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Old 09-10-2018, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Houston
2,053 posts, read 1,704,869 times
Reputation: 1584

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeped View Post
true, but its obvious that se texas/houston is barely at their range limit. check the usda zones, most of these trees are literally hanging on a thread being here, just thanks to the few days of deep winter freezes. and climate change going through, the deciduous trees dont have much time left before they die off.
Is this just your opinion or are you getting this info from an authoritative source? Being near the edge of a certain soil / climate range doesn't necessarily mean anything about the future longevity of a certain species in a particular location.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:13 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
50 posts, read 14,307 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LocalPlanner View Post
Is this just your opinion or are you getting this info from an authoritative source? Being near the edge of a certain soil / climate range doesn't necessarily mean anything about the future longevity of a certain species in a particular location.
Dude, he clearly talked about USDA zones, which I assume are about the plant hardiness guides.

The post oak was mentioned quite a bit earlier, so I looked it up and saw that it was rated only for USDA zones 6A to 9A (which is a temperature range from -10F to 25F). Much of Houston is rated zone 9A, so trees like the post oak are indeed at their limit in the city. Especially considering that freezes in the city happen only few times a year at most.

Makes sense. Some plants actually require a certain amount of "chilling hours," and so they won't survive if the climate is too warm.

https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
http://hort.ufl.edu/database/documen...ts/questea.pdf

Last edited by SoCalSunnyShine; 09-10-2018 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Houston
2,053 posts, read 1,704,869 times
Reputation: 1584
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalSunnyShine View Post
Dude, he clearly talked about USDA zones, which I assume are about the plant hardiness guides.

The post oak was mentioned quite a bit earlier, so I looked it up and saw that it was rated only for USDA zones 6A to 9A (which is a temperature range from -10F to 25F). Much of Houston is rated zone 9A, so trees like the post oak are indeed at their limit in the city. Especially considering that freezes in the city happen only few times a year at most.

Makes sense. Some plants actually require a certain amount of "chilling hours," and so they won't survive if the climate is too warm.

https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
http://hort.ufl.edu/database/documen...ts/questea.pdf
My point is that being near the edge of a certain soil and climate zone for a particular species or groups of species (like deciduous trees) doesn't mean that it's inevitable that the species is doomed in that location, which is what he or she implied (or really outright stated). Central and SE Texas has had occasional freezes, droughts and heat waves, and super-wet periods since the last ice age, yet these species persist. There's a whole thin ecological belt called the cross timbers with deciduous trees that runs across Texas - does its thin nature mean that those trees will soon die out? Of course not.

No doubt the soaking from Harvey and other storms since 2015 has been hard on some trees, plus the freezes this past winter, and maybe even lingering impacts from the 2010-2013 drought. But, that's all happened before in this region, and yet these trees survived.
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:50 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
50 posts, read 14,307 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LocalPlanner View Post
My point is that being near the edge of a certain soil and climate zone for a particular species or groups of species (like deciduous trees) doesn't mean that it's inevitable that the species is doomed in that location, which is what he or she implied (or really outright stated). Central and SE Texas has had occasional freezes, droughts and heat waves, and super-wet periods since the last ice age, yet these species persist. There's a whole thin ecological belt called the cross timbers with deciduous trees that runs across Texas - does its thin nature mean that those trees will soon die out? Of course not.

No doubt the soaking from Harvey and other storms since 2015 has been hard on some trees, plus the freezes this past winter, and maybe even lingering impacts from the 2010-2013 drought. But, that's all happened before in this region, and yet these trees survived.
It looks like the claim was made on the basis of climate change, effects of which would definitely appear first in populations at the limit of a range ("the ecotone or transition zone") compared to those more solidly within. No one is disputing that these trees haven't dealt with periodic extremes in their time, but its clear that they also require specific average conditions in order to grow well. And climate change could mean that Houston no longer is within that average threshold. Ergo, the trees would, in fact, be doomed. Climate change may very well can be the unspoken factor behind making these trees more susceptible to the ailments mentioned.

The Cross Timbers (listed as region 29) aren't in SE Texas, they only extend from Oklahoma down to North Central Texas. They are solidly within the USDA range, not on the edge like Houston.
https://web.archive.org/web/20080408.../useco_key.jpg

Last edited by SoCalSunnyShine; 09-11-2018 at 06:39 AM..
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Houston
2,053 posts, read 1,704,869 times
Reputation: 1584
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalSunnyShine View Post
It looks like the claim was made on the basis of climate change, effects of which would definitely appear first in populations at the limit of a range ("the ecotone or transition zone") compared to those more solidly within. No one is disputing that these trees haven't dealt with periodic extremes in their time, but its clear that they also require specific average conditions in order to grow well. And climate change could mean that Houston no longer is within that average threshold. Ergo, the trees would, in fact, be doomed. Climate change may very well can be the unspoken factor behind making these trees more susceptible to the ailments mentioned.

The Cross Timbers (listed as region 29) aren't in SE Texas, they only extend from Oklahoma down to North Central Texas. They are solidly within the USDA range, not on the edge like Houston.
https://web.archive.org/web/20080408.../useco_key.jpg
I concur that substantial climate change that moves the average conditions of an area to a new "normal" could very well impact the vegetation profile. Some trees could retreat, others advance depending upon their suitability to whatever that new average is.

Thing is, we don't know what climate change is going to actually do in Houston or SE Texas - apart from being somewhat subject to more overall warmth, what would that mean? More humidity and rain or less? More humidity might actually mean fewer droughts and summer temperature spikes, given the relationship between air temperature and moisture content. Would it mean more sudden deep freezes in winter, despite warmer winters generally, or fewer (I've read that some scientists actually put forth the possibility of the former due to disruptions in Arctic air flows). I believe in some places around the world climate change has advanced desertification, in other places cause vegetative cover to advance. No one would deny that Houston is already near the western edge of the range of vegetation endemic to the humid southern U.S., but to just insist that this vegetation is "doomed" seems a stretch too far to me. Could it be? Sure, but it's far from certain.
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:10 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
50 posts, read 14,307 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LocalPlanner View Post
I concur that substantial climate change that moves the average conditions of an area to a new "normal" could very well impact the vegetation profile. Some trees could retreat, others advance depending upon their suitability to whatever that new average is.

Thing is, we don't know what climate change is going to actually do in Houston or SE Texas - apart from being somewhat subject to more overall warmth, what would that mean? More humidity and rain or less? More humidity might actually mean fewer droughts and summer temperature spikes, given the relationship between air temperature and moisture content. Would it mean more sudden deep freezes in winter, despite warmer winters generally, or fewer (I've read that some scientists actually put forth the possibility of the former due to disruptions in Arctic air flows). I believe in some places around the world climate change has advanced desertification, in other places cause vegetative cover to advance. No one would deny that Houston is already near the western edge of the range of vegetation endemic to the humid southern U.S., but to just insist that this vegetation is "doomed" seems a stretch too far to me. Could it be? Sure, but it's far from certain.
Yup. The only certainty is that any weather changes that do occur will be entirely dependent on what happens with the jetstream. Not only temperature, but precipitation as well.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Chambers County
1,133 posts, read 1,731,175 times
Reputation: 1168
Don't fall for the hysterical headlines. Scare tactics and click bait.
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