Tree vulnerability to climate change: improving exposure‐based assessments using traits as indicators of sensitivity

Tree vulnerability to climate change: improving exposure‐based assessments using traits as... Projected changes in climate conditions vary widely across Canada's 350 M ha of forests, and so does the capacity of forest species to cope with these changes (sensitivity). Development and prioritization of adaptation strategies for sustainable forest management will depend on integrated assessments of relative stand vulnerability. We developed species‐specific indices of sensitivity to (1) drought‐induced mortality and (2) migration failure, based on traits for 22 of the most abundant tree species in Canada. By combining this information with stand composition data and spatially explicit climate change projections, we were able to map Canadian forest vulnerability to drought and migration failure. Our maps show forest vulnerability changing rapidly under a high carbon emission scenario (RCP 8.5) between short‐ (2011–2040), medium‐ (2041–2070), and long‐term projections (2071–2100). Several zones of special concern emerged based on the biomass involved, stand sensitivity, and vulnerability trends across time. Boreal forests in the central regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan appeared most vulnerable to drought‐induced mortality in the mid to long term. In the short term, distance to suitable habitat is projected to shift quickly along latitudinal gradients, particularly in Central Canada, while zones of vulnerability to migration failure appeared across the Rockies region in the long term as suitable conditions disappear from mountainous areas. This spatial assessment of vulnerability, which integrates species‐specific sensitivity, highlights important regional contrasts between vulnerability to drought (from high exposure, high proportion of sensitive species, or both) and to migration failure. By affecting either species’ ability to persist in place or to migrate, different climate change impacts can yield distinct biotic responses, with important implications for regional climate change adaptation strategies. Multi‐faceted vulnerability assessments, integrating both exposure and sensitivity indices specific to expected impacts of climate change, have the potential to provide crucial information to managers. We discuss some of these implications, explore the current limitations of our approach, and suggest a path forward. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecosphere Wiley

Tree vulnerability to climate change: improving exposure‐based assessments using traits as indicators of sensitivity

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/tree-vulnerability-to-climate-change-improving-exposure-based-kCXru8JK0X
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2018 The Ecological Society of America
ISSN
2150-8925
eISSN
2150-8925
D.O.I.
10.1002/ecs2.2108
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Projected changes in climate conditions vary widely across Canada's 350 M ha of forests, and so does the capacity of forest species to cope with these changes (sensitivity). Development and prioritization of adaptation strategies for sustainable forest management will depend on integrated assessments of relative stand vulnerability. We developed species‐specific indices of sensitivity to (1) drought‐induced mortality and (2) migration failure, based on traits for 22 of the most abundant tree species in Canada. By combining this information with stand composition data and spatially explicit climate change projections, we were able to map Canadian forest vulnerability to drought and migration failure. Our maps show forest vulnerability changing rapidly under a high carbon emission scenario (RCP 8.5) between short‐ (2011–2040), medium‐ (2041–2070), and long‐term projections (2071–2100). Several zones of special concern emerged based on the biomass involved, stand sensitivity, and vulnerability trends across time. Boreal forests in the central regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan appeared most vulnerable to drought‐induced mortality in the mid to long term. In the short term, distance to suitable habitat is projected to shift quickly along latitudinal gradients, particularly in Central Canada, while zones of vulnerability to migration failure appeared across the Rockies region in the long term as suitable conditions disappear from mountainous areas. This spatial assessment of vulnerability, which integrates species‐specific sensitivity, highlights important regional contrasts between vulnerability to drought (from high exposure, high proportion of sensitive species, or both) and to migration failure. By affecting either species’ ability to persist in place or to migrate, different climate change impacts can yield distinct biotic responses, with important implications for regional climate change adaptation strategies. Multi‐faceted vulnerability assessments, integrating both exposure and sensitivity indices specific to expected impacts of climate change, have the potential to provide crucial information to managers. We discuss some of these implications, explore the current limitations of our approach, and suggest a path forward.

Journal

EcosphereWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ;

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off