water supply, carbon storage, and other benefits essential to human wellbeing?

Forests provide benefits in many forms, including biodiversity, water provisioning, and carbon storage. But more frequent and severe fires are changing the forest structure and the benefits they provide. WFFRC’s model will simulate how these changing conditions influence air quality (i.e. smoke conditions), water supply, the vulnerability of human settlements to fire, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity.


We are exploring:

  • How have ecosystem services changed in response to fire and other drivers in recent decades?

  • How will human smoke exposure, wildland urban interface dynamics, biodiversity, provision of water and forest carbon storage change over the next century with projected burning?

  • What are the synergies and trade-offs between current and future ecosystem services and disservices, and what drives those relationships?

  • How can we anticipate the tipping points at which ecosystem services collapse?


Our model will help us better project how and where ecosystem benefits will change, and how they might be impacted by different management strategies. Only by understanding past and future trends in ecosystem services can we make sure these essential benefits persist in the face of profound change.



Manette Sandor

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Miriam Marlier

University of California, Los Angeles

Jazlynn Hall

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Volker Radeloff

University of Wisconsin

Virginia Iglesias

University of Colorado Boulder

Claire Schollaert

University of California, Los Angeles

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