February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 6, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1993
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: VEGETATION AND ECOSYSTEMS
"Forest Disequilibrium Caused by Rapid Little Ice Age Cooling,"
I.D. Campbell (Forestry Canada, 5320-122 St., Edmonton AB T6H 3S5, Can.), J.H.
McAndrews, Nature, 366(6453), 336-338, Nov. 25, 1993.
A forest growth model, in which the Little Ice Age is represented by a
temperature drop between AD 1200 and AD 1850, predicts changes observed in
southern Ontario. These forests appear to have remained in disequilibrium for
over 650 years.
"Moth Response to Climate," G. Stange (Res. Sch. Biol. Sci.,
Australian Nat. Univ., GPO Box 475, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia), C. Wong, Nature,
365(6448), 699, Oct. 21, 1993.
CO2 receptor neurons of Helicoverpa armigera are adapted to past CO2
background levels. The rate of CO2 change caused by anthropogenic emissions
exceeds the rate at which the moths can adapt, and has serious implications for
"Tree Growth-Climate Relationships at the Northern Boreal Forest
Treeline of North America: Evaluation of Potential Response to Increasing Carbon
Dioxide," R.D. D'Arrigo (Tree-Ring Lab., Lamont-Doherty Earth Observ.,
Palisades NY 10964), G.C. Jacoby, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 7(3),
525-536, Sep. 1993.
Ring width data show enhanced tree growth since the mid-1800s, a period of
increased greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 or other nutrient fertilization do not
account for ring width and density variations.
"Stability of the Boreal Forest-Tundra Ecotone: A Test for the
Greenhouse Effect," H. Nichols (Dept. EPO Biol., Univ. Colorado, Boulder CO
80309), World Resour. Rev., 5(3), 360-372, Sep. 1993.
Clonal trees, which currently reproduce by vegetative layering, are expected
to produce seed and pollen if sufficient warming occurs. Consistent sexual
reproduction in the future would support predictions of biome response to polar
"Global Vegetation Change Predicted by the Modified Budyko Model,"
R.A. Monserud (Intermountain Res. Sta., UDSA-For. Serv., 1221 S. Main St.,
Moscow ID 83843), N.M. Tchebakova, R. Leemans, Clim. Change, 25(1),
59-83, Sep. 1993.
The vegetation model is used to predict changes corresponding to CO2
doubling projections of four GCMs. Results show similar trends in all four
cases, although there is disagreement in important details. It is not clear from
the projections whether the projected warming will result in drastic or benign
"Productivity Response of Climax Termperate Forests to Elevated
Temperature and Carbon Dioxide: A North American Comparison between Two Global
Models," A.D. McGuire (Ecosys. Ctr., Mar. Biol. Lab., Woods Hole MA 02543),
L.A. Joyce et al., Clim. Change, 24(4), 287-310, Aug. 1993.
Compared a regression-based model and the process-based Terrestrial
Ecosystem Model (TEM) in estimating total net primary productivity. The models'
responses to CO2 are qualitatively different because TEM includes feedbacks
between temperature and ecosystem processes.
"Potential Effects of Climate Change on a Semi-Permanent Prairie
Wetland," K.A. Poiani (U.S. Fish & Wildl. Serv., 4512 McMurry Ave.,
Fort Collins CO 80525), W.C. Johnson, ibid., 24(3), 213-232,
An 11-year simulation showed decreased water depths and significant changes
in vegetation under the enhanced greenhouse gas scenario. The changes could
result in a decline in quality of habitat for waterfowl.
"Multifactorial Growth Responses in Holcus lanatus: Optima
and Limiting Factors," R. Hunt (Dept. Animal & Plant Sci., The
University, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK), G.M. Constable, Ann. Bot., 71(4),
357-368, Apr. 1993.
Describes controlled-environment experiments on a grass using different
levels of photosynthetically-active radiation, nutrient supply and temperature.
"Biological Invasions: Lessons for Ecology," D.M. Lodge (Dept.
Biol., Univ. Notre Dame, Notre Dame IN 46556), Trends Ecol. & Evol.,
8(4), 133-137, Apr. 1993.
Reviews principles learned from paleobiological, experimental and modeling
studies that apply to anthropogenic introduction of species and climate change.
"Potential Impacts of a Climate Change on Forest Ecosystems," N.
Krauchi (Swiss Fed. Inst. Technol., CH-8092 Zurich, Switz.), Eur. J. For.
