Publication Details

Projected trends in forest habitat classes under climate and land-use change scenarios

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Tavernia, Brian G.; Nelson, Mark D.; Walters, Brian F.; Toney, Chris.

Year Published

2012

Publication

In: Morin, Randall S.; Liknes, Greg C., comps. Moving from status to trends: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2012; 2012 December 4-6; Baltimore, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-105. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. [CD-ROM]: 119-122.

Abstract

Wildlife species have diverse and sometimes conflicting habitat requirements. To support diverse wildlife communities, natural resource managers need to manage for a variety of habitats across a large area and to create long-term management plans to ensure this variety is maintained. In these efforts, managers would benefit from assessments of potential climate and land use change effects on habitats. As part of the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Forest Futures Project (NFFP), we assessed climate and land use driven changes in the areas of forest (≥66% canopy cover) and woodland (66% > canopy cover ≥ 10%) habitat across the Northeast and Midwest by 2060. Our assessments were made using NFFP projections based on three future storylines developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The total area of forest and woodland habitat is currently 173.4 million acres and is evenly split between forest and woodland (49% and 51%, respectively). Our assessments suggest that total forest and woodland habitat area will decrease in the future, but the magnitude of habitat loss differed among IPCC storylines, ranging from 5.9 to 11 million acres. Regardless of storyline, forest habitat was projected to gain area and woodland habitat was projected to lose area. As a result, forest was projected to represent a slight majority of the total habitat area (55% vs. 45% for woodland). Projected declines in woodland habitat represent a continuation of historical trends and have the potential to negatively affect woodland-dependent wildlife via reduced patch sizes, patch isolation, and edge effects.

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Citation

Tavernia, Brian G.; Nelson, Mark D.; Walters, Brian F.; Toney, Chris. 2012. Projected trends in forest habitat classes under climate and land-use change scenarios. In: Morin, Randall S.; Liknes, Greg C., comps. Moving from status to trends: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2012; 2012 December 4-6; Baltimore, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-105. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. [CD-ROM]: 119-122.

Last updated on: February 4, 2013