Global climate change affects many aspects of the future biodiversity of this
planet. Scientists are especially interested in understanding the effects of
increasing temperatures on cold-dependent species. The Boreal Forest Warming
at an Ecotone in Danger, or B4WARMED, project investigated the consequences
of this warming on the forest at the boreal-temperate ecotone in northern
Minnesota. I and a team of researchers studied how resilient eleven tree species
are to increased growth temperatures, or how well they could carry out
photosynthesis under these higher temperatures. I looked at the data for two
species, Sugar Maple (A. saccharum) and Quaking Aspen (P. tremuloides), and
preliminary analysis shows that in four out of the six tests, these two species were
able to photosynthesize at the higher temperatures they were grown under. There
is some evidence to show that A. saccharum was better at adapting than P.
tremuloides. The analyses done for all eleven species will provide a more
comprehensive picture of the adaptability and resilience of the northern forest, and
give a better understanding of how the composition of the species within the
forests will change within a warming ecosystem.