Lessons Learned While Integrating Habitat, Dispersal, Disturbance, and Life-History Traits into Species Habitat Models Under Climate Change
- 934 Downloads
We present an approach to modeling potential climate-driven changes in habitat for tree and bird species in the eastern United States. First, we took an empirical-statistical modeling approach, using randomForest, with species abundance data from national inventories combined with soil, climate, and landscape variables, to build abundance-based habitat models for 134 tree and 147 bird species. We produced lists of species for which suitable habitat tends to increase, decrease, or stay the same for any region. Independent assessments of trends of large trees versus seedlings across the eastern U.S. show that 37 of 40 species in common under both studies are currently trending as modeled. We developed a framework, ModFacs, in which we used the literature to assign default modification factor scores for species characteristics that cannot be readily assessed in such models, including 12 disturbance factors (for example, drought, fire, insect pests), nine biological factors (for example, dispersal, shade tolerance), and assessment scores of novel climates, long-distance extrapolations, and output variability by climate model and emission scenario. We also used a spatially explicit cellular model, SHIFT, to calculate colonization potentials for some species, based on their abundance, historic dispersal distances, and the fragmented nature of the landscape. By combining results from the three efforts, we can create projections of potential climate change impacts over the next 100 years or so. Here we emphasize some of the lessons we have learned over 16 years in hopes that they may help guide future experiments, modeling efforts, and management.
Keywordsclimate change eastern United States randomForest statistical modeling migration trees birds DISTRIB SHIFT ModFacs
The authors are grateful to a great number of associates, users, critics, supporters, and reviewers over the years for their help in making this work possible. Funding support has primarily been through the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Global Change Program. Special thanks to Janet Franklin, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Susan Wright, Susan Stout, and two anonymous reviewers for their reviews.
- Allen C, Macaladyb A, Chenchounic H, Bachelet D, McDowell N, Vennetier M, Kitzberger T, Rigling A, Breshear D, Hoggi E, Gonzalezk P, Fensham R, Zhangm Z, Castron J, Demidavao N, Lim J-H, Allard G, Running S, Semerci A, Cobb N. 2010. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. For Ecol Manag 259:660–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Botkin DB, Saxe H, Araujo MB, Betts R, Bradshaw RHW, Cedhagen T, Chesson P, Dawson TP, Etterson JR, Faith DP, Ferrier S, Guisan A, Hansen AS, Hilbert DW, Loehle C, Margules C, New M, Sobel MJ, Stockwell DRB. 2007. Forecasting the effects of global warming on biodiversity. Bioscience 57:227–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Box G, Draper NR. 1987. Empirical model-building and response surfaces. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Burns RM, Honkala BH. 1990a. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Google Scholar
- Burns RM, Honkala BH. 1990b. Silvics of North America: 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Google Scholar
- Canadell JG, Le Quere C, Raupach MR, Field CB, Buitenhuis ET, Ciais P, Conway TJ, Gillett NP, Houghton RA, Marland G. 2007. Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:18866–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Clark JS, Bell DM, Hersh MH, Nichols L. 2011. Climate change vulnerability of forest biodiversity: climate and resource tracking of demographic rates. Global Change Biol. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02380.x.
- Cramer W, Kicklighter DW, Bondeau A, Iii BM, Churkina G, Nemry B, Ruimy A, Schloss AL, The Participants of the Potsdam NPP Model Intercomparison. 1999. Comparing global models of terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP): Overview and key results. Global Change Biol 5(Suppl 1):1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Davis MB. 1981. Quaternary history and the stability of forest communities. In: West DC, Shugart HH, Eds. Forest succession: concepts and application. New York: Springer-Verlag. p 132–53.Google Scholar
- DeHayes DH, Jacobson GL, Schaber PG, Bongarten B, Iverson LR, Dieffenbacker-Krall A. 2000. Forest responses to changing climate: lessons from the past and uncertainty for the future. In: Mickler RA, Birdsey RA, Hom JL, Eds. Responses of northern forests to environmental change. Ecological Studies Series. New York: Springer-Verlag. p 495–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Elith J, Graham CH, Anderson RP, Dudyk M, Ferrier S, Guisan A, Hijmans RJ, Huettmann F, Leathwick JR, Lehmann A, Li J, Lohmann LG, Loiselle BA, Manion G, Moritz C, Nakamura M, Nakazawa Y, Overton JM, Peterson AT, Phillips SJ, Richardson K, Scahetti-Pereira R, Schapire RE, Sobero’n J, Williams S, Wisz MS, Zimmermann NE. 2006. Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data. Ecography 29:129–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Franklin J. 2009. Mapping species distributions: Spatial inference and prediction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 320p.Google Scholar
- Frumhoff PC, McCarthy JJ, Mellilo JM, Moser SC, Wuebbles DJ. 2007. Confronting climate change in the U.S. Northeast: Science, impacts, and solutions. Synthesis report of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA). Cambridge (MA): Union of Concerned Scientists.Google Scholar
- Hargrove WW, Potter KM, Koch FH. 2010. The ForeCASTS project: Forecasts of climate-associated shifts in tree species. Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center. USDA Forest Service. http://www.geobabble.org/~hnw/global/treeranges2/climate_change/index.html.
