Navigation Links
Climate change may speed up forests' life cycles
Date:9/11/2013

DURHAM, N.C. -- Many climate studies have predicted that tree species will respond to global warming by migrating via seed dispersal to cooler climates. But a new study of 65 different species in 31 eastern states finds evidence of a different, unexpected response.

Nearly 80 percent of the species aren't yet shifting their geographic distributions to higher latitudes. Instead, they're staying in place -- but speeding up their life cycles.

The Duke University-led study, published online Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Global Change Biology, is the first to show that a changing climate may have dual impacts on forests. It adds to a growing body of evidence, including a 2011 study by the same Duke team, that climate-driven migration is occurring much more slowly than predicted, and most plant species may not be able to migrate fast enough to stay one step ahead of rising temperatures.

"Our analysis reveals no consistent, large-scale northward migration is taking place. Instead, most trees are responding through faster turnover -- meaning they are staying in place but speeding up their life cycles in response to longer growing seasons and higher temperatures," said James S. Clark, H.L. Blomquist Professor of Environment at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

Anticipating the impacts of this unexpected change on U.S. forests is an important issue for forest managers and for the nation as a whole, Clark said. It will have far-reaching consequences for biodiversity and carbon storage.

To test whether trees are migrating northward, having faster turnover, or both, the scientists went through decades of data on 65 dominant tree species in the 31 eastern states, compiled by the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis program. They used computer models to analyze the temperature and precipitation requirements of the trees at different life stages, and also considered factors like reproductive dependence of young and adult trees.

"The patterns we were able to see from this massive study are consistent with forests having faster turnover, where young trees tend to be more abundant than adult trees in warm, wet climates. This pattern is what we would expect to see if populations speed up their life cycle in warming climates," said lead author Kai Zhu, a doctoral student of Clark's at Duke. "This is a first sign of climate change impacts, before we see large-scale migrations. It gives a very different picture of how trees are responding to climate change."

The fact that most trees are not yet showing signs of migration "should increase awareness that there is a significant lag time in how tree species are responding to the changing climate," Zhu said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Lucas
tdlucas@duke.edu
919-613-8084
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Climate change will upset vital ocean chemical cycles
2. Extreme weather, climate and the carbon cycle
3. Study questions natures ability to self-correct climate change
4. Tom Bowmans Climate Report delves into Arctic methane controversy
5. Looking to the past to predict the future of climate change
6. UCSB study finds climate change is causing modifications to marine life behavior
7. Radio waves carry news of climate change
8. New knowledge about permafrost improving climate models
9. What can plants reveal about global climate change?
10. Iberian lynx threatened by climate change
11. Snakes devour more mosquito-eating birds as climate change heats forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/15/2016)... LONDON , Dec. 14, 2016 "Increase ... mobile biometrics market" The mobile biometrics market is expected ... USD 49.33 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of ... by factors such as the growing demand for smart ... mobile transactions. "Software component is expected to ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... According to a new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by ... Area, End User, And Region - Global Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... to USD 36.07 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... 2016  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH) ... of €500.0 million principal amount of its 1.414% senior unsecured ... 2.425% senior unsecured notes due 2026. The ... 2016, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.  The ... The Company intends to use the net ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Eurofins Genomics today announced the expansion ... customers to receive their primers in a shorter turnaround ... quality found with other providers. Express oligos are available ... at no additional fee. Researchers use ... including DNA sequencing, genotyping, site-directed mutagenesis, and cloning. Often, ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Biopolymers ... ... of 16.83% during the period 2017-2021. The report covers ... for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue ... includes a a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... MEXICO’S FIRST SPINAL ... announces the successful outcome of the first lumbar fusion procedure in Mexico ... Inc.) has partnered with Mexico-based medical product company BioMedical Technologies to bring ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... After her brain cancer became resistant to ... a few months to live. Now a paper publishing January 17 in the ... increased both the quantity and quality of her life: Adding the anti-malaria drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology: