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Regional Impacts of Climate Change on Forests and bird communities

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Presentation on theme: "Regional Impacts of Climate Change on Forests and bird communities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional Impacts of Climate Change on Forests and bird communities
Stephen Matthews1,2, Louis Iverson2, Anantha Prasad2, Matthew Peters2 1School of Environment and Natural Resources Ohio State University 2USFS Northern Research Station

2 Today's topic Climate is changing and species are responding
Conservation and management strategies that ignore these change will likely fail (Lawler et al. 2009) How can we begin to integrate climate change impacts into complicated realm of conservation Must address in stages and build our understanding Building broad-scale models is a logical start Working with managers to translate results to “on the ground realities”

3 Eleven indicators that the climate is changing
Land temp Sea temp Sea level Snow cover State of the climate 2009, NOAA

4 Vertebrates: phenological responses to a changing climate
Amphibians Calling days earlier for half of species from ~1912 to Gibbs and Breisch 2001 Birds Early arrival Beaumont et al. 2006 Hatching earlier Both and Visser 2005, GCB, Fig 4 Such shifts can lead to mismatches in timing Reviewed in Root et al. 2005 Wood frog = 13 days

5 Wildlife distribution shifts linked to climate change
Distributional shifts Mammals: Southern species increase and northern species decline, southern flying squirrel N 225 km since (Myers et al. 2009, GCB, Fig 3) Birds: winter range northern boundary shift 1.48 km/yr Sorte and Thompson 2007 breeding range also show northward trend 2.35 km/yr Hitch and Leberg, 2006 Expand this to include a list of species Chin and thoms :distribe Or yohe parm

6 Future effects: Highly tied to the level of CO2 emissions
Question cut ??

7 Rising Temperatures in NE. US (annual average)
Higher: oF Lower: oF Large difference between High and Low emissions! Annual temperatures across the Northeast have risen more than 1.5oF since 1970. Winters have been warming fastest, at 1.3oF per decade since 1970. Under the lower-emissions scenario, annual temperatures are projected to increase 3.5 to 6.5oF by 2100, and 6.5 to 12.5oF under the higher-emissions scenario. Figure 3. Observed and model-based changes in annual average temperature for the Northeast (in oF) relative to average temperature. Modeled historic and future temperatures represent the average of the GFDL, HadCM3, and PCM models. The Northeast is a temperate region, with highly distinct seasons and a wide range in annual temperatures. Currently, annual average temperatures range from 40oF in the northern part of the region up to 50oF in the southern part. Across a single year, temperatures can range from well below freezing in winter to over 100oF in summer. Given the day-to-day and year-to-year variability experienced in the Northeast, one year might be relatively warm and the following year could be colder than average. However, analysis of average annual and seasonal temperatures over longer periods of time shows a distinct upward trend. This is particularly true over the last few decades. Since 1900, annual temperatures across the Northeast have risen an average of 0.14oF per decade. From 1970 to 2002, however, the region has been warming at an average rate of 0.5oF per decade. This corresponds to an overall warming for the entire region during that time of 1.75oF on average—although of course any given year can still be warmer or cooler than average. The upward trend in winter temperatures is even greater, rising an average 1.3oF per decade since 1970. Over the next century, temperatures across the Northeast are projected to continue rising (Figure 3). In the next few decades (2010 to 2039), changes are similar under the lower- and higher-emissions scenarios, but by mid-century, temperature differences between the scenarios begin to appear. By the latter part of the century (2070 to 2099), the difference between the higher- and lower-emissions scenarios is a dramatic 4.5oF.

8 Expected growing season changes (for northern Wisconsin)
HAD Hi +8 C (14F) PCM Lo +2 C Just looking at figures of projected in temp and precipitation it is clear that they do not move in consort and this additional constraint can not be explicitly modeled so we follow the work of others to characterize the novelty of the climate within the eastern us under climate change and apply these changes to the species distribution models. Growing season temperature higher and not much change in precipitation = more physiological stress on biota

9 Challenges of modeling species impacts of climate change
Bottom line: we need to incorporate different approaches to quantify and “whittle away” at uncertainties to develop ecologically informed projections – modeling is a key tool to do this Future climate uncertainty GCM variations Human-produced levels of CO2 uncertain Species likely to respond individually Biology not that well-known for many species Model validation far into future not possible

10 Current and future species management
Our Approach: Climate Change Impacts on Species Tree & Bird Atlases DISTRIB model Species habitat prediction Tree abundance Bird abundance Climate Environment Forest density Species traits Data Management guidelines Implications & tools Current and future species management Potential migration by 2100 DISTRIB + SHIFT SHIFT model Species colonization probabilities ModFacs Biological factors Disturbance factors Model uncertainty Scoring system for tree species DECISION SUPPORT FRAMEWORK Iverson et al. 2011, Ecosystems Multi-stage modelling scheme

11 The role of climate in shaping vertebrate distributions
Currie 1991 Root 1988

12 But there is also a strong habitat component for most species
Pur forest on feft anf waterm right Therefore we use climate and individual tree species to build our 147 bird models

13 Important to note when interpreting these models!
The models are predicting potential suitable habitat by year 2100 – not where the species will be. The DISTRIB model does not account for biotic interactions, other human or natural disturbances.

