“Forest canopies produce microclimates that are less variable and more stable than similar settings without forest cover,” said Kimberley Davis, a UM postdoctoral research associate and the lead author of the study. “Our work shows that the ability of forests to buffer climate extremes is dependent on canopy cover and local moisture availability – both of which are expected to change as the Earth warms.”
She said many plants and animals that live in the understory of forests rely on the stable climate conditions found there. The study suggests some forests will lose their capacity to buffer climate extremes as water becomes limited at many sites.
Source: UM study: Forests may lose ability to protect against extremes of climate change