Large-scale, uncontrollable wildfires are expected to break out more frequently and burn with a greater intensity due to climate change. Preventing and responding to these extreme events is an unavoidable challenge that will require using natural solutions, technology, and policy.
Globally, the conversion of forest land for agriculture and livestock rearing is among the key threats to tropical forests. Harvesting non-timber forest products can be a sustainable alternative source of livelihood for forest-dependent communities. A recent study from Brazil considers the potential of the açaí palm in enabling forest conservation and ending poverty.
The way leaves reflect and absorb light can drive the climate of the entire planet. Darker leaves absorb more light, trapping heat and subsequently warming surrounding ecosystems. A recent study shows that climate change may be changing leaf properties, making them darker.
Protecting livelihoods while simultaneously protecting forests can be a difficult task. However, recent research suggests that investing in innovating social programs is an effective way to improve livelihoods of forest-dependent communities, without putting pressure on the environment.
Scientists studied the effects of changing soil moisture on plants over the twenty-first century. They found that with the increase of droughts, plants are losing their power to take in carbon dioxide, even when dry years are followed by years of heavy rainfall.
Tropical forest conservation for climate change mitigation is commonly thought to automatically benefit biodiversity as well. New research finds that optimizing for forest carbon sequestration may not always promote biodiversity. However, by co-managing for both, it is possible to achieve large biodiversity gains with only small decreases in carbon storage.
Forest fragmentation breaks apart ecosystems and accelerates deforestation. The causes of deforestation differ around the globe, but scientists have identified similarities in their patterns. Doing so might mitigate further deforestation.
A warming climate in the American West is causing major changes to the iconic conifer forests. A team of researchers describe how we might be losing these forests to drought and more frequent wildfires.
While it seems the number of forest fires is increasing, an international team of researchers has discovered a downward trend in global burned area over the past two decades. Capital-intensive agriculture expansion, rather than climate change, is the major factor influencing global burned area.
New research shows that fungi in the forest floor use resources less efficiently when competing with neighboring fungi. This means forests’ may remove less greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than we thought.