B Ferguson Mt Wildlife Society Feb08 Opt

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Plant-Climate Relationships in The Western US by Dennis Ferguson

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B Ferguson Mt Wildlife Society Feb08 Opt

  1. 1. Plant-Climate relationships in the western United States Dennis Ferguson Research Forester RMRS, Moscow, Idaho
  2. 2. Acknowledgements • Jerry Rehfeldt • Marcus Warwell • Nick Crookston • Jeff Evans • Bryce Richardson
  3. 3. Tools to help model the effects of climate change 1. Predict climate variables 2. Use climate variables to predict plant species distributions 3. Link predicted climate to climate change scenarios
  4. 4. 1. Predicting climate • Spline climate model by Jerry Rehfeldt (2006) – Based on monthly normals from 1961 – 1990 – Used ~6,000 weather stations from western U.S. and Canada – Latitude, longitude, and elevation – 18 derived climate variables – Average R-square was 0.95 – Maps in this presentation are 1 km² resolution
  5. 5. Thin plate splines fit climate data to geographic surfaces
  6. 6. Degree days >5 °C
  7. 7. Climate variables derived from temperature and precipitation monthlies • Mean annual temperature • Degree-days > 5 °C • Mean annual precipitation • Degree-days < 0 °C • Growing season precipitation • Frost-free period • Mean cold month temperature • Last spring frost • Minimum cold month • First fall frost temperature • Mean warm month temperature • Growing season degree- days > 5 °C • Maximum warm month temperature • Summer-winter • Annual dryness index temperature differential • Summer dryness index • Date degree-days > 5 °C • Minimum degree-days <0 °C reaches 100
  8. 8. 2. Use contemporary climate to predict current plant communities and species distributions • Model “climate profile”
  9. 9. Rehfeldt, Crookston, Warwell and Evans. 2006. Empirical analysis of plant-climate relationships for the western United States. IJPS 167:1123–1150 Brown’s 26 biotic communities
  10. 10. The problem with ecosystem models: • Individual plants, not communities, respond to climate • Species have different physiologies and will respond differently
  11. 11. Let’s look at some individual plant species • Predictions for contemporary climate • Comparison to range maps of Little (1971) • Used 118,000 plots westwide
  12. 12. Douglas-fir, contemporary climate (1961 - 1990) Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  13. 13. Western larch, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  14. 14. Western white pine, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  15. 15. Bluebunch wheatgrass, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  16. 16. Saguaro cactus, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  17. 17. 3. Use climate change scenarios to predict future species distributions We used a 1% increase per year in greenhouse gasses (Hadley Center and Canadian Center), a relatively conservative scenario
  18. 18. Douglas-fir, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  19. 19. Douglas-fir, 2030
  20. 20. Douglas-fir, 2060
  21. 21. Douglas-fir, 2090
  22. 22. Western larch, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  23. 23. Western larch, 2030
  24. 24. Western larch, 2060
  25. 25. Western larch, 2090
  26. 26. Western white pine, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  27. 27. Western white pine, 2030
  28. 28. Western white pine, 2060
  29. 29. Western white pine, 2090
  30. 30. Bluebunch wheatgrass, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  31. 31. Bluebunch wheatgrass, 2030
  32. 32. Bluebunch wheatgrass, 2060
  33. 33. Bluebunch wheatgrass, 2090
  34. 34. Saguaro cactus, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  35. 35. Saguaro cactus 2030
  36. 36. Saguaro cactus 2060
  37. 37. Saguaro cactus 2090
  38. 38. Four o’clock, contemporary climate Mirabilis macfarlanei
  39. 39. Four o’clock, contemporary climate
  40. 40. Four o’clock, 2030
  41. 41. Four o’clock, 2060
  42. 42. Four o’clock, 2090
  43. 43. Utah juniper 2000 2090 pinyon pine 2000 2090
  44. 44. aspen 2000 2030 2060 2090
  45. 45. Potential impact on the vegetation? utterly humongous But, will species track their climate profile?
  46. 46. abundance vs. summer dryness index
  47. 47. population response functions Pinus contorta Pinus sylvestris
  48. 48. population response functions A species is not a species Pinus contorta Pinus sylvestris
  49. 49. Potential impact on the vegetation? disruption at all levels of organization • maladaptation of populations • shifts in species distributions • realignment of ecosystems Bottom line: To have future forests like those of today, the proper genotypes of the best-suited species must arrive somewhere near the future location of their climatic optima
  50. 50. Climate seed zones for Engelmann spruce
  51. 51. 2000 2030 2060 2090
  52. 52. Global Warming according to the Canadian Model
  53. 53. Conclusions 1. Predictions of species climate profiles were much better than we expected 2. We show a technique for predicting effects of climate change 3. We do not know “the” answer 4. See if various approaches produce the same results
  54. 54. Rehfeldt et al., 2006 Plant-climate relationships paper http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/25706 Get jpeg illustrations and ASCII grids at: http://forest.moscowfsl.wsu.edu/climate
  55. 55. Lodgepole pine, contemporary climate (1961 - 1990) Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  56. 56. Lodgepole pine, 2030
  57. 57. Lodgepole pine, 2060
  58. 58. Lodgepole pine, 2090
  59. 59. Whitebark votes for pine species presence Today’s climate votes for species presence
  60. 60. Whitebark pine Today’s climate votes for species presence
  61. 61. Whitebark pine Today’s climate votes for species presence
  62. 62. Whitebark pine 2030 climate votes for species presence
  63. 63. Let’s look at some individual species
  64. 64. 4. Needed: a carbon accounting tool for FFE-FVS Good news: we got one!
  65. 65. 2000 2030 projections

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