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Changes in Forested Landscapes of the Northeastern U.S. Under Future Climate Scenarios

Changes in Forested Landscapes of the Northeastern U.S. Under Alternative Climate Scenarios
Principal Investigator
Frank Thompson

Dates

End Date
2015-07-31
Start Date
2013-07-31
Award Date
2015-07-31
Publication Date
Release Date
2013

Summary

Forests in the eastern United States are changing in response to ecological succession, tree harvest, and other disturbances and climate change has the potential to further change these forests. We predicted the distribution and abundance of common tree species across portions of the eastern U.S. under alternative climate scenarios that varied in the amount of warming by the end of the century from 1.1 to 4.2 degrees celsius. We used a forest landscape change model to forecast changes in tree abundances and distribution in the North Atlantic region of the U.S. while accounting for climate change, succession, and harvest. We then considered a broader region of the U.S. and combined our results with results from previous studies to compare [...]

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Hoosier_National_Forest.png
“Central hardwood forest - Credit: Huw Williams”
thumbnail 7.64 MB

Purpose

Forests in the Eastern United States are in the early- and mid-successional stages recovering from historical land use. Succession, harvest, and climate are potentially important factors affecting forest composition and structure in the region. The goal of this project was to predict the distribution and abundance of dominant tree species across portions of the Eastern U.S. under alternative climate scenarios from present to the end of the century. We used the forest landscape change LANDIS PRO and hybrid empirical-physiological ecosystem model LINKAGES to model changes in forest biomass and species abundances and distribution in the North Atlantic region of the U.S. while accounting for climate change, succession, and harvest. Three climate scenarios were considered, defined by a general circulation model and emission scenario: PCM B1, CGCM A2, and GFDL A1FI. We then compared results from three alternative modeling approaches; LANDIS PRO, LINKAGES, and TreeAtlas for the Central Hardwood, Central Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions to determine agreement among models and establish a stronger inference for projected changes through model averaging. Tree Atlas is a statistically derived enhanced niche model in contrast to the process driven ecosystem and landscape models LINKAGES and LANDIS PRO. Researchers on this project actively worked with the Gulf Coast Plains and Ozarks LCC and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Change (NIACS). NIACS is a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service, state agencies, and NGOs with a focus on climate change adaptation. This project provides assessments of landscape change and vulnerability of tree species to climate change, and will be used to guide climate adaptation planning and management across the region.

Project Extension

projectStatusCompleted

Budget Extension

totalFunds165907.62
annualBudgets
year2013
totalFunds95659.79
totalFunds70247.83

Additional Information

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC 96310065-1e59-49af-b859-a0a70d66c7ce
StampID NCCWSC NE13-TF311

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