Year 2 - Assessing Ecosystem Vulnerability to Climate Change from the Tree- to Stand- to Landscape Level
Project Reference Number: 2008-12
Project Status: Complete
Led by: Craig Nitschke, PhD, Bulkley Valley Research Centre and UBC
Funder: Forest Investment Account - Forest Science Program
Climate change directly or indirectly threatens the integrity of ecosystems. Functional and healthy ecosystems provide the necessary foundation for sustainable forest management. This project investigates the vulnerability of ecosystems in the Sub Boreal Spruce zone around Smithers, BC to climate change through multi-scale modelling. The vulnerability of species in their regeneration niche is being modelled to determine the resilience of species to predicted climate change. Changes in resilience are being used to investigate the impacts on stand dynamics and disturbance.
Current Year Objectives (2008-2009):
- To complete development of SORTIE-ND dataset from TACA results;
- Develop regeneration potential sub-model in SORTIE-ND;
- Model stand dynamics and succession under current climate scenario and validate SORTIE-ND-TACA link to established research plots;
- Model the impact of species competition on the vulnerability of species and ecosystems to predicted climate change under various stand modifying treatments;
- Compare species vulnerability in their regeneration niche, fundamental niche and realised niche;
- To determine the impact of species vulnerability to climate change, from the species to stand-level, on future growth and yield;
- Using GIS, scale stand-level response up to the landscape-level to determine ecosystem vulnerability; and,
- To start developing a data library of SORTIE-ND-TACA scenarios in GIS to model the landscape-level response of ecosystems to climate-driven changes in disturbance regimes (Objective for 2009-2010).