Beech Trees Are a Result of Climate Change


In the northeasters woodlands in the USA, beech trees are starting to grow exponentially more and scientists warn that this could be bad both for the people and for the forest itself. Scientists state that forests that are filled with beech trees are associated with high temperatures and precipitation. Beech is often used for firewood. It has a lower commercial value than birch or maple trees that are usually used for making furniture and flooring.

The study

In their 30-year long story, published by peer review in the Journal of Applied Ecology, they state that these changes can have major negative outcomes on the forests’ ecosystems and on the industries that rely on them.

Dr. Aaron Weiskittel, a University of Maine associate professor of forest biometrics and modeling and one of the authors of this study said that that future conditions look like they are favoring beech trees and that people should find ways to fix this.

The authors of this study used data from U.S. Forest Service from 1983 to 2014 and they looked at the states of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont to track trends in forest composition. They found that American beech increased substantially over the years while maple and birch species decreased over the time.

What are some of the problems

The major problem with beech trees increasing in numbers is the fact that they spread beech bark disease, which causes the trees to die young and be replaced by other beech trees which succumb to the same problem. Moreover, beech trees have a very low commercial value.

Other findings

Scientist found that beech trees grow more in key tourist areas, like the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Adirondack Mountains of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Their rise in numbers may be attributed to the fact that deer like to eat tree seeds but they tend to avoid beech seeds.

Why is this important

It’s important to analyze present tendencies in forest growth patterns so that we can better know how they will evolve in the future. Moreover, loggers and timberland owners may find themselves at a loss in the future as beech is cheap to buy already and the abundance of it will make it even cheaper.


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