Reply To: Global warming threatens biodiversity

Martin W

    Not so obviously a species in peril, but further signs of change seen in New England, US, now witnessing later, duller autumn tree colours. Tourism to perhaps suffer; but also mention re fungus able to attack more.

    Forested hillsides usually riotous with reds, oranges and yellows have shown their colors only grudgingly in recent years, with many trees going straight from the dull green of late summer to the rust-brown of late fall with barely a stop at a brighter hue. "It’s nothing like it used to be," said University of Vermont plant biologist Tom Vogelmann, a Vermont native. He says autumn has become too warm to elicit New England’s richest colors. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Burlington have run above the 30-year averages in every September and October for the past four years, save for October 2004, when they were 0.2 degrees below average. … warmer autumns and winters have been friendly to fungi that attack some trees, particularly the red and sugar maples that provide the most dazzling colors. "The leaves fall off without ever becoming orange or yellow or red. They just go from green to brown," said Barry Rock, a forestry professor at the University of New Hampshire.

    Climate Change Blamed for Fading Foliage