Drought could render the U.S. Northeast’s mixed forests unsustainable after 2050 while Washington’s Cascade Mountains may require tropical and subtropical forest species, according to researchers using a new type of mathematical model at Washington State University.

WSU Vancouver mathematicians Jean Liénard and Nikolay Strigul, and ecologist John Harrison, predict the Pacific Northwest’s climate may be warmer and wetter, requiring the establishment of forest types seen in places like southeastern China, southern Brazil or sub-Saharan Africa.

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