Forest Change Assessment and Simulation Tool (ForCAST) - Landscape Model Output
The Forest Change Assessment and Simulation Tool (ForCAST) is designed to provide projections of how forest composition and the goods and services that forests provide will change from 2020 to 2100 under different management and climate scenarios on 3,800,000 acres in northeastern Minnesota. It also helps users understand how Minnesotans value those forest goods and services. Foundational landscape change modeling was done using the LANDIS-II model, allowing for a better understanding of forest composition and carbon. Subsequent wildlife habitat and water quality and quantity modeling were done using the WHINGS and HSPF models, respectively. All models were run for each of 12 unique combinations of the management and climate scenarios.
LANDIS-II is a spatial-temporal, tree species-level, cell-based forest model that simulates forest growth, succession, and disturbances over large landscapes and time periods at a moderate spatial resolution. Model output was at a resolution of a 200 meter grid and included biomass above ground, harvest, stand age, and cover type for each cell. Biomass above ground was used to calculate carbon on the landscape in trees. The landscape modeling provided the foundational forest composition data on which all other models were developed.
More information and an interactive web application are available at mnforcast.org.