Climate change is one of the most important issues facing resource managers planning for the future. Predicted changes in climate may significantly impact the distribution and productivity of plants, animals, and ecosystems. So how will the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC), where vegetation is a central feature in defining ecosystems, remain useful in this changing environment?
The Forest Service investment in BEC yields a substantive information source for assessing the ecological impacts of climate change. Biogeoclimatic (BGC) maps, BEC site unit classification, and the BEC plot database (currently exceeding 40,000 ecological plots) provide immense value as a baseline information source to assess potential changes in species distribution and ecosystems, and provide the framework by which researchers can recognize and track evidence of climate change in the coming years.
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Updated November 26, 2009