Climate change effects on forests: A critical review

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While current projections of future climate change associated with increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases have a high degree of uncertainty, the potential effects of climate change on forests are of increasing concern. A number of studies based on forest simulation models predict substantial temperatures associated with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. However, the structure of these computer models may cause them to overemphasize the role of climate in controlling tree growth and mortality. We propose that forest simulation models be reformulated with more realistic representations of growth responses to temperature, moisture, mortality, and dispersal. We believe that only when these ... continued below

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36 p.

Creation Information

Loehle, C. & LeBlanc, D. February 1996.

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  • Loehle, C. Argonne National Lab., IL (United States)
  • LeBlanc, D. Ball State Univ., Muncie, IN (United States). Dept. of Biology

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Description

While current projections of future climate change associated with increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases have a high degree of uncertainty, the potential effects of climate change on forests are of increasing concern. A number of studies based on forest simulation models predict substantial temperatures associated with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. However, the structure of these computer models may cause them to overemphasize the role of climate in controlling tree growth and mortality. We propose that forest simulation models be reformulated with more realistic representations of growth responses to temperature, moisture, mortality, and dispersal. We believe that only when these models more accurately reflect the physiological bases of the responses of tree species to climate variables can they be used to simulate responses of forests to rapid changes in climate. We argue that direct forest responses to climate change projected by such a reformulated model may be less traumatic and more gradual than those projected by current models. However, the indirect effects of climate change on forests, mediated by alterations of disturbance regimes or the actions of pests and pathogens, may accelerate climate-induced change in forests, and they deserve further study and inclusion within forest simulation models.

Physical Description

36 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE96006660

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  • Other Information: PBD: [1996]

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  • Other: DE96006660
  • Report No.: ANL/ER/PP--83980
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • DOI: 10.2172/206412 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 206412
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc666697

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  • February 1996

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

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Loehle, C. & LeBlanc, D. Climate change effects on forests: A critical review, report, February 1996; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc666697/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.