A new study by Simon Fraser University historical ecologists finds that Indigenous-managed forests--cared for as "forest gardens"--contain more biologically and functionally diverse species than surrounding conifer-dominated forests and create important habitat for animals and pollinators.
An expansive project led by Michigan State University's Lars Brudvig is examining the benefits, and limits, of environmental restoration on developed land after humans are done with it.
A first-of-its-kind study led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that rock weathering and water storage appear to follow a similar pattern across undulating landscapes. The findings are important because they suggest that these patterns could improve predictions of wildfire and landslide risk and how droughts will affect the landscape.
The Andes Mountains in South America are the world's longest mountain range and a hotspot of biodiversity. But the forest that climbs up this mountain range provides another important service to humanity. Andean forests are helping to protect the planet by acting as a carbon sink, absorbing carbon dioxide and keeping some of this climate-altering gas out of circulation, according to new research published in Nature Communications.
Underneath the apparent messiness of forests lurk extraordinary regularities, governed by the biological mechanisms that drive universal forces of growth, death, and competition.
Research in the Peruvian Andes highlights critical climate threats to montane forests and urges for current conservation plans to take climate projections into account.
When trees die during a drought event, they die of thirst: A field study on spruce trees shows that an abrupt collapse of the hydraulic system is responsible.
Researchers compared lake sediment, tree ring data and archaeological evidence to reconstruct a 1,200 history of fire, climate, and human activity of the Fish Lake Plateau, a high-elevation forest in central Utah in the U.S. They found that Indigenous people used small, frequent fires, a practice known as cultural burning, which reduced the risk for large-scale wildfire activity in mountain environments even during periods of drought more extreme and prolonged than today.
The researchers concluded that water stress, soil fertility and human-induced forest degradation cause gaps in the world's largest tropical forest.
Noise pollution may hold significant consequences for natural communities. Before this study, no long-term research had examined whether patterns persist or communities can recover. Using a long-term system, researchers found support for long-term negative effects of noise on seedling recruitment foundational tree species, evenness of woody plants, and increasingly dissimilar vegetation communities with differences in noise levels. Seedling recruitment and community composition did not recover following noise removal, likely due to effects on seed dispersers.