News Release

Effect of warming on tree leafing

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Early Leafing in Warmed Plots Compared to the Surrounding Forest. Late Spring Snow Shower Accentuate

image: Early leafing in warmed plots compared to the surrounding forest. Late spring snow shower accentuates the visual effect. view more 

Credit: Image credit: Artur Stefanski.

A study of 10 tree species in experimental plots in which the air temperature was raised by 1.7 °C and 3.4 °C finds significant year-to-year variation in the effect of warming on tree leafing, given that warming in early spring advanced leafing more than in late spring; in addition, the authors found greater spread between the time when the first and last tree species leafed out in early spring, compared with late spring, suggesting that climate change, which is likely to hasten the onset of spring, could lead to increased risk of mistimed leafing and altered interactions between species.


Article #19-17508: "Phenological responses of temperate and boreal trees to warming depend on ambient spring temperatures, leaf habit, and geographic range," by Rebecca A. Montgomery, Karen E. Rice, Artur Stefanski, Roy L. Rich, and Peter B. Reich.

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca A. Montgomery, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN; e-mail:

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