Kirilenko, A. P. and Allen M. Solomon. 1998. Modeling dynamic vegetation response to rapid climate change using bioclimatic classifications. Climatic Change 38:15-49.
Modeling potential global redistribution of terrestrial vegetation frequently is based on bioclimatic classifications which relate static regional vegetation zones (biomes) to a set of static climate parameters. The equilibrium character of the relationships limits our confidence in their application to scenarios of rapidly changing climate. Such assessments could be improved if vegetation migration and succession would be incorporated as response variables in model simulations. We developed the model MOVE (Migration of Vegetation), to simulate the geographical implications of different rates of plant extirpation and in-migration. We used the model to study the potential impact on terrestrial carbon stocks of climate shifts hypothesized from a doubling of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration. The model indicates that the terrestrial vegetation and soil could release carbon; the amount of this carbon pulse depends on the rate of migration relative to the rate of climate change. New temperate and boreal biomes, not found on the landscape today, increase rapidly in area during the first 100 years of simulated response to climate change. Their presence for several centuries and their gradual disappearance after the climate ceases to change adds uncertainty in calculating future terrestrial carbon fluxes.