Global Climate Change Effects on Temperate and Boreal Forests

Anthropogenic climate change will likely result in shifts in tree species ranges and abundances. The species composition of the southern boreal biome (much of northern USA and southern Canada) is expected to be especially sensitive to climate warming since there is a relatively sharp boundary between many temperate species to the south and boreal species to the north. The potential of climate warming to alter tree species composition at the southern boreal-temperate forest ecotone is being assessed in a number of experiments, including research in experimentally warmed plots at two forested sites in northern Minnesota as part of a project called B4WARMED (or Boreal Forest Warming at an Ecotone in Danger).

Funded by:
U.S. Department of Energy, Grant No. DE-FG02-07ER64456
University of Minnesota
Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

Recent publications:

Fisichelli, N., L. Frelich, P.B. Reich. 2014. Temperate tree expansion into adjacent boreal forest patches facilitated by warmer temperatures. Ecography 37: 152-161.

Fisichelli, N., L. Frelich, P.B. Reich. 2013. Climate and interrelated tree regeneration drivers across the temperate-boreal transition zone. Landscape Ecology 28:149–159.