||Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Pacific Northwest Forest Vegetation.
King, G. A. ;
Tingey., D. T. ;
||ManTech Environmental Technology, Inc., Corvallis, OR.;Corvallis Environmental Research Lab., OR.
Climatic changes ;
Mathematical models ;
Environmental impacts ;
Atmospheric temperature ;
Oak trees ;
Fir trees ;
Structureal timber ;
Pacific Northwest Region(United States) ;
Western hemlock trees
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Despite the limitations of the models used in the climate change analyses, some overall conclusions can be made concerning climate change impacts on Northwest forests. The foremost of these is that the distribution and composition of forests in Washington and Oregon could change substantially under the GCM scenarios of regional climate change. The Holdridge, climate/forest correlations, and forest gap models (except for the CLIMACS results) all forecast shifts to forests better adapted to warmer and drier conditions. Temperate forests in the Holdridge scenarios are generally restricted to upper elevations and total forest acreage decreases by 5% to 25% depending on the climate scenario used. In central Oregon, total forested area is projected to decrease by almost half under a 5C warming. Oak woodlands and dry Douglas-fir dominated forests are likely to increase in areal extent, while the more productive western hemlock - Douglas-fir forest will undergo significant contraction. Subalpine and alpine vegetation are likely to be reduced substantially. Declines in moisture availability would decrease forest productivity and long-term timber production.