Canada's Plant Hardiness Site

Predicted Effect of Climate Change on the Size and Location of Climate Habitat of North American Plant Species

McKenney et al (2007) examined the effect of predicted climate change on the climate habitat of 130 North American tree species. Given space constraints, we were not able to provide details for all species in the journal paper, so here we provide a table with complete results. Below is a brief explanation of the project, followed by the table itself. Over time we will add to this table for other plant species as opportunities arise.

Climate change is predicted to strongly impact plant distributions. In order to quantify the potential extent of this impact, we determined the current climatic limits, via climate envelopes (CE), for 130 North American tree species. We then located those climatic conditions on maps of future climate, indicating where each tree species may be best suited to occur by the end of the century. This was carried out using 3 different General Circulation Models (GCM) and 2 different emissions scenarios for a total of 6 different change scenarios. The values for each species in the table below are averages taken over all of these scenarios.

Since the dispersal of plant species into future climate habitats is a very difficult thing to predict, we present findings for 2 scenarios; a best-case situation in which plants are able to disperse entirely into their future climate habitat and a worst-case situation in which plants are unable to disperse and thus survive only in areas that overlap with their current geographic range.

The metrics that we present here are the change in area and change in latitude. For the full dispersal scenario, each species was assumed to move fully into its future CE. Changes in latitude were calculated by subtracting the mean center of the future CE from the mean center of the current CE. Similarly, changes in CE area were calculated by expressing the future CE area as a percentage of the current CE area. Under the non dispersal scenario, future maps were overlaid on current maps and the area of overlap was taken as the future CE. Once the future CE was defined in this way, change metrics were calculated in the same way as for the full dispersal scenario. See the table below for results for each species in the study. Maps for each species/GCM scenario can be viewed at the plant hardiness web site ( Search for the species of interest and select the desired model.

