What is it about?

Tropical cyclones are a common disturbance to forests of coastal North America. Despite their importance, components of hurricane disturbance regimes (intensity and frequency) have not yet been defined for the region. In this study, we apply a hurricane model long-term hurricane records to define 4 distinct hurricane regimes.

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Why is it important?

By defining hurricane regimes for North America we hope to spur discussion about what role severe wind may play in shaping forests of the globe. For example, chronic hurricane winds may lead to hurricane adapted traits for some trees such as tree taper, crown shape, branch architecture, or wood properties. Differences in wind regimes may even be important for driving differences in species distributions.


This work was a chance to learn new skills in applying meteorological tools to important questions in forest ecology. We hope that the work draws attention to ecologist to examine not just catatsrophic storms, but also the effect of frequent low-intensity storms which may be chronic and inconspicuous.

Jeffery Cannon
The Jones Center at Ichauway

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Hurricane wind regimes for forests of North America, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2309076120.
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