Living on the Edge

Botany | Climate Change | 19/12/12 | Bremen, Germany

Photo:  Pinus pinea ( Italian stone pine ). Source:


Trees often grow to appear sturdy and strong, but many are living on the edge. A worldwide survey of more than 200 types of trees, published in November, has shown that most trees don’t have a built-in safety net that would allow them to survive a serious drought which is a predicted consequence of climate change. "We can expect more forest diebacks," says Bettina Engelbrecht, a tropical forest ecologist at the University of Bayreuth in Germany who was not involved with the work. "No forest is immune."

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