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Investigating historical forest cover and local temperature variation in the northeastern U.S.

Authors: Katharine Johnson*, North Carolina State University, Scott Stevens, North Carolina State University, Jared Rennie, North Carolina State University
Topics: Historical Geography, Anthropocene, Biogeography
Keywords: forest cover, historical land use, temperature, agriculture
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the northeastern U.S. underwent significant deforestation for English-style agriculture. Subsequent abandonment of this farmland during the late 19th century led to widespread reforestation of the region. Research has shown that this widespread reforestation resulted in changes to the distribution of tree species at a variety of scales, as well as to modeled winter temperature. This research examines historical forest cover estimates during the 19th and 20th centuries reconstructed from archival data and observed temperature variations on localized scales across the northeastern U.S. to examine the timing and relationship of widespread farmland abandonment and localized temperature variations.

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