Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Nicholas C. Coops; Richard H. Waring; Todd A. Schroeder
    Date: 2009
    Source: Ecological Modelling. 220: 1787-1796.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (843.66 KB)


    Although long-lived tree species experience considerable environmental variation over their life spans, their geographical distributions reflect sensitivity mainly to mean monthly climatic conditions.We introduce an approach that incorporates a physiologically based growth model to illustrate how a half-dozen tree species differ in their responses to monthly variation in four climatic-related variables: water availability, deviations from an optimum temperature, atmospheric humidity deficits, and the frequency of frost. Rather than use climatic data directly to correlate with a species' distribution,we assess the relative constraints of each of the four variables as they affect predicted monthly photosynthesis for Douglas-fir, the most widely distributed species in the region. We apply an automated regression-tree analysis to create a suite of rules, which differentially rank the relative importance of the four climatic modifiers for each species, and provide a basis for predicting a species' presence or absence on 3737 uniformly distributed U.S. Forest Services' Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) field survey plots. Results of this generalized rule-based approach were encouraging, with weighted accuracy, which combines the correct prediction of both presence and absence on FIA survey plots, averaging 87%. A wider sampling of climatic conditions throughout the full range of a species' distribution should improve the basis for creating rules and the possibility of predicting future shifts in the geographic distribution of species.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.


    Coops, Nicholas C.; Waring, Richard H.; Schroeder, Todd A. 2009. Combining a generic process-based productivity model classification method to predict the presence and absence species in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. Ecological Modelling. 220: 1787-1796.


    3-PG model, Regression-tree analysis, Climate change, US Forest Inventory and Analysis, Sitka spruce, Ponderosa pine, Western juniper, Lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, Western hemlock

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page