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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Trees Migrating North Due to Warming

A recent U.S. Forest Service study analyzing tree species distribution found that some trees are moving north at an average rate of 62 miles per century due to global warming.

  • The study's findings confirm that there is a link between global warming and forest migration.
    Among the species headed north are the northern white cedar, American basswood, sugar maple, black ash, bigtooth aspen, and yellow birch.
  • Some species are moving more quickly than others as their lighter seeds can be more easily transported by birds and other animals.
  • The study looked at movement based on latitude, instead of only using computer simulations or observations based on altitude. The locations of seedlings (trees under 20 years old) were compared to the location of older trees of the same species.

To read the rest of the article, please CLICK HERE.

Trees Migrating North Due to Warming
by Bruce Dorminey
National Geographic News
February 9, 2009  

Other than the Ents of Lord of the Rings fame, trees generally aren't known for their mobility. So news that some tree species may be headed north at an average clip of 62 miles (100 kilometers) a century may come as a surprise.

At that rate, stands of yellow birch in the U.S., for example, may move well north of the Canadian border by the early 2100s.

That's the finding of a new study led by the U.S. Forest Service, which concludes that a few dozen tree species in the eastern U.S. are moving north at an unexpected rate, likely due to global warming.

In a paper appearing this month in the journal Forest Ecology and Management, the study authors documented the northward march of 40 major tree species over 30 eastern states based on the distribution of seedlings versus mature trees.

To read the rest of the article, please CLICK HERE.

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