Minnesota Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework Project
Forests in northern Minnesota will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the next 100 years. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in Minnesota's Laurentian Mixed Forest Province 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. Wet Forests, Forested Rich Peatlands, and Acid Peatlands were determined to be the most vulnerable to projected changes in climate, whereas Floodplain Forests, Fire-Dependent Forests, and Mesic Hardwood Forests were determined to be less vulnerable. 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.