Climate Change in the Pacific Region
Pacific Region

Climate Change in Pacific Northwest Forest Ecosystems


Pests and Pathogens

Pests and pathogens can quickly invade and cause widespread damage to forested systems with a change in climate

Distribution and Dominant Species

Tree species and forest types are changing as conditions change creating new communities and shifting the locations of current communities


Forest disturbances such as fire, insect and disease are forecast to continue and accelerate throughout the region resulting in increased pressure on wildlife populations

Invasive Species

Invasive species risks to forests will continue to grow with the possibility that some invasive species will expand their range and impacts on native systems

Fire Frequency and Intensity

Climate plays an important role in both fire frequency and intensity creating conditions that typically increase the likelyhood of wildfire

Want to learn more?

Check out these great synthesis documents on how climate change effects forest systems:

Kliejunas, John T. 2011. A risk assessment of climate change and the impact of forest diseases on forest ecosystems in the Western United States and Canada. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-236. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 70 p.

Littell, J.S., McKenzie D., Peterson D.L., Westerling A.L.  2009b.  Climate and wildfire area burned in western U.S. ecoprovinces, 1916–2003.  Ecological Applications, 19(4), 2009, pp. 1003–1021

Vose, James M.; Peterson, David L.; Patel-Weynand, Toral, eds. 2012. Effects of climatic variability and change on forest ecosystems: a comprehensive science synthesis for the U.S. forest sector. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-870. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 265 p.

Climate Change Effects on Forest, Alpine, and Western Prairie Habitats in Washington State (WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation, July, 2010




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Last updated: September 12, 2013

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