Trees Saving At-Risk Species from Climate Change

Geo Beats
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Temperature sensitive plants that live beneath lush tree canopies seem to be faring better in the face of climate change.

Temperature sensitive plants that live beneath lush tree canopies seem to be faring better in the face of climate change.

Recent research points out the importance of maintaining that cover to ensure that biodiversity in forests continues to thrive.

The scientists started by examining previous research that showed plants that prefer cooler environments being replaced by warmer-weather species.

This was confirmed by comparing a survey taken nearly 35 years after initial surveys of temperate forests in North America and Europe.

Researchers found that over that time, a third of the species listed in the original report had been replaced by those better equipped to deal with the environmental changes.

The exceptions were found in plots that were protected by dense tree cover.

Those trees helped create microclimates in which the original plants could thrive slowing the increase of warm adapted plant species.

Further, the increase in humidity levels facilitated by the canopies helped protect the area from summer droughts.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Keith Kirby, believes that a well-planned approach for conserving forest environments is needed.

That includes what he specified as “gentle” intervention that boosts the ability of trees to fight off environmental threats.

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