Eastern Oregon forest restoration efforts hampered by diameter limits on tree cutting
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A quarter-century-old harvesting restriction intended to last one year has served as an obstacle to returning eastern Oregon national forests to the healthier, more fire-resilient conditions they embodied in the late 1800s, research by the Oregon State University College of Forestry shows.
Spectacular fossil plants preserved within a volcanic ash fall in China have shed light on an evolutionary race 300 million years ago, which was eventually won by the seed-bearing plants that dominate so much of the Earth today.
Insects that fall from the surrounding forest provide seasonal food for fish in streams. Researchers at Kobe University and The University of Tokyo have shown that the lengthening of this period has a profound effect on stream food webs and ecosystem functions. These research results provide proof that changes in forest seasonality also affect the ecosystems of nearby rivers. This finding also highlights the importance of predicting the effects of climate change.
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Selectively cutting trees in riparian zones to aid forest restoration can be done without adversely affecting streams' water temperature as long as the thinning isn't too intensive, new research by Oregon State University shows.
Researchers have analysed decades' worth of data on the impact of repeated fires on ecosystems across the world. Their results, published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, show that repeated fires are driving long-term changes to tree communities and reducing their population sizes.
Younger, smaller trees that comprise much of North America's eastern forests have increased their seed production under climate change. But older, larger trees that dominate western forests have been less responsive, a Duke-led study warns. This continental divide could limit western forests' ability to regenerate following large-scale diebacks linked to rising temperatures and intensifying droughts. Over time this might dramatically alter the composition and structure of 21st century North American forests.
Water is an essential element for all living things. Understanding the dynamics of water in trees is crucial for understanding the consequences of climate change and altered water availability for forest ecosystems. A joint research project with Samuli Junttila PhD, and Professor Masato Katoh of Shinshu University's Institute for Mountain Science and others demonstrates a new laser scanning based method that can be used to monitor changes in leaf water content of tree communities.
Both climate change and forest management have been blamed for wildfire hazards increasing across western North America, but the relative influence of these drivers is still heavily debated. The results of a recent study show that in some ecosystems, human-caused climate change is the predominant factor; in other places, the trend can also be attributed to a century of fire suppression that has produced dense, unhealthy forests.
Pollen from Cryptomeria japonica, or Japanese cedar, is widely known to cause allergies. But, male-sterile trees are known to be devoid of pollen. Now, researchers from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan, have studied the genetic variations in the male sterility gene (MS1) in these trees. This can help in selectively breeding male-sterile plants to counter the discomfort caused by pollen allergies and overcome the need to stay indoors during the pollen season.
The unprecedented and deadly blazes that engulfed the American West in 2020 attest to the increasing number, size and severity of wildfires in the region. And while scientists predict the climate crisis will exacerbate this situation, there's still much discussion around its contributing factors.