Climatic Change

, Volume 76, Issue 3–4, pp 321–337 | Cite as

Impact of Climate, Moisture Regime, and Nutrient Regime on the Productivity of Douglas-Fir in Coastal British Columbia, Canada



Future climate change is expected to have many impacts on forest ecosystems. It is important to have some understanding of these impacts in order to make informed forest management decisions. A major consideration in making forest management decisions is the productivity of a site, as measured by site index. In this study, I relate Douglas-fir site index to accumulated growing degree-days greater than 5°C (DD5), as well as to soil moisture and nutrient regime. This allows the impact of climate change on forest productivity to be estimated. A two step approach was followed. The first step derived models to estimate various climate variables to latitude, longitude, and elevation using data from climate stations. Then, these climate variables were used along with soil moisture and nutrient data to predict site index for the site index plots. A two step approach was taken because climatic data were not available for the site index plots. The trend was for site index to increase with both increasing soil moisture and nutrients, although the site index decreased on the wetter sites. Site index also increased with DD5 at the rate of 1.2 m for every increase of 100 units in DD5. These models can be used together to evaluate the impact of various climate change scenarios on site index.


Soil Moisture Site Tree Site Index Nutrient Regime Prism Model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research BranchBC Ministry of ForestsVictoriaCanada

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