- Hayhoe K, Wuebbles D, Climate Science Team. 2008. Climate change and Chicago: Projections and potential impacts. Chicago (IL): Chicago Climate Action Plan. 33p.Google Scholar
- Huntley B, Barnard P, Altwegg R, Chambers L, Coetzee BWT, Gibson L, Hockey PAR, Hole DG, Midgley GF, Underhill LG, Willis SG. 2010. Beyond bioclimatic envelopes: dynamic species’ range and abundance modelling in the context of climatic change. Ecography 33:621–6.Google Scholar
- Iverson LR, Prasad A, Scott CT. 1996. Preparation of forest inventory and analysis (FIA) and state soil geographic data base (STATSGO) data for global change research in the eastern United States. In: Hom J, Birdsey R, O’Brian K, Eds. Proceedings, 1995 meeting of the northern global change program. General Technical Report NE-214, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Radnor, PA, pp. 209–14.Google Scholar
- Iverson LR, Prasad AM, Hale BJ, Sutherland EK. 1999a. An atlas of current and potential future distributions of common trees of the eastern United States. General Technical Report NE-265. Radnor (PA): Northeastern Research Station, USDA Forest Service. 245 p.Google Scholar
- Little EL. 1971. Atlas of United States trees. Volume 1. Conifers and important hardwoods. Miscellaneous publication 1146. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.Google Scholar
- Lo Y-H, Blanco JA, Kimmins J. 2010. A word of caution when planning forest management using projections of tree species range shifts. Forestry Chronicle 86:312–16.Google Scholar
- Matthews SN, Iverson LR, Prasad AM, Peters MP. 2011. Potential habitat changes of 147 North American bird species to redistribution of vegetation and climate following predicted climate change. Ecography. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2011.06803.x.
- Matthews SN, Iverson LR, Prasad AM, Peters MP. 2007. A climate change atlas for bird species of the eastern United States [database]. Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Delaware, OH. www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/atlas.
- Matthews SN, Iverson LR, Prasad AM, Peters MP, Rodewald PG. Modifying climate change habitat models using tree species-specific assessments of model uncertainty and life history factors. For Ecol Manag (in press).Google Scholar
- Midgley GF, Davies ID, Albert CH, Altwegg R, Hannah L, Hughes GO, O’Halloran LR, Seo C, Thorne JH, Thuiller W. 2010. BioMove—an integrated platform simulating the dynamic response of species to environmental change. Ecography 33:612–16.Google Scholar
- Miles PD, Brand GJ, Alerich CL, Bednar LR, Woudenberg SW, Glover JF, Ezzell EN. 2001. The forest inventory and analysis database: database description and users manual version 1.0. General Technical Report NC-218. St. Paul (MN): North Central Research Station, USDA Forest Service. 130 p.Google Scholar
- Prasad AM, Iverson LR. 1999. A climate change atlas for 80 forest tree species of the eastern United States [database]. Northeastern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Delaware, OH. www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/atlas.
- Prasad AM, Iverson LR, Matthews S, Peters M. 2007. A climate change atlas for 134 forest tree species of the eastern United States [database]. Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Delaware, OH. www.nrs.fs.fed.us/atlas/tree.
- Real R, Márquez AL, Olivero J, Estrada A. 2010. Species distribution models in climate change scenarios are still not useful for informing policy planning: an uncertainty assessment using fuzzy logic. Ecography 33:304–14.Google Scholar
- Sauer JR, Hines JE, Fallon J. 2001. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis, 1966–2000. Laurel (MD): USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.Google Scholar
- Swanston C, Janowiak M, Iverson L, Parker L, Mladenoff D, Brandt L, Butler P, St. Pierre M, Prasad AM, Matthews S, Peters M, Higgins D. 2011. Ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the climate change response framework at Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest project, version 1. Hougton, MI: Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service.Google Scholar
- Thomas CD, Cameron A, Green RE, Bakkenes M, Beaumont LJ, Collingham YC, Erasmus BF, de Siqueira MF, Grainger A, Hannah L, Hughes L, Huntley B, Van Jaarsveld A, Midgley GF, Miles L, Ortega-Huerta MA, Peterson AT, Phillips OL, Williams SE. 2004. Extinction risk from climate change. Nature 427:145–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Union of Concerned Scientists. 2008. Climate change in Pennsylvania: impacts and solutions for the keystone state. Cambridge (MA): Union of Concerned Scientists.Google Scholar
- U.S. National Assessment Synthesis Team. 2000. Climate change impacts on the United States: the potential consequences of climate variability and change Foundation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Global Change Research Program.Google Scholar