Table 1. Predicted Effect of Climate Change on the Size (%) of the Climate Habitat of 130 North American Tree Species.
Scientific Name Full Range Overlap Range
Gordonia lasianthus-93.3-98.3
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana-64.5-97.9
Nyssa ogeche-71.9-96.1
Quercus virginiana-81.8-95.4
Magnolia macrophylla-70.5-93.6
Acer barbatum-61.7-92.4
Chamaecyparis thyoides-58.9-92.3
Magnolia virginiana-62.1-92.2
Quercus imbricaria-60.8-91.0
Abies magnifica-76.8-87.5
Nyssa aquatica-64.3-87.2
Taxodium distichum-61.2-83.0
Celtis laevigata-45.2-81.1
Quercus phellos-55.2-80.8
Pinus virginiana-57.3-80.7
Quercus coccinea-50.1-80.7
Ilex opaca-55.8-80.4
Quercus nigra-54.7-79.8
Pinus echinata-51.0-79.3
Pinus taeda-57.2-79.2
Fraxinus quadrangulata-33.8-77.9
Fraxinus latifolia-33.9-77.2
Abies procera-1.8-75.7
Liquidambar styraciflua-45.8-74.8
Magnolia acuminata-36.2-74.1
Castanea dentata-31.7-74.0
Alnus viridis-9.3-73.5
Quercus prinus-39.6-73.3
Alnus rhombifolia-24.1-73.0
Quercus stellata-36.1-72.9
Quercus shumardii-36.4-72.7
Asimina triloba-33.7-71.3
Quercus ellipsoidalis-16.6-70.8
Pinus rigida-17.6-70.5
Diospyros virginiana-42.7-70.2
Carya laciniosa-31.4-70.1
Morus rubra-27.5-69.8
Quercus marilandica-31.7-69.6
Pinus jeffreyi-6.5-68.8
Betula lenta-29.1-68.3
Cercis canadensis-31.9-67.5
Cornus nuttallii3.7-66.9
Larix lyallii-1.8-66.7
Liriodendron tulipifera-20.1-66.6
Sassafras albidum-32.2-66.0
Nyssa sylvatica-31.5-65.2
Carya tomentosa-30.9-65.2
Gleditsia triacanthos-26.5-64.9
Cornus florida-38.1-63.9
Ulmus alata-22.3-63.5
Quercus lyrata-26.0-62.7
Carya illinoensis-25.4-60.7
Acer pensylvanicum-8.0-60.6
Betula nigra-0.7-60.4
Quercus palustris-4.8-60.2
Carya glabra-24.7-59.5
Carya ovata-23.6-59.2
Quercus bicolor-21.7-59.2
Carya cordiformis-24.6-58.9
Juglans cinerea0.6-57.6
Salix nigra3.3-57.5
Aesculus glabra-0.5-57.4
Ostrya virginiana-0.3-57.4
Quercus alba7.3-57.3
Picea rubens0.4-57.2
Ulmus rubra3.2-57.0
Pinus aristata19.9-56.9
Carpinus caroliniana-8.3-56.7
Robinia pseudoacacia3.4-56.4
Pinus flexilis7.8-55.9
Juglans nigra7.6-55.5
Juniperus virginiana4.8-55.4
Quercus garryana15.8-54.8
Alnus incana9.4-54.5
Populus grandidentata2.8-54.3
Quercus velutina-9.5-54.3
Celtis occidentalis8.7-54.1
Acer saccharinum12.0-53.9
Prunus serotina4.1-53.7
Fagus grandifolia-10.6-53.7
Quercus rubra5.6-52.7
Populus deltoides3.6-52.7
Tilia americana11.2-52.7
Fraxinus americana7.4-52.6
Picea pungens30.2-51.2
Tsuga canadensis-13.1-50.2
Betula alleghaniensis10.5-50.1
Abies grandis8.2-49.6
Pinus strobus14.4-49.3
Acer saccharum20.0-49.2
Larix occidentalis12.7-48.8
Thuja occidentalis9.9-48.3
Acer spicatum16.0-48.1
Salix sitchensis18.9-46.1
Alnus rubra27.2-45.1
Quercus macrocarpa16.3-44.0
Fraxinus pennsylvanica8.1-43.8
Abies amabilis19.0-42.7
Acer rubrum19.6-42.3
Picea sitchensis11.5-42.2
Fraxinus nigra14.7-41.6
Pinus albicaulis29.1-41.5
Ulmus americana9.5-40.6
Pinus ponderosa10.7-40.4
Sorbus sitchensis24.1-39.9
Acer glabrum13.7-39.7
Taxus brevifolia12.5-37.9
Juniperus scopulorum17.8-36.3
Abies balsamea-8.4-36.1
Prunus pensylvanica8.2-36.0
Acer macrophyllum20.0-35.7
Arbutus menziesii12.4-35.2
Pinus monticola19.0-33.9
Amelanchier alnifolia9.0-33.5
Pinus banksiana5.0-32.8
Tsuga mertensiana8.8-32.3
Larix laricina-6.0-32.2
Pseudotsuga menziesii12.4-31.5
Tsuga heterophylla12.5-29.2
Pinus contorta-5.5-29.0
Betula papyrifera2.5-28.7
Populus balsamifera-3.5-28.0
Picea mariana-5.8-28.0
Abies lasiocarpa-6.8-27.8
Thuja plicata16.2-26.5
Populus tremuloides-2.7-24.7
Picea glauca-10.6-24.5
Populus angustifolia43.7-20.8
Acer negundo30.8-18.5
Abies concolor32.9-13.4

