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REGIONAL IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FORESTS AND BIRD COMMUNITIES Stephen Matthews 1,2, Louis Iverson 2, Anantha Prasad 2, Matthew Peters 2 1 School of.

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Presentation on theme: "REGIONAL IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FORESTS AND BIRD COMMUNITIES Stephen Matthews 1,2, Louis Iverson 2, Anantha Prasad 2, Matthew Peters 2 1 School of."— Presentation transcript:

1 REGIONAL IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FORESTS AND BIRD COMMUNITIES Stephen Matthews 1,2, Louis Iverson 2, Anantha Prasad 2, Matthew Peters 2 1 School of Environment and Natural Resources Ohio State University 2 USFS 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 State of the climate 2009, NOAA Land temp Sea temp Sea level Snow cover

4 Vertebrates: phenological responses to a changing climate Amphibians Calling 10 -13 days earlier for half of species from ~1912 to 1990 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 1880 (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

6 Future effects: Highly tied to the level of CO 2 emissions ??

7 Rising Temperatures in NE. US (annual average) Higher: 6.5-12.5 o FHigher: 6.5-12.5 o F Lower:3.5-6.5 o F Large difference between High and Low emissions!

8 Expected growing season changes (for northern Wisconsin) Growing season temperature higher and not much change in precipitation = more physiological stress on biota PCM Lo +2 C HAD Hi +8 C (14F)

9 Challenges of modeling species impacts of climate change  Future climate uncertainty  GCM variations  Human-produced levels of CO 2 uncertain  Species likely to respond individually  Biology not that well-known for many species  Model validation far into future not possible 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

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

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

12 But there is also a strong habitat component for most species 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 http://

15 Prothonotary Warbler Examples of species with projected habitat increases Brown-headed Nuthatch http:// Emissions scenarios Low High ?

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

17 Incidence change (Ratio) General trends of all 147 species across the eastern US Km (sd) PCMlo 109 (64.3) Avglo 142 (88.9) Avghi 210 (139.5) Hadhi 212 (149.9) Mean Center Potential Movement Matthews et al. 2011 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 Summer tanager Bulluts 130 change 10% X increase Y decreae

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 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 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: Projected habitat declines 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) Class 1Class 2Class 3 (Stayers) Class 4 (Gainers) Class 5 Class 6 Class 7 Class 8 (New Migrants)

25 Large Decreasers (Cl. 2) Better Worse

26 species habitat total PCMlo (mild) Hadhi (harsh) balsam fir4.8-3.6-4.4 aspen16.8-8.2-14.3 paper birch6-3.3-5.4 jack pine3.1-0.8-1.5 white and red pine4.70-2.9 all oak10.56.811.3 northern hardwood17-3.1-10 Overall habitat change for the 7 major species groups in N Wisconsin by GCM/emission % Change in HabitatCurrent 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.

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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