Climate Change Effects on Tree Species


These maps show the projected distribution of sugar maple, paper birch and Eastern red cedar in the Ceded Territories under current, low, and high emission scenarios. Data are from the Climate Change Atlas.


Sugar Maple

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The Climate Change Atlas documents current and possible future distribution of tree and bird species across the eastern United States. The Climate Change Tree Atlas model uses climate, soil, elevation and land use data to map predicted suitable habitat of 134 tree species by the year 2100. The model output is displayed as importance values, which can range from 0 (indicating an absence of the species) to 100 (indicating a pure stand of the species). An importance value is a measure of relative abundance – the higher the importance value, the more suitable the habitat is predicted to be.


Paper Birch

  • Paper Birch current distribution
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  • Paper Birch high emissions
Paper Birch current distribution1 Paper Birch low emissions2 Paper Birch high emissions3
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Note that these maps do not show where tree species will actually grow in 2100; they show only where suitable habitat is likely to be, according to current climate models. This does not mean a tree species will not be able to grow in areas with low predicted importance values. Another point to consider is that the model is able to predict future suitable habitat better for some species than for others. Therefore, a reliability score is associated with the output for each species (e.g., model reliability is high for paper birch). Finally, the model does not consider disturbances, such as forest pests, fires, or storms. For more information or to look at predictions for other species, check out the homepage of the Climate Change Atlas (


Eastern Red Cedar

  • Eastern Red Cedar current distribution
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  • Eastern Red Cedar high emissions
Eastern Red Cedar current distribution1 Eastern Red Cedar low emissions2 Eastern Red Cedar high emissions3 by v8.6