Climate change and ecosystem responses
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. A. Perry; J. G. Borchers
Publication Year: 1990

Cataloging Information

  • agriculture
  • arthropods
  • carbon
  • carbon dioxide
  • climate change
  • community ecology
  • deforestation
  • dendrochronology
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • forest management
  • forest types
  • gases
  • grasslands
  • grazing
  • habitat conversion
  • histories
  • insects
  • land management
  • logging
  • nutrient cycling
  • old growth forests
  • Oregon
  • organic matter
  • perennial plants
  • physiology
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • plant growth
  • precipitation
  • range management
  • soil erosion
  • soil nutrients
  • species diversity (plants)
  • storms
  • temperature
  • water
  • wildfires
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 33370
Tall Timbers Record Number: 7516
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


In this paper we briefly review current knowledge concerning the possible consequences of a changing climate for terrestrial ecosystems. Forests and grasslands of western North America figure prominently in the discussion, but our intent is to consider general principles rather than specific communities. Nevertheless, these principles are applicable to the fate and management of old-growth forests. First, we review the current climate-change scenarios and their implications for plant growth and physiology. Next we consider the severity and frequency of disturbances such as fire, insect outbreaks, and windstorms. Then we turn to the possible net effect of climate change on ecosystems, an effect that emerges from numerous interactions and feedback processes, and that is greatly affected by the speed with which species migrate. Finally, we discuss some approaches for mitigating possible impacts and for easing transitions from one community type to another.

Perry, D. A., and J. G. Borchers. 1990. Climate change and ecosystem responses. Northwest Environmental Journal, v. 6, p. 293-313.