In most cases, climate change is associated with adverse events like major natural disasters and the extinction of many species. However, according to a study which was published recently there is a positive effect that can be freely observed. It seems that trees enjoy an accelerated growth rate, as threes found in the Chinese Dahurian larch grew faster in the span of less than a decade, from 2005 to 2014, than they did in four decades.
Trees grow faster thanks to climate change
A team of researchers examined the growth rings of hundreds of trees and discovered that the phenomenon favored the oldest trees as trees older than four century featured an accelerated growth rate of the 80% in the last decade.
The growth rate began to fall as younger trees were observed. Those that ranged between 250 and 300 years enjoyed a speed boost of 35%. The lowest rate was recorded among trees which were below 250 years ranging on average between 11 and 13%.
Some researchers think that the phenomenon can be linked to higher temperatures at the soil level. While the effect is quite spectacular, it is believed that it may harm the forests in the long run.
When the soil becomes warmer the layer of permafrost is reduced, and the roots of the trees enjoy a more significant amount of space and the chance to absorb nutrients. It is believed that if the current trend will be maintained the permafrost will be damaged so much that it will be no longer able to support the trees, an event which could compromise the entire ecosystem.
The lead author of the study stated during an interview that the disappearance of the larch would ruin the local forest ecosystem. It is likely that older trees were affected positively by climate change because their root system is well-developed and able to absorb a more considerable amount of nutrients. The study was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Stacy Richardson is a seasoned journalist with 15 years experience.. She has conducted numerous research studies on media effects including the effects of bullying on adolescents, and “sexy media” effects on sexual behavior. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Stacy covers stories affecting local politics and economy. Contact Stacy here.