Canadian Forest Service Publications

Projecting the impacts of climate change on the Acadian forest. 2019. Taylor, A.R. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service - Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton, NB. Impact Note 63E.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39546

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

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Plain Language Summary

The Acadian Forest Region is a mosaic of softwood, hardwood, and mixedwood forests consisting of tree species that are representative of the conifer-dominated boreal forest to the north and temperate deciduous forest to the south. Boreal tree species—such as balsam fir, black spruce, white spruce, white birch, and trembling aspen—are at the southern limit of their ranges, and temperate species—such as red maple, red oak, American beech, eastern hemlock, and eastern white pine—are at their northern climatic limits. Species that exist on the fringes of their home ranges are particularly susceptible to a changing environment. Researchers used models to project changes to the Acadian forest under two climate change scenarios that describe possible climate futures that humanity may experience depending on our future dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. Scenario 1 assumes that greenhouse gas emissions will peak sometime between 2010 and 2100 and then start to decline. Under this scenario, very little or no difference in forest composition and growth are projected to occur. Scenario 2 represents a “business as usual” situation where CO2 levels continue to rise unchecked, and mean annual temperature continues to rise to about 7C above current conditions by the year 2100. Little or no difference in forest composition and forest growth is projected to occur in the short term (up to year 2040). However, in the longer term, the abundance of cold-adapted boreal species is projected to decrease and the abundance of warm-adapted deciduous species is projected to increase. A reduction in forest growth of 42% is projected by year 2100.

Also available under the title:
Projection des effets des changements climatiques sur la forêt acadienne (French)