Using projections of future climate, ForeCASTS produces maps that depict future suitable habitat ranges for North American tree species in the United States and globally. These pre-generated maps are available online and are intended to help scientists, land managers, and policy makers target tree species for monitoring, conservation, and management activities by pinpointing locations where climate change pressures are likely to be most intense.
The model inputs are pre-defined by the researchers, so no user-collected data are required. Inputs to the model include Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data that describe current tree locations; projected climates from two different climate change models (GCMs) under two future emissions scenarios (SRES); and a series of 17 environmental variables for predicting suitable habitat (the exact list of variables can be seen for each individual tree species when that species is selected).
Global and national maps of suitable habitat ranges for 213 tree species, under two different climate models and two different emissions scenarios. Maps of suitable habitat are available for current climates and potential future climates for 2050 and 2100. Additional maps compare the overlap of current and future suitable habitat and, for areas expected to become unsuitable, depict the distance to future suitable habitat.
Restrictions and Limitations:
All models are subject to uncertainties. Data generated by ForeCASTS should be used in conjunction with other information in making management decisions. Results are currently considered usable but provisional.