A new federal study says climate change in the Maritimes may lead to a gradual reduction in the growth of softwood trees, which are crucial to the region’s pulp industry.
Using computer models, the Natural Resources Canada study marks the first region-wide assessment of the composition and growth of the Acadian Forest to end of this century.
Assuming that greenhouse gas emissions continue at “business as usual” levels, the study says there will be an average temperature rise of 7 C by the end of the 21st Century.
As a result, in the latter half of the century trees like red spruce will decline between 10 to 20 per cent, while hardwoods that prefer warmer climates will increase.
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The study’s author, scientist Anthony Taylor, predicts there will be an overall decline in the size of the Acadian forest, which straddles the zone between the mostly deciduous temperate forests that thrive in warmer climates and the vast boreal forests farther north.