Per­ish­ing forests

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE -

TEM­PER­ATE FORE STS could turn to shrub­lands or grass­lands in the com­ing decades due to longer and more se­vere droughts. Dur­ing an ex­treme drought, high air tem­per­a­tures over­heat leaves and in­crease the stress on trees by draw­ing the mois­ture from their tis­sues at faster rates than nor­mal. Th­ese fac­tors may cause ab­nor­mally high lev­els of for­est mor­tal­ity dur­ing hot­ter droughts. Con­ver­sion from forests to grass­lands could af­fect ecosys­tem ser­vices such as car­bon stor­age. Science, Au­gust 21

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