Morning Ag Clips reports on study that finds beech rising, maple declining

Morning Ag Clips published a University of Maine news release about significant changes occuring in the composition of hardwood forests in the Northeastern United States. In the past 30 years in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, climate-associated changes have increased the abundance of American beech compared to three other hardwood species commonly associated with the regional forests, according to a UMaine-led research team. The significant shift to forests dominated by American beech is associated with higher temperatures and precipitation, according to Arun Bose and Aaron Weiskittel at UMaine, and Robert Wagner at Purdue University, the team that conducted the study. The change to more beech-dominated forestlands could have consequences for ecosystem structure and function, the researchers say. Beech is associated with a widespread bark disease and is known to limit natural regeneration of other species. In addition, the wood has less commercial value. WVII (Channel 7) also reported on the study and interviewed Weiskittel.