Warmer climates could produce spruce forests in Finnmarksvidda – VG

A warmer climate may result in spruce forests occupying areas that currently have few spruce trees.

With a wetter and warmer climate, spruce forests could move north and cover the Finnmark highlands, a report suggests.

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– Grana will migrate north, also to Finnmarksvidda. In southern Norway, forest development will be limited, in Europe we will see forest death with a high frequency, researcher Kyrre Kausrud told Klassekampen.

He has led extensive work in which groups of experts have looked at climate challenges for Norway’s forests on behalf of the Norwegian Environment Agency.

Their report shows that extreme weather, pests and diseases can change forests significantly.

Forests absorb and store CO2, and a warmer climate could increase this absorption and provide more growth, said environmental director Ellen Hambro, who received the report. But the negative consequences could outweigh the positive, he warns.

– Drought, forest fires, plant diseases, spread of parasites and other pests can cause significant damage to forests.

Researcher Kausrud says that what is now called boreal forest will change to a more temperate climate, while forest will occupy new territory.

– Grana seems to have migrated to the north and higher in the mountains to the south. Areas that currently don’t have that much forest, such as Hardangervidda and Finnmarksvidda, will have spruce forests, he said.

Sophie Wilkinson

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