Forests may lose ability to protect against extremes of climate change, study finds

June 30, 2018, University of Montana
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Forests, one of the most dominate ecosystems on Earth, harbor significant biodiversity. Scientists have become increasingly interested in how this diversity is enhanced by the sheltering microclimates produced by trees.

A recent University of Montana study suggests that a warming climate in the Pacific Northwest would lessen the capacity of many forest microclimates to moderate climate extremes in the future.

The study was published in Ecography: A Journal of Space and Time in Ecology.

"Forest canopies produce microclimates that are less variable and more stable than similar settings without cover," said Kimberley Davis, a UM postdoctoral research associate and the lead author of the study. "Our work shows that the ability of forests to buffer climate extremes is dependent on canopy cover and local moisture availability—both of which are expected to change as the Earth warms."

She said many plants and animals that live in the understory of forests rely on the stable climate conditions found there. The study suggests some forests will lose their capacity to buffer extremes as water becomes limited at many sites.

"Changes in water balance, combined with accelerating canopy losses due to increases in the frequency and severity of disturbance, will create many changes in the conditions of western U.S. forests," Davis said.

Explore further: As California wildfires burn, southern plant species are shifting northward

More information: Kimberley Davis et al. Microclimatic buffering in forests of the future: The role of local water balance, Ecography (2018). DOI: 10.1111/ecog.03836

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9 comments

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rodkeh
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 30, 2018
More fake science.
More baseless fear mongering.
These frauds should be behind bars!
TrollBane
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 30, 2018
rodkeh, do you lick antigoracle's boots in shifts? I ask because that duty seems to be keeping you from assembling actual evidence to back your comments. Every single one of them.
rodkeh
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 30, 2018
Why would I restate textbook science! If you had an education, you would know.
antigoracle
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 30, 2018
rodkeh, do you lick antigoracle's boots in shifts? I ask because that duty seems to be keeping you from assembling actual evidence to back your comments. Every single one of them.

Another Chicken Little jackass brays. This one, however, has the "ability" to lick it's own ass.

Any who, back to the AGW Cult's astonishing BULLSHIT...err...excuse me... "science". It's amazing that we have forests today considering the extremes of climate they have witnessed prior to the Cult's GloBULL warming.
Da Schneib
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 30, 2018
It's going to be interesting to see what the deniers have to say when the entire Olympic National Forest dies off. Washington is a lumber state. Lotsa lumberjack deniers up there. They get kinda testy when you start asking questions about how come there's so many ugly clearcuts up there in the National Forest. Looks like all the tough lumberjacks are scared of something. Gee, I wonder what that might be?

Reality doesn't give a flying fuck about your denial. Get over it.
rodkeh
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 30, 2018
It's going to be interesting to see what the deniers have to say when the entire Olympic National Forest dies off. Washington is a lumber state. Lotsa lumberjack deniers up there. They get kinda testy when you start asking questions about how come there's so many ugly clearcuts up there in the National Forest. Looks like all the tough lumberjacks are scared of something. Gee, I wonder what that might be?

Reality doesn't give a flying fuck about your denial. Get over it.


What would you know about reality?
When exactly is this forest going to die?.... And Prove it!
Your baseless fear mongering is getting stale.
TrollBane
4.2 / 5 (5) Jul 01, 2018
rotkeg demonstrates my point for me with yet more childish evasion worthy of a half-awake used car salesman confronted with an inconvenient question.
Ojorf
3 / 5 (6) Jul 02, 2018
Why would I restate textbook science! If I had an education, you would know.


FTFY

I agree you would not, cannot actually.
dudester
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2018
"Forests, one of the most dominate ecosystems on Earth"

Dominate is a verb. Dominant is the adjective form. Something can dominate, but that something can only "be" dominant.

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