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): F. Jack Triepke; Esteban H. Muldavin; Maximillian M. Wahlberg
    Date: 2019
    Source: Ecosphere. 10(9): e02854.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Land managers require information about the ongoing and potential effects of future climate to coordinate responses for ecosystems, species, and human communities at scales that are operationally meaningful. Our study focused on the vulnerability for all upland ecosystem types of Arizona and New Mexico in the southwestern United States. Local vulnerability across the two-state area was represented by the level of departure for late 21st-century climate from the characteristic pre-1990 climate envelope of the ecosystem type at each given location, resulting in a probability surface of climate impacts for the two-state area and an uncertainty assessment based on agreement in results among multiple global climate models. Though the results varied from one ecosystem type to the next, the majority of lands were forecast as high vulnerability and low uncertainty, reflecting significant agreement among climate model projections for the southwestern United States. We then tested our results in relation to ongoing ecological processes that have both regional and global change implications and discovered significant relationships with wildfire severity, upward tree species recruitment, and the encroachment of scrub into semidesert grassland. The testing helped determine the efficacy of the vulnerability surface, as a product of relatively high spatial and thematic resolution, in supporting local planning and management decisions. Most important, this study links climate and changes in vegetation by ecosystem processes that are already ongoing. The results affirm the value of climate model downscaling and show that this portable approach to correlative modeling has value in determining the location and magnitude of potential climate-related impacts.

    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.


    Triepke, F. Jack; Muldavin, Esteban H.; Wahlberg, Maximillian M. 2019. Using climate projections to assess ecosystem vulnerability at scales relevant to managers. Ecosphere. 10(9): e02854.


    Google Scholar


    climate envelope, climate exposure, climate sensitivity, climate vulnerability, discriminant analysis, fire severity, global change, model validation, scrub encroachment

    Related Search

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