Potential species distribution of five native tree species for historical and projected future climates in New Brunswick, Canada

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University of New Brunswick
As part of this report, I develop a series of species distribution models (SDMs) to assess the potential species distributions (PSD) of five native tree species in the province of New Brunswick (NB) for historical (i.e., 1950–2005) and projected, future climate scenario, representative concentration pathway 8.5, for three consecutive periods, 2006– 2035, 2036–2065, and 2066–2100. Central to the modeling work is inventory plot data of species presence-absence and four modeled abiotic predictors related to plant growth and distribution. The four predictors include (i) photosynthetically active radiation, (ii) growing degree-days, (iii) relative plant extractable soil water content, and (iv) nearsurface wind speed. My PSD-results indicate that high-quality habitat in NB for the five target species will deteriorate with continued climate warming, particularly with respect to balsam fir and red maple. The potential range size of suitable habitat in NB (not necessarily actual distribution) for the five tree species will not change significantly under future conditions.