Navigation Links
Northern forests do not benefit from lengthening growing season
Date:1/12/2010

Forests in northern areas are stunted, verging on the edge of survival. It has been anticipated that climate change improves their growth conditions. A study published last week in Forest Ecology and Management journal shows that due to their genetic characteristics trees are unable to properly benefit from the lengthening growing season. Furthermore, the researchers were surprised to find that the mortality of established trees considerably promotes the adaptation of forests to the changing environment.

In cooperation with colleagues at the Universities of Oulu and Potsdam, Anna Kuparinen, Docent at the University of Helsinki's Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, simulated forest growth from southern to northern Finland. A meteorological dispersal model was applied to describe the spread of pollen and seeds in the atmosphere. Above all, the results illustrate the slowness of the adaptation process.

Generally, trees stop growing before the frosts and this cessation of growth has been programmed in their genotype. Therefore, trees are unable to effectively follow the increasing environmental growing season. Instead, they cease growth as dictated by their genotype. It is estimated that after hundred years from now northern forests will substantially lag behind the speed of growth that would be enabled by their environment.

Evolution is promoted by the mortality of established trees

The researchers assumed that demographic characteristics of the trees would have a notable impact on their adaptability. Tree species differ for example so that birch matures at a considerably younger age than pine, and birch seeds spread more effectively than pine seeds. However, the results showed that these differences had only minor impacts. Instead, the mortality of established trees played a large role in the evolutionary adaptation.

The existing trees in northern forests will survive in a warmer climate better than before but, at the same time, they prevent genetically better adapted individuals from becoming more common. In a dense stand, old trees cast a shadow and prevent new seedlings from establishing. In this way, younger seedlings, which would be more suitable to warmer conditions, cannot easily progress beyond the sapling state.

A question closely related to environmental changes is, whether humans should help the populations to adapt? For forests, possible means of human aid include thinning and planting southern seeds to more northern locations.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Kuparinen, Docent
anna.kuparinen@helsinki.fi
358-407-313-120
University of Helsinki
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists identify common HPV genotypes in northern India, encourage vaccination
2. Northern brown bears discovered feeding on whitefish runs
3. Chloride found at levels that can harm aquatic life in urban streams of the Northern US
4. Global warming increasing the dispersal of flora in Northern forests
5. Darwin anniversary heralds new conservation research era for Northern Ireland
6. Dried mushrooms slow climate warming in Northern forests
7. Arctic science conference to focus on northern sustainability
8. Scientists break record by finding northernmost hydrothermal vent field
9. Northern right whales head south to give birth, leave genetic fingerprints with NOAA researchers
10. Carbon sink capacity in northern forests reduced by global warming
11. Wildfire drives carbon levels in northern forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/16/2016)... The global Biometric ... USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according to a ... proliferation and increasing demand in commercial buildings, consumer ... the market growth.      (Logo: ... of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric authentication and ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to ... hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San ... relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature ... This collaboration will result in greater convenience for ... union, while maintaining existing document workflow and compliance ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... Clinical ... it has acquired the assets of Theorem Clinical Research - Clinical Supplies ... clinical trial drug packaging, labeling, storage, reconciliation, and distribution for pharmaceutical trials ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... 6, 2016  SRI International has been awarded ... the National Institutes of Health,s National Institute of ... AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to support the manufacturing and characterization ... agents. Under the seven-year contract, SRI will provide ... for candidate HIV-prevention products that emerge from investigator-initiated ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016 Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: ... on the treatment of dementia, today announced that data ... of Alzheimer,s disease will be presented at the 2016 ... December 9, 2016 in San Diego ... both simple and complex measures of activities of daily ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... In anticipation of AxioMed’s exclusive ... production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be traveling to Germany on December 6th. ... Cologne and Karlsruhe to discuss the benefits of a viscoelastic total disc replacement. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: