Communicating climate change information to conservation practitioners who need it


Start: March 28, 2012 @ 5:30PM PT
End: March 28, 2012 @ 7:30PM PT


Planet Under Pressure 2012 (London, UK)

Poster Title: Communicating climate change information to conservation practitioners who need it.

Presentation Title: Climate change and forest migration in coastal USA and Canada: a soils perspective.

March 27 (5:30-7:30pm)

Presentation Abstract: Understanding of soil responses to changes in precipitation/snow cover and increasing temperatures is essential to predicting changes in both vegetation and animal communities in the coming decades. The over-arching issue of our work is climate change, but it addresses the multiple interconnections between systems affected by it from soils to trees, insects and pathogens, involving processes ranging from hydrological flow to plant species competition. Simulation results used in regional assessments address the various aspects of these issues separately to forecast responses to climate change, but the more we can combine these results using soils as the underlying framework of ecosystem functionality, the more robust our projections will become. The mosaic of soil characteristics across the landscape is a critical aspect of a vulnerability assessment because it is the key to water availability for not only growth but also regeneration of forests after disturbance, and good soil data is a scarce resource for modelers.

This study will provides detailed soil maps, a soil vulnerability index, and a forecast map of where trees are likely to be most affected by changes in precipitation and temperature for the coastal regions of northern California, Oregon, Washington, southern Alaska and western Canada. All spatial datasets created in this project will be made publicly available on the web via Data Basin ( Consequently, they will be usable by managers for assessment purposes as well as to research teams interested in testing the sensitivity of their tools to improved soil information. Managers will be able to use soil vulnerability forecast maps together with results from vegetation models to better understand where and why trees may experience water stress and pest infestations, making them more vulnerable to fire risk.

CBI Staff
Wendy Peterman, Ph.D.
Soil Scientist, GIS Analyst
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