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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New England w so many other biomes across North America will see a change of plant(and subsequent animal) species composition as Climate Change deepens over the century ahead..............The iconic northern woodland forest of sugar Maples and Evergreens will likely be replaced by the Oak Hickory deciduous plant cover that currently cloaks the more middle latitudes of the USA east of the Mississippi River...........Examples of species that will likely become less present or absent in New England include Moose and Lynx with Whitetail Deer and Bobcats likely increasing in numbers

Climate change prompts makeover of New England's forests, study finds

Forest soils across New England will store fewer nutrients and metals -- some beneficial, some harmful -- as climate change prompts maples and other deciduous trees to replace the region's iconic evergreen conifers, a Dartmouth College study finds.
The study appears in the journal Plant and Soil.
"Based upon our findings, we conclude that a shift from coniferous to deciduous vegetation could decrease the accumulation and retention of major metals," says lead author Justin Richardson, who conducted the research as part of his doctorate from Dartmouth's Department of Earth Sciences. "Our results can help forest managers and biogeochemists assess the future impact of changing vegetation type on plant-essential and pollutant metal cycling in forests across the region."

Under various climate and land-use scenarios, coniferous stands are expected to lose 71 percent to 100 percent of their current range to deciduous stands across New England by 2085, particularly in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, due to increased temperature and precipitation and changes in timber harvesting. Deciduous trees have very different ecological and physical characteristics than conifers, so this switch could impact how they cycle nutrients and store toxic metals in their underlying soil.
The Dartmouth researchers studied eight adjacent deciduous and coniferous forest stands in Vermont's Green Mountains and New Hampshire's White Mountains. They found that deciduous trees cycle nutrients in their litter layer at a faster rate than conifers, but potentially toxic metal cycling was not different between conifers and deciduous trees. Specifically, coniferous soils had 30 percent to 50 percent less calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc than deciduous stands, while metal concentrations also were smaller in coniferous needles than deciduous leaves. Additionally, the results suggest coniferous soils retain calcium, cadmium, copper, potassium, magnesium and manganese 40 percent to 200 percent longer than deciduous soils. These results emphasize that coniferous stands cycle metals at a slower rate than deciduous stands.
"As significant alterations to ecosystems resulting from global change become more likely, environmental scientists and the general public need to appreciate some of the potential outcomes," says senior author Andrew Friedland (, a professor in Dartmouth's Environmental Studies Program. "Our paper explores one of these outcomes: changes in beneficial and harmful elements in forest soils."

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Dartmouth College.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. J. B. Richardson, A. J. Friedland. Influence of coniferous and deciduous vegetation on major and trace metals in forests of northern New England, USAPlant and Soil, 2016; DOI:10.1007/s11104-016-2805-5

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