Study Shows Trees Mov­ing To Higher, Cooler El­e­va­tions

Riverbank News - - NEWS -

Sig­na­ture tree species in the high Sierra Ne­vada forests – in­clud­ing moun­tain hem­lock, red fir and west­ern white pine – are shift­ing to­ward higher, cooler el­e­va­tions ac­cord­ing to new re­search by the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). This study fore­shad­ows how cli­mate warm­ing may sig­nif­i­cantly al­ter en­tire habi­tats for mul­ti­ple species.

The CDFW re­searchers found that large ar­eas of Plumas and Sierra coun­ties no longer have much moun­tain hem­lock, as much of the north­ern Sierra Ne­vada lacks the higher moun­tains the trees now need to per­sist. These coni- fer species that are shift­ing to higher el­e­va­tions pro­vide food for in­sects, birds and mam­mals, and help to build for­est soil.

The re­port was pub­lished this week in the Cal­i­for­nia Fish and Game 2016 Win­ter Is­sue.

In ad­di­tion to re­search on high-el­e­va­tion tree species in the north­ern Sierra Ne­vada, CDFW-funded re­searchers also re­cently con­cluded that 16 of 29 dif­fer­ent types of nat­u­ral veg­e­ta­tion com­mu­ni­ties in Cal­i­for­nia are highly or near highly vul­ner­a­ble to cli­mate change by the end of the cen­tury. These in­clude Pa­cific Coast salt­marsh, high mon­tane co- nifer for­est and West­ern North Amer­i­can fresh­wa­ter marsh.

The cli­mate vul­ner­a­bil­ity study was com­pleted by re­searchers at UC Davis with fund­ing from CDFW. Called “A Cli­mate Change Vul­ner­a­bil­ity As­sess­ment of Cal­i­for­nia’s Ter­res­trial Veg­e­ta­tion,” the re­port was pre­pared in as­so­ci­a­tion with the CDFW’s State Wildlife Ac­tion Plan 2015 Up­date, and the re­search will help the depart­ment un­der­stand why cer­tain ecosys­tems are more vul­ner­a­ble to cli­mate change and where species may be able to per­sist dur­ing un­fa­vor­able en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.