Scientific paper

Climatic niche models and their consensus projections for future climates for four major forest tree species in the Asia–Pacific region

Abstract:Modeling and mapping the climatic niches of forest tree species and projecting their potential shift in geographic distribution under future climates are essential steps in assessing the impact of climate change on forests and in developing adaptive forest management strategies. It is particularly important for selecting suitable tree species to match future climates for afforestation and restoration of forest ecosystems. Large scale afforestation and reforestation projects have occurred or planned in Asia–Pacific region; however, the direct impact of climate change has not been widely considered. This has been at least partially due to the lack of availability of robust inventory data on forest vegetation and lack of access to appropriate climate data. In this study, we used our recently developed model, ClimateAP, to generate a large number of climate variables for point locations and used an ensemble modeling approach with Random Forest to overcome some limitations that exist with vegetation data.Uncertainty in future climates was incorporated into the analysis through consensus based projections using 12 climate change scenarios. We modeled the climatic niches for four economically and ecologically important forest tree species in the region and projected their shift in geographical distribution under climate change. Unusual patterns in the shift of geographic distributions of climatic niches were found in two species in Southern China. The implications of the projections in forest management for adaptation to climate change are discussed.

Authors:Tongli Wang , Guangyu Wang , John Innes , Craig Nitschke , Haijun Kang
Keywords: Climatic niche, Consensus projection ,Random Forest ,Climate change, Adaptation 
Journal Name:Forest Ecology and Management
Sponsoring Org.:APFNet
Publication Year:2016