Eastern U.S. forests could change dramatically with climate change, but picture complicated by such factors as drought, CO2 levels, find U.S. researchers

Audrey Dixon

Audrey Dixon

Nov 1, 2011 – Forestweb

LOS ANGELES , October 28, 2011 () – Climate change could change forests in the Eastern U.S. dramatically over a few decades to come, but many factors complicate the picture, such as drought, carbon dioxide levels, temperature and even spread of a symbiotic fungus, the Athens Banner-Herald reported Oct. 20.

Forests could change to have a fairly similar appearance from Georgia to Massachusetts, said University of Georgia forest ecologist Jacqueline Mohan, according to the article carried in OnlineAthens.

Just a few species such as white oaks and longleaf pines may emerge as dominant, Mohan said last Wednesday in a talk sponsored by the university's Initiative for Climate and Society.

Mohan is researching how climate change affects the growth of understory trees such as red maples and Southern magnolias. Research indicates the magnolias could flourish as far north as New England with rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels.

However, the effects of climate change in the Southeast are harder to pin down, said Mohan. She and other scientists are looking at change in the Eastern U.S. and the South, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Mohan said the major factor researchers need to consider is drought. Some climate scientists predict rainfall will drop 20% to 30% over the next few decades, primarily during summer.

Carbon dioxide levels are 30% higher than any time during the past 800,000 years, according to ice core samples, said Mohan. Some understory tree species are aided by this increase.

Sugar maple and cherry, for example, have a symbiotic relationship with the fungus arbuscular mycorrhiza, which helps funnel nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous to them. Growth of the fungus is boosted by higher carbon dioxide levels.

The primary source of this article is the Athens Banner-Herald, Athens, Georgia, on Oct. 20, 2011.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

Share:

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025 795

+1 (310) 558 0008
+1 (310) 558 0080 (FAX)

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.