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Predicting Climate Change Impacts to the Canadian Boreal Forest

Spatial Pattern Analysis & Research (SPAR) Lab, Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria V8W 3R4, BC, Canada
Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, BC, Canada
Pacfic Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, Victoria V8Z 1M5, BC, Canada
Department of Geography, University of Montreal, Montreal H2V 2B8, QC, Canada
Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Swiss GCOS Office, Zurich CH-8004, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2014, 6(1), 133-157;
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 21 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Climate change is expected to alter temperature, precipitation, and seasonality with potentially acute impacts on Canada’s boreal. In this research we predicted future spatial distributions of biodiversity in Canada’s boreal for 2020, 2050, and 2080 using indirect indicators derived from remote sensing and based on vegetation productivity. Vegetation productivity indices, representing annual amounts and variability of greenness, have been shown to relate to tree and wildlife richness in Canada’s boreal. Relationships between historical satellite-derived productivity and climate data were applied to modelled scenarios of future climate to predict and map potential future vegetation productivity for 592 regions across Canada. Results indicated that the pattern of vegetation productivity will become more homogenous, particularly west of Hudson Bay. We expect climate change to impact biodiversity along north/south gradients and by 2080 vegetation distributions will be dominated by processes of seasonality in the north and a combination of cumulative greenness and minimum cover in the south. The Hudson Plains, which host the world’s largest and most contiguous wetland, are predicted to experience less seasonality and more greenness. The spatial distribution of predicted trends in vegetation productivity was emphasized over absolute values, in order to support regional biodiversity assessments and conservation planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; biodiversity, boreal; space-time analysis; fPAR; DHI climate change; biodiversity, boreal; space-time analysis; fPAR; DHI
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nelson, T.A.; Coops, N.C.; Wulder, M.A.; Perez, L.; Fitterer, J.; Powers, R.; Fontana, F. Predicting Climate Change Impacts to the Canadian Boreal Forest. Diversity 2014, 6, 133-157.

AMA Style

Nelson TA, Coops NC, Wulder MA, Perez L, Fitterer J, Powers R, Fontana F. Predicting Climate Change Impacts to the Canadian Boreal Forest. Diversity. 2014; 6(1):133-157.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nelson, Trisalyn A., Nicholas C. Coops, Michael A. Wulder, Liliana Perez, Jessica Fitterer, Ryan Powers, and Fabio Fontana. 2014. "Predicting Climate Change Impacts to the Canadian Boreal Forest" Diversity 6, no. 1: 133-157.

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