04.18.2018

Regional Simulations of Loblolly Pine Productivity with CO2 Enrichment and Changing Climate Scenarios

Abstract

The relationship between forests and changing global climate is of major importance to forest landowners and policymakers. In this study, we apply an empirical growth and yield model for loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) to the southeastern United States in an effort to predict the impacts of changing climate and ambient CO2 concentrations on loblolly pine productivity across its natural range. Regional model runs were made, assuming planting on all available land area for each year from 1980 to 2035 and harvesting in 25 years, under multiple future climate scenarios and ambient CO2 concentration inputs. While there are many caveats and assumptions underpinning the results, they suggest that while changes in climate have a moderately beneficial effect on productivity, increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has a much greater beneficial effect, with the mean predicted increase across the loblolly pine growing region in the 2040–2059 time period being 30.4% by 2060 under effects of both climate and CO2 enrichment in Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5, the high greenhouse gas future scenario.
The full pay-walled article appears on the Oxford Academic website at https://academic.oup.com/forestscience/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/forsci/fxy008/4975735?redirectedFrom=fulltext]]>

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