May 18, 2017 10:52 AM EDT
Trees from the Eastern U.S. are shifting to the western part of the nation. It is an outcome of the rapid climate change.
A study about the forest data of three decades revealed how the climate change creates an impact on the white pine of the east. The warmer and wetter climate pushes the eastern cottonwood to the north and the west. The study shows the cottonwood from the eastern U.S. has been heading 124 km north, a clear indication of shifting of the trees.
The reason behind the northward shift was to search for a cooler weather, but the move to the west was quite surprising for the experts. Songlin Fei from the Purdue University and lead author of the study was surprised by this western shift of a majority of the tree species. The sprout of new trees in the north and west is clearly visible now.
On the other hand, trees of the farther south and the eastern part tend to die off, Phys.org reported. The trend mainly shifts the important geographic center of where the trees live. In a word, impacts of the climate change are now noticeable in the U.S forests.
During the study, eighty-six different tree species were observed minutely. A major concentration of this species from the eastern U.S. has shifted 20 miles north and 25 miles west, according to Science Advances. The shifting of the scarlet oak is the best example of this fact.
The scarlet oak has moved 205 kilometers during a time span of three decades. The tree moved from the Appalachians to the northwest and currently located in the Midwest and also in the Southeast. According to Michael Dombeck, the former U.S. Forest Chief, this new analysis shows that changes are taking place.
No doubt the analysis indicates what is actually occurring in nature, and it is difficult to ignore the science. Songlin Fei opines that this westward movement indicates the climate change, mainly the wetter weather. Fei considers the wetter weather as the key reason behind this shift. So trees are getting new and different location due to this shifting process.
Now some different opinions are also surfaced from Brent Sohngen of the Ohio State University. He reveals that Southeast part is getting dryer and the Western part is getting wetter, but the rapid changes must include some more reasons. He indicates forest fire, harvesting and others play more significantly than the climate change in shifting the trees from the eastern U.S. to the west.
The conclusion of the new study is truly very significant as it uncovers some important facts regarding the shifting of the trees. The existence of the climate change impacts is now apparent through this move. That means changes in nature are now evident and simultaneously visible.