How do trees adjust to the effects of global warming? Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) researchers have studied how beech and spruce trees – two of the most common plant species in Europe – react to changing temperatures. And they discovered that the amount of moisture in the air plays a decisive role. Rising temperatures, increasingly intense rainfall and extended periods of drought are some of the known effects of climate change. But how are trees reacting to them? To find out, a team of researchers from EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) studied two of the most common plant species found in Switzerland and the rest of Europe: beech and spruce trees. The study, which was recently published in Global Change Biology, revealed that each species reacts differently, with the amount of moisture in the air playing a greater role than was previously thought.