New research has prompted scientists to call policymakers to plant more trees alongside upland rivers and streams, in an effort to save their habitats from the future harm of climate change.
Punlished on 23 October 2015 in the leading international journal Global Change Biology, experts from Cardiff University describe having discovered a previously unknown benefit of trees to the resillience of river ecosystems.
Britain’s 242,334 miles of running waters are among the most sensitive of all habitats to climate change, with cool water species at greatest risk.
Previous studies by the Cardiff team on warming effects in the River Wye and Tywi reveal significant reductions in insect numbers and even an instance of local species extinction due to climate change. A growing body of evidence shows that deciduous trees can protect river species from damagingly high temperatures owing to the cooling effect of the shade they give.