Climate as an agent of change in forest landscapes
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In: Azevedo J.C.; et al., eds. Forest landscapes and global change: challenges for research and management. New York: Springer: 29-50.
Climate is the primary force that controls forest composition and the broad-scale distribution of forests. The climate has always been changing, but the changes now underway are differentthey are faster and they are intermingled with other disturbances promoted by increasing human pressures. The projected climate change during the twenty-first century will alter forest habitatsdramatically for some species. These pressures will simultaneously affect the survival, growth, and regeneration of a species. Here, we present an approach to visualizing the risk to individual tree species created by climate change by plotting the likelihood of habitat change and the adaptability of trees to those changes. How will the forests actually respond? Many factors play into the final outcomes, including the vital attributes and abundance of a species, its migration potential, the fragmented nature of the habitats in the landscape into which the species must move, and other factors. Our research is attempting to address each of these factors to inform a more realistic picture of the possible outcomes by the end of the century. We describe three programs that have been developed to support this analysis: DISTRIB, which empirically models the distribution of suitable future habitats under various climate-change scenarios; SHIFT, which is a cell-based spatial model that simulates species migration across fragmented landscapes; and ModFacs, which accounts for the impacts of 9 biological traits and 12 disturbance factors on final species fates. We conclude with a discussion of research needs and how humans can potentially assist forests in their adaptation to climate change.
Iverson, Louis R.; Prasad, Anantha M.; Matthews, Stephen N.; Peters, Matthew P. 2014. Climate as an agent of change in forest landscapes. In: Azevedo J.C.; et al., eds. Forest landscapes and global change: challenges for research and management. New York: Springer: 29-50. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0953-7_2.