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STATES CHRONICLE – Researchers observed a peculiar phenomenon caused by climate change. Eastern forests are starting to move towards north and west. Since temperatures have increased over the past decades, US forests found a way to adapt. In addition, rainfall patterns also contributed to this shift.
Eastern forests seek cooler climates
Some of the relocating tree species include maples and oaks, which are moving towards west. On the other hand, firs and pines are moving north, in search of a cooler climate to survive. Researchers noticed the shift after analyzing data from the US Forest Service collected between 1980 to 2015. More than 86 species were included in the study.
The lead author, Songlin Fei, warns people that this is not a prediction. The shift, which is taking place right now, will have a great impact on the forest ecosystems in the country. More precisely, the whole food chain is going to be affected.
This phenomena will affect ecosystems
Animals, insects, soil, and plants rely on these trees to survive, while trees also rely on them to survive. Once a shift like that happens, all of them will have to suffer. Some of the animals living in the eastern forests will lose their habitat, and the entire system will lose its balance once the movement is complete.
However, birds are most affected by this change. The spring weather in North America is more and more unpredictable, and they have a harder time planning their migration. Therefore, they will find it more difficult to ensure food for their young and for themselves.
Researchers observed that the change in temperature and rainfall patterns affected forests the most. Natural disasters like droughts, heat waves, and floods are now more common in the US due to climate change. These phenomena equally affect animals, plants, and trees.
Image source: Wikipedia