Skip to Main Content
Despite available habitat at range edge, yellow-cedar migration is punctuated with a past pulse tied to colder conditionsAuthor(s): John Krapek; Paul E. Hennon; David V. D'Amore; Brian Buma
Source: Diversity and Distributions. 23(12): 1381-1392.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionAim: To explore the recent (past ~1,000 year) migration history of yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis), a climate-threatened tree, which appears to lag behind its potential climatic niche at a leading northern range edge, and infer its continued migration potential under changing climate.
Location: Southeast Alaska, USA.
Methods: We located 11 leading range edge yellow-cedar stands near Juneau, Alaska, determined their proportional occupancy of modelled habitat and estimated stand ages to determine approximate time of establishment. We used future climate projections to determine the potential vulnerability of these leading edge populations using a well-established risk factor for yellow-cedar mortality in the region.
Results: Despite abundant potential habitat, and having existed in the study area > 675 years, yellow-cedar has only occupied a small proportion (<0.8%) of suitable habitat. Yellow-cedar appears to have undergone a past pulse of successful regeneration and establishment during the Little Ice Age climate period, with little expansion in recent decades. Under high emissions future climate scenarios, nine of 11 stands (82%) may become exposed to climate conditions that predispose yellow-cedar to root freezing injury by 2070.
Main conclusions: We show that yellow-cedar’s migration near a northern range edge is episodic, with a past pulse of establishment during the Little Ice Age. When planning for the conservation and management of this culturally and economically valuable tree, forest managers should consider yellow-cedar’s currently limited migration at the leading edge, mortality emerging farther north in recent decades and potential vulnerability of range edge stands by 2070. The range of intense, climatic driven yellow-cedar mortality is expanding northward and rapidly approaching the species’ leading edge in southeast Alaska. Yellow-cedar’s episodic migration demonstrates that species may not respond linearly to a warming climate and that other factors controlling dispersal to suitable habitat must be considered for accurate range predictions.
- 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.
CitationKrapek, John; Hennon, Paul E.; D'Amore, David V.; Buma, Brian. 2017. Despite available habitat at range edge, yellow-cedar migration is punctuated with a past pulse tied to colder conditions. Diversity and Distributions. 23(12): 1381-1392. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12630.
KeywordsAssisted migration, climate change, migration lag, punctuated migration, range expansion, vulnerability assessment, yellow-cedar.
- No evidence of recent (1995-2013) decrease of yellow-cedar in Alaska
- Evaluation of soil saturation, soil chemistry, and early spring soil and air temperatures as risk factors in yellow-cedar decline.
- Climate warming, reduced snow, and freezing injury could explain the demise of yellow-cedar in southeast Alaska, USA
XML: View XML