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Using Forest Inventory and Analysis data to model plant-climate relationships

Crookston, Nicholas L.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Warwell, Marcus V. 2007. Using Forest Inventory and Analysis data to model plant-climate relationships. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H., eds. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Forest Inventory and Analysis Symposium; 2005 October 3-4; Portland, ME. Gen. Tech. Report WO-77. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. p. 243-250.

Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data from 11 Western conterminous States were used to (1) estimate and map the climatic profiles of tree species and (2) explore how to include climate variables in individual tree growth equations used in the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS). On the first front, we found the FIA data to be useful as training data in Breiman's (2001) Random Forests classification and regression tree algorithm to relate climate variables to the presence and absence of species, thereby defining a species' contemporary climate profile. Predicted bioclimatic maps are presented for Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii). On the second front, a preliminary modification of the basal area increment equation used in the FVS is presented that includes climate drivers. The focus of this work is to start the process of building a new growth equation suitable for use in FVS so that climate can be taken into account when predicting forest dynamics. A framework is introduced that integrates the climate-driven increment equation with genetic response functions that represent the adaptiveness of populations to climate change.

Keywords: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA), data, climatic profiles, climate variables, Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS)

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Using Forest Inventory and Analysis data to model plant-climate relationships
Electronic Publish Date: May 14, 2009
Last Update:
May 14, 2009

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