Changes in Forested Landscapes of the Eastern United States Under Alternative Climate Scenarios

Fiscal Year: 
FY'13
Project Leader: 
Research Partners: 
Hong He (Professor, Department of Forestry, University of Missouri); Brice Hanberry (Research Associate, Department of Forestry, University of Missouri); Frank R. Thompson and William Dijak (SDA Forest Service Northern Research Station).
Project Fellows: 
Status: 
Completed
Science Themes: 

Forests in the Eastern United States are in the early- and mid-successional stages recovering from historical land use. Succession, harvest, and climate are potentially important factors affecting forest composition and structure in the region. The goal of this project was to predict the distribution and abundance of dominant tree species across portions of the Eastern U.S. under alternative climate scenarios from present to the end of the century. We used the forest landscape change LANDIS PRO and hybrid empirical-physiological ecosystem model LINKAGES to model changes in forest biomass and species abundances and distribution in the North Atlantic region of the U.S. while accounting for climate change, succession, and harvest. Three climate scenarios were considered, defined by a general circulation model and emission scenario: PCM B1, CGCM A2, and GFDL A1FI. We then compared results from three alternative modeling approaches; LANDIS PRO, LINKAGES, and TreeAtlas for the Central Hardwood, Central Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions to determine agreement among models and establish a stronger inference for projected changes through model averaging. Tree Atlas is a statistically derived enhanced niche model in contrast to the process driven ecosystem and landscape models LINKAGES and LANDIS PRO. Researchers on this project actively worked with the Gulf Coast Plains and Ozarks LCC and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Change (NIACS). NIACS is a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service, state agencies, and NGOs with a focus on climate change adaptation.  This project provides assessments of landscape change and vulnerability of tree species to climate change, and will be used to guide climate adaptation planning and management across the region.

Publications: 
Presentations: 
  • Thompson III, F. R.  2012.  Linking ecosystem, landscape, wildlife, and climate models to predict changes to central hardwood landscapes and wildlife.  USDA Forest Service First Friday All Climate Change Talks Webinar Series, January 6 2012.
  • Thompson III, F. R.  2012.  Linking ecosystem, landscape, wildlife, and climate models to predict changes to central hardwood landscapes and wildlife.  Northeast Climate Science Center Colloquium.  April 4 2012.
  • Thompson III, F. R., H He, W.D. Dijak, J. Schniederman.  2012. Approaches to forecasting changes in forest landscapes and wildlife populations in response to climate change.  Central Hardwoods Climate Change Response Framework Expert Panel Meeting, St Louis, MO, June 26-28, 2012.
  • He, H. S., W. J. Wang, J. C. Fraser, S. R. Shifley, F. R. Thompson III.  2013.  Designing a forest landscape model that simulates density-based stand dynamics at regional scales.  Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America.  August 2013, Minneapolis, MN. 
  • Schniederman, J. E., H. S. He, F. R. Thompson III, W. D. Dijak, J. J. LeBrun.  2013.  Forest management plans for mitigating projected future climate change in the Missouri Ozark Highlands  Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America.  August 2013, Minneapolis, MN.      
  • Thompson, Frank R. III, Christopher W. Swanston, Monica S. Tomosy.  2013.  From prediction to Application: A Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Forest Landscapes and Wildlife.  Paper presented at The Wildlife Society 20th Annual Meeting, October 5-10 2013, Milwaukee, WI.    
  • Hong He (co-PI).  A framework for evaluating forest landscape predictions using forest inventory data.  International Association for Landscape Ecology Meeting, Anchorage, AK, May 2014.
  • Modeling change in maximum growing space under projected climate scenarios in the Central Hardwood Forest using an ecosystem process model Jacob S. Fraser, Hong S. He, Frank R. Thompson III, William D. Dijak, Brice B. Hanberry and Wen J. Wang.  Ecological Society of America, August 2014.
  • Changes in tree species abundance and  forest  structure in response to climate change and disturbance in U.S. Central Hardwood Forests Region.  Wen J. Wang, Hong S. He*, Frank R. Thompson III, Jacob S. Fraser, Brice B. Hanberry, William D. Dijak.Ecological Society of America, August 2014.
  • Comparing predictions of aboveground woody biomass of PnET-II, LINKAGES v2.2, and ED2 with decadal field data at plot and landscape scales Wenchi Jin, Hong S. He, Frank R. Thompson III, Stephen R. Shifley.  Ecological Society of America, August 2014.
  • Frank Thompson.  Approaches to modeling landscape and climate effects on birds and forests in the Midwwestern U.S.  Joint Sino-US Workshop on Forest, Soil, and Landscape Modeling, Changchun, China, June 21, 2015.
  • Hong He.  The Role of  landscape modeling in predicting regional forest change.  Joint Sino-US Workshop on Forest, Soil, and Landscape Modeling,  Changchun, China, June 21, 2015.
  • Wenchi Jin, Hong S. He, Frank R. Thompson III, Wen J. Wang, Jacob S. Fraser, Brice B. Hanberry, William D. Dijak.  Carbon sink, source or neutral? How does the role of the U.S. Central Hardwood Forest change?  IALE World Congress, Portland, OR, July 2015.
  • William D. Dijak, ; Brice B. Hanberry, Jacob Fraser, Hong S. He.  Application of LINKAGES Version 3.0 to Determine Tree Growth Potential in Response to Global Climate Change.  IALE World Congress, Portland, OR, July 2015.
  • Wen J. Wang, Hong S. He, Frank R. Thompson III, Jacob S. Fraser.  Population dynamics can be more important than climate change for determining future tree species distribution change in a temperate deciduous forest.   IALE World Congress, Portland, OR, July 2015
  • Wang W, Hong HS, Thompson III FR, Fraser JS, Dijak WD.  Forest biomass and species distributions under climate change in the Northeastern U.S: accounting for effects of succession and harvest.  US-IALE meeting, April 2016, Asheville, NC
  • F.R. Thompson.  Linking climate, landscape, and population models to understand climate and management effects on forests and wildlife.  US-IALE meeting, April 2016, Asheville, NC
  • Jacob Fraser.  Modeling responses of Eastern U.S. forests to climate change using a forest ecosystem model.   US-IALE meeting, April 2016, Asheville, NC.
  • Jacob Fraser, Wen Wang, Hong He, and Frank Thompson.  2017.  Changes in the distribution of Southern Pines under Alternative Climate and Urban Growth Scenarios.  Missouri Natural Resources Conference, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, Feb 3 2017.