Moving beyond bioclimatic envelope models: Integrating upland forest and peatland processes to predict ecosystem transitions under climate change in the western Canadian boreal plain

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@article{ff27824dfc014ac486c4621b413d3108,
title = "Moving beyond bioclimatic envelope models: Integrating upland forest and peatland processes to predict ecosystem transitions under climate change in the western Canadian boreal plain",
abstract = "By the end of this century, much of the climate space of western Canada's boreal forest is expected to shift northwards and be replaced by climates that are currently associated with aspen forest, parkland and grassland ecosystems. In this study, we review the various processes that will mediate ecological responses to these projected changes in climate. We conclude that ecological transitions are unlikely to involve a gradual wave-like shift in ecotonal boundaries. Instead, we predict that ecological changes will lag substantially behind changes in climate and that individual ecosystem components will respond at different rates. In particular, if precipitation inputs are maintained as expected, then peatlands should exhibit considerable resilience to climate change and remain a dominant feature on the landscape in 2100. Because peatlands retain large amounts of water on the landscape their continued presence may in turn slow the rate of forest loss, especially the aspen component. Thus, ecological response to climate change in the western boreal region may involve a transition to a novel ecosystem that includes peatlands and aspen as dominant features - unlike anything that exists today. Moreover, this interim stage may remain in place well into the next century, potentially providing additional time for forest-dependent species to adapt.",
keywords = "Bioclimatic envelope models, Boreal forest, Climate change, Peatlands",
author = "Schneider, {Richard R.} and Kevin Devito and Nicholas Kettridge and Erin Bayne",
year = "2015",
month = dec,
day = "17",
doi = "10.1002/eco.1707",
language = "English",
journal = "Ecohydrology",
issn = "1936-0584",
publisher = "Wiley",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Moving beyond bioclimatic envelope models

T2 - Integrating upland forest and peatland processes to predict ecosystem transitions under climate change in the western Canadian boreal plain

AU - Schneider, Richard R.

AU - Devito, Kevin

AU - Kettridge, Nicholas

AU - Bayne, Erin

PY - 2015/12/17

Y1 - 2015/12/17

N2 - By the end of this century, much of the climate space of western Canada's boreal forest is expected to shift northwards and be replaced by climates that are currently associated with aspen forest, parkland and grassland ecosystems. In this study, we review the various processes that will mediate ecological responses to these projected changes in climate. We conclude that ecological transitions are unlikely to involve a gradual wave-like shift in ecotonal boundaries. Instead, we predict that ecological changes will lag substantially behind changes in climate and that individual ecosystem components will respond at different rates. In particular, if precipitation inputs are maintained as expected, then peatlands should exhibit considerable resilience to climate change and remain a dominant feature on the landscape in 2100. Because peatlands retain large amounts of water on the landscape their continued presence may in turn slow the rate of forest loss, especially the aspen component. Thus, ecological response to climate change in the western boreal region may involve a transition to a novel ecosystem that includes peatlands and aspen as dominant features - unlike anything that exists today. Moreover, this interim stage may remain in place well into the next century, potentially providing additional time for forest-dependent species to adapt.

AB - By the end of this century, much of the climate space of western Canada's boreal forest is expected to shift northwards and be replaced by climates that are currently associated with aspen forest, parkland and grassland ecosystems. In this study, we review the various processes that will mediate ecological responses to these projected changes in climate. We conclude that ecological transitions are unlikely to involve a gradual wave-like shift in ecotonal boundaries. Instead, we predict that ecological changes will lag substantially behind changes in climate and that individual ecosystem components will respond at different rates. In particular, if precipitation inputs are maintained as expected, then peatlands should exhibit considerable resilience to climate change and remain a dominant feature on the landscape in 2100. Because peatlands retain large amounts of water on the landscape their continued presence may in turn slow the rate of forest loss, especially the aspen component. Thus, ecological response to climate change in the western boreal region may involve a transition to a novel ecosystem that includes peatlands and aspen as dominant features - unlike anything that exists today. Moreover, this interim stage may remain in place well into the next century, potentially providing additional time for forest-dependent species to adapt.

KW - Bioclimatic envelope models

KW - Boreal forest

KW - Climate change

KW - Peatlands

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84950288358&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/eco.1707

DO - 10.1002/eco.1707

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84950288358

JO - Ecohydrology

JF - Ecohydrology

SN - 1936-0584

ER -