Ecological implications of projected climate change scenarios in forest ecosystems in northern Michigan, USA

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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Changes in seasonal temperature and precipitation, as predicted by several global climate models, were utilized together with a stochastic daily weather stimulation model to evaluate the ecological impacts of projected global climate change scenarios on temperate forest ecosystems in northern Michigan, USA. The model simulated the impacts of these projected changes on ecologically significant weather variables, such as the length of the frost-free period, average growing season temperature, average growing season degree days (4.4° C basis), summer precipitation, potential evaporation during the growing season, and the ratio of precipitation to potential evaporation during July and August. The results indicate that even the lower range of predicted climate changes could lead to ecologically and commercially significant changes in the composition and productivity of these forests. Of particular concern is the possibility of climatically induced regional decline episodes for a number of important commercial species in the northern temperate forests of central North America.

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© 1992 International Society of Biometeorology. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

International Journal of Biometeorology