Leipzig. Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one function, such as wood production or nature conservation: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. These are the results of two studies led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in Ecology Letters.
Deforested areas of the Amazon Basin have a limited ability to grow new trees because of changes in climate, according to a study.
Birds experience less stress during the winter months when they shelter in old forests rather than in younger, managed plantations suggests new research. The study in Springer's journal The Science of Nature was led by Indrikis Krams of the University of Latvia and the University of Tartu in Estonia.
The invasive Japanese knotweed causes much more severe damage to floodplain forests along the Susquehanna River, Pa., USA, than previously thought, report Bucknell University biology professor Chris Martine and his two student co-authors. Furthermore, in their paper in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal, the researchers point to a key role for the often-maligned poison-ivy as a native species that can not only compete with knotweed but also help sustain the growth of new trees.
Trees in metropolitan areas have been growing faster than trees in rural areas worldwide since the 1960s. This has been confirmed for the first time by a study on the impact of the urban heat island effect on tree growth headed by Technical University Munich. The analysis shows that the growth of urban trees has already been exposed to changing climatic conditions for longer, which is just beginning to happen for trees in rural areas.
A survivor's guide to why forests around the world are being impacted by invasive pests and what can be done about it in an era of overwhelming human activity and climate change.
Productivity and stability of forest ecosystems strongly depend on the functional diversity of plant communities. UZH researchers have developed a new method to measure and map functional diversity of forests at different scales -- from individual trees to whole communities -- using remote sensing by aircraft. Their work paves the way for future airborne and satellite missions to monitor global plant functional diversity.
Twenty-five years ago, a majority of the world's Nobel Laureates united to sign a warning letter about the Earth; today, scientists have taken grassroots action, with a scorecard -- created in the United States and seeded in Australia going viral and continuing to gain signatures -- showing that of nine areas only one has improved. More than 15,000 scientists have signed this latest second warning -- an overwhelming response initially stemming from a few tweets.
In forest restoration, letting nature take its course may be the most effective and least expensive means of restoring biodiversity and vegetation structure of tropical forests. With global efforts to secure pledges for restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded forests, researchers argue these commitments don't have to be as costly or labor intensive as many think as long as a well-informed, combined approach of active and natural measures is taken.
The spontaneous recovery of native tree species is more successful in restoring tropical forests than human interventions like planting seedlings, a new study reports.