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Michigan Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework Project

Stephen Handler, Leslie Brandt, Patricia Leopold, Maria Janowiak, Danielle Shannon, Kimberly Hall, Christopher Hoving, Stephen Handler, Matthew Duveneck, Louis Iverson, Emily Peters, Robert Scheller, Kirk Wythers, Leslie Brandt, Patricia Butler, Maria Janowiak, Danielle Shannon, Chris Swanston, Amy Clark Eagle, Joshua G. Cohen, Rich Corner, Peter B. Reich, Tim Baker, and Soph
Created: 4/16/2014 - Updated: 8/09/2019


Forests in northern Michigan will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate during the next 100 years. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in Michigan's eastern Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula to a range of future climates. Information on current forest conditions, observed climate trends, projected climate changes, and impacts to forest ecosystems was considered in order to draw conclusions on climate change vulnerability. Upland spruce-fir forests were determined to be the most vulnerable, whereas oak associations and barrens were determined to be less vulnerable to projected changes in climate. Projected changes in climate and the associated ecosystem impacts and vulnerabilities will have important implications for economically valuable timber species, forest-dependent wildlife and plants, recreation, and long-range planning.

Published On

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Community / Local
Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Land Use Planning
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Flow patterns
Growing season
Habitat extent
Phenological shifts
Range shifts
Species of concern
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Habitat/Biome Type: 
Climate Type: 
Sociopolitical Setting: 

Related Resources

Sector Addressed: 

Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework

Photo attributed to Todd Murray. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Case Study
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration

The Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework covers 64 million acres of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan within Ecological Province 212 (Laurentian Mixed Forest) of the National Hierarchical Framework of Ecological Units.