Researchers from Northern Arizona University and the Canadian Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations have developed a model to predict changes to biodiversity due to climate change, according to The Guardian. A summary of their work is published in the journal Functional Ecology.
They looked at foundational tree species, defined in the study as those that create structure and supporting conditions for other life. Since these species occupy a wide range of habitats, creatures that rely on them vary widely in form and function.
This means that the productivity of a foundational tree species influences the diversity of life it supports. The scientists extended that connection into field tests to see how locally adapted foundational trees relate to different climatic conditions and found that they could predict how productive the trees would be.