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Temperate forest health in an era of emerging megadisturbance

Released: 2015
Citation:
Millar, CI and NL Stephenson. 2015. Temperate forest health in an era of emerging megadisturbance. Science 349(6250):823-826. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9933

Although disturbances such as fire and native insects can contribute to natural dynamics of forest health, exceptional droughts, directly and in combination with other disturbance factors, are pushing some temperate forests beyond thresholds of sustainability. Interactions from increasing temperatures, drought, native insects and pathogens, and uncharacteristically severe wildfire are resulting in forest mortality beyond the levels of 20th-century experience. Additional anthropogenic stressors, such as atmospheric pollution and invasive species, further weaken trees in some regions. Although continuing climate change will likely drive many areas of temperate forest toward large-scale transformations, management actions can help ease transitions and minimize losses of socially valued ecosystem services.


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This product is associated with the following project:
Climate and Fire in the Sierra Nevada

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