Over the last century, emerging diseases have progressively been recognized by the scientific community as the main threat to forest ecosystems. With increasing international trade and globalization, the introduction of non-native species into new environments has exacerbated the problems of emerging pests and diseases worldwide. Additionally, other factors, such as climate change, further complicate matters by altering host-pathogen interactions, thus promoting the spread of diseases caused by native or non-native pathogens.
A new study shows that it took more than 10 millennia from when the first spruces returned to Sweden after the glacial stage of the last Ice Age until the species became widespread. This sluggish rate of initial dispersal has surprised the researchers, since the spruce might have had good prospects of expanding its range.
Preventing the re-clearing of second-growth forests is a major challenge for restoration efforts in tropical regions, according to a new study led by international researchers. The study found that a third of regenerating areas in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest were cut down again, most after just 4 to 8 years of regeneration.
Tropical forests are disappearing at an alarming rate through deforestation, but they also have the potential to regrow naturally on abandoned lands. This has been shown by an international study led by scientists from Wageningen University. How a forest recovers, depends on the amount of rainfall, the age of the forest, and the functional characteristics of the tree species.
With commitments to restore more than 47.5 million hectares of degraded land and forests by 2030, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India hope to become exemplar land custodians. While commitments ending deforestation are critical to obtaining that image—Indonesia is one of the world’s poster children for forest loss—even a full halt to natural landscape destruction is only part of the battle to fight climate change and restore myriad ecosystem services, which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization simply states, “make human life possible.”
As forests age, differences in species functional traits become more important and reliable in predicting forest productivity, according to an international study.
In a study published recently, researchers have revealed that a tropical rainforest tree species underwent a recent and rapid population expansion in Borneo, showing that an understanding of a species’ past is important for ensuring its future.
Invasive shrubs in Northeastern forests that sprout leaves earlier in the spring and keep them longer in the fall not only absorb more sunlight than native shrubs, but their foliage lowers air temperatures on the forest floor, likely giving them another competitive advantage.