A new Colorado State University-led study unearthed unhappy news for the resilience of Rocky Mountain forests.
The study examined nearly 1,500 sites in five states — Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and Montana — and found a link between Earth's changing climate and significant decreases in post-fire tree regeneration, according to a Colorado State University press release. Regeneration is an important factor for forest health.
Researchers measured more than 63,000 seedlings in a region where 52 wildfires have burned during the past 30 years. They found decreases in regeneration after early 21st century wildfires, when conditions were hotter and drier than in previous years.
“We often talk about climate change and how it will affect us in the future, but the truth is we are already seeing those changes,” said Camille Stevens-Rumann, assistant professor in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at CSU, in the press release. “Disturbances like wildfires are a catalyst for change. In many places, forests are not coming back after fires.”
Read more at the Fort Collins Coloradoan: http://noconow.co/2DfKTLK