Understanding Vegetation Vulnerability to Climate Change
Climate change is expected to profoundly alter vegetation structure and composition, terrestrial ecosystem processes, and the delivery of important ecosystem services over the next century. Land managers are currently seeking scientific information about the potential effects of climate change on terrestrial vegetation and practical approaches to managing forests and rangelands to sustain key ecosystem functions, ecosystem services, and critical habitats, despite considerable uncertainty about the nature and magnitude of future climatic change. This publication synthesizes current scientific knowledge and model projections regarding vegetation vulnerability to climatic and other environmental changes in the Pacific Northwest. It focuses on five major vegetation types: subalpine forests and alpine meadows, maritime coniferous forests, dry coniferous forests, juniper savannas and woodlands, and interior shrub-steppe. It can be used by forest managers and scientists alike in developing science-based plans for managing forests and rangelands under changing environmental condition and for identifying important areas of uncertainty in which further research is needed.
Forest Service Partners