Central Appalachians

The Central Appalachians region covers 29 million acres from Lake Erie's shores to the Allegheny Mountains' peaks. This region contains a mosaic of high-elevation boreal forests, upland forests and woodlands, riparian, and floodplain forests that are an essential part of the landscape.

Regional ecosystems provide numerous cultural, economic, and environmental benefits and are facing increasing threats from a changing climate. Warmer and more variable conditions are already impacting the region’s forests, increasing damage from extreme precipitation events and insect pests. Future changes could dramatically alter the landscape that characterizes the region. 

Download the Central Appalachians Forest Vulnerability assessment

Vulnerability Assessment

We developed a vulnerability assessment for this region that describes climate change risks and opportunities for forests under a range of future climate scenarios. Two global climate models, three forest impact models, hundreds of scientific papers, and forest manager expertise were combined to assess the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. More than 30 scientists and forest managers contributed to the assessment.

Download the assessment

Work with us

The vulnerability assessment provides critical information about how climate change is expected to affect this region and serves as a starting point for other Framework activities.

Contact Patricia Leopold for more information

Featured Resources

Climate Change Projections for Tree Species

The region's forests will be affected by a changing climate during this century, but individual tree species will respond uniquely to climate change, depending on their particular silvics and ecological tolerances. The general trends derived from these models can be combined with local knowledge and management experience to judge risk on a particular site. The following documents provide summarized lists of projected tree species responses to climate change, updated in 2021 to provide the most recent model results (see map).