Skip to Main Content
Potential Changes in Tree Species Richness and Forest Community Types following Climate ChangeAuthor(s): Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad
Source: Ecosystems. 4: 186-199.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (660.05 KB)
DescriptionPotential changes in tree species richness and forest community types were evaluated for the eastern United States according to five scenarios of future climate change resulting from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). DISTRIB, an empirical model that uses a regression tree analysis approach, was used to generate suitable habitat, or potential future distributions, of 80 common tree species for each scenario. The model assumes that the vegetation and climate are in equilibrium with no barriers to species migration. Combinations of the individual species model outcomes allowed estimates of species richness (from among the 80 species) and forest type (from simple rules) for each of 2100 counties in the eastern United States. Average species richness across all counties may increase slightly with climatic change. This increase tends to be larger as the average temperature of the climate change scenario increases. Dramatic changes in the distribution of potential forest types were modeled. All five scenarios project the extirpation of the spruce-fir forest types from New England. Outputs from only the two least severe scenarios retain aspen-birch, and they are largely reduced. Maple-beech-birch also shows a large reduction in area under all scenarios. By contrast, oak-hickory and oak-pine types were modeled to increase by 34% and 290%, respectively, averaged over the five scenarios. Although many assumptions are made, these modeled outcomes substantially agree with a limited number of predictions from researchers using paleoecological data or other models.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationIverson, Louis R.; Prasad, Anantha M. 2001. Potential Changes in Tree Species Richness and Forest Community Types following Climate Change. Ecosystems. 4: 186-199.
Keywordsclimate change, species richness, forest, types, GIS, statistical model, eastern United States
- Promotion of adventitious root formation of difficult-to-root hardwood tree species
- Effects of elevated CO2 and shade on the decomposition of senesced tree foliage: impacts on the growth and survival of treehole mosquitoes
- Change detection for soil carbon in the forest inventory and analysis
XML: View XML