US exposure to multiple landscape stressors and climate change
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): B. K. Kerns; John B. Kim; J. D. Kline; M. A. Day
Publication Year: 2016

Cataloging Information

  • bark beetles
  • climate change
  • diseases
  • disturbance interactions
  • Environmental and Ecological Monitoring
  • environmental change
  • fire management
  • forest health
  • forest management
  • health factors
  • insects and disease
  • New Mexico
  • Quantitative Vulnerability Assessment
  • spatially explicit
  • stressors
  • tree mortality
  • urban and exurban development
  • urban habitats
  • Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
  • wildfire risk
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 19, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 55186
Tall Timbers Record Number: 33129
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay

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.


We examined landscape exposure to wildfire potential, insects and disease risk, and urban and exurban development for the conterminous US (CONUS). Our analysis relied on spatial data used by federal agencies to evaluate these stressors nationally. We combined stressor data with a climate change exposure metric to identify when temperature is likely to depart from historical conditions and become 'unprecedented.' We used a neighborhood analysis procedure based on key stressor thresholds within a geographic information system to examine the extent of landscape exposure to our set of individual and coinciding stressors. Our focus is on identifying large contiguous areas of stress exposure which would be of national concern to identify potential locations most vulnerable to resulting ecological and social disruption. The arrival of record-setting temperatures may be both rapid and widespread within the CONUS under RCP8.5. By 2060, 91 % of the CONUS could depart from the climate of the last century. While much of the CONUS may be impacted by at least one of the landscape stressors we examined, multiple coinciding stressors occurred for less than 9 % of the CONUS. The two most prevalent coinciding stressors were (1) wildfire potential combined with insects and disease risk, and (2) climate departure combined with urban and exurban development. Combined exposure to three or more stressors was rare, but we did identify several localized high-population areas that may be vulnerable to future change. Additional assessment and research for these areas may provide early and proactive approaches to mitigating multiple stressor exposure. © Springer-Verlaf Berlin Heidelberg 2016.

Online Link(s):
Kerns, B. K., J. B. Kim, J. D. Kline, and M. A. Day. 2016. US exposure to multiple landscape stressors and climate change. Regional Environmental Change, v. 16, no. 7, p. 2129-2140. 10.1007/s10113-016-0934-2.