Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the Northern Rockies Region

General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-374-6
By: , and 



The projected rapid changes in climate will affect the unique vegetation assemblages of the Northern Rockies region in myriad ways, both directly through shifts in vegetation growth, mortality, and regeneration, and indirectly through changes in disturbance regimes and interactions with changes in other ecosystem processes, such as hydrology, snow dynamics, and exotic invasions (Bonan 2008; Hansen and Phillips 2015; Hansen et al. 2001; Notaro et al. 2007). These impacts, taken collectively, could change the way vegetation is managed by public land agencies in this area. Some species may be in danger of rapid decreases in abundance, while others may undergo range expansion (Landhäusser et al. 2010). New vegetation communities may form, while historical vegetation complexes may simply shift to other areas of the landscape or become rare. Juxtaposed with climate change concerns are the consequences of other land management policies and past activities, such as fire exclusion, fuels treatments, and grazing. A thorough assessment of the responses of vegetation to projected climate change is needed, along with an evaluation of the vulnerability of important species, communities, and vegetation-related resources that may be influenced by the effects, both direct and indirect, of climate change. This assessment must also account for past management actions and current vegetation conditions and their interactions with future climates.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the Northern Rockies Region
Series title General Technical Report
Series number RMRS-GTR-374
Chapter 6
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Forest Service
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Geography
Description 46 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the Northern Rocky Mountains - Part 1
First page 128
Last page 173
Country United States
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