A warmer, wetter climate may be pushing tree species into fresh ranges on the East Coast.
The Eastern white pine is usually going west, while the Eastern cottonwood is usually headed north, researchers reported last week. The scarlet oak is usually appearing more frequently in regions northwest of the Appalachians as well as less often inside the Southeast, which is usually becoming drier.
A northward shift was expected, the researchers said, however the fact in which many species are moving west came as a surprise. The westward movement helped point to climate change — especially wetter weather — as the biggest of many culprits behind the shift.
however given the rapid rates of change, harvesting, forest fires as well as some other disturbances are also playing significant roles, some other experts noted. (A.P.)