Using soils to predict forest cover responses to climate change in the NPLCC


Wendy Peterman and Dr. Dominique Bachelet

Webinar Date: 7/11/2012

Wendy Peterman is a soil scientist at Conservation Biology Institute, a nonprofit NGO in Corvallis, Oregon.

Her research focuses on developing soil datasets to predict where forest cover is likely to change in response to changes in temperature and precipitation. In an upcoming article in Ecohydrology (Peterman et al., 2012), she shows how soil maps can be used to identify matching patterns in soil characteristics, water availability and tree mortality. She hopes to develop products that improve climate change impact models by furthering the predictability of future disturbance events such as insect outbreaks or fires.

Her project in the North Pacific LCC looks at what relationships between soils and forest cover change can emerge from the available data, and how these relationships can be included in vegetation models to project changes in tree vigor in the Pacific Northwest. In the July 11th webinar, she presented the soils data that have been compiled for the North Pacific LCC study region and explored their strengths and weaknesses. She introduced some of the readily observable related patterns in soils and forest mortality since 1997 and review results from three climate/vegetation models predicting future tree species distributions.