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As the rainforest grows warmer, trees become overheated

Climate change threatens slow-growing tree species that are important carbon storages according to a new thesis by BECC researcher Maria Witteman.

The rainforest's ability to store carbon may decrease in step with climate change according to a new thesis from the University of Gothenburg written by BECC researcher Maria Witteman. The photosynthesis of leaves becomes less effective at higher temperatures and the trees’ cooling system switches off during drought. Maria found that different tree types manage the heat stress differently with early successional species (fast growing) managing it better than the late successional species (slow growing). Her results are of value for models predicting the future of tropical forests under climate change. 

Further reading

Article about the study on University of Gothenburg’s website (in Swedish)

Read the thesis:

The research is conducted in highland forests in Rwanda in collaboration with the University of Rwanda. In the project, BECC funded a film about the research that is being done in Rwanda called Rwanda TREE:

TREE of Rwanda. This project examines the climate sensitivity of indigenous tree species in Rwanda.