Tree News, Heat Slowing & Shrinking Forests: Biomass Reduction


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 22 March 2018

 

TREE NEWS
Heat Slowing & Shrinking Forests

Biomass Reduction

Drought-induced changes in forest composition amplify effects of climate change,
University of Florida, March 21, 2018.

"The researchers found that decades of changes in water deficit have reduced forest biomass, causing an influx of trees that are more tolerant to drought but slower growing. This shift results in significant changes in forest species composition with their accompanying ecological effects and, moreover, affects the capacity of forest biomass (the mass of living trees) to store carbon."

"In areas where the climate got wetter, our analysis showed increases in biomass over the two decades, whereas in the areas that got drier, there were decreases in biomass. When we look at the eastern U.S. as a whole, there was an overall trend towards a drier climate from the 1980s to the 2000s, and therefore the overall effect of climate over the two decades was to reduce forest biomass."

"Overall, the study shows that forest biomass and tree species composition and their combined impact on carbon storage are affected by climatic variability on a sensitive and short timeline -- just a few decades."

 

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