How Will Climate Change Impact Leaf Fall?
The fall season is perfect for taking a walk or a drive to see the beautiful leaves changing colors from green to red, orange and yellow. As climate changes, it affects the timing of when leaves emerge, the amount of foliage that grows as well as the timeframe when leaves begin to fall. The study of the timing of such events as related to climate is termed “phenology.” USGS scientists are studying how forest phenology may be impacted by climate change, while also looking at how climate change impacts combine with other disturbances such as tree defoliation by insects and death by disease or fire.
Understanding forest phenology patterns is important because they affect the availability of habitats and the flows of water that are critical to animals and people. This research will help inform decisions to responsibly manage land and water resources in response to any future changes in climate and the associated impacts. Read more...