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:3/3/2016)... , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI ... categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in Education, ... This is the 9 th year of the ... of companies and individuals from past years . ... on a pre-described set of criteria, by a panel ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... and DE SOTO, Kansas , March ... Detection Plus® to offer Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a ... early detection of lung cancer Early CDT®-Lung ... and individuals. --> Early CDT®-Lung test to ... --> Oncimmune, a leader in early cancer ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmt3hk/global_biometrics ) ... "Global Biometrics as a Service Market 2016-2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmt3hk/global_biometrics ) has announced the ... a Service Market 2016-2020" report to ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmt3hk/global_biometrics ) has announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... According to world renowned prostate cancer surgeon, ... patients traditionally had two main treatment options: surgery or radiation. Based on a patient’s ... New technology has enabled doctors to administer higher doses of radiation to ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ( http://www.starnet.com/ ) a leading publisher of remote ... modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 ... PC over encrypted SSH. , Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... devices used in spinal surgical procedures, today announced the completion of a significant ... proposition for current and future customers and partners. Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Implant Systems announced today that the two-level components for the Revolution™ Spinal System were ... components expand the capabilities of the system and allow Revolution™ to be utilized for ... company has seen significant sales growth in 1Q 2016, and the system is currently ...
Breaking Biology Technology: