Climate change is having an impact on forest ecosystems around the world and is expected to alter the suitable habitat of individual tree species. Forest managers require resources about potential impacts of climate change at the regional scale to aid in climate mitigation efforts. By understanding the geographic distribution of changes in suitable habitat, migration corridors can be identified for conservation and active management. With the increased availability of climate projection data, ancillary Geographic Information Systems data, and field observations, modeling efforts at the regional scale are now possible. Here, we modeled and mapped the continuous distribution of Tsuga canadensis
throughout the state of Maine at the regional scale(30 m) with high precision (89% of pixels had a coefficient of variation ≤ 4.0%). The random forest algorithm was used to create a strong prediction of suitable habitat for the years 2050 and 2100 from both high and low emission climate projections. The results clearly suggest a significant gain in suitable habitat for Tsuga canadensis
range with a general northwest expansion.
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