Geos Institute

Rapid Assessment of the Yale Framework and Adaptation Blueprint for the North America Pacific Coastal Rainforest

For the Pacific Coastal Rainforests, the framework helped identify where terrestrial rainforest ecosystems can be successfully maintained for resilience and resistance to climate change due to microsite features (microrefugia). Other areas, while still important, might be more successfully managed for transition to a different ecological state as emphasized in the framework. The spatially explicit nature of this study allowed us to identify intact areas to conserve, fragmented ones to restore, private lands to prioritize for conservation, and public lands to prioritize for changes in land management plans, adding on-the-ground conservation opportunities without major investments.

We used downscaled general circulation models, species distribution models, vegetation models, and other datasets to test all six of the Yale framework objectives and 15 of 18 framework adaptation cells.We applied the framework to the Pacific coastal rainforest region because of its global conservation importance, lack of robust conservation and adaptation strategies, and interest from partnering agencies and organizations. We used agreement among multiple models to determine levels of certainty in forecasting climate change effects to rainforest assemblages, focal species, and ecosystem processes.


  1. Use framework elements to provide an integrated assessment of spatially explicit adaptation opportunities in the Pacific Coastal Rainforest.
  2. Evaluate the framework’s efficacy to adaptation planning for four adaptation blueprints.

Geographic Location

Pacific Coastal Temperate Rain Forest

Principal Investigator

Dominick DellaSala

Ecosystem Type


Framework focus

Click to find online appendix for: Climate change may trigger broad shifts in North America’s Pacific coastal rainforests