Quirks & Quarks

Maple Migration Moderated

Warming temperatures may make the North more attractive to some trees, but other barriers may slow down their spread....
Listen8:39

Warming temperatures may make the North more attractive to some trees, but other barriers may slow down their spread. As temperatures warm, due to climate change, it's expected that many species will migrate north, seeking appropriate climatic conditions. But temperature may not be the only thing necessary for migration. Dr. Carissa Brown, a biogeographer at Memorial University of Newfoundland, working with colleagues in Quebec, has tested whether maples can migrate, by using a mountain as a proxy for northwards movement. What she found was that soil suitability, microorganisms and seed predation might slow down or prevent migration of maples, even if temperatures become more welcoming.

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