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Patterns and variability of projected bioclimatic habitat for Pinus albicaulis in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

Chang T, Hansen AJ, Piekielek N - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: For the sub-alpine species whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), warming temperatures may indirectly result in loss of suitable bioclimatic habitat, reducing its distribution within its historic range.Patterns of projected habitat change by the end of the century suggested a constant decrease in suitable climate area from the 2010 baseline for both Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 and 4.5 climate forcing scenarios.Future ecological research in species distribution modeling should consider a full suite of GCM projections in the analysis to reduce extreme range contractions/expansions predictions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Projected climate change at a regional level is expected to shift vegetation habitat distributions over the next century. For the sub-alpine species whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), warming temperatures may indirectly result in loss of suitable bioclimatic habitat, reducing its distribution within its historic range. This research focuses on understanding the patterns of spatiotemporal variability for future projected P.albicaulis suitable habitat in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) through a bioclimatic envelope approach. Since intermodel variability from General Circulation Models (GCMs) lead to differing predictions regarding the magnitude and direction of modeled suitable habitat area, nine bias-corrected statistically down-scaled GCMs were utilized to understand the uncertainty associated with modeled projections. P.albicaulis was modeled using a Random Forests algorithm for the 1980-2010 climate period and showed strong presence/absence separations by summer maximum temperatures and springtime snowpack. Patterns of projected habitat change by the end of the century suggested a constant decrease in suitable climate area from the 2010 baseline for both Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 and 4.5 climate forcing scenarios. Percent suitable climate area estimates ranged from 2-29% and 0.04-10% by 2099 for RCP 8.5 and 4.5 respectively. Habitat projections between GCMs displayed a decrease of variability over the 2010-2099 time period related to consistent warming above the 1910-2010 temperature normal after 2070 for all GCMs. A decreasing pattern of projected P.albicaulis suitable habitat area change was consistent across GCMs, despite strong differences in magnitude. Future ecological research in species distribution modeling should consider a full suite of GCM projections in the analysis to reduce extreme range contractions/expansions predictions. The results suggest that restoration strageties such as planting of seedlings and controlling competing vegetation may be necessary to maintain P.albicaulis in the GYA under the more extreme future climate scenarios.

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The Greater Yellowstone Area, representing an area of 150,700 km2 with an elevational gradient from 522–4,206 m.
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pone-0111669-g002: The Greater Yellowstone Area, representing an area of 150,700 km2 with an elevational gradient from 522–4,206 m.

Mentions: The GYA, which includes Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and a number of state and federally managed forests, is a mid- to high-latitude region in the Northern Rocky Mountains of western North America. Conifers are dominant in the range, with forest types composed of Pinus contorta, Abies lasiocarpa, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus albicaulis, Juniperus scopulorum, Pinus flexis and Picea engelmannii, although the deciduous hardwood Populus tremuloides, is also wide spread. Plateaus and lowlands are dominated by species of Artemisia tridentata and open grasslands of mixed composition. The GYA study area encompasses 150,700 km2 with an elevational gradient from 522–4,206 m that represents 14 surrounding mountain ranges (Fig. 2).


Patterns and variability of projected bioclimatic habitat for Pinus albicaulis in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

Chang T, Hansen AJ, Piekielek N - PLoS ONE (2014)

The Greater Yellowstone Area, representing an area of 150,700 km2 with an elevational gradient from 522–4,206 m.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221071&req=5

pone-0111669-g002: The Greater Yellowstone Area, representing an area of 150,700 km2 with an elevational gradient from 522–4,206 m.
Mentions: The GYA, which includes Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and a number of state and federally managed forests, is a mid- to high-latitude region in the Northern Rocky Mountains of western North America. Conifers are dominant in the range, with forest types composed of Pinus contorta, Abies lasiocarpa, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus albicaulis, Juniperus scopulorum, Pinus flexis and Picea engelmannii, although the deciduous hardwood Populus tremuloides, is also wide spread. Plateaus and lowlands are dominated by species of Artemisia tridentata and open grasslands of mixed composition. The GYA study area encompasses 150,700 km2 with an elevational gradient from 522–4,206 m that represents 14 surrounding mountain ranges (Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: For the sub-alpine species whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), warming temperatures may indirectly result in loss of suitable bioclimatic habitat, reducing its distribution within its historic range.Patterns of projected habitat change by the end of the century suggested a constant decrease in suitable climate area from the 2010 baseline for both Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 and 4.5 climate forcing scenarios.Future ecological research in species distribution modeling should consider a full suite of GCM projections in the analysis to reduce extreme range contractions/expansions predictions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Projected climate change at a regional level is expected to shift vegetation habitat distributions over the next century. For the sub-alpine species whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), warming temperatures may indirectly result in loss of suitable bioclimatic habitat, reducing its distribution within its historic range. This research focuses on understanding the patterns of spatiotemporal variability for future projected P.albicaulis suitable habitat in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) through a bioclimatic envelope approach. Since intermodel variability from General Circulation Models (GCMs) lead to differing predictions regarding the magnitude and direction of modeled suitable habitat area, nine bias-corrected statistically down-scaled GCMs were utilized to understand the uncertainty associated with modeled projections. P.albicaulis was modeled using a Random Forests algorithm for the 1980-2010 climate period and showed strong presence/absence separations by summer maximum temperatures and springtime snowpack. Patterns of projected habitat change by the end of the century suggested a constant decrease in suitable climate area from the 2010 baseline for both Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 and 4.5 climate forcing scenarios. Percent suitable climate area estimates ranged from 2-29% and 0.04-10% by 2099 for RCP 8.5 and 4.5 respectively. Habitat projections between GCMs displayed a decrease of variability over the 2010-2099 time period related to consistent warming above the 1910-2010 temperature normal after 2070 for all GCMs. A decreasing pattern of projected P.albicaulis suitable habitat area change was consistent across GCMs, despite strong differences in magnitude. Future ecological research in species distribution modeling should consider a full suite of GCM projections in the analysis to reduce extreme range contractions/expansions predictions. The results suggest that restoration strageties such as planting of seedlings and controlling competing vegetation may be necessary to maintain P.albicaulis in the GYA under the more extreme future climate scenarios.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus