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Potential change in lodgepole pine site index and distribution under climatic change in Alberta.Author(s): Robert A. Monserud; Yuqing Yang; Shongming Huang; Nadja Tchebakova
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38: 343-352
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionWe estimated the impact of global climate change on lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex. Loud. var. latifolia Engelm.) site productivity in Alberta based on the Alberta Climate Model and the A2 SRES climate change scenario projections from three global circulation models (CGCM2, HADCM3, and ECHAM4). Considerable warming is apparent in all three models. On average, the increases in mean GDD5 (growing degree-days >5 °C) are 18, 38, and 65 percent by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively. Change in precipitation is essentially nil. This results in proportional increases in dryness index. We used the dryness index to predict the potential future range and GDD5 to predict its potential productivity. Generally, lodgepole pine site index is predicted to increase steadily by 3 m for each 30-year period. Offsetting this increase is a large reduction in suitable area as drying increases. At first, the warming increases the potential range up to 67 percent by the 2020s but then shrinks from 34 to 58 percent of its current area by 2080. Such major changes will need to be considered when setting long-term forest management plans. The increased risk of both wildfire and insect outbreaks further compounds this planning problem, especially because these disturbance events can interact and further increase risk.
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CitationMonserud, Robert A.; Yang, Yuqing; Huang, Shongming; Tchebakova, Nadja. 2008. Potential change in lodgepole pine site index and distribution under climatic change in Alberta. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38: 343-352
KeywordsGlobal climate change, lodgepole pine, CGCM2, HADCM3, ECHAM4, drying index, site index
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