Study: Many Forests Vulnerable to Climate Change

November 11, 2009

An international team has pulled together what it says is the first global assessment of tree deaths linked with drought and heat stress. They cite 88 cases since 1970 on six continents. In the US and Canada alone, they document 27 cases with tree die-offs involving species such as oak, maple, birch, linden, poplar, fir, spruce, juniper, and pine.

The team concludes that similar forest losses could become more widespread as climate change continues, threatening forest ecology, biodiversity, timber production, watershed integrity, recreational use, and aesthetic qualities.

The team of 20 researchers represents U.S. universities and federal agencies, and agencies, universities, and organizations in Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey.

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