Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Professional Paper 1650–F

Atlas of Relations Between Climatic Parameters and Distributions of Important Trees and Shrubs in North America—Modern Data for Climatic Estimation from Vegetation Inventories

By Robert S. Thompson, Katherine H. Anderson, Richard T. Pelltier, Laura E. Strickland, Sarah L. Shafer, and Patrick J. Bartlein

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (10 kB)Abstract

Vegetation inventories (plant taxa present in a vegetation assemblage at a given site) can be used to estimate climatic parameters based on the identification of the range of a given parameter where all taxa in an assemblage overlap (“Mutual Climatic Range”). For the reconstruction of past climates from fossil or subfossil plant assemblages, we assembled the data necessary for such analyses for 530 woody plant taxa and eight climatic parameters in North America. Here we present examples of how these data can be used to obtain paleoclimatic estimates from botanical data in a straightforward, simple, and robust fashion. We also include matrices of climate parameter versus occurrence or nonoccurrence of the individual taxa. These relations are depicted graphically as histograms of the population distributions of the occurrences of a given taxon plotted against a given climatic parameter. This provides a new method for quantification of paleoclimatic parameters from fossil plant assemblages.

First posted October 12, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, Mail Stop 980
Denver, CO 80225

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Thompson, R.S., Anderson, K.H., Pelltier, R.T., Strickland, L.E., Shafer, S.L., and Bartlein, P.J., 2012, Atlas of relations between climatic parameters and distributions of important trees and shrubs in North America—Modern data for climatic estimation from vegetation inventories: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1650–F, CD-ROM.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Thursday, December 01, 2016, 04:23:40 PM