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    Author(s): Marie Oliver; Becky KernsJohn KimJeff Kline
    Date: 2017
    Source: Science Findings 197. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
    Publication Series: Science Findings
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (6.0 MB)


    Landscape exposure to multiple stressors can pose risks to human health, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Attempts to study, control, or mitigate these stressors can strain public and private budgets. An interdisciplinary team of Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University scientists created maps of the conterminous United States that indicate landscape exposure to concentrated wildfire potential, insects and disease risk, urban and exurban development, and climate change. The maps, which show where these stressors might occur and overlap, provide a valuable resource for regional and national land use, land management, and policymaking efforts by helping to guide resource prioritization.

    The researchers identified locations where each stressor is more prevalent on the landscape relative to other locations, and then combined future climate projections from 30 separate global circulation models to establish a climate change metric. The climate change metric represents when the average annual temperature is projected to permanently depart from the prevailing climate of the past century under a “business as usual” scenario. The goal was to identify large contiguous areas of stress exposure—locations that may be vulnerable to ecological and social disruption.

    This information has been used in Oregon, for example, to inform discussions about urban expansion and fire risk around the City of Bend.

    Supplemental maps projecting climate departure and exposure to multiple stressors in the conterminous United States.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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.


    Oliver, Marie; Kerns, Becky; Kim, John; Kline, Jeff. 2017. Mapping the future: U.S. exposure to multiple landscape stressors. Science Findings 197. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.


    Landscape, threats, fire, insects, drought, wildland urban interface, WUI, climate change, overlap.

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