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Forests 2015, 6(2), 360-379; doi:10.3390/f6020360

A Process-Based Approach to Estimate Chinese Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) Distribution and Productivity in Southern China under Climate Change

1,* , 1,†
,
2,†
and
3,†
1
Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, BC, Canada
2
Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, BC, Canada
3
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, BC, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michael Battaglia and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 14 October 2014 / Revised: 18 December 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3558 KB, uploaded 2 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

Understanding the distribution and productivity of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) under climate change is critical given the ecological and economic importance of the species. Recently, process-based growth models have grown in their popularity given their simplicity and data availability, and they are increasingly being used to map the distribution and productivity of tree species. In this paper, we study the extent of variation of the current range shift and the productivity of the species under a changing climate. We used the Physiological Principles in Predicting Growth (3-PG) model, which calculates the extent to which climatic variables affect photosynthesis and growth of a species. These variables were then used in a decision-tree model to develop rules to provide a basis for predicting the distribution of the species under current climatic conditions. Once the distribution model was developed the productivity of the species was then assessed. Using climate projections we then simulated the growth and distribution into the future. Results indicate a northward shift from the current range. The growth model also indicates minor increases in productivity in some of the existing distribution areas, principally in central China with limited productivity predicted in newly emerged stands. We conclude that this dual modeling approach has potential to quantify impacts of climate change on selected species and examining differences in climate projections on range and productivity estimation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese fir; climate change; modeling; GIS; distribution; productivity; NPP; 3-PG Model Chinese fir; climate change; modeling; GIS; distribution; productivity; NPP; 3-PG Model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lu, Y.; Coops, N.C.; Wang, T.; Wang, G. A Process-Based Approach to Estimate Chinese Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) Distribution and Productivity in Southern China under Climate Change. Forests 2015, 6, 360-379.

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