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DISTRIB-II: habitat suitability of eastern United States trees Data publication contains GIS data
Peters, Matthew P.; Iverson, Louis R.; Prasad, Anantha M.; Matthews, Stephen N.;
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These data were collected using funding from the U.S. Government and can be used without additional permissions or fees. If you use these data in a publication, presentation, or other research product please include both of the following citation:
Peters, Matthew P.; Iverson, Louis R.; Prasad, Anantha M.; Matthews, Stephen N. 2019. DISTRIB-II: habitat suitability of eastern United States trees. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive. Updated 01 November 2019.

Peters, Matthew P.; Iverson, Louis R.; Prasad, Anantha M.; Matthews, Stephen N. 2019. Utilizing the density of inventory samples to define a hybrid lattice for species distribution models: DISTRIB-II for 135 eastern U.S. trees. Ecology and Evolution 9(15): 8876-8899.
Modeled habitat suitability for 125 eastern United States trees species under 1981-2010 climate conditions and projected future conditions (2070-2099) were created using a statistical modeling approach that correlates mean importance values to environmental data. The associated files includes importance values, derived from tree basal area and number of stems, for the species according to USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data, modeled under current conditions, and for eight future scenarios.

Potential suitable habitat was modeled using Random Forest (Breiman 2001), a decision-tree based ensemble approach that correlates mean importance values with environmental data on climate, elevation, and soil. Swapping 30-year mean climate conditions for a baseline period (1981-2010) with projections for the future (2070-2099) results in potential suitable habitat representing a species potential abundance. A hybrid lattice consisting of 10 × 10 and 20 × 20 kilometer (km) cells, defined by the density of forest inventory plots, was used to process environmental data and model potential suitable habitat as individual tree species importance values. Downscaled future climate projections were obtained from the NASA Earth Exchange Downscaled Climate Projections (NEX-DCP30) program (Thrasher et al. 2013). Output from three general circulation models (GCM) were used to explore possible changes in habitat suitability resulting from climate change, and included the NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM4, Gent et al. 2011), NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Coupled Model 3 (GFDL CM3, Donner et al. 2011), and Met Office Hadley Global Environment Model 2 - Earth System (HadGEM2 - ES, Jones et al. 2011). Projections under the representative concentration pathways (RCP, Moss et al. 2008) 4.5 and 8.5 were used to encapsulate the range of plausible increases in greenhouse gases during this century. Reported values are based on a statistical process to include mean importance values supplemented by median importance values, when the median predicted values were zero and the mean predicted values were ≥ 2.75 times the coefficient of variation for each 10 × 10 or 20 × 20 km cell. An important caveat when interpreting these models is that they are predicting potential suitable habitat by year 2100 – not where the species will be found. See Iverson et al. (2019) and Peters et al. (2019) for more details.

climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere; Climate change; Climatology; modeled niche; potential suitable habitat; tree species; importance value; DISTRIB-II; eastern United States; Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin
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