WCS 3-Sentence Science
Climate Change and Shifting Alaskan Forests
July 11, 2019
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by WCS’s Lauren Oakes on how climate change is impacting forest dynamics in Alaska.
- Climate change is altering the conditions for tree recruitment, growth, and survival, and impacting forest community composition.
- Researchers found that climate-induced forest mortality of Alaska yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) is driving alternate successional pathways that are likely to lead to long-term shifts in forest community composition and stand dynamics.
- The analysis fills a critical knowledge gap on forest ecosystem response and rearrangement following the climate-driven decline of a single species, providing new insight into stand dynamics in a changing climate.
Study and Journal: “From canopy to seed: Loss of snow drives directional changes in forest composition” from Ecology and Evolution
WCS Co-Author(s): Lauren Oakes, Conservation Scientist and Adaptation Specialist
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, email@example.com.