Projecting canopy cover change in Tasmanian eucalypt forests using dynamically downscaled regional climate models

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The density of tree cover, as expressed as a canopy cover percentage, is strongly dependent on both moisture availability and temperature. Under projected anthropogenic climate change, temperature, rainfall and evaporation are likely to change, altering the suitability of various environments for certain tree species, and resulting in changes in productivity that could result in increases or decreases in canopy cover.

We used satellite-derived measures of canopy cover in Eucalyptus forests across south-eastern Australia to develop a statistical model of cover, as a function of moisture availability, temperature, and other environmental covariates. Projected downscaled climate scenarios, provided by the climate futures team (Climate Futures for Tasmania), were then used to examine potential changes to cover in the future.

Areas in Tasmania, particularly in the east coast and midlands, show significant levels of cover decline in all climate scenarios. In addition, Tasmania appears to shift outside the climate envelope of some endemic Eucalyptus species currently present in the state.

Accepted manuscript available online 14 December 2014; published online 10 January 2014

The article is Copyright by Regional Environmental Change.

To request an author's copy, please contact: Grant Williamson at


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Bibliography Entry

Type of Publication Journal Article
Year of Publication 2014
Type of Article Referred Article
Authors Williamson GJ, Prior LD, Grose MR, Harris RMB, Bowman DMJS
Issue January 2014
Date Published 01/2014
Journal Regional Environmental Change
ISSN 1436-3798
This page was last updated on January 15, 2014