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Title: Modeling species’ realized climatic niche space and predicting their response to global warming for several western forest species with small geographic distributions

Author: Warwell, Marcus V.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Crookston, Nicholas L.

Date: 2010

Source: In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. 2010. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 171-182

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The Random Forests multiple regression tree was used to develop an empirically based bioclimatic model of the presence-absence of species occupying small geographic distributions in western North America. The species assessed were subalpine larch (Larix lyallii), smooth Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica ssp. glabra), Paiute cypress (syn. Piute cypress) (Cupressus arizonica ssp. nevadensis), and Macfarlane’s four-o’clock (Mirabilis macfarlanei). Independent variables included 33 simple expressions of temperature and precipitation and their interactions. These climate variables were derived from a spline climate model for the Western United States that provides point estimates (latitude, longitude, and altitude). Analyses used presence-absence data largely from the Forest Inventory and Analysis, USDA Forest Service database. Overall errors of classification ranged from 1.39 percent for Macfarlane’s four-o’clock to 3.55 percent for smooth Arizona cypress. The mapped predictions of species occurrence using the estimated realized climatic niche space were more accurate than published range maps. The Hadley and Canadian general circulation models (scenario IS92a for 1 percent increase GGa/year) were then used to illustrate the potential response of the species’ contemporary realized climatic niche space to climate change. Predictions were mapped at a 1-km2 resolution. Concurrence between species’ geographic distribution and their contemporary realized climatic niche rapidly disassociates through the century. These models demonstrate the heightened risk for species occupying small geographic ranges of displacement into climatic disequilibrium from rapid climate change and provide tools to assist decisionmakers in mitigating the threat.

Keywords: Bioclimatic models, climatic distributions, climatic niche, global warming, Random Forests multiple-regression tree, response to climate change, narrow endemic.

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Citation:


Warwell, Marcus V.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Crookston, Nicholas L. 2010. Modeling species’ realized climatic niche space and predicting their response to global warming for several western forest species with small geographic distributions. In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. 2010. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 171-182.

 


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