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Minnesota's future forests: What will they look like?

A wide trail fades into the distance of a green forest.
Lorie Shaull
A rainy day's view down the trail to Joyce Estate in Bowen, Minnesota on Oct. 15, 2021.

Senior Scientist Applied Forest Ecology Brian Palik, from the Northern Research Station in Grand Rapids, discusses how climate change affects our forests. This is part of "Local Forest History" — a series investigating the past, present and future of Minnesota forests. The "Local Forest History" series is produced by Mark Jacobs.

This month, John Latimer, Heidi Holtan, and Mark Jacobs spoke with Brian Palik, a research forester with the Northern Research Station. This segment is a follow-up to the Forests and Carbon and Local Forest History series.

During his interview with the KAXE Morning Show, Palik discussed how research indicates that average temperatures will increase by more than 10 degrees over the next 50-75 years. That, coupled with changing precipitation patterns, will likely change the composition of our forests in the future.

Forest managers are preparing for these changes by choosing adaptable native species and even using “assisted migration” to establish more southern tree species such as white oak in our region.

Have you noticed changes in the forests near you? Text us at (218) 326-1234.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

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