Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Indirect effects of climate change could alter landscapes

Date:
November 16, 2012
Source:
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Summary:
Studies of a northern hardwood forest in New England point to unexpected ecological trends resulting from documented changes in the climate over 50 years. Some of the changes now taking place can be expected to alter the composition of the forest and the wildlife present. The observations may have implications for other northern forests and suggest directions for future research and monitoring.

Studies of a northern hardwood forest in New England point to unexpected ecological trends resulting from documented changes in the climate over 50 years. Some of the changes now taking place can be expected to alter the composition of the forest and the wildlife present. The observations may have implications for other northern forests and suggest directions for future research and monitoring.

Related Articles


Much biological research on climate change focuses on the impacts of warming and changes in precipitation over wide areas. Researchers are now increasingly recognizing that at the local scale they must understand the effects of climate change through the intertwined patterns of soils, vegetation, and water flowpaths -- not forgetting the uses humans have made of the landscape.

In the December issue of BioScience researchers describe how aboveground and belowground responses to springtime warming are becoming separated in time in a forest in New England. This and other indirect effects of climate change could alter the dominant trees and other plants in the region as well as the wildlife present, with likely consequences for local industry and tourism.

The observations could be a bellwether for changes in forests elsewhere. The researchers, led by Peter M. Groffman, analyzed findings from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, which has been studied for 50 years. Warming means spring has advanced and fall has retreated over that time. Together with increasing snow and rain, this has led to an increase in streamflow in winter and summer -- but to a decline in the winter snowpack. The declining snowpack should favor deer at the expense of moose -- which seems to be happening. And the earlier thaw means soils have been warming earlier in the springtime. Significantly, the interval between snowmelt and full leaf growth has increased -- by 8 days over 50 years.

Soil nutrients can be more easily washed out during this transition period, and soil freezing can also occur. This can in turn threaten some tree species, including yellow birch and sugar maple -- the main source of maple syrup. Soil invertebrates are also killed by soil freezing, so the species of birds that feed on them will likely change. Groffman and his colleagues stress that research into the likely effects of climate change should examine a full range of landscapes, including those affected by biological invaders. Research should also take advantage of the range of temperatures at different elevations to explore the effects of expected warming.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Indirect effects of climate change could alter landscapes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116085627.htm>.
American Institute of Biological Sciences. (2012, November 16). Indirect effects of climate change could alter landscapes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116085627.htm
American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Indirect effects of climate change could alter landscapes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116085627.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A grand jury indicted four former executives of Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia. The spill contaminated the Elk River and the water supply of 300,000 people. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Sharks are hauled ashore every day at a busy market on the central Indonesian island of Lombok, the hub of a booming trade that provides a livelihood for local fishermen but is increasingly alarming environmentalists. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) Winemakers in southwestern France's Bordeaux are concerned about a proposed high speed train line that could affect the microclimate required for the region's sweet wine. Duration: 01:06 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins