Skip to Main Content
North American vegetation model for land-use planning in a changing climate: A solution to large classification problemsAuthor(s): Gerald E. Rehfeldt; Nicholas L. Crookston; Cuauhtemoc Saenz-Romero; Elizabeth M. Campbell
Source: Ecological Applications. 22(1): 119-141.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: Download Publication (2.5 MB)
DescriptionData points intensively sampling 46 North American biomes were used to predict the geographic distribution of biomes from climate variables using the Random Forests classification tree. Techniques were incorporated to accommodate a large number of classes and to predict the future occurrence of climates beyond the contemporary climatic range of the biomes. Errors of prediction from the statistical model averaged 3.7%, but for individual biomes, ranged from 0% to 21.5%. In validating the ability of the model to identify climates without analogs, 78% of 1528 locations outside North America and 81% of land area of the Caribbean Islands were predicted to have no analogs among the 46 biomes. Biome climates were projected into the future according to low and high greenhouse gas emission scenarios of three General Circulation Models for three periods, the decades surrounding 2030, 2060, and 2090. Prominent in the projections were (1) expansion of climates suitable for the tropical dry deciduous forests of Mexico, (2) expansion of climates typifying desertscrub biomes of western USA and northern Mexico, (3) stability of climates typifying the evergreen deciduous forests of eastern USA, and (4) northward expansion of climates suited to temperate forests, Great Plains grasslands, and montane forests to the detriment of taiga and tundra climates. Maps indicating either poor agreement among projections or climates without contemporary analogs identify geographic areas where land management programs would be most equivocal. Concentrating efforts and resources where projections are more certain can assure land managers a greater likelihood of success.
- You may send email to email@example.com 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.
CitationRehfeldt, Gerald E.; Crookston, Nicholas L.; Saenz-Romero, Cuauhtemoc; Campbell, Elizabeth M. 2012. North American vegetation model for land-use planning in a changing climate: A solution to large classification problems. Ecological Applications. 22(1): 119-141.
Keywordsclimate change impacts, climate niche modeling, land management alternatives, Random Forests classification tree, vegetation models
- Comparative genetic responses to climate in the varieties of Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii: reforestation
- Projections of suitable habitat for rare species under global warming scenarios
- Ecological impacts and management strategies for western larch in the face of climate-change
XML: View XML