Title: Tangled trends for temperate rain forests as temperatures tick up
Author: Parks, Noreen; Barrett, Tara
Source: Science Findings 149. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 6 p.
Station ID: SF-PNW-149
Description: Climate change is altering growing conditions in the temperate rain forest region that extends from northern California to the Gulf of Alaska. Longer, warmer growing seasons are generally increasing the overall potential for forest growth in the region. However, species differ in their ability to adapt to changing conditions. For example, researchers with Pacific Northwest Research Station examined forest trends for southeastern and southcentral Alaska and found that, in 13 years, western redcedar showed a 4.2-percent increase in live-tree biomass, while shore pine showed a 4.6-percent decrease. In general, the researchers found that the amount of live-tree biomass in extensive areas of unmanaged, higher elevation forest in southern Alaska increased by as much as 8 percent over the 13-year period, contributing to significant carbon storage. Hemlock dwarf mistletoe is another species expected to fare well under warmer conditions in Alaska. Model projections indicate that habitat for this parasitic species could increase 374 to 757 percent over the next 100 years. This could temper the prospects for western hemlock—a tree species otherwise expected to do well under future climate conditions projected for southern Alaska. In coastal forests of Washington and Oregon, water availability may be a limiting factor in future productivity, with gains at higher elevations but declines at lower elevations.
Keywords: rain forest, biomass, Alaska, climate change, Tara Barrett
View and Print this Publication (2.06 MB)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly
which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility
Parks, Noreen; Barrett, Tara 2013. Tangled trends for temperate rain forests as temperatures tick up. Science Findings 149. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 6 p..