Giant fires, insect outbreaks could be ?game-changer? for some forests
FRISCO ?Forest Service researchers say ?mega-disturbances? like giant wildfires and insect outbreaks are likely to hasten the slow demise of temperate forest ecosystems in the coming decades.
Even without those large-scale events, some forests appear to be transitioning to shrublands and steppe, and big disturbances could speed that process, according to a new study published this month in Science.?While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease these conversions,? said Constance Millar, lead author and forest ecologist with the USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station.
Many forests are remarkably resilient, re-growing after years of logging. But after reviewing numerous forest studies, they concluded that rising global temperatures are resulting in hotter droughts ? droughts that exhibit a level of severity beyond that…
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