One-third of forests aren’t growing back after wildfires. Forests in the American West are having a harder time recovering from wildfires because of (what else?) climate change, according to new research published in Ecology Letters.
Researchers measured the growth of seedlings in 1,500 wildfire-scorched areas in Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Across the board, they found “significant decreases” in tree regeneration, a benchmark for forest resilience. In one-third of the sites, researchers found zero seedlings.
The warmest, driest forests were hit especially hard.
“Seedlings are more sensitive to warm, dry conditions than mature trees, so if the right conditions don’t exist within a few years following a wildfire, tree seedlings may not establish,” said Philip Higuera, a coauthor of the study.
Please read more at the Source: http://grist.org/briefly/california-is-preparing-for-a-weekend-of-wintertime-wildfires/
The lungs of the planet are dying as we do … not enough.