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B Ferguson Mt Wildlife Society Feb08 Opt
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B Ferguson Mt Wildlife Society Feb08 Opt

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Plant-Climate Relationships in The Western US by Dennis Ferguson

Plant-Climate Relationships in The Western US by Dennis Ferguson

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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  • 1. Plant-Climate relationships in the western United States Dennis Ferguson Research Forester RMRS, Moscow, Idaho
  • 2. Acknowledgements • Jerry Rehfeldt • Marcus Warwell • Nick Crookston • Jeff Evans • Bryce Richardson
  • 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. 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. Thin plate splines fit climate data to geographic surfaces
  • 6. Degree days >5 °C
  • 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. 2. Use contemporary climate to predict current plant communities and species distributions • Model “climate profile”
  • 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. The problem with ecosystem models: • Individual plants, not communities, respond to climate • Species have different physiologies and will respond differently
  • 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. Douglas-fir, contemporary climate (1961 - 1990) Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 13. Western larch, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 14. Western white pine, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 15. Bluebunch wheatgrass, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 16. Saguaro cactus, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 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. Douglas-fir, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 19. Douglas-fir, 2030
  • 20. Douglas-fir, 2060
  • 21. Douglas-fir, 2090
  • 22. Western larch, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 23. Western larch, 2030
  • 24. Western larch, 2060
  • 25. Western larch, 2090
  • 26. Western white pine, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 27. Western white pine, 2030
  • 28. Western white pine, 2060
  • 29. Western white pine, 2090
  • 30. Bluebunch wheatgrass, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 31. Bluebunch wheatgrass, 2030
  • 32. Bluebunch wheatgrass, 2060
  • 33. Bluebunch wheatgrass, 2090
  • 34. Saguaro cactus, contemporary climate Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 35. Saguaro cactus 2030
  • 36. Saguaro cactus 2060
  • 37. Saguaro cactus 2090
  • 38. Four o’clock, contemporary climate Mirabilis macfarlanei
  • 39. Four o’clock, contemporary climate
  • 40. Four o’clock, 2030
  • 41. Four o’clock, 2060
  • 42. Four o’clock, 2090
  • 43. Utah juniper 2000 2090 pinyon pine 2000 2090
  • 44. aspen 2000 2030 2060 2090
  • 45. Potential impact on the vegetation? utterly humongous But, will species track their climate profile?
  • 46. abundance vs. summer dryness index
  • 47. population response functions Pinus contorta Pinus sylvestris
  • 48. population response functions A species is not a species Pinus contorta Pinus sylvestris
  • 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. Climate seed zones for Engelmann spruce
  • 51. 2000 2030 2060 2090
  • 52. Global Warming according to the Canadian Model
  • 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. 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. Lodgepole pine, contemporary climate (1961 - 1990) Yellow: 50 to 75% confidence Red: 75 to 100% confidence
  • 56. Lodgepole pine, 2030
  • 57. Lodgepole pine, 2060
  • 58. Lodgepole pine, 2090
  • 59. Whitebark votes for pine species presence Today’s climate votes for species presence
  • 60. Whitebark pine Today’s climate votes for species presence
  • 61. Whitebark pine Today’s climate votes for species presence
  • 62. Whitebark pine 2030 climate votes for species presence
  • 63. Let’s look at some individual species
  • 64. 4. Needed: a carbon accounting tool for FFE-FVS Good news: we got one!
  • 65. 2000 2030 projections

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