Aim: To evaluate current and future dynamics of 25 tree species spanning USA and Canada.
Location: USA and Canada
Methods: We combine, for the first time, the species compositions from relative importance derived from the USA’s Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) with gridded estimates based on Canada's National Forest Inventory (NFI-kNN) ) based photo plot data to evaluate future habitats and colonization potentials for 25 tree species. Using 21 climatic variables under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, we model climatic habitat suitability (HQ) within a consensus based multi-model ensemble regression approach. A migration model is used to assess colonization likelihoods (CL) for ~100 years and combined with HQ to evaluate the various combinations of HQ+CL outcomes for the 25 species.
Results: At a continental scale, many species in the conterminous USA lose suitable climatic habitat (especially under RCP 8.5) while Canada and USA’s Alaska gain climate habitat. For most species, even under optimistic migration rates, only a small portion of overall future suitable habitat is projected to be naturally colonized in ~ 100 years, although considerable variation exists among species.
Main conclusions: For the species examined here, habitat losses were primarily experienced along southern range limits, while habitat gains were associated with northern range limits (especially under RCP 8.5). However, for many species, southern range limits are projected to remain relatively intact, albeit with reduced habitat quality. Our models predict that only a small portion of the climatic habitat generated by climate change will be colonized naturally by the end of the current century - even with optimistic tree migration rates. However, considerable variation among species points to the need for significant management efforts, including assisted migration, for economic or ecological reasons. Our work highlights the need to employ range-wide data, evaluate colonization potentials, and enhance cross-border collaborations.
This has been described in the parent manuscript.
This dataset provides the complete set of maps of habitat suitability and colonization potential described in the manuscript for the 25 tree species that we have used. This is in the form of html files that have been organized to provide links to the images via the main file: index.html.
The end user has to download the zip file, extract contents to a folder, and open index.html (in the "Data" folder) to view the maps. A brief description of the filenames is given in the file: _fileindex_DDI-2020-0041.html.