Study of Forests Describes Climate-Change Impact on Trees

Ecology and Environment

A study just published in the prestigious journal Nature shows that tree growth in northern Minnesota’s forests will slow down as the climate warms. This reduced growth is due to less-frequent (although heavier) rain, which will cause the soil to be drier. The study looked at 11 different tree species in northern Minnesota and was led by MSI PI Peter Reich (Regents Professor, Forest Resources). Professor Reich’s research group uses MSI resources for a project to develop a new kind of global land computer model. The new model will be based on a plant functional trait approach, as opposed to current models that use a plant function type approach.

An article about this research can be found on the website of the Duluth News Tribune: In Warmer Minnesota Forests, Drier Trees Will Grow Slower. The paper can be found on the Nature website: Effects of Climate Warming on Photosynthesis in Boreal Tree Species Depend on Soil Moisture.