Forest adaptation and transition in the eastern united states under climate change : a forest landscape modeling method
Forest management is rapidly shifting in focus to address the adaptive capacity of forests under uncertain future climates. Managers and researchers often utilize models to proactively develop strategies for forest adaptation management and in order for these models to provide useful results they must realistically represent a multitude of complex processes. Here we detail a linked-model methodology for predicting the response of forests to climate change over large heterogeneous landscapes under a range of adaptation management scenarios. We used a forest ecosystem process model to simulate forests across the eastern United States under a range of future climate scenarios and found that ecotones between major forest types or natural community types may be the most vulnerable to large declines in biomass due to climate change. We then show that the implementation of a probability-based method for estimating individual tree fire mortality can realistically reproduce conditions observed in field inventory data. Finally, we test the effectiveness of different climate forest adaptation strategies at maintaining or increasing the presence and geographic distribution of species on a heterogeneous landscape under climate change.
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