8: Natural Ecosystems

Natural Ecosystems analyzes the association of observed changes in climate with changes in the geographic distributions and phenology (the timing of blossoms or migrations of birds) for Southwestern ecosystems and their species, portraying ecosystem disturbances—such as wildfires and outbreaks of forest pathogens—and carbon storage and release, in relation to climate change.


Fleishman, E., J. Belnap, N. Cobb, C. A. F. Enquist, K. Ford, G. MacDonald, M. Pellant, T. Schoennagel, L. M. Schmit, M. Schwartz, S. van Drunick, A. L. Westerling, A. Keyser, and R. Lucas. 2013. “Natural Ecosystems.” In Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: A Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment, edited by G. Garfin, A. Jardine, R. Merideth, M. Black, and S. LeRoy, 148–167. A report by the Southwest Climate Alliance. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Habitat for native cutthroat trout is projected to decrease by up to 58 percent due to temperature increases and competition with other species.
Full Chapter PDF: 
Fact Sheet PDF: 


Contact us 

Media representatives, please email swclimate@email.arizona.edu
or call 520-626-4372.
For Coordinating Lead Author contact information see 'Authors' page here.