Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate change could drive beech from south-east England

04.09.2006
Ecologists concerned about the impact of climate change on beech trees in the south of England will meet this week to discuss the problem and how conservationists can best respond to it.

Speaking at a British Ecological Society meeting at Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire on Friday 8 September, ecologist Dr Gill Stribley will say: “Our studies of beech trees support the prediction that climate space for beech may disappear in southern England as the climate warms, unless greenhouse gases are stabilised.”

The health of beech trees at representative amenity sites in Surrey has been monitored since 1989 and clear declines of health have been found. According to Stribley: “A tree's health can be assessed by measuring the density of a tree's crown, the extent to which it dies back in summer and changes in twig pattern. In 1992, 40% of large beeches surveyed in Surrey were relatively healthy but by 2002 only 10% were in good shape. We are also concerned that young trees less than 50 years old are showing changes that we would not expect to see until they were around 140.”

Climate change models predict that the UK will have wetter winters but warmer, drier summers, especially in the south-east, and beech seems particularly sensitive to summer droughts, partly because of its relatively shallow, wide-spreading root system. Sensitivity also depends on soil conditions where the beech trees are growing – deep loams and underlying chalk may help to keep the trees better supplied with moisture throughout a dry summer, while shallow or water-logged soils can increase the drought risk.

Dr Keith Kirby of English Nature will tell the meeting that on some sites, especially in the extreme south-east (Kent and Sussex), beech will become increasingly stressed by the effects of climate change. “More trees may die and other species such as oak and ash will be able to compete more effectively with the beech. So the composition of the tree and shrub layers will change – although not necessarily everywhere - and this will have effects on the composition of other plants and animals that live in beech woodland,” Kirby says.

As well as making the south-east less beech friendly, climate change will also make areas further north and west in Britain more suitable for beech, raising the question of whether conservationists should be accepting the spread of beech in these areas. According to Kirby: “We need to recognise that the plant and animal communities that we have at present in our woods will alter as a result of climate change. Nature conservation managers need to factor the likely effects of climate change over the next 100 years into their conservation policies and practice.”

Becky Allen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>