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The future climate is expected to be warmer and rainfall is expected to be higher than at present, particularly during the winter. This will increase warm periods and rainfall during the winter, which may lead to a thinner snow cover, local flooding and the formation of ice layers on ground surface and inside the snow cover.
According to laboratory tests, small pine and downy birch seedlings seem to react differently to different snow conditions. Only those pine seedlings that were fully covered by snow started to grow normally. Those seedlings that were partly covered by snow or not covered by snow at all suffered from serious damage that took place during the winter or at the beginning of the growing season.
Cover - Lack - Impact - Survival - Birch
Instead, the snow cover or the lack of it did not have any impact on the survival of downy birch seedlings.
"However, those birch seedlings that were covered by snow or ice accumulated more leaf and root biomass during the next growing season", says Timo Domisch, research scientist at Luke.
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