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Trailing Edge Forest Southern Rockies ecoregion

Forests are an incredibly important resource across the globe, yet they are threatened by climate change through stressors such as drought, insect outbreaks, and wildfire. Trailing edge forests—those areas expected to experience range contractions under a changing climate—are of concern because of the potential for abrupt conversion to non-forest. However, broad-scale forest die-off and range contraction in trailing edge forests are unlikely to occur over short timeframes (<~25–50 years) without a disturbance catalyst (e.g., wildfire). As such, explicit attention to both climate and disturbance is necessary to understand how the distribution of forests will respond to climate change