Climate-induced migration of native tree populations and consequences for forest composition

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The climate of the 13 Southern United States is generally thought to be changing in response to global and continental scale influences; and by 2060, average annual temperature is predicted to be higher and precipitation lower than for the year 2000, the date defined as current for the purposes of this analysis (Figure 10.1). Some southern forest species and communities may be highly vulnerable to the effects of changing climate, possibly resulting in conversion of woodland to savanna or grassland (Bosworth et al. 2008). In addition to the effects of temperature and precipitation on regeneration and growth, future forests will be affected by other factors contributing to climate change - such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from economic and population growth - and to length of growing season, insect pollinators, plant demography, and other environmental influences not addressed here.

  • Citation: McNab, W. Henry; Spetich, Martin A.; Perry, Roger W.; Haywood, James D.; Laird, Shelby Gull; Clark, Stacy L.; Hart, Justin L.; Torreano, Scott J.; Buchanan, Megan L. 2014. Climate-induced migration of native tree populations and consequences for forest composition. In: Climate change adaption and mitigation management optionsA guide for natural resource managers in southern forest ecosystems CRC Press - Taylor and Francis (pp. 307 - 378) 72 p.

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