Wildfire and Climate

Adapted from: Rogstad, Alix; Crimmins, Michael; and Garfin, Gregg. 2006. Climate change and wildfire impacts in Southwest forests and woodlands. University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Publication No. az1425
Figure 1. Wildfire is a major concern for forest lands impacted by changes in climate. Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management.

Wildfire requires three things to burn: an ignition source, fuel, and oxygen. If one of the three requirements is removed, the fire activity will be …

Wildlife Concerns and Climate Change

Adapted from: Ruggiero, Len; McKelvey, Kevin; Squires, John; Block, William. 2008. Wildlife and Climate Change. (May 20, 2008). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Climate Change Resource Center. http://www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/topics/wildlife.shtml


Climate change likely will lead to the loss of native species from extensive areas and result in increasingly scarce and fragmented populations in many others. Further changes within ecosystems will be triggered as invasive species, both plant and animal, fill the “holes” that are left as native species are …

Climate Change Impacts on Hydrology

Adapted from: Gucinski, H. 2007. Terrestrial and aquatic natural ecosystems: potential responses to global climate change. p. 41-66. In: Joyce, L., R. Haynes, R. White, R. Barbour, and R. James (eds.). Bringing climate change into natural resource management: proceedings. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-706. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 150 p.

Understanding the responses of aquatic ecosystems to climate change requires understanding how climate affects the hydrology of streams, rivers, and lakes. Aquatic habitats …

Climate Change Impacts in the Northeastern U.S.

Adapted from: T.R. Karl, J.M. Mellilo, and T.C. Peterson (eds.). Global Climate Impacts in the United States. Cambridge University Press, 2009. Available online at USGCRP
The region of the United States that is covered by report on Regional Impacts from the U.S. Global Climate Research Program.





Climate change in the Northeast has meant hotter temperatures, more heavy rains, and less lake ice and snow cover. Northeast annual average temperature has increased by 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970, with winter temperatures rising twice this much. The warming has resulted in more frequent unusually hot days and a longer growing season. The region …

Ecosystem-Based Effects

Written by Melanie Lenart, University of Arizona

Climate largely defines where ecosystems occur on the landscape, from deserts to wetlands and tropical forests to tundra. So it’s clear that changes in climate will mean changes in ecosystems around the globe. Not all ecosystems will be displaced, but they all will face potential disruptions and the likelihood of increased disturbance from changing fire regimes and invasions of insects and exotic species.

Some of the specific challenges facing forest ecosystems are described …

Soils and Climate Change

Written by Sabrina Kleinman, University of Arizona

While the majority of climate change impacts on forests focus on tree health, soil impacts should not be overlooked. A changing climate can impact nutrient cycling, ecosystem respiration, and the storage of carbon in forests. While global models predict that climate change can increase global net primary production (NPP), regional variations in climate, nutrient availability, and water will have the largest impact on tree growth locally (Melillo et al. 1993). Most research …

Biodiversity and Climate Change

Grassland BiodiversityClimate change poses a significant threat to biological diversity in forests. Learn the major changes that are expected.


Adapted from: Manley, P. 2008. Biodiversity and Climate Change. (May 20, 2008). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Climate Change Resource Center. http://www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/topics/biodiversity.shtml


Biological diversity is essential to maintaining ecosystem processes and services. Climate change poses a significant threat to biological diversity (Parmesan and Yohe 2003). Before climate change became an acknowledged threat, biological diversity was considered at risk at regional …

Insects in Forests

Written by Peter Kolb, Montana State University

Figure 1. Some common tree-inhabiting beetles including large staghorn beetles (center), roundheaded borers (left), and a variety of much smaller bark beetles (right). Photo courtesy of Peter Kolb, Montana State University.

Insects perform many roles within forests as pollinators, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers, and food sources for other organisms. As a group, they are the most abundant and important group in the phylum Arthropoda, and by 1972 more than 900,000 species had already been …