forest ecosystems contribute immensely to the prosperity and quality
of life cleaner air and water, and by reducing soil erosion.
Economically, significant trees like quaking aspen, yellow birch,
jack pine, red pine, and white pine may no longer be able to grow
in the Great Lakes region because summers may become too warm. Other
trees like black walnut and black cherry may eventually migrate
northward into the region-given enough time. Productivity may ultimately
increase, but only after a decline during the transition (a dieback
phenomenon), as communities adjust to changing environment. Because
managed land use accounts for as much as three-quarters of the land
area of nature ecosystems more information is needed on both the
impacts that current land management has on the ability of vegetation
communities to respond and the how the dynamics of land use and
management will interact with climate change.
Land Ecology workshop here
Migrations and Distributions
Lakes region is the only place in the world where the endangered
Kirtland´s Warbler breeds. This species nests in young
(5-23 years old) jack pine stands with specific vegetation characteristics
found mainly in areas of northern lower Michigan. The Great
Lakes region is important for many migrating birds as well.
The STASH model
suggests a gradual retreat of aspen, birch, and pine trees
from the southern part of its range due to the predicted rise
in summer temperatures *Green represents actual range, grid
points represent predicted range of STASH model.
White pine and
yellow birch will likely disappear from the southern Wisconsin
and northern lower Michigan
Red pine may retreat from the area almost
completely by the end of the centuryand may be found only
in the Keweenaw peninsula of Michigan and the extreme northeastern
corner of Minnesota