14 Climate Change Tree & Bird Atlas

15 ? Examples of species with projected habitat increases
Emissions scenarios Low High ? Prothonotary Warbler Brown-headed Nuthatch Photo by Brian E. Small nut others Kevin T. Karlson

16 ? Examples of species with projected habitat decreases
Emissions scenarios Low High ? Black-throated Blue Warbler Black-capped Chickadee

17 General trends of all 147 species across the eastern US
Incidence change (Ratio) Mean Center Potential Movement Km (sd) PCMlo 109 (64.3) Avglo 142 (88.9) Avghi 210 (139.5) Hadhi 212 (149.9) Matthews et al Ecography

18 The Chicago ecosystem assessment provides one example of these data being summarized regionally to focus the results (Hellmann et al. 2010, J. Great Lakes Res.) Habitat Changes: Under high emissions 130 species changes >=10% With 76 declining With 54 increasing Under low emission 116 species changes >= 10% 64 declining 52 increasing Bulluts 130 change 10% X increase Y decreae Summer tanager

19 Are these data being used??
The Goal: Identify strategies and approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation Bridge the gap between scales of prediction management activities on National Forests interactions with the greater community Allows the user to modify the factors according to local char…. Swanston et al. 2011

20 Sugar Maple Low ? High

21 Modifying factors Many other factors (biological and disturbance) come in to play to determine more likely outcomes We rate biological (n=9) and disturbance (n=12) characteristics for positive or negative impacts Goal was to evaluate more realistic outcomes at regional and local levels The results from the multi-criteria framework can be applied to the results present today

22 Projected habitat declines Characteristics suggest high adaptability
Red Maple: Projected habitat declines Characteristics suggest high adaptability Black Oak: Projected habitat increases Positive ModFac profile suggests it may be able to persist in harsh areas Balsam Fir: Negative ModFac All metrics suggest it will likely face severe limits in eastern US Increasing Adaptability to Climate Change? Matthews et al. 2011, For. Ecol. Manag.

23 Potential Changes for Tree Species The “Model Forest” Project
Evaluated 73 species from the region Put in to 8 classes of impacts Class 1: extirpated (1 species) Class 2: large decrease (12 species) Class 3: small decrease (6 species) Class 4: no change (6 species) Class 5: small increase (4 species) Class 6: large increase (17 species) Class 7: new entry-high and low emissions (11 species) Class 8: new entry-high emissions (16 species) Score each species for modification factors to help managers interpret potential impacts and suggest adaptation strategies

24 (Losers) (Stayers) (New Migrants) (Gainers) Class 1 Class 2 Class 3

25 Large Decreasers (Cl. 2) Better Worse

26 Overall habitat change for the 7 major species groups in N Wisconsin by GCM/emission
habitat total PCMlo (mild) Hadhi (harsh) balsam fir 4.8 -3.6 -4.4 aspen 16.8 -8.2 -14.3 paper birch 6 -3.3 -5.4 jack pine 3.1 -0.8 -1.5 white and red pine 4.7 -2.9 all oak 10.5 6.8 11.3 northern hardwood 17 -3.1 -10 Current Habitat % Change in Habitat

27 Ecosystem Vulnerabilities
The potential changes in species composition may thus lead to a number of ecosystem vulnerabilities: Lowland hardwood forests (presently dominated by black ash) will be disrupted from drying and especially the emerald ash borer, and probably converted to red maple Lowland conifer forests (e.g., balsam fir), may be stressed more by dry late summers, disrupting that entire ecosystem Several ecosystems with species that have been recently declining (e.g., hemlock, paper birch, white spruce) will likely continue to decline Vegetation changes will have significant effects on wildlife Swanston et al. 2011

28 A few final thoughts… Modeling potential responses of 134 tree and 147 birds species using multi-stage methodology Continues to provide new knowledge of species distributions and potential for change Carry the research results forward to ensure that it is management relevant and assumptions are communicated What species may be players: lists of species to evaluate? How might species get there? Do the species life history characteristics compliment or contradict the habitat changes? Must enter into an adaptive management framework moving forward: this includes monitoring to provide feedback loops. We are confronted with the challenge of understanding the response of ecological systems to changing landscapes. More than ever we need to consider how local management decisions fit into the distributions of target species. What are drivers, other methods

29 Thank you! Web site for most data presented today:
Climate change atlases Species-environment data for 147 birds and 134 trees Pdfs of related papers Acknowledgements Thanks to USDA FS Northern Global Change Program for support US Forest Service Northern Research Station Ohio State University

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