Pathol., 23(1), 28-50, Apr. 1993.
A literature review which indicates that current knowledge is sufficient to
encourage the reduction of greenhouse gases to combat climate change.
"Potential Response of Pacific Northwestern Forests to Climatic
Change, Effects of Stand Age and Initial Composition," D.L. Urban (Environ.
Sci. Dept., Univ. Virginia, Charlottesville VA 22903), M.E. Harmon, C.B.
Halpern, ibid., 23(3), 247-266, Mar. 1993.
Simulations suggest that forest zones could shift and that forest stands
could show complex responses depending on initial species composition, stand
age, canopy development, and the magnitude and duration of warming. Cautions
against over-interpreting simulations.
Two items from Clim. Change, 23(2), Feb. 1993:
"Comment on Modeling Ecological Response to Climatic Change," G.P.
Malanson (Ctr. Global & Reg. Environ. Res., Univ. Iowa, Iowa City IA 52242),
95-109. Evaluated transfer functions, stand models, and physiological models
using two criteria: ability to represent observed and theoretical responses, and
ability to provide information on biological diversity and impacts on society.
Stand models best meet these criteria at present, but physiological models have
"Linear Regressions Do Not Predict the Transient Responses of Eastern
North American Forests to CO2-Induced Climate Change," J. Pastor (Nat.
Resour. Res. Inst., Univ. Minnesota, Duluth MN 55811), W.M. Post, 111-119. Shows
that lags in population responses and nonlinear changes in soil nitrogen
availability cause large departures from linear regressions for the transition
between current climate and a CO2 doubling. Simple models that do not consider
these factors may err when applied to such a period of transition.
"Impacts of Climatic Change on Peatland Hydrochemistry: A
Laboratory-Based Experiment," C. Freeman (Inst. Terres. Ecol., Univ. Wales,
Bangor LL57 2UP, UK), M.A. Lock, B. Reynolds, Chem. & Ecol., 8,
Simulation of a reduction in water table height due to climate change
resulted in a change in the efficiency with which a valley-bottom wetland acted
as a sink or source of nutrients, and in changes in leachate chemistry,
including increases in nitrate and sulfate concentrations.
"Impact of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Biodiversity: Mechanistic
Population Dynamic Perspective," H.P. Possingham (Dept. Appl. Math., Univ.
Adelaide, GPO Box 498, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia), Aust. J. Bot., 41(1),
Extinctions will occur directly through interaction of a species with a
changing environment, and indirectly due to exposure to new diseases and
extinction or change of geographical range of other species upon which a species
"Climate Change and Ecosystem Functioning: A Focus for Sub-Antarctic
Research in the 1990s," V. Smith (Dept. Bot. & Genet., Univ. Orange
Free State, Bloemfontein 9301, SA), S. African J. Sci., 89(2),
69-71, Feb. 1993.
Describes a multidisciplinary project on biological and ecological impacts
at two islands, Marion and Prince Edward.
"Climate Stress as a Precursor to Forest Decline: Paper Birch in
Northern Michigan, 1985-1990," E.A. Jones (Dept. Math. Sci., Michigan
Technol. Univ., Houghton MI 49931), D.D. Reed et al., Can. J. For. Res.,
23(2), 229-233, Feb. 1993.
Observed widespread mortality due to increased pest-pathogen activity during
this period of higher than normal temperatures and lower than normal moisture.
Global climate models predict these climate conditions for the area.
"Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) Tree-Limit Surveillance During
Recent Decades, Central Sweden," L. Kullman (Dept. Phys. Geog., Umea Univ.,
S-90187 Umea, Swed.), Arctic & Alpine Res., 25(1), 24-31,
The altitudinal tree limit of Scots pine may decline in response to climatic
cooling, making it suitable for surveying climatic trends and analogous
"Evolution of Darwin Finches Caused by a Rare Climatic Event,"
B.R. Grant (Dept. Ecol. & Evol. Biol., Princeton Univ., Princeton NJ 08544),
P.R. Grant, Proc. Roy. Soc. London Series B, 251(1331), 111-117,
Feb. 22, 1993.
Darwin finches on a Galapagos island underwent two evolutionary changes
after a severe El Nino event caused changes in their food supply. If global
warming increases the frequency or severity of El Nino events, microevolutionary
changes in animal and plant populations can be anticipated.
