Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Regeneration Vulnerability Assessment for Dominant Tree Species throughout the Central Interior of British Columbia

Project Reference Number: 2008-21

Project Status: Complete

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

Alex Woods, Forest Pathologist, Ministry of Forests and Range, Smithers

Funder: Future Forest Ecosystems Initiative

In this study, we seek to understand the response of the dominant tree species within their regeneration phase in the ecosystems of the central interior of British Columbia to predicted climate change. The ecological model, TACA (Tree And Climate Assessment) (Nitschke and Innes 2008; Ecological Modelling), will be parameterised for use in the ecosystems of the Central Interior of BC.

TACA is a mechanistic model programmed in Microsoft Excel (Microsoft 2002). The model analyses the response of trees in their fundamental regeneration niche to climate-driven phenological and biophysical variables. It conducts a vulnerability analysis that uses driving biophysical variables to determine the probability of species presence/absence. The modelling of presence/absence reflects the regeneration niche of a species, because presence is directly related to establishment, providing a modelling approach that is robust to life-history changes in species is essential. Multiple scenarios of current and future climates will be used to test the range of species’ responses across the Central Interior of BC. Climate data from around the central Interior will be used to generate the climate scenarios as well as climate change predictions from the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium. Soil data from long-term BEC plots will be use to parameterise the soil component of TACA. PEM and TEM datasets will be used to classify the region into edaphic classes which will then be modelled in TACA. The results will than be integrated in GIS to provide spatial maps of species regeneration suitability over the next 90 years of predicted climate change.

This project will deliver the following:

  • Interim report on project progress (March 31, 2009)
  • Technical Report summarising species response and suitability;
  • Spatial maps of regeneration suitability over time for analysed species;
  • Recommendations of species and locations that should be considered for planting trials and further research within the study area;
  • Presentation of results to Ministry of Forests and Range;
  • Submission of a Peer-reviewed scientific article; and,
  • Presentation of Results at International Conference.

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
March 2009 Regeneration Vulnerability Assessment for Dominant Tree Species throughout the Central Interior of British Columbia Dr. Craig Nitschke