Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Year 3 - Assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change from the tree- to stand- to landscape-level

Project Reference Number: 2009-08

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Craig Nitschke, PhD, Bulkley Valley Research Centre and UBC

Funder: Forest Investment Account - Forest Science Program

Project Proposal

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.

Long-term Objectives:
1: To gain an understanding of the impacts climate change will have on ecological resilience and stand dynamics in the Sub Boreal Spruce (SBS) zone;
2: To further develop TACA and expand the use of SORTIE-ND; and,
3: To develop a meta-model framework that allows for a cost-effective and reliable method for evaluating stand and landscape-level vulnerability to climate change that can be used in other parts of British Columbia and elsewhere.

Current Year Objectives (2009-2010):
1: To create SORTIE-TACA database for the landscape-level model of Mathey et al (2008);
2: To develop the disturbance parameters for fire, MPB, and Dothistroma for use in landscape-level model;
3: Model landscape-level response of ecosystems to climate-driven changes in disturbance regimes
4: Assess alternative management strategies for managing the SBS study area under climate change
5: To summarise the impact climate change in the SBS from the species- to the stand- to the landscape-level.
6: Recommend policy and management actions for fostering ecological resilience in the SBS zone.

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
April 11, 2012 Change of allometry between coarse root and shoot of Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta DOUGL. ex. LOUD) along a stress gradient in the sub-boreal forest zone of British Columbia Hans Pretzsch, Enno Uhl, Peter Biber, Gerhard Sch├╝tze & K. David Coates
January 2012 The influence of climate change, site type, and disturbance on stand dynamics in northwest British Columbia, Canada Nitschke, C.R., Amoroso, M., Coates, K.D., Astrup, R.
April 2009 Assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change from the tree- to stand- to landscape-level Dr. Craig Nitschke and Dr. Rasmus Astrup
April 2009 Analysis of climate data from Smithers, BC: can we expect an increase in conditions favourable to dothistroma reproduction? Dr. Craig Nitschke and Dr. Rasmus Astrup
April 2009 The influence of disturbance type, competition and resource availability on species response to climate change in northwest British Columbia, Canada Dr. Craig Nitschke and Dr. Rasmus Astrup
February 2009 Modelling Climate Change Impacts in British Columbia??????s Forest Ecosystems: a holistic approach to understanding ecosystem vulnerability Dr. Craig Nitschke
December 2008 The role of ecophysiological and phenological processes during regeneration in increasing tree species sensitivity to climate change in British Columbia, Canada and south-east Victoria, Australia Dr. Craig Nitschke