"Simulated Climate Change: The Interaction Between Vegetation Type
and Microhabitat Temperatures at Ny Alesund, Svalbard," S. Coulson (Sch.
Biol. & Earth Sci., Liverpool John Moores Univ., Liverpool L3 3AF, UK), I.D.
Hodkinson et al., Polar Biol., 13(1), 67-70, Feb. 1993.
On two vegetation types, polar semi-desert and tundra heath, small plastic
tents were used to simulate climatic warming.
"Modeling Effects of Habitat Fragmentation on the Ability of Trees to
Respond to Climatic Warming," M.W. Schwartz (Illinois Nat. Hist. Surv., 607
E. Peabody Dr., Champaign IL 61820), Biodivers. & Conserv., 2(1),
51-61, Feb. 1993.
Habitat availability and local population size were varied systematically
under two models. Although the models differed in their treatment of long
distance dispersal, both predicted a failure of many trees to respond to future
climatic change through range expansion.
"Rapid Response of Treeline Vegetation and Lakes to Past Climate
Warming," G.M. MacDonald (Dept. Geog., McMaster Univ., Hamilton ON L8S 4K1,
Can.), T.W.D. Edwards et al., Nature, 361(6409), 243-246, Jan.
21, 1993. (See Global Climate Change Digest, Mar. 1993.)
"Assessment, Based on a Climosequence of Soils in Tussock Grasslands,
of Soil Carbon Storage and Release in Response to Global Warming," K.R.
Tate (DSIR, Lower Hutt, NZ), J. Soil Sci., 43(4), 697-707, Dec.
Showed that increased decomposition of organic matter with global warming
would provide a positive feedback to further increase atmospheric CO2.
"Effects of Forest-Fire and Drought on Acidity of a Base-Poor Boreal
Forest Stream: Similarities Between Climatic Warming and Acidic Precipitation,"
S.E. Bayley (Dept. Fish. & Oceans, Freshwater Inst., Winnipeg R3T 2N6,
Manit., Can.), D.W. Schindler et al., Biogeochem., 17(3),
Climatic warming that increases drought and fire frequency would have
effects that mimic some of the impacts of acidic precipitation: higher sulfate
concentrations and acidic streamwaters.
"Tansley Review No. 41: Predicting Plant Responses to Global
Environmental Change," F.I. Woodward (Dept. Animal & Plant Sci., Univ.
Sheffield, POB 601, Sheffield S10 2UQ, UK), New Phytol., 122(2),
239-251, Oct. 1992.
Reviews community-scale experiments, which provide a useful, if imperfect,
capacity to predict ecosystem responses; and catchment-scale experiments, which
offer the best opportunity to predict these responses.
"Ecosystem-Level Changes That May Be Expected in a Changing Global
Climate: A British Columbia Perspective," J.P. Kimmins (Dept. For. Sci.,
Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Can.), D.P. Lavender, Environ.
Toxicol. & Chem., 11(8), 1061-1068, Aug. 1992.
Warming may cause the migration of species and communities upslope and
northward. Effects on temperate-zone trees may include: increased frost damage;
reduced seed production; increased damage due to insects, diseases and fire; and
winter climate too warm to satisfy the chilling requirements of some perennials.
"Relation of Surface Climate and Burned Area in Yellowstone National
Park," R.C. Balling Jr. (Off. Climatol., Arizona State Univ., Tempe AZ
85287), G.A. Meyer, S.G. Wells, Agric. & For. Meteor., 60(3-4),
285-293, Aug. 31, 1992.
Uses the Palmer Drought Severity Index to establish a quantitative link
between climate variations and forest fire activity.
"Genetic Strategies for Reforestation in the Face of Global Climate
Change," F.T. Ledig (U.S. For. Serv., POB 245, Berkeley CA 94701), J.H.
Kitzmiller, For. Ecol. & Mgmt., 50(1-2), 153-169, Jul. 1992.
In the face of uncertainties, reforestation strategies should emphasize
conservation, diversification and broader deployment of species, seed sources
"Changes in Location of Natural Zones as a Result of Global Warming,"
K.I. Kobak (St. Petersburg State Hydrol. Inst., St. Petersburg, Russ.), N.Y.
Kondrasheva, Soviet J. Ecol., 23(3), 136-144, May-June 1992.
Examines changes in distribution of natural zones in Russia as a result of
warming by 1.4·-2.2·C.
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