Forest News -- ScienceDaily Forest Biomes. Read all about forests, including forest ecology, carbon uptake, and how human activities are affecting forests.

  • Fish mercury levels after burns: Burn without concern
    on June 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Forest services can continue to use controlled burns without worrying about fish health in associated watersheds, new research suggests. […]

  • Like a moth to a flame: The spread of the spruce budworm
    on June 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    In the last decade, 7 million hectares of boreal forest in Eastern Canada have been destroyed by the voracious insect known as the spruce budworm. And the outbreak is heading south again this spring. And the outbreak is heading south again this spring, leaving devastation and fires in its wake, warn researchers. […]

  • Peatlands, already dwindling, could face further losses
    on June 12, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Tropical peatlands have been disappearing fast due to clear-cutting and drainage projects. Now, new research shows peatlands face another threat, as climate change alters rainfall patterns, potentially destroying much of what remains and turning these carbon sinks into net carbon sources. […]

  • Lianas stifle tree fruit and seed production in tropical forests
    on June 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Vines compete intensely with trees. Their numbers are on the rise in many tropical forests around the world. A new study shows that lianas prevent canopy trees from producing fruit, with potentially far-reaching consequences for rainforest animals. […]

  • Papua New Guinea expedition discovers largest trees at extreme altitudes
    on June 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    The first field campaign surveying Papua New Guinea's lush primary forests from the coast to clouds has revealed the high mountain tops may house the largest trees recorded globally at such extreme altitudes. […]

  • Mining for answers on abandoned mines
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    In the western United States 160,000 abandoned mines contaminate soils in the region. Researchers hope to solve this problem with biochar, a charcoal-like substance that can reduce the toxic consequences of mining for metals. […]

  • We're on the brink of mass extinction -- but there's still time to pull back
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Imagine being a scuba diver and leaving your air tank behind you on a dive. That's essentially what humans are doing as we expand our footprint on the planet without paying adequate attention to impacts on other living things, according to researchers. Both ominous and hopeful, a new report paints a picture of the value of biodiversity, the threats it faces and the window of opportunity we have to save species before it's too late. […]

  • Spotted owls benefit from forest fire mosaic
    on May 31, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Fire is a crucial part of the forest ecosystem on which threatened spotted owls rely, but climate change and decades of fire suppression are changing the dynamics of these forests. A new study examines California spotted owl habitat use and shows that while owls avoid the badly burned areas left behind by massive stand-replacing fires, they benefit from habitat that includes a mosaic of burned patches of different sizes and degrees of severity. […]

  • Climate change can alter the impact of forest pathogens in trees
    on May 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    New research on projected climate changes indicates that climate change has an alarming potential to increase the damage caused to Norway spruce trees by a naturally circulating disease spreading fungus. […]

  • Amazon rainforest may be more resilient to deforestation than previously thought
    on May 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Taking a fresh look at evidence from satellite data, and using the latest theories from complexity science, researchers have provided new evidence to show that the Amazon rainforest is not as fragile as previously thought. […]

  • Changing climate could have devastating impact on forest carbon storage
    on May 25, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Biologists have shown what could be a startling drop in the amount of carbon stored in the Sierra Nevada mountains due to projected climate change and wildfire events. […]

  • Predicting threats to rainforests: New approach
    on May 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    A new study highlights novel approaches to tackling deforestation. The team focused their research on Borneo, an island that has lost a staggering 30 percent of its forest since the 1970s and is among the most biodiverse and threatened on the planet. The loss of Bornean forests threatens species such as the orangutan, Sumatran rhino, and the Sunda clouded leopard; as well as emitting significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. […]

  • Human-induced deforestation is causing an increase in malaria cases
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    A new study of 67 less-developed, malaria-endemic nations finds a link between deforestation and increasing malaria rates across developing nations. […]

  • Myanmar's extensive forests are declining rapidly due to political and economic change
    on May 17, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    The loss of intact forest cover in Myanmar has accelerated over the last decade, according to a new study. […]

  • 'Narco-deforestation' study links loss of Central American tropical forests to cocaine
    on May 16, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Central American tropical forests are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening the livelihood of indigenous peoples there and endangering some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. The culprit? Cocaine. […]

