Forest Vulnerability Assessment Tool

Vulnerability of trees species to climate change

Drought mortality

These interactive maps show Canadian tree vulnerability to drought for three projected time periods (2011–2040, 2041–2070, 2071–2100). These maps are comprised of two components:

  • Exposure to drought: Tree biomass projected to experience conditions below its current hydric envelope in a given projection. These zones of exposure (i.e. where tree species will be exposed to drought) were defined by cross-referencing tree species’ current distribution with projected hydric conditions.
  • Sensitivity: Drought sensitivity of all exposed species in the stand. Drought sensitivity was assessed using an index based on plant traits that determine species’ response to drought.


The map only displays pixels containing tree biomass exposed to drought for the mapped time period. Clicking the map generates a table under the Species Exposed header of biomass values for each species projected to experience drought in a given pixel (2.5km resolution). Total biomass exposed and stand sensitivity values are displayed under the Stand Sensitivity header. The table generated shows information only for exposed species at that location, their associated biomass and their sensitivity index value.


Map Legend
Tree Biomass

Stand Sensitivity

Species Exposed

Legend: Tree biomass (in tonnes/ha) increases from green (bottom left corner of legend) to blue (bottom right corner). Stand sensitivity to drought increases from green to orange (top left corner). Areas with a large amount of biomass outside its current hydric envelope and comprised of species that are highly sensitive to drought are shown in pink (upper right corner). Clicking the map displays the combined exposure and sensitivity value on the legend for the selected pixel.

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