Skip to Main Content
Decadal changes in tree range stability across forests of the eastern U.S.Author(s): C.W. Woodall; J.A. Westfall; A.W. D'Amato; J.R. Foster; B.F. Walters
Source: Forest Ecology and Management
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionThe monitoring of tree range dynamics has emerged as an important component of adaptive responses of forest management to global change scenarios such as extreme precipitation events and/or invasive species. Comparisons between the locations of adults versus seedlings of individual tree species using contemporary forest inventories is one tool widely used to assess the status of tree ranges in light of these changing conditions. With the consistent remeasurement of standard forest inventory plots across the entire eastern US occurring since the 2000s, the opportunity exists to evaluate the stability of tree ranges of focal species across a decade. Using said inventory, the northern range margins of tree distributions were examined by comparing differences (Holm-Sidak adjusted p-value=0.2) in the 95th percentile locations of seedlings to adults (i.e., trees) by 0.5 degree longitudinal bands over nearly 10 years and by categories of canopy disturbance (i.e., canopy gap formation) for 20 study species. Our results suggest that range margins are stable for 85% of study species at both time one and at remeasurement regardless of canopy disturbance. For the very few species that had a significant difference in seedlings and adults at their range margins, there was nearly a 0.4 degree difference in latitude with seedlings being farther south irrespective of disturbance. Our findings of tree range stability across forests of the eastern US indicate a general propensity towards range contraction, especially for study species forecasted to lose range and located on disturbed sites, which may present substantial hurdles for adaptive management strategies focused on maintaining and enhancing forest ecosystem resilience in the context of global change and associated rapid climate change.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
CitationWoodall, C.W.; Westfall, J.A.; D'Amato, A.W.; Foster, J.R.; Walters, B.F. 2018. Decadal changes in tree range stability across forests of the eastern U.S.. Forest Ecology and Management. 429: 503-510. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.07.049.
KeywordsCanopy gaps, Global change, Disturbance, Tree range, Tree species migration, Seedlings
- Assessing the stability of tree ranges and influence of disturbance in eastern US forests
- Stages and Spatial Scales of Recruitment Limitation in Southern Appalachain Forests
- Failure to migrate: lack of tree range expansion in response to climate change
XML: View XML