Alaska

Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP)

Overview & Applicability

SNAP provides several platforms for looking at historic climate trends and climate projections in Alaska and western Canada:

1. Downloadable datasets for historic climate data and projected climate data (temperature and precipitation).

2. Interactive map - provides climate projections for Alaska and western Canada for each decade through 2100. User can choose what variables, time periods, seasonal averages, and emissions scenarios they’d like to view.

Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP) climate projection map
Summary: 

SNAP provides climate projections (temperature and precipitation) for Alaska and western Canada, using an ensemble of climate models (GCMs) and 3 emissions scenarios. Information is presented in a variety of formats.

Biophysical limitations, migration potential, and climatic ranges of tree species in the interface between the boreal forest and the temperate rainforest in Alaska

Pacific Northwest Research Station
Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center
Research Partners: 
University of Alaska Anchorage
Principal Investigator(s): 
Tara Barrett
Summary: 

Three major biomes intersect in the south-central region of Alaska: the western edge of the coastal rainforest, the southern edge of the boreal forest, and the eastern edge of the mostly treeless tundra and shrub ecosystems of southwest Alaska. Predictions of climate change responses for these ecosystems vary widely and substantial vegetation changes in this area will have large impacts on the area economy. This study will evaluate tree species' vulnerability to climate change in this area of AK.

Project Abstract: 

See more below

Project Status: 
Action
Research Results: 

In the spring of 2012, the Chugach National Forest began a climate vulnerability assessment that provided a good outlet for presenting results from this project on potential migration of tree species in the south-central Alaska region. Tara Barrett and Robert Pattison participated in the workshop for this assessment at the University of Alaska Anchorage and worked with other participants to outline a chapter in the assessment focused on vegetation change in relation to climate in south-central Alaska. Researchers created a climate envelope model of the three spruce species in the region (Picea sitchensis, Picea glauca, and Picea mariana) and provided results of the model to the vegetation/wildlife group both in a written summary and in an informal presentation. A literature review on migration potential is near completion.

Yellow-cedar research yields prototype for climate change adaptation planning

Body
We just followed the most likely evidence and it turns out that climate change is a central part of cedar death.

Adapted from an article by Marie Oliver

Mycorrhizal fungi and postfire establishment of tree seedlings

Pacific Northwest Research Station
Research Partners: 
Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Florida, USDI Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service
Principal Investigator(s): 
Teresa Hollingsworth
Summary: 

Understanding the complex mechanisms controlling treeline advance or retreat has important implications for projecting ecosystem responses global environmental change. A warming climate not only promotes growth of seedlings and mature trees; it also enhances disturbances, such as fire that leads to further seedling establishment. Researchers examined how the availability of fungal inoculum for the formation of critical mycorrhizas influenced postfire tree seedling establishment.

Project Abstract: 

See more below

Project Status: 
Action
Research Results: 

Preliminary results indicate that most species of tree seedlings can have overlapping fungal taxa with adjacent resprouting shrubs. Also, mature or late-successional fungi may be housed on the roots of tundra shrubs during fire disturbance, which are then available for recruiting seedlings. Synergistic activity between resprouting tundra shrubs and newly established seedlings after fire could either maintain boreal community dynamics at the limit of tree establishment or provide a mechanism for expansion under future scenarios of warming and fire.

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