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This set of 4 lessons for midde and high school focuses on sugar maple and buckeye trees as species that will be affected by climate change.
Activity A: What do climate models predict about tree ranges?
This lesson introduces examples of how General Circulation Models [GCMs] predict possible scenarios of climate change. Three methods of visualizing change are introduced, and students compare how the climate niches of sugar maples and buckeye trees are likely to be altered.
Activity B: How can trees migrate?
The seeds of maples and buckeyes are “dispersed” in an outdoor simulation of how far a tree species might be able to spread over several tree generations.
Activity C: How does temperature affect maple seed germination?
Students examine research data on seed germination at different temperatures to infer some of the impacts of temperature on species survival.
Activity D: After the maples, then what?
Students study an outdoor area that has sugar maples and other species. They catalog the size and relative abundance of species in the plot and infer what species is likely to succeed if maples disappear.