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Development of risk matrices for evaluating climatic change responses of forested habitats


  • Louis Iverson


  • Stephen Matthews
  • Anantha Prasad
  • Matthew Peters
  • Gary Yohe


We present an approach to assess and compare risk from climate change among multiple species through a risk matrix, in which managers can quickly prioritize for species that need to have strategies developed, evaluated further, or watched. We base the matrix upon earlier work towards the National Climate Assessment for potential damage to infrastructures from climate change. Risk is defined here as the product of the likelihood of an event occurring and the consequences or impact of that event. In the context of species habitats, the likelihood component is related to the potential changes in suitable habitat modeled at various times during this century. Consequences are related to the adaptability of the species to cope with the changes, especially the increasing intensity and/or frequency of disturbance events that are projected. We derived consequence scores from nine biological and 12 disturbance characteristics that were pulled from literature for each species. All data were generated from an atlas of climate change for 134 trees of the eastern United States ( ). We show examples which depict a wide range of risk for tree species of northern Wisconsin, including species that may gain substantial habitat as well as lose substantial habitat, both of which will require the development of strategies to help the ecosystems adapt to such changes. Copyright U.S. Government 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Iverson & Stephen Matthews & Anantha Prasad & Matthew Peters & Gary Yohe, 2012. "Development of risk matrices for evaluating climatic change responses of forested habitats," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 231-243, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:2:p:231-243
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0412-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Popp, David, 2004. "ENTICE: endogenous technological change in the DICE model of global warming," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 742-768, July.
    2. Shardul Agrawala & Francesco Bosello & Carlo Carraro & Kelly De Bruin & Enrica De Cian & Rob Dellink & Elisa Lanzi, 2011. "Plan Or React? Analysis Of Adaptation Costs And Benefits Using Integrated Assessment Models," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(03), pages 175-208.
    3. Lecocq, Franck & Shalizi, Zmarak, 2007. "Balancing expenditures on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change : an exploration of Issues relevant to developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4299, The World Bank.
    4. Nordhaus, William D & Yang, Zili, 1996. "A Regional Dynamic General-Equilibrium Model of Alternative Climate-Change Strategies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 741-765, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Westfall & Christopher Woodall & Mark Hatfield, 2013. "A statistical power analysis of woody carbon flux from forest inventory data," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 919-931, June.
    2. Gary W. Yohe, 2014. "Climate change adaptation: a risk-management approach," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 29, pages 463-475 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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