Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.0 MB byte)

Title: Regional Highlights of Climate Change

Author: Peterson, David L.; Wolken, J.M.; Hollingsworth, Teresa; Giardina, Christian; Littell, J.S.; Joyce, Linda; Swanston, Chris; Handler, Stephen; Rustad, Lindsey; McNulty, Steve;

Date: 2014

Source: Climate Change and United States Forests. Springer Netherlands: 113-148. Chapter 6

Publication Series: Book Chapter


Climatic extremes, ecological disturbance, and their interactions are expected to have major effects on ecosystems and social systems in most regions of the United States in the coming decades. In Alaska, where the largest temperature increases have occurred, permafrost is melting, carbon is being released, and fire regimes are changing, leading to a transition from conifers to hardwoods in some forests. In Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands, an altered climate and sea level rise are changing hydrology and fire regimes, affecting both forest ecosystems and human communities. In the Northwest, insect outbreaks (already prominent) and increased area burned, in combination with declining snowpack, are expected to have a major effect on dry, interior forests. In the Southwest, recent large wildfires and forest dieback in pinyon pine exemplify the kinds of changes that may occur in arid and semi-arid forests if droughts become more common in the future. In the Great Plains, where trees currently occupy only a small portion of the landscape, warmer temperature and non-native insects could reduce the amount of forested area and alter species distribution. In the Midwest, warmer temperature is expected to affect the distribution and abundance of many tree species, associated habitat, and human use of forests in a region where private lands are mixed with public lands. In the Northeast, warmer temperature is expected to affect the distribution and abundance of many tree species, although the productivity of hardwood species may increase significantly. In the Southeast, biodiversity and productivity may be affected by a combination of warmer climate, altered fire regimes, and invasive plants and insects.

Keywords: Climate Change, Pacific Islands, Hawaii

Publication Notes:

  • 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.



Peterson, D.L.; Wolken, J.M.; Hollingsworth, T.N.; Giardina, C.P.; Littell, J.S.; Joyce, L.A.; Swanston, C.W.; Handler, S.D.; Rustad, L.E.; Mcnulty, S.G. 2014. Regional Highlights of Climate Change. In: Peterson, D.L.; Vose, J.M.; Patel-Weynand, T., eds. Climate Change and United States Forests. Springer Netherlands: 113-148. Chapter 6.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.