Online Tools for Natural Resource Management Scenarios That Address Climate Change

Fig. 1. Map from Climate Change Tree Atlas showing projected distribution of Eastern white pine.

The tasks of developing and evaluating natural resource management plan options that address potential climate change impacts can be complex and varied. Each year, new tools become available to help land and resource managers, landowners, scientists, and other stakeholders create management plans and adaptation strategies that allow for future changes should unexpected outcomes arise. The following online resources are examples of these tools.

Climate Change 

Climate Change Impacts on Forest Diseases

Written by Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona
Forest disease organisms and abiotic occurrences that lead to diseased trees are common in terrestrial ecosystems. Most of the disease organisms within forests are essential to the health of the system and are present at background levels, generally occurring on weakened members within a forest stand. Occasionally, diseases can overcome a forest system and a stand-replacing event will occur, but this is a rare event even in the least resilient forests. The full …

Climate Change Impacts on Forest Insects

Excerpt from: Régnière, J. 2009. Predicting insect continental distributions from species physiology. Unasylva. 60:37-42.

Insects constitute the most diverse form of animal life in terrestrial ecosystems. Most species are innocuous but essential components of natural ecosystems. Because they are cold-blooded, the rates of key physiological processes in their life cycles are determined by environmental conditions, especially temperature and precipitation. In general they have short generation times, high fecundity, and high mobility (either through their own faculties or aided by wind, …

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 …

How a Changing Climate Can Affect Tree Health

Written by Eli Sagor

A changing climate will affect different forest stands in different ways, depending on a wide variety of factors including stand vigor, species and age class diversity, soils, water availability, and the ways that climate changes. For example, reduced soil moisture as a result of changing rainfall patterns will affect some species differently than others.

Here is what we know:

  1. The trees thriving in a given forest stand are well adapted to the current and recent

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.


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 Southeastern U.S.

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



The Southeast region serves as an example of how rising temperatures can be associated with both increased drought and an increased frequency of downpours and other intense precipitation events. Southeast annual average temperature has risen 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970, with the greatest seasonal increase in the winter months. From 1901 to 2008, there was …

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.


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 …