Forestry Hanover Seminar Series: Aaron Weiskittel, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine

Date: March 11, 2014
Location: 225 Natural Resources Bldg.

Forestry Hanover Seminar Series presents:

Projecting the potential influence of climate change on forests: The uncertainty of modeling the unknown

Presented by Aaron Weiskittel
Associate Professor of Forest Biometrics and Modeling
Irving Chair of Forest Ecosystem Management
School of Forest Resources
University of Maine

4 p.m. (Refreshments at 3:50 p.m.)


Models are widely used to forecast future forest dynamics. However, climate change represents a
fundamentally novel condition that no forest growth model is adequately parameterized for. Regardless,
a variety of approaches have been used to forecast the potential influence of climate change on forests.
The various approaches have included modified statistical growth model, a hybrid growth model
(statistical + mechanistic) and mechanistic approaches. This talk will explore the various assumptions
and uses for these various modeling approaches. In particular, the uses of Climate-Forest Vegetation
Simulator (FVS), environmental niche models, Landis-II, 3-PG, and PnET will be explored and
evaluated. The key assumptions, findings, and suggestions for future improvement will be given and
discussed. Overall, the ability of models to make future projections will be examined and questioned.
This is a critically important given the uncertainties associated with the potential impact of climate
change on forests.