Wall-to-Wall Analysis of Habitat, Capability, and Migration of Trees of the Eastern US and National Forests
The habitat prediction model DISTRIB-II (an updated revision of our earlier model, DISTRIB) and colonization model SHIFT, were used to model 125 tree species from the eastern United States for potential response to several scenarios of climate change. DISTRIB-II uses Random Forests to show current and potential future habitats according to two emission scenarios and three climate models. SHIFT simulates migration into newly suitable habitat over 100 years, by calculating the colonization likelihood. Together, they provide projections for each species into the future. To further evaluate the current and potential future trends spatially across anywhere in eastern US, we have summarized all species outputs by 1x1 degree grid. For any location, the following can be surmised: a) the current ranking of species importance for all tree species identified on Forest Inventory plots within the area, b) their potential changes in suitable habitat, c) their capability to cope, with several scenarios of climate change, and d) the likelihood that those suitable habitats could be colonized naturally within 100 years. These tables and maps are also provided for each of 55 eastern National Forests. Also provided are guidelines on which species may be most appropriate to promote, protect, or plant in the area, in the face of the changing climate. The models suggest retreat of several Northwoods species and advance of several oaks and pines, and much slower potential migration for many species compared to their change in suitable habitat. Presented by Louis Iverson, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, at the 2019 SAF National Convention, Louisville, KY.