  • Some forests have been hiding in plain sight
    on May 11, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    A new estimate of dryland forests suggests that the global forest cover is at least 9 percent higher than previously thought. The finding will help reduce uncertainties surrounding terrestrial carbon sink estimates. […]

  • Assessment concludes urban forests in Chicago region face a warmer, wetter future
    on May 9, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    A first-ever assessment of urban forest vulnerability to climate change in the Chicago region suggests that native tree species in a 7-million-acre area may decline while invasive species may thrive with shifts in habitat suitability. […]

  • Larger swaths of tropical forest being lost to commercial agriculture
    on May 9, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Larger patches of tropical forest are being cleared in recent years to make way for industrial-scale agriculture, a new study shows. Analysis of deforestation maps shows that roughly half of the increase in tropical forest loss from 2000 to 2012 was linked to the expansion of these large-scale activities. The trend is most pronounced in Southeast Asia and South America. […]

  • Study refutes findings behind challenge to Sierra Nevada forest restoration
    on May 9, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Ecologists have found significant flaws in the research used to challenge the US Forest Service plan to restore Sierra Nevada forests to less dense, and less fire-prone, environments. […]

  • Microscopic soil creatures could orchestrate massive tree 'migrations'
    on May 8, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Warming temperatures are prompting some tree species in the Rocky Mountains to 'migrate' to higher elevations in order to survive. Researchers have discovered that tiny below-ground organisms play a role in this phenomenon -- and could be used to encourage tree migration in order to preserve heat-sensitive species. Their work shows how these invisible biotic communities create 'soil highways' for young trees, meaning they could determine how quickly species march uphill, if at all. […]

  • New look at satellite data questions scale of China's afforestation success
    on May 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    China has invested massive resources into halting and reversing tree cover loss. However, 'planting trees is not the same as gaining forests.' It is likely that much of China's tree cover gains consist of low-height, sparse and/or scattered plantations, which are unlikely to provide the same benefits as natural forests, such as diverse habitats for wildlife, prevention of soil erosion, and timber resources. […]

  • Single-family homes killed L.A.'s urban forest
    on May 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Analyzing aerial imagery, scientists have found a loss of green cover up to 55 percent in single-family home lots of the Los Angeles region from 2000-09. […]

  • Researchers track impact of Brazil's 'Soy Moratorium' on an advancing agricultural frontier
    on April 29, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    The 2006 Soy Moratorium had a larger effect in reducing deforestation in the Amazon than has been previously understood, outlines a new study. […]

  • Long-term fate of tropical forests may not be as dire as believed, says study
    on April 28, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Conventional wisdom has held that tropical forest growth will dramatically slow with high levels of rainfall. But researchers turned that assumption on its head with an unprecedented review of data from 150 forests that concluded just the opposite. […]

  • Scientists examine impact of high-severity fires on conifer forests
    on April 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    The ability of some Western conifer forests to recover after severe fire may become increasingly limited as the climate continues to warm, scientists found in a new study. […]

  • Heavy precipitation speeds carbon exchange in tropics
    on April 24, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    New insight into how forests globally will respond to long-term climate change has been gained by recent research. The new work suggests that climate-change driven increases in rainfall in warm, wet forests are likely to cause increased plant growth. Plant-growth declines are still expected in cooler forests with increased precipitation. […]

  • Application of statistical method shows promise mitigating climate change effects on pine
    on April 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Confronting evidence that the global climate is changing rapidly relative to historical trends, researchers have developed a new statistical model that, when applied to the loblolly pine tree populations in the southeastern United States, will benefit forest landowners and the forest industry in future decades. […]

  • New research unlocks forests' potential in climate change mitigation
    on April 20, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    For the first time, scientists have created a global map measuring the cooling effect forests generate by regulating the exchange of water and energy between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere. The information offers a valuable new tool in efforts to mitigate climate change, according to a new article. […]

  • Shale gas threat to forests can be eased by consolidating infrastructure
    on April 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians -- driven by pipeline and access road construction -- is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in infrastructure-siting policies to head off loss of this critical habitat. […]

  • Prescribed forest fire frequency should be based on land management goals
    on April 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Researchers have studied forests subjected to different frequencies of fires to determine what effects fire can have on oak forests over long periods of time. They found that the frequency of prescribed forest fires should be determined based on the long-term goals of land managers. […]