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Trees are moving westward in response to precipitation changes, Purdue University professor reveals

Image of Songlin Fei
Dr. Songlin Fei

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — After analyzing extensive data collected on 86 tree species in the eastern United States, a research team led by Purdue University professor Songlin Fei found that over the past 30 years, most trees have been shifting westward or northward in response to climate change.
“Trees are shifting partially because of climate change, but their responses are species specific,” Fei said. “Deciduous trees like oak and maple are primarily moving westward. Evergreens are responding in a different way. They’re moving northwards.”
The research, based on the analysis of 30 years of data gathered by the U.S. Forest Service, was published in Science Advances on May 17. The study represented data collected on trees from 1980 to 2015.  Read More  (Purdue University photo/Tom Campbell)

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