Landscape Ecology

, Volume 32, Issue 7, pp 1385–1397 | Cite as

Recovery dynamics and climate change effects to future New England forests

  • Matthew J. Duveneck
  • Jonathan R. Thompson
  • Eric J. Gustafson
  • Yu Liang
  • Arjan M. G. de Bruijn
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Forests throughout eastern North America continue to recover from broad-scale intensive land use that peaked in the nineteenth century. These forests provide essential goods and services at local to global scales. It is uncertain how recovery dynamics, the processes by which forests respond to past forest land use, will continue to influence future forest conditions. Climate change compounds this uncertainty.

Objectives

We explored how continued forest recovery dynamics affect forest biomass and species composition and how climate change may alter this trajectory.

Methods

Using a spatially explicit landscape simulation model incorporating an ecophysiological model, we simulated forest processes in New England from 2010 to 2110. We compared forest biomass and composition from simulations that used a continuation of the current climate to those from four separate global circulation models forced by a high emission scenario (RCP 8.5).

Results

Simulated forest change in New England was driven by continued recovery dynamics; without the influence of climate change forests accumulated 34 % more biomass and succeed to more shade tolerant species; Climate change resulted in 82 % more biomass but just nominal shifts in community composition. Most tree species increased AGB under climate change.

Conclusions

Continued recovery dynamics will have larger impacts than climate change on forest composition in New England. The large increases in biomass simulated under all climate scenarios suggest that climate regulation provided by the eastern forest carbon sink has potential to continue for at least a century.

Keywords

New England Recovery dynamics Climate change LANDIS-II Forests 

Supplementary material

10980_2016_415_MOESM1_ESM.docx (589 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 588 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Duveneck
    • 1
  • Jonathan R. Thompson
    • 1
  • Eric J. Gustafson
    • 3
  • Yu Liang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Arjan M. G. de Bruijn
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Harvard ForestHarvard UniversityPetershamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Natural ResourcesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies, Northern Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceRhinelanderUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Applied EcologyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

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