Phenology-mediated effects of climatic change on some simulated British Columbia forests
- Cite this article as:
- Cumming, S.G. & Burton, P.J. Climatic Change (1996) 34: 213. doi:10.1007/BF00224632
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We added certain aspects of species-specific phenology, and of local frost regimes to a standard invididual-based patch model of forest stand dynamics, which we used to explore the possible consequences of four climate-change scenarios in eight distinct forest regions in British Columbia, Canada. According to model projections, lowland temperate coastal forests will be severely stressed because forest tree species will no longer have their winter-chilling requirements met. High-elevation coastal forests may either remain stable or decrease in productivity, while interior subalpine forests may eventually resemble those now found in the coastal mountains. Southern interior forests are likely to persist relatively unchanged, while boreal and sub-boreal forests of the northern interior may become dominated by Douglas-fir and western larch, rather than by spruce and pine as at present. The rate of change in forest composition may be very high in some cases. Changes under the four climate-change scenarios generally vary in magnitude but not in direction. This exercise illustrates that different forest types might respond to a changing climate for different reasons, and at different rates.