Sarah J. K. Frey, Adam S. Hadley, Sherri L. Johnson, Mark Schulze, Julia A. Jones, and Matthew G. Betts. 2016. Spatial models reveal the microclimatic buffering capacity of old-growth forests. Science Advances, Vol. 2, no. 4. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501392

Type: 
Literature
Publication: 
Sarah J. K. Frey, Adam S. Hadley, Sherri L. Johnson, Mark Schulze, Julia A. Jones, and Matthew G. Betts. 2016. Spatial models reveal the microclimatic buffering capacity of old-growth forests. Science Advances, Vol. 2, no. 4. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501392
Year Published: 
2016
Description: 

Forest ecologist Sarah Frey and her colleagues from Oregon State University have recently published a study examining the effects of climate change on microsystems using fine-resolution climate models. Although it is understood that the microclimate of forested montane regions is influenced by elevation, microtopography and vegetation, the limited number of fine-scale climate model studies has left scientists uncertain of their relative impacts. Using boosted regression trees, the team developed fine-scale spatial distribution models of air temperature below forest canopy in mountainous regions. The study found all three variables (temperature, microtopography, and vegetation) were critical influences on temperature, with elevation being the strongest temperature predictor. Additionally, old-growth forest was found to provide an insulating effect on forest structure, acting as a buffer to a warming climate. The authors conclude that old-growth forests could provide a key ecological refuge in the face of climate change.

Category: 
Microsystems, Climate Modeling, Ecosystems Impacts

Geography: