Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Virginia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Virginia Project

Climate Change-Induced Biome Shifts for CONUS Department of Defense Lands

March 2011 - December 2014


Participating Agencies

  • Engineer Research Development Center Army 6.2/6.3 AERTA
Distribution of DOD installations across Holdridge Life Zones as the beginning point to understand biome shift impacts on training and stewardship activities.

This proposed work is part of a larger U.S. Army Environmental Quality Installation (EQI) 6.2/6.3 project that examines climate-change impacts to DOD installations. The Virginia Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (VCFWRU) will be collaborating with ERDC Environmental and Information Technology labs, the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station (NRS), the Ohio State University (OSU) and Oklahoma State University (OKSU) (Figure 1). Importantly, this work will complement and address several points raised in the 2009 Quadrennial Defense Review, most notably the need “to adjust to the impacts of climate change on our facilities and military capabilities.” Specific objectives that VCFWRU will address in whole or in part are to: 1)Define climate change scenarios (low, medium, high impacts); compile climate change-induced biome shift predictions of CONUS DOD installations; 2)develop initial, generic conceptual models for ecological response and environmental management impacts for each biome transition; 3)identify conceptual model critical endpoints that will allow feedback to refine/”prune” conceptual models (GIS, monitoring data, lit. review, expert elicitation) to characterize significant complete pathways; 4)conduct multivariate analyses on installations’ critical endpoint susceptibilities and underlying explanatory variables from conceptual models to cluster or aggregate CONUS installations by common attributes, i.e., environmental, geographic, or military role; 5)downselect representative CONUS installations by aggregated category to construct spatially- and temporally-explicit stand-level biotic change scenarios.