Trees and Climate Change - Think Globally
Presentation by Solomon Dobrowski, UM Professor of Forest Landscape Ecology
When: April 23 (Tue) 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Where: Interdisciplinary Science Building, Rm 110.
Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. They comprise 80% of all plant biomass, and harbor the majority of species on Earth. Forests captivate the public’s attention: wildfires, insect outbreaks, and drought impacts are increasingly in news headlines. Forests both experience climate change impacts and are part of the solution to these problems. All mainstream mitigation strategies rely on forests to pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it over the long term. Indeed, forests may be more critical now to the well-being of our planet and civilization than at any point in history.
To understand how forests may respond to these ongoing stressors, we need to understand how trees are influenced by climate. This is not a new endeavor. Alexander von Humboldt asked similar questions as far back as the early 1800s. I will review what new insights we’ve gained since the days of von Humboldt, how our understanding of forests has improved with modern technologies, and what we have learned about forests and climate change by looking back in time through the fossil record. We will embark on our own biogeographic tour of forests starting here in the western US and travel overseas to both marvel at the diversity of forests and highlight the striking similarities of their form and function around the globe. Join me for the trip.