"Linking ecosystem, landscape, wildlife, and climate models to predict changes to central hardwood landscapes and wildlife"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 3:30pm
Cooperative Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Missouri
Research Wildlife Biologist, Northern Research Station

Our goal is to predict the potential consequences of interactions among forest management, succession and natural disturbance, and climate change on Midwestern central hardwood landscapes and wildlife. We are working with partners that include the USDA Forest Service Eastern Region, the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, the Gulf Plains and Ozarks LCC, the USGS Northeast Climate Science Center, and the University of Missouri. We are making predictions for scenarios that are defined by alternative forest management actions, natural disturbance regimes, and alternative climate models. We first predict changes in tree species establishment under alternative climates on Midwestern sites with the LINKAGES ecosystem model. We then use the landscape model LANDIS to incorporate tree species establishment as a function of climate with succession, natural disturbance, and land management. The resulting predicted landscape trajectories serve as the basis for assessing the vulnerabilities of species, ecosystems, or other resources to climate change.