Table 2. Predicted Effect of Climate Change on the Location (in degrees latitude) of the Climate Habitat of 130 North American Tree Species.
Scientific Name Full Range Overlap Range
Gordonia lasianthus-5.1-4.1
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana-5.7-8.0
Nyssa ogeche-6.8-2.0
Quercus virginiana-5.6-2.1
Magnolia macrophylla-5.5-2.7
Acer barbatum-6.2-2.4
Chamaecyparis thyoides-7.5-3.2
Magnolia virginiana-5.9-2.2
Quercus imbricaria-5.8-2.8
Abies magnifica-3.01.6
Nyssa aquatica-5.3-2.6
Taxodium distichum-5.8-2.9
Celtis laevigata-5.5-2.3
Quercus phellos-5.0-2.4
Pinus virginiana-6.4-3.7
Quercus coccinea-6.8-3.5
Ilex opaca-5.3-2.5
Quercus nigra-5.0-2.3
Pinus echinata-5.4-2.4
Pinus taeda-5.0-2.7
Fraxinus quadrangulata-5.2-1.8
Fraxinus latifolia-6.8-3.9
Abies procera-6.8-5.1
Liquidambar styraciflua-5.8-2.9
Magnolia acuminata-7.6-4.0
Castanea dentata-7.3-3.9
Alnus viridis-7.1-3.6
Quercus prinus-6.5-3.4
Alnus rhombifolia-9.7-5.0
Quercus stellata-5.8-2.6
Quercus shumardii-6.0-2.6
Asimina triloba-6.5-3.0
Quercus ellipsoidalis-6.7-3.0
Pinus rigida-6.3-3.0
Diospyros virginiana-5.5-2.7
Carya laciniosa-5.9-3.2
Morus rubra-6.5-2.8
Quercus marilandica-5.5-2.3
Pinus jeffreyi-6.5-3.2
Betula lenta-6.1-3.3
Cercis canadensis-5.8-2.8
Cornus nuttallii-6.2-3.5
Larix lyallii-5.8-4.6
Liriodendron tulipifera-7.3-2.9
Sassafras albidum-6.3-3.4
Nyssa sylvatica-5.7-2.6
Carya tomentosa-5.6-2.5
Gleditsia triacanthos-7.2-3.4
Cornus florida-6.0-3.0
Ulmus alata-5.8-2.6
Quercus lyrata-5.1-2.2
Carya illinoensis-6.3-2.1
Acer pensylvanicum-7.5-3.8
Betula nigra-7.8-1.9
Quercus palustris-7.9-3.4
Carya glabra-6.0-3.1
Carya ovata-6.5-3.3
Quercus bicolor-6.6-3.3
Carya cordiformis-6.4-3.5
Juglans cinerea-8.1-3.5
Salix nigra-9.0-3.6
Aesculus glabra-7.4-3.1
Ostrya virginiana-8.7-2.9
Quercus alba-8.4-2.4
Picea rubens-6.4-3.5
Ulmus rubra-8.4-2.9
Pinus aristata-7.5-6.4
Carpinus caroliniana-7.5-2.4
Robinia pseudoacacia-7.6-3.2
Pinus flexilis-6.4-4.7
Juglans nigra-8.2-3.0
Juniperus virginiana-7.7-2.5
Quercus garryana-2.1-1.1
Alnus incana-6.6-3.6
Populus grandidentata-6.3-2.4
Quercus velutina-6.9-3.0
Celtis occidentalis-8.0-2.8
Acer saccharinum-8.7-3.3
Prunus serotina-8.5-2.7
Fagus grandifolia-7.4-3.3
Quercus rubra-8.7-3.3
Populus deltoides-8.2-3.2
Tilia americana-9.2-4.1
Fraxinus americana-8.4-3.1
Picea pungens-6.5-3.6
Tsuga canadensis-6.9-4.0
Betula alleghaniensis-8.2-3.9
Abies grandis-6.0-3.7
Pinus strobus-8.2-3.4
Acer saccharum-8.9-3.3
Larix occidentalis-5.2-3.4
Thuja occidentalis-6.2-2.9
Acer spicatum-7.8-3.7
Salix sitchensis-4.9-3.4
Alnus rubra-5.7-3.4
Quercus macrocarpa-7.9-3.5
Fraxinus pennsylvanica-7.3-2.0
Abies amabilis-5.6-3.9
Acer rubrum-7.6-2.0
Picea sitchensis-5.3-3.9
Fraxinus nigra-7.0-3.4
Pinus albicaulis-6.5-5.2
Ulmus americana-7.0-2.0
Pinus ponderosa-6.7-2.8
Sorbus sitchensis-5.4-3.5
Acer glabrum-6.2-3.7
Taxus brevifolia-5.1-3.6
Juniperus scopulorum-6.7-3.2
Abies balsamea-4.0-1.7
Prunus pensylvanica-7.1-3.2
Acer macrophyllum-5.4-3.1
Arbutus menziesii-3.7-2.6
Pinus monticola-5.8-2.7
Amelanchier alnifolia-5.5-2.7
Pinus banksiana-5.5-3.5
Tsuga mertensiana-5.4-3.0
Larix laricina-4.3-2.0
Pseudotsuga menziesii-6.5-2.9
Tsuga heterophylla-6.4-3.5
Pinus contorta-4.9-3.2
Betula papyrifera-5.2-2.2
Populus balsamifera-6.1-4.2
Picea mariana-4.0-1.9
Abies lasiocarpa-5.1-3.3
Thuja plicata-5.3-2.3
Populus tremuloides-4.5-2.4
Picea glauca-3.3-1.7
Populus angustifolia-5.8-1.2
Acer negundo-4.7-0.6
Abies concolor-4.3-1.2


McKenney DW, Pedlar JP, Iverson LR, Hutchinson MF, Lawrence K, Campbell K. (2007) Potential impacts of climate change on the distribution of North American trees. Bioscience, Vol. 57 No. 11:939-948.